There are two easy steps to reserve a community park for special events for either small groups (25 or fewer participants) or large groups (greater than 25 participants up to 125).
First, select from one of 8 community parks designated for special events administered by Pender Island Parks and Recreation Commission (PIPRC).
Second, fill out the application form and submit at least 2 weeks prior to the event. Please note if your event is evaluated as a high or medium risk event and third party liability insurance is required, we will need at least 4 weeks to process your application.
PIPRC Approval Process
Upon receipt of the application, a PIPRC commissioner will:
- Review the application,
- Evaluate the level of risk and determine if third party liability insurance is required.
- Email the applicant a signed letter of approval which:
- Authorizes the individual, group or organization to hold the event.
- Identifies local PIPRC and CRD rules, regulations and by-laws that pertain to park use.
- Underscores the importance of the applicant acquiring and/or carrying their own liability insurance.
Carefully read the following questions and answers. They will help you in the preparation of your application form, as well as ensure the success of your event or function on the Pender islands.
What constitutes a special event for Pender Island parks?
An activity or function held by an organization or group that attracts participants and spectators to use our community parks for a specified period of time.
When do you need to submit a park special event use application form?
A park special event use application form is required for:
- An activity or event that attracts participants and spectators, such as a festival, wedding, competition, tournament, extended family gathering, reunion, show or outdoor ceremony
- A commercial service
- Research work such as specimen collections, surveys, inventories and monitoring plots
- Temporary land use/occupancy or access to a community park or trail for such purposes as accessing a private property, public utility, corridor or works
- Commercial filming using still or motion photography with the intent of monetary return.
To ensure the success of your event the following documents are required:
- General Application Part A, for events less than 25 people, and
- General Application Part A and B for events greater than 25 and up to a maximum of 125 people. (link to application form)
Who can use the Pender Island Parks for events?
Anyone can are welcome to apply to the Pender Islands Parks and Recreation Commission (PIPRC) to use designated parks for public, private and commercial events and functions. Whether you live on or off the Pender islands, parks are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis.
Who is the custodian of local parks on the Pender Islands?
The Pender Islands Parks & Recreation Commission (PIPRC) manages all activities and uses within local community parks and trails on behalf of the Capital Regional District (CRD).
Which parks can be used for events on Pender Island?
Eight of our parks on North and South Pender Islands have been designated for event usage and are open year round during daylight hours, for this purpose.
The following parks are designated for special event usage:
- Shingle Bay Park
- Thieves Bay Park
- Disc Golf Park
- North End of Magic Lake
- South End of Magic Lake
- Mortimer Spit (under evaluation)
- Danny Martin (Ball) Park
- Lilias Spalding Heritage Park
Are some parks better suited for specific types of events than others?
Yes, some activities are not allowed in parks or restrictions may apply to the type of activities that can take place. Each of our designated parks can accommodate limited numbers of people and should be chosen in consultation with one of our eight Parks Commissioners. With the exception of a small number of parks, all PIPRC parks and trails are designed for low impact use and require the due care and attention of users.
How much advance notice is required to reserve a park for an event?
PIPRC needs to be notified at least four weeks in advance of the date of the event, for low impact users, to ensure the Commission can inform neighbors of the function and address any issues associated with the event such as parking and spillover beyond park boundaries. Booking six weeks in advance is recommended for medium or high impact users to enable users to prepare adequately for the event so they have the appropriate liability insurance and are aware of all applicable regional, provincial and federal regulations (i.e. fire, water and environment).
Is there a maximum number of people that can attend an event or function in designated Pender Island Community parks? Why?
Yes, the number of attendees in our designated parks is limited to 125 people. The impact from group activities with large numbers of people may result in wear and tear on the park and its facilities. The potential for damage can be correlated to the number of people in a park at one time, their activities and the duration of their stay. Moreover, when impacts occur at high frequency, a park is often unable to recover to its natural state.
Is there a limit to the number of days a park can be reserved by one user group?
Yes, park use is limited to two consecutive days in a row and other conditions may apply such as damage deposit, access for public use, and special safety and security measures.
Why is additional information required for events of 25 participants or more?
The parks of the Pender Islands are part of a larger local rural and rural residential environment. Where large numbers of people gather at a park at one time, the event must be planned in such a way as to limit impacts on the surrounding environment and ensure the safety of its participants.
