Outdoor Events: Booking Process

There are a few simple steps you must follow to book an outdoor event


1) Determine the location of your booking request

2) Determine how your event will impact the campus

Requests for outdoor spaces are divided into low and high categories, based on the level of impact the event will have on campus. See the Impact Level: How far in advance should I book my event? entry in the Booking FAQ to determine how early you need to submit your request.

3) Submit the outdoor booking request form

Submit an online outdoor booking request, including all required supporting maps, plans and details to Community Development.

What happens after I submit my outdoor application?

After your online booking form is received, UBC will complete the following:

1) Confirmation of availability

It is a UBC priority to utilize outdoor spaces to meet UBC’s mandate and to support the creation of a vibrant campus, year round. UBC reserves the right to ensure that any use of Bookable Space does not compromise the University’s activities, as well as the safety and security of persons and facilities. Priority will be given to events that support Core Academic/ Educational Activities.

The appropriate stakeholders will be consulted when confirming event date and location availability to ensure that the event will have a minimal impact on University Operations, Faculty, Staff, Students and the Campus Community and there are no other potential conflicts of use.

2) Risk Assessment

After availability is confirmed, Community Development will examine the events’ risks to ensure compliance. Risks may include everything from liquor regulations to University trademarks and copyright to insurance and more. For a list of risks assessed during this process, please see the  FAQ on booking your event. 

UBC will only impose limitations on the time, place, and manner of such expression as may be necessary to ensure that the University’s activities, as well as the safety and security of persons and facilities, are not compromised.

3) Site visit

At the discretion of Community Development, a site visit might be required to assess additional risks.

4) Confirmation Email and Instructions

Once approval has been granted, a confirmation email will be sent to the event organizer, along with instructions for set-up and event close and clean up.

If serving food and/or alcohol, a temporary confirmation email will be sent to the event organizer.  A final confirmation will be sent once the food permit and/or Special Occasion License has been received.

Planning Considerations

Can I serve food at my outdoor event?

Food may be served at outdoor events. Please consider the following if you are planning on serving food at your event:

  1. Scholars Catering is UBC’s preferred caterer, and they are licensed to serve alcohol at your event. For further information on catering and its benefits, please contact Scholars Catering.
  2. All event booking procedures must be followed and permission granted by the University regardless of whether the food permit and/or special occasion liquor license is held by the organizer or the caterer.  Please indicate the name of the proposed caterer in the Outdoor Booking Request form.
  3. If you are planning to prepare and serve food, then you must submit a Temporary Food Service Application to Vancouver Coastal Health. This would include food preparation for things such as hot dogs, hamburgers, pancakes, etc.
  4. All caterers must request a Temporary Food Service Permit if the event is open to the public
  5.  It is not necessary to fill out the  Temporary Food Service Application if:
    • You have contracted a mobile food service operator who possesses a valid health permit;
    • Foods are limited to pre-packaged, non-perishable items such as chips, pop, or candy bars;
    • The event is private/restricted to members of a particular student group or society and their invited guests and the food that is prepared and served is voluntarily made by that group. Volunteer food handlers are advised to follow the Vancouver Coastal Health Guidelines for Food Safety Management Plans.

Not submitting the Temporary Food Service Application to Vancouver Coastal Health could lead to closure of an event or further consequences. Applications must be submitted at least 14 business days before the date of the event.

Can I serve alcohol at my outdoor event?

Please visit students.ubc.ca for more information about planning an event where liquor will be served."

What are my responsibilities as the event organizer?

As the event organizer, you have a legal responsibility to follow all provincial and university rules regarding events on campus and the Special Occasion License. You are also responsible for ensuring the safety of all those who attend the event, including but not limited to:

Review the terms and conditions for outdoor bookings.  When submitting your outdoor booking form, you will be required to agree to the terms and conditions.

Organizers may be required to pay a deposit prior to booking the event.

If you are planning an event with more than 100 attendees where liquor will be served, a Safety and Emergency Response Plan must be submitted and approved by the Fire Department, UBC Detachment, at least 30 business days prior to the event. If you do not submit your request in time, your license may not be granted in time for your event.

Are there any additional documents I need to submit when planning my event?

Depending on the impact of your event on the University Campus, you may be required to submit the following documents:

  • Traffic Management Plan, including signage, road closures, parking restrictions, route plan, and accompanying maps must be finalized 30 business days prior to the setup of the event
  • Proof of general liability insurance with coverage of minimum $5,000,000.  University to be named as additional insured.  Insurance should be made out to “The University of British Columbia.”
  • Approval from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure for the use of city roads
  • Approval from the University Endowment Lands for the use of roads on the University Endowment Land

Community Development will advise you of additional requirements upon receipt of the event application.

Have questions?

Check out planning considerations and event booking Frequently Asked Questions sections.