Every year, the Municipality of Port Hope’s recreation facilities, parks and open spaces are host to a wide variety of community events. Festivals and events contribute to cultural life in Port Hope and promote community involvement through volunteerism, they increase tourism and civic pride, and they provide educational and economic opportunities to the community.
It is the policy of the Municipality that organizers of special events must provide proactive planning and ensure compliance with all requirements of the Municipality before, throughout and following the event so that safe and successful events create a positive impact on the community. If you wish to hold your special event on municipal property (including roads, fields, parks, parking lots, beach, etc.) you are required to obtain permission through the Special Events Application Process.
Our friendly, trained staff are here to help. The Special Events Application Process is designed to help event organizers understand their responsibilities and facilitate approvals that lead to successful events.
Thank you for your interest in hosting your event in Port Hope. Let’s get started.
There are many different scales of events that require different levels of Municipal authorization. The following will help to determine the appropriate event approval process for each event organizer based on their event size/scope.
Before filling out the Special Event Application, please review the entire Special Event Planning Guide in order to better understand the necessary steps and requirements for hosting events in the Municipality of Port Hope. You will be required to certify on the Special Event Application that you have read this information.
The Municipality of Port Hope's Special Events Coordinator will be your contact for your event application within the Municipality of Port Hope.
Events Coordinator: Jeannie Maidens
Office Location: Town Park Recreation Centre, 62 McCaul Street, Port Hope
Mailing Address: 56 Queen Street, Port Hope, ON L1A 3Z9
Phone: 905-885-7908 x 3425
Special Event Applications must be completed and returned with all required attachments, a minimum of ninety (90) days prior to the scheduled start of the event to ensure adequate time to process the application. The application will not be considered for final approval until a completed application and all required supporting documents are submitted to the Events Coordinator.
The Special Event Application Flow Chart outlines the Municipality of Port Hope’s general event application & approval process. Within this process please observe the necessary timelines, payment information and requirements for submitting supporting documentation outlined throughout this guide.
Following the receipt of the completed event application and any supporting documents, your application will be sent out to the Special Events Review Committee (SERC) comprised of members from:
The Events Coordinator will schedule a meeting with the Special Events Review Committee and the Event Organizer, if deemed necessary, to review the application.
You will be notified if there are any issues or objections to your event plan or if additional information, modification or fees and charges may be applicable.
Events requesting the service/sale of alcohol, road closures, overnight camping and/or large scale events that expect over 500 attendees may require a Council resolution. For new or significantly altered, recurring events, the Events Coordinator will present the application as a Report to Committee of the Whole (COW) no later than four weeks prior to the proposed event for consideration, when all requirements of the Special Events Review Committee are met. The recommendation of the COW will be forwarded to the next scheduled Council meeting. Council may, by resolution, approve the event, grant approval with conditions or deny the request. Recurring events with no significant alterations to past years must still submit a new application each year; however, the application may not require a Council resolution but instead will be approved by SERC.
The Municipality of Port Hope has a rolling intake process for event applications. All applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis as facilities, space and resources are available after annual, ongoing events are accommodated.
Events Application Form
Post Event Report
Special Event Application Flow Chart
Special Event Management Policy
Prior to completing and submitting your special event application, you are required to review the following sections to ensure your event complies with The Municipality of Port Hope’s event policies, procedures and regulations.
The Municipality of Port Hope strives to be an inclusive and accessible community; event organizers are encouraged to consider ways to host accessible events, especially with regards to access to amenities, parking and programming elements such that they meet the requirements outlined in the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).
All outdoor events that include the sale/service of alcohol require approval from the Municipality of Port Hope in the form of a Resolution of Council or a letter from the Clerk deeming the event to be of “municipal significance”.
Alcohol (sale/or service) is not permitted at any event unless proof of a valid liquor license is provided by the permit holder to the Municipality and available onsite at the event at all times.
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) oversees the administration of the Special Occasion Permit (SOP) program, which allows for the sale and service of alcohol on special occasions, including events that are open to the public. If alcohol will be sold or served in conjunction with your event, a Special Occasion Permit must be obtained from the AGCO and be available at the event. Any and all the guidelines or conditions implemented by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario and Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) must be adhered to. The SOP Application, guidelines and timeline can be found on the AGCO website.
