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:

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

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.

PRIVATE event requests should be emailed to parksandrecreation@sarnia.ca.

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 (questionnaire based on the event venue).

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.

Non-profit/charitable groups, and those without a revenue source are eligible for a 50% subsidized reduction in fees.

All Council-approved Fees for Services can be viewed here.

Park Event Rates 2022*
Type of EventSpecificationFee Per Day
Small Community EventUnder 500 People Attending$113+HST
Mid-Sized Community Event Over 500 People Attending $308+HST
Anchor Events & Festivals Over 5000 People Attending$1133+HST
Set-Up & Take-DownMultiple Day Events $257+HST

*Generally speaking, small and mid-sized events are charged the event fee and any applicable pavilion fees. Anchor events, due to their size, are charged the event fee only.

Arena Event Rates 2022**
LocationSpecificationFee Per Day
Sarnia ArenaWinter – Floor Area Only$2,000 – $4,000+HST
Sarnia ArenaSummer – Floor Area Only$1,700+HST
Sarnia ArenaFacility Set-Up/Event FeesVariable
Clearwater ArenaSummer – Floor Area and Spectator Area$1,700+HST
Clearwater ArenaFacility Set-Up/Event FeesVariable
Progressive Auto Sales ArenaFacility Rental Fees (plus applicable event expenses, based on individual event requirements) $2,000 – $4,000+HST

**Facility Set-Up/Event Fees vary based on specific event needs (i.e. removing glass, laying flooring, etc.)

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:
Rachel Veilleux, Community Services Coordinator
Community Services Services, City of Sarnia
255 North Christina St.
Sarnia, ON N7T 7N2
519-332-0330 Extension 3210