Is there a cost to hold an event in a PIPRC park?
Certain costs, fees and a damage deposit may be required depending on the nature of an event.
Is there a requirement for a damage deposit?
A refundable damage deposit of $50.00 per day is required to account for the risk of damage. PIPRC has rarely had to resort to using damage deposit monies. The extra care that an organization/party takes to ensure, that a park is in as good or better condition than it was prior to the event, helps to ensure damage deposits are refunded.
What about public access during an event?
The commission advises wherever possible to maintain public access to all park areas even when large events are occurring. Where an organization is looking for exclusive park use for a period of time then the following stipulations apply: a) any posting of exclusive park use must be publicized only by PIPRC and b) the organization should pay a fee ($50/day) to PIPRC as compensation for this privilege. For exclusive use, a special request must accompany the event application for PIPRC’s consideration.
Are there parking, washrooms, and other amenities in PIPRC parks?
PIPRC parks have limited parking and facilities. For those parks that have limited parking spaces, public transportation or ride sharing may be required. Amenities and services such as washrooms, lighting, kitchens, BBQs, stages, garbage disposal, and potable water are limited or non-existent in our parks. Most of our parks are equipped with picnic tables, playgrounds and outhouses. All garbage and other waste must be removed from the site after the event.
Is third party liability insurance required to hold an event?
The park event applicant must have insurance for a use or activity that poses a potential risk of loss or damage.
Insurance is to be provided, maintained and paid for by the applicant and shall include:
- Comprehensive General Liability Insurance in an amount not less than $2,000,000 (two million dollars) inclusive per occurrence against bodily injury, personal injury and property damage and including liability assumed under contract.
- Pender Island Parks and Recreation Commission and the Capital Regional District should be identified as additional insured on this policy and the policy shall include a cross liability clause.
- The applicant shall provide PIPRC with evidence of such insurance coverage, in the form of an executed copy of a Certificate of Insurance, prior to authorization to proceed with the event.
If an applicant does not have the required insurance, a request may be made to participate in the CRD Special Events Insurance Program.
What is the purpose of the Park Event Letter of Confirmation?
The purpose of the application process is to manage special event uses within our community parks and trails to minimize the impact on the natural environment, park operations, users and facilities. Upon completion of the application process, a Park Event Confirmation letter will be issued by PIPRC to the party/organization. This letter authorizes the organization to hold the event in one of the designated PIPRC parks as specified.
Are there other rules, regulations and bylaws to be aware of?
All activities and events taking place within Pender islands parks and trails are subject to park rules, regulations and bylaws. Some prohibited activities include:
- Alcoholic beverage consumption
- Excessive noise
- Horses on beaches, picnic areas and hiking trails
- Motor vehicles, including motor bikes, off paved roads and parking areas
- Open fires and overnight camping
- Dogs on beaches and picnic areas between June 1 - September 15.
With the exception of a small number of parks designated recreational in the Magic Lake area, all PIPRC parks and trails are designed for low impact use and require due care and attention of users. No bikes or other vehicles are allowed on the trails, - CRD Bylaw # 1578 (15) and CRD Bylaw # 2129 (22) with the recent exception of a few designated ones for which by-laws are in the process of being drafted. Please leave your bicycles at the trailhead, and enjoy the trail on foot and come prepared to carry your garbage out.
Are there water use and fire restrictions in PIPRC parks?
Open fires are not permitted and plumbed water is not available in PIPRC parks. As the Southern Gulf islands (SGI) are vulnerable to water shortages and fire hazards, special restrictions may apply for fire and water usage throughout the islands. Depending on the season and hazard level, regulations of local water and fire authorities, such as special water conservation measures and fire restrictions during summer months, require strict adherence. Local authorities also post warning notices on websites and billboards around the SGI, including the Pender Islands, during these periods.
What other considerations, restrictions and limitations to park use should users be aware of?
The natural beauty of the Gulf Islands attracts thousands of visitors annually. Park users are expected to respect the natural environment of the Southern Gulf Islands. Regional governments such as the Islands Trust and Capital Regional District have established specific policies, and by-laws to conserve, protect and maintain the integrity of this unique southern archipelago. Pender Island Parks and Recreation Commission also shares this mandate with overarching Parks and Recreation Management Policies.