The Events Coordinator can assist you with providing a template and contact information for the required SOP notification letter that must be sent to the Municipal Clerk, Police & Fire Departments and Health Unit.
Events must also comply with the conditions outlined in the Municipal Alcohol Policy (By-law 53/2006). Event organizers must submit a copy of the SOP, list of Smart Serve event staff, a site plan, confirmation of security and a copy of event liability insurance to the Events Coordinator in compliance with the Municipal Alcohol Policy.
Copies of current Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) certification for each ride and/or inflatable must be submitted to the Municipality prior to the event, as well as appropriate insurance.
Depending on the size and nature of the rides/inflatables, the level of liability insurance may increase. This will be determined in consultation with the Events Coordinator.
The Municipality of Port Hope reserves all final decision making authority with respect to considering, granting, issuing, or terminating an event permit at any time.
The Municipality of Port Hope reserves the right to cancel any approved or active event where public safety is a primary concern or where the terms of the permit are not being met.
Unsolicited buskers, street or roaming performers are not permitted on Municipal property.
Organizers wishing to invite buskers to the downtown area are required to obtain approval through the Heritage Business Improve Area (HBIA) Busker Program.
In accordance with the By-law 45-2012: Govern Use of Parks, Recreation Areas and Park Facilities, overnight camping is not permitted.
In special circumstances, permission to camp may be granted on a limited basis, through approval from the Parks Manager and resolution of Council. The provision of all necessary site amenities and personal security during any granted overnight camp is the sole responsibility of the Event Organizer.
Copyrights are a form of intellectual property that gives the author, owner or the distributor of original work (movies, literature, music, etc.) exclusive rights for a certain time period in relation to that work, including its publication, distribution, adaptation and use.
If live or recorded music of any kind is included in your special event, event organizers are required to pay a license fee to Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN).
Re:Sound is the Canadian not-for-profit music licensing company dedicated to obtaining fair compensation for artists and record companies for their performance rights. Re:Sound licenses recorded music for public performance, broadcast and new media.
All organizations that present commercially available movies in a public performance environment are required to obtain a license from the appropriate rights representative. This applies even if presentations are free of charge, for non-profit reasons or if copies are obtained from personal collections, retail stores or online retailers.
Any inclusion of a drone(s) at your event must comply with all Transport Canada Drone Regulations & Protocols.
Event organizers are responsible for adequately considering, planning for and mitigating against, event emergencies through the development of an event-specific Emergency Plan.
For all Special Events, the Emergency Plan must be approved by the Port Hope Fire & Emergency Services Department prior to the event.
The Emergency Plan for your event should include the following:
Please note that all public events located in buildings and outdoor areas shall be designed so that they do not create a fire hazard to the public attending the event or activity. Hay, straw, shavings, textile, films or similar combustible materials shall not be used in the design or construction or as decorative features unless approved provisions are made to control the hazards.
Event Emergency Plan Template (coming soon)
The rental of municipal equipment is subject to availability. Rental fees for equipment and additional services by the Municipality of Port Hope will be applied according to the Fees and Charges by-law, as amended each year.
Equipment available to event organizers to rent, on a first come, first serve basis. Consult Events Coordinator for available equipment details.
The Municipality of Port Hope has established user fees as a means to assist with the capital, maintenance and operational costs of its services and facilities.
The Fee Waiving and Reduction Policy for Municipal Parks and Facilities (By-Law 71/2012) which may be applied in exceptional circumstances only and subject to the detailed criteria included in the policy
Approval of all event fencing must be obtained prior to installation. Event organizers wishing to install temporary fencing are requested to indicate the positioning of all fence lines on their site plan/map. Please note that staking or spiking into the ground or grass is not permitted until utility locates have been set in place.
At no time is event fencing permitted to block access to residents’ property, driveways, parking lots, walkways or thoroughfares. It must also be kept clear of all temporary or permanent emergency access points and routes.
No person or group of persons shall discharge any display fireworks (high hazard fireworks) in the Municipality of Port Hope without first submitting a Fireworks & Pyrotechnics Event Application and obtaining a permit issued by the Fire Chief. Please refer to the Fireworks By-law (102/2008) for a breakdown of guidelines and requirements for a Fireworks Display, and to obtain a Fireworks & Pyrotechnics Event Application Form.
