Granville Island is a vibrant cultural district located in the unceded, ancestral, traditional territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓ əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations, in the centre of Vancouver, minutes from downtown, surrounded by ocean, cityscape and mountain views. Providing a haven for locals and tourists from around the world, Granville Island attracts millions of visitors each year, and is a favoured location for photographers, filmmakers, and event organizers. It is administered by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), a federal crown agency of the Government of Canada, and is financially self-supporting. This event policy has been developed and is administered by the Public Affairs & Programming Department of CMHC-Granville Island.
Particularly in the summer months, Granville Island is a very busy place, with more than 300 businesses employing approximately 3,000 people, including theatres, restaurants, artists’ studios, a hotel, and its famous Public Market. The organization’s mission is “to steward this public land for meaningful urban and social experimentation among diverse, creative cultural and business models, engaging local First Nations, communities and welcoming the world.“
In keeping with this mission, there is no application fee to apply for an event permit. Additionally, Public Affairs and Programming may be able to provide additional benefits known as in-kind support, without charge, to approved public events. These benefits are offered to support cultural activities and artistic community building. In-kind support may include reserved parking (with fees waived), tables, chairs, and signage materials. All support is pending availability of supplies and nature of the event application.
(For the purpose of this policy, “events” encompasses performances, site activations, public awareness activities, sporting/athletic events, exhibits, celebrations/parties, educational events, outdoor receptions etc.)
Approval Criteria of outdoor events are based on:
- Alignment with Granville Island as an artistic and cultural destination; and mandate to support innovative, unique and creative artistic events.
- Accessibility and Engagement; event enhances social connection, encourages participation, and/or champions diversity and inclusion.
- Availability of space and/or administrative support: approval of an event will also depend on capacity for CMHC to provide administrative support for the event.
- Extent to which the event competes with or impacts existing tenants and day-to-day activity and business on Granville Island, and potential benefits to existing Granville Island businesses and community.
- Capacity of event organizer to fulfill the Terms and Conditions for event planning. Applicant must be in good standing.
Outdoor Activations Not Permitted on Granville Island:
- Sales of goods and services without a current leasing or licensing agreement with CMHC Granville Island. Exceptions may apply, if the proposed goods or services are needed as an essential component of the event proposal. (See our Leasing page for general information.)
- Promotions, including sampling or sample distribution, coupon distribution, free services, gifts, and promotional materials (flyers, booklets, etc.) for corporate or commercial business interests.
- Public spaces may not be used for events that are primarily retail or commercial focused, such as pop- up markets, promotional events, fundraisers, product launches etc.
Timeline: Individuals and organizations that wish to hold an event at outdoor locations on Granville Island must complete an application and submit it to the Public Affairs and Programming Department, with sufficient lead time for review and processing.
Small to medium sized, single-day events utilizing only one location: Apply a minimum of eight weeks prior to the event. Ideal lead time 3-6 months.
Larger events that are multi-day and/or utilize a variety of locations: Apply a minimum of 6 months before the event date. Ideal lead time 8-12 months.
If you have any questions during any part of the process, or want to learn more before applying, please contact our Event Coordinators at: email@example.com or 604-666-6655
- Please review the Granville Island Outdoor Events Terms & Conditions
- Complete the Outdoor Events Application
- Our team reviews the application based on our timeline as stated above. We will reach out if we have any questions.
- If your event is conditionally approved, here’s a helpful checklist for the next steps in planning.
Looking for Something Else?
Looking for an indoor venue to rent? Please visit Venues for Rent
Hosting a Birthday Party, Wedding or Family Gathering?
Several outdoor locations on Granville Island are available for private community event bookings throughout the year. Guidelines and priorities exist for each location. Outdoor Spaces Bookings
Tenant Events or Changes to Permitted Use
For tenants/lessees wishing to make improvements to leased premises, host an event inside their premise, or make changes to permitted use, please fill out: Application for Landlord’s Consent
Filming & Photoshoots
Photographers and filmmakers, please visit: Granville Island Filming Policies and Application.
Charities and Non-Profits:
Charitable Organizations may apply to the Leasing Department – Tenant Coordinators to use the charity table for up to one week per year in the Public Market at no charge. To apply, call 604-666-6477 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information, contact: email@example.com or 604-666-6655
Granville Island Administration Office: Public Affairs & Programming
Net Loft Building, 1661 Duranleau St, 2nd Floor, Vancouver, BC V6H 3S3