Special Events

There are many private and public events happening in Nelson that are classified as Special Events. Through the Special Event application process the City makes sure that all events are safe and don't negatively affect the community. By involving various City Departments in the approval process we are able to assist the event's organizer and facilitate special requests such as power setup, barricades, etc. There are a few rules to follow and each application is examined based on impacts to the community.

Are You Interested in Organizing a Special Event in Nelson?

A permit is required for all events that plan to use City property including sidewalk sales, parades, processions, rallies, demonstrations, walks, marches, races, performances, concerts, street or other dances, festivals, fairs and exhibitions, weddings, gatherings, meetings or any other event. There are two types of Special Event Permits.

Parks Special Event Permit

People at a Special EventWhere a special event is to be held in any one of the City’s Parks, the Parks Bylaw requires that organizers first apply for a Parks Special Event Permit. Fees are payable in accordance with the City’s Fees and Charges Bylaw.

  • There is no charge for Special Event Permits granted for community events that are free to the general public.
  • Private events closed to the general public for private occasions (e.g. weddings) are charged $100 per permit.
  • Public events organized by not for profit organizations which may include fundraising are charged $50 per permit.


In addition, all City Parks must be booked in advance. Bookings are made through the City of Nelson located at suite 101, 310 Ward Street in Nelson. Event organizers can call 250-352-8248 to enquire in advance and should note that the applicable fees will be payable.


The Parks Special Event Application should be submitted together with the required supporting documents by email, or in person at the City Hall reception desk. If you require Hydro at your event, please note that there may be associated fees and charges payable at City Hall.


The Parks Bylaw requires that all Parks Special Event Permit Applications be submitted at least 30 days (4 weeks) prior to the event. The bylaw also requires that special events are not publicized before the event receives City approval. Penalties also apply for violations to the bylaw.

General Special Event Permit

Special Events that will take place on City property but not in a Park require a General Special Event Permit.

When organizing a Special Event in the City, it is essential to obtain the City’s approval first. Gather all of the necessary information; complete the General Special Event Application Form and submit your application with the requireHall_Street_Plaza_RobRichardsond supporting documents by email, or in person at the City Hall reception desk. If you require Hydro at your event, please note that there may be associated feds and charges payable at City Hall. Permit applications should be submitted a minimum of 30 days (4 weeks) prior to the event. It is advisable not to advertise or promote your event until you have preliminary approval for the event from the City.

Next Steps to Approval

Please wait for feedback and final approval from Special Event staff. The more your event impacts the community and the more the Special Event office has to consult with stakeholders and staff; the more time you will need and the more you need to work with Special Event staff. Permits will not be granted until all conditions stipulated within the Parks Bylaw [link] have been met. City Departments that might be consulted include:

  • Development Services / Licences
  • Nelson Fire and Rescue Services
  • Nelson Hydro
  • Nelson Police Department
  • Parks
  • Transit

Outside partners may also need to be consulted including:

  • BC Ambulance Service
  • BC Liquor Control Board
  • Interior Health

Terms & Conditions for All Special Events

Need More Information?

We are here to answer your questions: Call 250-352-8248 or send us an email.