If food is to be served/sold to the general public as part of your event, the Event Organizer must supply a list of food vendors/suppliers to the Events Coordinator, as well as notify the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (Health Unit) at least 10 days prior to the event. Each vendor will be required to complete and submit the Notification of Premises Opening Form, available on the Health Unit website. Food provided to specific event partners (i.e. volunteers) is not required to obtain a permit from the Health Unit, but is still required to follow safe food handling regulations.
All Mobile Food Service Vehicles will be inspected and approved in accordance with the Technical Standards & Safety Authority (TSSA) requirements and the Ontario Fire Code.
No person shall in any Park or Recreation Area use any barbeque or cooking device without a “Special Event” permit issued for the specific day and kept at all times on the person in charge of the barbeque. No permitted barbequing will take place under tents. All permitted barbeques must be a minimum of 3 metres (10ft) away from any structure or tent. Fire Extinguishers are required to be available at barbecue locations.
There are a variety of grant opportunities available for special events. A few of the many resources are listed here:
Community Grants & Donations: The Municipality’s Community Grant & Donations Program is open to submissions every year in October. Please carefully read eligibility and criteria.
Government of Canada – Grants & Funding: The Federal Government website lists information on numerous funding opportunities.
Grants ON: Grants Ontario is your source for grants provided by a number of Ontario Government Ministries.
Ontario Trillium Foundation: The Ontario Trillium Foundation is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s largest granting foundations.
RTO8 Partnership Allocation: Although it is not a grant program, the Kawarthas Northumberland Partnership Allocation regional fund supports tourism initiatives which follow RTO8's strategic direction.
Additional funding sources and tourism research can be found on the Northumberland Partners website: www.northumberlandpartners.com/en/funding/Funding.asp.
It is the responsibility of the Event Organizer to ensure adequate liability insurance is obtained for the event. The Event Organizer should consider all event components when reviewing insurance requirements, including vendors, alcohol, programming elements, all logistics.
All Special Events require appropriate liability insurance coverage in the minimum amount of $5,000,000 with the Corporation of the Municipality of Port Hope [56 Queen Street, Port Hope ON L1A 3Z9] named as an additional insured.
Evidence of appropriate coverage must be provided prior to the event. The Municipality of Port Hope reserves the right to set higher insurance limits on the event as necessary.
All occurrences of gambling and games of chance (i.e. lotteries, raffles, bingo and 50/50 draws) in the province of Ontario are subject to the licensing and regulations of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. Any event planning to include any form of gambling or game of chance (even if for fundraising purposes) must obtain a lottery license from the Municipality of Port Hope’s Information Licensing Coordinator.
When your event is approved, please upload your event information to the Municipal online calendar. You will also find a list of external online calendars for your consideration.
See “Signage” section for more information regarding community entrance signs.
Northumberland County Tourism has compiled some great resources for planning and promoting your event.
All special events shall observe the Municipality’s Control Noise By-law (20/2002 as amended) at all times, unless prior exemption has been granted by Council or through SERC.
Concerts must cease by 11 p.m., no exceptions. Organizers are asked to be mindful of the volume of their event and music, recognizing that there are people who live in the area and neighbouring businesses. This mindfulness is especially important for events taking place in Memorial Park. Local police will respond to noise complaints and may identify to the users of the park to reduce volume as necessary. In the event the Police are activated by a community complaint, organizers must comply with Police or Municipal staff direction.
Event organizers are responsible for considering the impact of their event to area parking and are encouraged to develop a parking plan, including sufficient parking for event attendees, signage, arranging off-site parking and providing shuttle service, if required.
It is the responsibility of the Event Organizer to provide a parking diagram, specifying requested parking restrictions, as well as dates and times. All parking restrictions must be approved by Council or SERC.
In order to provide a safe and clean environment for all to enjoy, dogs are not allowed to be off-leash on any municipal property, with the exception of designated off-leash areas. Stoop-and-scoop practices shall be followed at all times.
With the exception of service animals, dogs and all other animals are not allowed inside any municipal facilities as per Animals in facilities policy. Designated service animals are welcome on all municipal property and at events.
Depending on the nature of the event and out of care and concern for your attendees’ pets, consider using your pre-event communication channels to advise whether or not pets are welcome to attend your event (where facilities permit) or if they should be left at home.
Animals in Facilities Policy (Parks Recreation & Culture Department)
Event Organizers wishing to operate a parade or procession on Municipal roads must submit a detailed route map including if the road closure will be partial, full or rolling. See Road Closures section for more information.
