Festivals and Events

Are you planning on hosting a community event or festival on public space in Tofino?

A special event permit is required if you plan on organizing, managing, promoting or advertising an assembly of twelve or more people on District-owned property including: parks, public places, highways, roads or beaches.

Tofino offers a variety of unique event spaces.  Some of our most popular locations include:

How To Apply

  1. Take a moment to review the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section below to discover the requirements and best practices that may apply to your event. These requirements will be confirmed once staff review your application and Council approves your special event permit application based on the information you submit.
  2. Fill out a Special Event Permit Application.  Please provide as many details about your event as possible in the event description.
  3. The Festival and Event Services Assistant will respond to your application once it's received and begin the event permit process. If you have questions or need to make changes to your application, contact events@tofino.ca.

Read the Public Property Use Bylaw.

Visit the Event Calendar.  If you'd like to be listed on the event calendar, please email events@tofino.ca.

Questions?
Contact events@tofino.ca or call (250)725-3229 ext.603


Resources & Tools

Sustainable Event Guide
 
Sustainable Event Worksheets

Sustainable Event Appendices
 
BC Liquor Control & Licensing
 
Island Health Food Safety
 

FAQ

Who can I talk to about my event?

Cindy Hutchison, Resort Municipality Initiative Festival and Events Services Assistant can help you before, during and after your event. Email her at chutchison@tofino.ca or call her at 250.725.3229 ext 603.

Do I need a special event permit?

A special event permit is required if your event will be held on or require the use of District property. District property includes beaches, public parking lots, parks, walkways, roads or pedestrian areas. To begin the process please fill out the Special Event Application.

Can I hold my event on a public beach?

The District of Tofino aims to strike a balance between the desire to host memorable events and the expectation of residents and other visitors that the beaches will largely be free of privatized endeavours such as wedding receptions and private parties. 

Please contact chutchison@tofino.ca to discuss your proposed event or use of the beach. 

Can I hold my wedding ceremony on a public beach?

Ceremonies on public beaches are welcome, but please keep in mind the following:

- Public access cannot be restricted.

-No structures or large equipment may be erected without approval by Council.

-Alcohol is not permitted on public property, including Tofino's beaches,  at any time.

All users of public property are encouraged to leave the space better than they found it.  All items such as small PAs, chairs, arbors, etc. should be set up and removed as close to the ceremony as possible to minimize the disruption of public space.

Additional restrictions may apply. Please contact chutchison@tofino.ca to discuss your plans.

What does a special event permit cost?

A damage deposit from the event organizer is required once a special event permit has been approved by Council.  The damage deposit amount is based on the number of participants expected to attend (as shown below) and will be refunded after a site audit has been completed.  

Fewer than 25 participants & attendees $100
25-75 participants & attendees $150
75 - 150 participants & attendees $500
More than 150 participants & attendees $1000

For Tofino Community Hall user fees and damage deposit schedule, click here.

Can I serve alcohol at my event on public propety?

A Special Event Permit (SEP) from the Liquor & Cannabis Regulation Branch is required if you wish to serve, sell and consume alcohol at your event.

Visit the Liquor Special Event Permit page for more information.

The District of Tofino requires a copy of your SEP at least 14 days in advance of your event.

Alcohol is not permitted on public beaches.

Can I serve food at my event?

A temporary food service permit from Island Health is required if you wish to serve food at your event. For more information about temporary food service and to apply for a temporary food service permit visit the Island Health Food Safety webpage.

Council must approve the sale of food on public property. You will be required to indicate your intention to sell food at your event when you complete the special events permit application.

The District of Tofino requires a copy of your Temporary Food Service Permit 14 days before the event.

Can I sell merchandise at my event?

Council must approve the sale of merchandise on public property. You will be required to indicate your intention to sell merchandise at your event when you complete your special events permit application.

Can fireworks be part of my special event?

Please contact Fire Chief Brent Baker at bbaker@tofino.ca or 250-725-3365 to discuss your plans for fireworks.

Do I need a traffic management plan?

A traffic management plan is required if your event will divert traffic or impact road safety. Your traffic management plan must consider the safe and effective movement of event participants, volunteers, and vendors.  It must also demonstrate how interference with normal traffic movement will be minimized. You are encouraged to consult with the Tofino RCMP and local emergency agencies if your event will impacting normal traffic flow.

When your event takes place along a provincial highway, you will need to obtain a permit from the local Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure at least 30 days before the date of the event. Click here to learn more.

The District of Tofino requires a copy of your event traffic management and route plan and/or highways permit 30 days before the event.

Are you having your event at the beach? The District of Tofino has traffic management best practices that events will be required to implement.