Festivals and events have continuously played an important role in the development of Sarnia’s quality of life, local economic growth, and community identity. Festivals and events are interactive, exciting, and rewarding experiences for everyone involved and pay tribute to our unique cultural, recreational, and community initiatives. Planning an event requires an incredible amount of time and dedication and involves the invaluable service of volunteers, community groups, and sponsors who bring their own support and skills towards enhancing these community events.

Understanding Public vs Private Events

Public Events Private Events
Public Events are community gatherings that are open to the public and community and can range in attendance from 100 people to over 1500 people. These events are typically advertised in the media or on social media, and anyone can attend or purchase tickets/invites to attend. Examples of public events hosted in park spaces include Bluewater Borderfest, Canada Day Celebrations, Bluewater International Granfondo, Terry Fox Run, and many more. Private Events are gatherings that are not open to the public and typically host under 150 people. Private Events cannot be advertised or made open to the public. Information about the event may be shared with invited guests and members only. Examples of private events hosted in park spaces include wedding ceremonies, large birthday parties, family reunions, corporate gatherings, and many more. Book a private event at a City facility online sarnia.ca/play/rentals.

Planning a Public Event on Municipal Property

The management of festivals and events on municipal property requires the coordinated effort of City staff and additional affiliated agencies. Event Organizers will work directly with the Community Services Coordinator to determine which licenses, permits, and/or documents are required for event approval and next steps.

Event Organizers looking to host a PUBLIC event on municipal property, must complete the following fillable PDF documents.

NOTE: At this time, we are not accepting Arena Event requests for the 2024-2025 Regular season.

Festival and Event Fees

Fees vary based on the scope of the event. The fees identified below are strictly for event venue rentals. Additional fees may be applicable based on the specific licenses and/or permits that may be required.

The City reserves the right to charge a variable fee as a result of damage to municipal property following an event.

Park Event Rates 2024*

Fee TypeSpecificationFee
Event ApplicationRequired for all event applications.$53 +HST
Event AdministrativeRequired for event applications that involve license/permit/document approvals beyond a venue permit rental and insurance.$106.25 +HST

*Large events may also be charged for any applicable pavilion fees that are encroached on by the event space. Specialty venues, such as the Suncor Agora, will also be charged at an additional rate.

Non-profit/charitable groups are eligible for a 50% subsidized reduction in event fees.

Park Equipment Rental and Delivery Rates 2024

Fee TypeSpecificationFee
Picnic Tables*Per table$10.50
Garbage BinsPer bin $2.25

*Available in select locations. Please consult with application forms/guide to success.

Arena Event Rates 2024

Fee TypeSpecificationFee
Arena RentalAll event requests are subject to regular hourly rental feesVariable
DepositRequired for all arena event applicationsVariable
Glass InFlat fee (regular season)$1,594
Glass OutFlat fee (regular season) $1,594
Floor Down (PASA only)Flat fee$531.25

All Council-approved Fees for Services are viewable online. Additional information and/or fees variable for each event may be available for: Facility Rentals, Tent Permits, Business Licenses, Lottery Licenses, A.G.C.O., Lambton Public Health, Electrical Safety Authority, Entandem Music Licensing, etc.

Helpful Resources

To ensure a simplified application process, staff have developed a series of documents to support Event Organizers hosting events on municipal property. Please view the following documents for more detailed information.

Please forward public event inquiries to cityevents@sarnia.ca