A procession is an event that travels through the Municipality of Port Hope on streets or sidewalks, with or without a stopover. Event Organizers holding a procession on Municipal roads must consult with the Events Coordinator to discuss any applicable requirements.
Event Organizers holding an event in a Municipal park will have access to picnic tables which are in place in that park. Additional picnic tables can be rented from the Municipality based on availability and at a cost outlined in the Fees and Charges by-law. The Events Coordinator will assist with making arrangements for picnic table rentals and delivery.
For events requiring the services of paid-duty police officers, event organizers must arrange booking of officers with the Port Hope Police Service.
The Municipality of Port Hope’s event planning guidelines require that one washroom (stall) and one handwashing station should be available at a minimum ratio of 1:100 event guests.
The Municipal Chief Building Official is the authority on determining the number of available washrooms and hand washing stations your event must include.
The Event Organizer is required to submit a Final report to the Events Coordinator four weeks following the event. Please review the Event Final Report Form in advance of your event to ensure you collect the required information.
Ontario’s Tourism Regional Economic Impact Model (TREIM) is a free online tool which helps event organizers measure the economic impact of their event. This economic impact model is also helpful for event organizers who wish to gather insights to build a business case for funding applications and develop comprehensive follow up reports. TREIM includes conducting a survey during the event and identifies other information you need to gather to determine economic impact.
Special Event Final Report
All road closures must be approved by Council through a resolution and subsequent road closure by-law or through approval by SERC.
It is the responsibility of the Event Organizer to draft a road closure diagram (or in the case of a roaming procession, a route map) with any road closure request, specifying:
For approved road closures, the Works & Engineering Department will assist in the preparation of a traffic control plan and arrange for the set up and teardown of all barricades required for approved temporary road closures. Parking meters (if any) will need to be covered with "No Parking" in advance of the road closure; the Events Coordinator will work with the Event Organizer on how this will be implemented. Security and/or paid-duty police officers may be required to assist with traffic control, at the permit holder’s expense.
All events taking place on a road must ensure one lane, a minimum of 3.7meters remains free and clear of any temporary or permanent installments (i.e., tents, vendors, stage, rides, games, etc.) throughout the event to ensure emergency vehicles can access the site. Event organizers are advised that event staff must be posted to all major intersections while temporary road closures are in effect. The Ontario Community Emergency Assistance Program (OCEAP) serves our local communities by recruiting, training and deploying volunteers when requested by emergency services. OCEAP volunteers can be accessed through the Port Hope Police Department to assist with this role; however, alternative coverage must be arranged in the event OCEAP is not available. Requests for OCEAP service can be arranged through the Events Coordinator.
Event organizers are required to inform all area residents and businesses of approved road closures by letter prior to the event. The notification letter should provide contact information, purpose of road closure, particulars of the road closure (date, times, direction of traffic), a map and the detour route available.
It is encouraged that the Event Organizer arranges signage for the road closure barricades that indicate event name and duration of closure.
The road closure may also require the detouring of public transit buses; Municipal transit hours can be found on the Municipal website and are subject to change. Municipal transit can be rerouted to accommodate Council/SERC approved temporary road closures through the Works & Engineering Department.
All parades require a Police escort and must be arrange through the Events Coordinator.
For Road Closures within the Heritage Business District, consultation with the Heritage Business Improvement Area (HBIA) must take place to ensure cooperation and accommodation with our downtown stakeholders. Approval of road closures within the DBIA district remains with Council/SERC.
The Municipality must be notified before any excavation/digging is performed. If your event requires excavation of municipal property the Events Coordinator will arrange for the locates to be marked. Costs associated with conducting utility locates will be the responsibility of the Event Organizer. Any penalties or charges resulting from damage to any underground utilities as the outcome of unapproved staking, spiking or digging are the responsibility of the Event Organizer.
If your tent(s)/structures(s) require stakes, utility locates must be arranged under the supervision of the Department of Parks Recreation and Culture. Under no circumstances shall tents be anchored to asphalt, concrete or similar surfaces using stakes or spikes; only surface anchor blocks shall be used
The Event Organizer is responsible for requesting permission to install event-related signage within the Municipality of Port Hope. The request must include details on the type and size of signs and the installation locations – keeping in mind any sightline concerns. Event signs can be installed up to 21 days prior to the event and must be removed 48 hours after the completion of the event. The request will be sent to the Event Coordinator who will consult with the Chief Building Official and Works Department.
