Festivals and Events
Want to host an event in Tofino?
We'd love to help! Here's a list of frequently asked questions related to putting on an event in Tofino.
Who can I talk to about my event?
Where can I hold my event?
Do I need a special event permit?
Can I hold my event on a public beach?
Can I get married on a public beach?
Do I need to provide a security deposit?
Can I serve alcohol at my event?
Can I serve food at my event?
Can I sell merchandise at my event?
Can I hold a fireworks display?
Do I need a traffic management plan?
Do I need liability insurance?
What deadlines do I need to consider when planning my event?
Can I amplify speech, music or noise?
What other events are being held in Tofino?
Can I receive marketing support?
Cindy Hutchison, Resort Municipality Initiative Festival and Events Services Assistant can help you before, during and after your event. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 250.725.3229 ext 603.
The District of Tofino offers the following venues for festivals and events:
- Village Green (view)
- Centennial Park (view)
- Third Street Vista (view)
- Community Hall (rental rates and info)
A special event permit is required if your event will be held on or require use of District property. District property includes beaches, public parking lots, parks, walkways, roads or pedestrian areas.
Click here to apply for an event permit.
The District of Tofino aims to strike a balance between the desire to host memorable events and the expectation of other visitors on public beaches. Events applying for use of public beaches will require permission from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development upon successful approval of their Special Event Permit. For more information visit www.frontcounterbc.ca or contact FrontCounterBC in Port Alberni at 250-731-3000.
Alcohol is not permitted on public beaches.
Ceremonies on public beaches are welcome but please keep in mind that public access cannot be restricted, no structures or equipment may be erected, and alcohol is not permitted. Private ceremonies are encouraged to minimize the disruption of public space and ensure that no waste is left behind.
Additional restrictions may apply.
Wedding Receptions and Private Events:
While it is recognized wedding receptions and other private celebrations are an important part of Tofino’s visitor experience, the District of Tofino aims to strike a balance between the desire to have memorable events and the expectation of other visitors that beaches will largely be free of privatized endeavours.
A security deposit is required when using District property. Your deposit will be refunded after a successful site audit after the event. The security deposit schedule is as follows:
A Special Occasion License (SOL) from the Tofino Liquor Control & Licensing Branch is required If you wish to serve, sell and consume alcohol at your event. If 500 or more people are expected to attend your event, a security plan detailing how you will control crowds, prevent minors from accessing liquor and prevent over consumption must be submitted and approved before you apply for your SOL.
Click here or visit the Tofino Liquor Control and Licensing Branch office at 328 Neill Street for more information.
The District of Tofino requires a copy of your SOL at least 14 days in advance of your event.
Alcohol is not permitted on public beaches.
A Temporary Food Service Permit from the Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) is required if you wish to serve food at your event. For more information about the Temporary Food Service Permit visit the VIHA website. To download an application,click here. Completed applications should be submitted to Stephanie Bruvall at Stephanie.email@example.com.
District of Tofino Council must approve the sale of food on District property. You will be required to indicate your intention to sell food at your event when you complete your Special Events Permit application.
The District of Tofino requires a copy of your Temporary Food Service Permit 14 days before the event.
District of Tofino Council must approve the sale of merchandise on District property. You will be required to indicate your intention to sell merchandise at your event when you complete your special events permit application.
Fireworks are prohibited in Tofino, except between 5:00 p.m. and midnight on January 1, July 1, July 4, October 31 or December 31 of any year. For permit information on Display Firework displays for these days, contact Brent Baker, Fire Chief at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250.725.3365. The associated Bylaw can be reviewed at tofino.ca.
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, and demonstrate how interference with normal traffic movement will be minimized. You are encouraged to consult with the Tofino RCMP about your traffic management plan.
When your event takes place along a provincial highway, you will need to obtain a permit from the local Ministry of Transportation office at least 30 days before the date of the event. Click here to learn more about when and how to obtain a highways permit.
The District of Tofino requires a copy of your event traffic management and route plan and/or highways permit 30 days before the event.
If your event requires use of District property, you are required to hold comprehensive general liability insurance with inclusive limits of not less than $2,000,000 against third party claims for bodily injury, death, property and loss of use. Higher limits may be required depending on the nature of your event.
Your policy must name the District of Tofino as an additional insured and include a clause requiring the insurer provide the District at least 30 days written notice in the event of policy cancellation or change.
The District of Tofino requires a copy of the Certificate of Insurance before a permit can be issued.
Please have application in no later than 60 days prior to your proposed event date for use of public property. Once the application is complete, a report will go before Council at a regular meeting for permit approval. Contact Cindy at email@example.com or 250.725.3229 ext 603 for more information about the Special Event Permit process. Please review Festival and Event FAQs and resources prior to submission of application or for more information.
Event organizers are encouraged to consider the experience of residents and visitors not involved with the event by keeping amplified sound within the hours of 8 am and 10 pm. If you intend to amplify speech, music or noise, it is recommended that you notify residents and business owners in the neighbourhood in which the sound or noise is going to be received.
Council must approve amplified sound past 10pm as per Public Property Use Regulation Bylaw No. 1098, 2009.
Visit the Tourism Tofino events page to check out other local events.
Tourism Tofino provides marketing support for not-for-profit festivals and events which are openly accessible to the public. Please contact Cindy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250.725.3229 ext 26 for more information.