Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need to submit my Special Event Application so early? 

Depending on the type of event you are submitting, there are several municipal departments (up to 14 departments) that are responsible for reviewing your application. This process can take a couple of weeks, depending on other responsibilities assigned to the departments. We also allow additional time to work with you on any changes or revisions required by our approving departments. Our goal is to assist you in providing safe and successful community events with as little additional stress as possible; starting early means reducing the chance of last-minute rushing around.

What happens after I submit my Special Event Application?

When your application is received, it is reviewed and recorded by the Special Events team. Your application is digitally stored in its own folder and any outstanding information or documentation requirements are identified. Your application will then be assigned to a Customer Service Representative, or remain with the Special Events team, for processing and we will contact you to request any outstanding information or clarify any questions about your event. Once we have all of the information, your application will be circulated to the Municipal Approving Departments for review, comment, and/or approval. Questions and concerns from the approving departments will be communicated to us to be discussed with you directly. Once all of the departments have provided the conditions of their approval, based on the event information you have provided through the application process, you will receive a formal letter from us outlining the approval for your event. Please note that failure to meet the conditions listed in your approval letter invalidates your event permit.

Why was my Certificate of Insurance (COI) returned to me for revision?

As part of your Special Event Application, you sign a Holds Harmless clause. However, you are also required to show that you have sufficient General Liability Insurance to cover your event and that the Municipality of Chatham-Kent is included in your coverage for the duration of your event. The event COI is reviewed by our Legal Department, and sometimes our Insurance Broker, to ensure that the correct inclusions, dates, and conditions are represented and that the name on the insurance coverage is the same as the event organizer listed on the application. Since these are legal documents, the wording may need to be revised to ensure that there is adequate coverage outlined in your COI. Some key details to check before submitting your COI: 

  • The name on the COI policy exactly matches the name on your Special Event Application (ex: ABC Event Organizer does not match Chatham-Kent ABC Event Organization).
  • The dates on your COI cover your entire event (set-up, actual event, clean-up, specific alcohol service, etc.).
  • Ensure that exclusions listed on your COI don't include activities planned for your event (rides, fireworks, performers, stage/bleachers, etc.).
  • The policy expiry date is valid for your event.

Why do I need so many security guards at my event?

Licensed security guards are required to be present at all public SOP events, as outlined in the Municipal Alcohol Policy (MAP) and the Alcohol & Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) approval process. Site inspections may be completed by the AGCO Compliance Officer or the Compliance and Enforcement Unit of the Private Security and Investigative Branch. Failure to comply with permit requirements may result in the closure of the event, fines, and/or refusal of future permits. The number of licensed security guards required is determined by CK Police Service based on multiple factors, including but not limited to:

  • the event location
  • the size of your licensed area
  • the type of event
  • the number of expected attendees

What do I do with my Food Vendor Forms?

The Food Organizer Notification Form should be submitted with your Special Event Application, outlining the list of expected Food Vendors at your event. The individual Food Vendor Notification Forms should be forwarded to us, as you receive them, to be included in your event application file. We will circulate any Food Vendor Forms that we receive to the Public Health department for review and last-minute Food Vendor Forms can be submitted directly to Public Health by emailing Site inspections may be completed by CK Public Health Inspectors to ensure that safe food handling practices are being followed.

Do I need to let you know if I change my event plans?

Event approvals are based on the information that you provide during the application process, any changes or adjustments to your event need to go through the review and approval process again to ensure that the event continues to meet the departmental requirements. Changes to your event that have not been communicated to us, and have not received departmental approval, may invalidate your event approval/permit and result in uncovered liability, event closure, and/or denial of future events.

How much does it cost to apply for a Special Event Approval?

At this time, there is no cost to submit a Special Event Application. However, some of the costs that the organizer is responsible for include:

  • Insurance
  • Venue - most parks are available free of charge, but some infrastructure (ex. pavilions or facilities) may have costs associated with them and there may be a security deposit required
  • Entandem fees (music licensing)
  • Additional permit application fees (Fireworks, Building, SOP, etc.)
  • Equipment rentals (fencing, rides, stage, etc.)
  • Security
  • Garbage removal
  • Road closure and barricade fees (starting January 2024)

If you have more questions, please reach out to the Special Events team by emailing They would be happy to connect with you by phone or in person to discuss how to help you create a safe and successful community event!