The Municipality of Port Hope has three community entrance signs. To arrange to have an entrance sign created for your event, please contact the Municipal Marketing Manager.
Please provide a detailed site drawing illustrating all physical objects:
In accordance with the Smoke Free bylaw (88/2004, as amended), Section 7: states: “No person shall smoke in a public park within 10 meter radius of the boundary of any playground equipment, sports field and playground area including but not limited to soccer pitches, baseball diamonds, tennis courts, player’s benches spectators area, beaches, splash pads, dog parks skate parks and any children’s playground equipment including but not limited to swing sets and climbing apparatus including the surrounding playground equipment area which is located within the municipal boundaries of any public park which is owned or leased by the Municipality.”
Event Organizers are encouraged to create smoke-free environments, but must consider if any special arrangements will need to be made regarding smoking.
The Municipality must be notified of all tents and temporary structures planned for within an event site. A detailed site plan for your event is required to be submitted and must indicate the location and size of each tent and temporary structure.
If your event set up included a tent larger than 10’ x 20’, you will be required to submit a tent application.
If your tent(s)/structures(s) require stakes, utility locates must be arranged under the supervision of the Department of Parks Recreation and Culture. Under no circumstances shall tents be anchored to asphalt, concrete or similar surfaces using stakes or spikes; only surface anchor blocks shall be used.
All tents must have flame retardant tags affixed. Tags must be visible and legible for inspection.
A site inspection will be arranged prior to your event opening to the public.
Any structure larger than 10m2 may require a Building Permit. The Chief Building Official will determine if a building permit and/or engineering report is required.
The Events Coordinator will arrange consultation with the Chief Building Official for any Event Organizer considering the installation of stages or elevated platforms to review any applicable building code and accessibility requirements.
The use of Municipality of Port Hope parks and public spaces are governed by Municipal by-laws, including Govern Use of Parks, Recreation Areas and Park Facilities (By-law 45/2012) and PRC Behaviour Management Policy.
It is the responsibility of the Event Organizer that Municipal property is protected from crowd damage, overuse, vandalism and improper disposal of garbage. Any damage resulting in maintenance, repair or replacement will be the sole responsibility of the Event Organizer. If damages occur during or as a result of an event, any repair costs will be accessed and communicated to the Event Organizer within 72 hours of the event vacating the site.
Electricity: Electrical access will be provided where possible and at the sole discretion of the Director of Parks, Recreation & Culture. Events requiring the use of generators may utilize whisper-quiet generators only. Generators should be well positioned, as to not create a hazard, disturb or cause nuisance as the result of noise or exhaust emissions.
Municipal Water: Municipal water access will be provided where possible at the sole discretion of the Director of Works & Engineering
Locates: Underground utilities (including hydro, gas, or irrigation lines) may be buried below the surface of municipal property. If an event requires the installation of any object that penetrates the ground, approval from the Municipality must be granted and utility locates (the marking of underground utilities) are required. The Events Coordinator will arrange for the locates to be marked. Costs associated with conducting utility locates will be the responsibility of the Event Organizer. Any penalties or charges resulting from damage to any underground utilities as the outcome of unapproved staking, spiking or digging are the responsibility of the Event Organizer.
Permissions and implementation of any requirements for utilities will be coordinated through the Events Coordinator.
Vehicular access can be made available in Municipal Parks. Pre-consultation with the Parks & Facilities Manager will be required to determine access routes and seasonal restrictions.
Events planning to feature vending or vendors of any nature (retail, food, etc.) on municipal property as part of the event’s programming must disclose these details during the event application process. Vending is not allowed on municipal property, unless outlined on the event application.
The provision of all necessary site, vendor and personal security during any event is the sole responsibility of the event organizers.
Food vendors will be required to notify the Event Organizer and the Halliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit (see Food & Beverage).
As an Event Organizer you are responsible for the clean-up of your event site. The Municipality will provide all normal maintenance services to its current routine standards. Any additional maintenance required by the Event Organizer prior to or during the event should be requested and additional fees may apply.
The Event Organizer is encouraged to promote recycling/reuse of materials. The County of Northumberland has recycling containers available for your event.
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