Events

University events on and off campus must follow the current requirements below.

University of Calgary events on or off campus

University events on and off campus must align with the current event restrictions below and follow Government of Alberta regulations.  They must also be entered into the UCalgary Risk Assessment Tool and receive approval from Risk Management & Insurance.

Review the 7 steps for Planning an Event or Conference below for further information.

 

Important Event Restrictions

Due to the current escalation in COVID-19 cases and the recommendations from the Government of Alberta regarding targeted public health measures, the following restrictions on UCalgary events will be in place from November 20, 2020 until January 8, 2021:


Allowed types of events (that must complete the Events Risk Assessment Tool and be approved):

  • Academic/ instructional/ certification events
  • Time sensitive research events
  • Events for students living in UCalgary residence buildings

 

 

Updated: November 20, 2020

Event types that must be postponed:

  • Events that are primarily social in nature, including face-to-face holiday gatherings
  • Team building exercises/ functions (excepting virtual events)
  • Events requiring travel outside of Calgary as the Government of Alberta has asked that people remain in their communities

 

Updated: November 20, 2020


Planning an Event or Conference?

If you're planning a UCalgary event on or off campus, follow these seven steps to ensure you're meeting all regulations and requirements. 
 

1. Complete the Event Risk Assessment Tool

Please complete the UCalgary Event Risk Assessment Tool.  If you would like to review the questions in order to assist you in gathering the information required, please visit our Event Tool ChecklistPlease submit your event a minimum of 10 business days in advance.

2. Review required guidelines and checklists

The university defines responsibilities related to special events on or off campus. This includes the new guidelines for events taking place during COVID-19.

Review

3. Determine if Your Event is Insurable

A university conference or event must have certain aspects in order to be insured by the University of Calgary's liability policies.

Learn more

4. Book a Space

Review the booking information and book the appropriate space for your event. Specific departments have authority to book space on university-owned or leased property.

Learn more

5. Get Supply Chain Management Approval

All contracts must be reviewed and signed by Supply Chain Management. Event contracts will be required to have clauses that have favourable cancellation/re-scheduling terms.

 

6. Review Alcohol Policy

If alcohol will be served, review the UCalgary alcohol policy to ensure your event will be in compliance with legislation and the University's license.

Review

7. Review Emergency Instructions

To ensure your safety on campus, review the special event emergency instructions.

Review

Person taking a picture, close up of the camera

Filming and Photography Guidelines

U of C Volunteer on move in day

Volunteers

People at an event with board games

Events Frequently Asked Questions


Specialized Events

University events on and off campus are permitted to go ahead from July 1, 2020 if they align with Government of Alberta regulations,
are entered into the UCalgary Risk Assessment Tool and receive approval from Risk Management & Insurance.

Additional guidelines are provided for the specialized events listed below.  These must be also be followed in addition to the COVID-19 requirements, once the event has been approved by Risk Management and Insurance.

The university encourages Employee Wellness Committee activities to take place throughout the year. In order to assist committees to ensure that their events are safe and rewarding, we have delineated some popular events below.

For events that do require waivers, we encourage Wellness Committees to ensure leadership in their faculty or unit is in support of such initiatives. For more information regarding forming an Employee Wellness Committee, visit WellBeing and WorkLife.

If you are interested in organizing an activity that does not appear on one of the two lists below: 

To book space for your activities on UCalgary campuses, visit our booking information page.

Activities that Require a Waiver

The activities below left, require a waiver to be signed by each participant prior to joining in the activity. Ensure that your participants have access to the waiver a few days ahead of time, at a minimum. These waivers are for University of Calgary use only and they may not be altered in any way. Ensure that the Guidelines for Administering Waivers and Informed Consents are followed. Please check the upper left hand corner of any waiver that you intend to use and ensure that the date is August 14th, 2019 or newer. If the waiver displays a date older than August 14th, 2019, it is no longer a valid document. In that circumstance, please contact riskmgmt@ucalgary.ca to request an updated copy.

There are specific retention rules regarding waivers (scroll down to the Frequently Asked Questions section). 

If you are taking photos of the event that you are planning to post or use in some manner, see the university's filming and photography guidelines.

  1. Activities that Require Waivers

    To request these waivers, contact Risk Management

    • Bocce Ball/Kubb Lawn Games
    • Ice Hockey
    • Ice Skating - Indoors
    • Dancing - If there is an instructor for this activity, they must be signed up through the UCalgary Volunteer program or, if being paid, they must be hired through Payroll or complete an Independent Contractors Agreement through Supply Chain Management.
    • Pet Therapy/Animal Events - Ensure that you are following the guidelines outlines in the Pet Therapy dropdown section below.
    • Running - If there is an instructor for this activity, they must be signed up through the UCalgary volunteer program or, if being paid, they must be hired through Payroll or complete an Independent Contractors Agreement through Supply Chain Management.
    • Self Defense Class - If there is an instructor for this activity, they must be signed up through the UCalgary volunteer program or, if being paid, they must be hired through Payroll or complete an Independent Contractors Agreement through Supply Chain Management. They must also hold the appropriate credentials.
    • Squash
    • Yoga - If there is an instructor for this activity, they must be signed up through the UCalgary volunteer program or, if being paid, they must be hired through payroll or complete an Independent Contractors Agreement through Supply Chain Management. They must also hold the appropriate credentials.
  2. Activities That Do Not Require Waivers

    • Board Games
    • Computer Gaming - Quake 2 is a game loaded onto training program computers that can be accessed by contacting the IT Wellness Committee. Other than the Quake 2 game, do not use university equipment unless it is specifically purposed for this activity and approved by IT.
    • Coloring
    • First Aid Training (if you are currently an Emergency Warden, see the training page to determine if you are eligible to have these training costs covered by their program.
    • Ice Cream/Treats Event
    • Lunch and Learns with Non-physical Activities (i.e. fairly sedentary)
    • Potlucks (see guidelines for Potlucks in the Special Events Program Guidelines section 4.1.2)
    • Plant Pals
    • Salad Club
    • Walking Group, Pedometer/Step Challenges

The university encourages United Way fundraising activities and in order to assist groups and committees to ensure that their events are safe and rewarding, we have delineated some popular events below.

For events that require waivers or raffle licenses, we recommend United Way fundraising groups ensure leadership in their faculty or unit is in support of such initiatives.

If you are interested in organizing an activity that does not appear below:

To book space for your activities on UCalgary campuses, visit our booking information page.

Individuals who are organizing these activities outside of their regular working hours will be considered volunteers. Departments planning these activities should review the volunteer page for more information.

Activities that Require a Waiver

The activities below require a waiver to be signed by each participant prior to joining in the activity. Ensure that your participants have access to the waiver a few days ahead of time, at a minimum. These waivers are for University of Calgary use only and they may not be altered in any way. Ensure that the Guidelines for Administering Waivers and Informed Consents are followed. Please check the upper left hand corner of any waiver that you intend to use and ensure that the date is August 14th, 2019 or newer. If the waiver displays a date older than August 14th, 2019, it is no longer a valid document. In that circumstance, please contact riskmgmt@ucalgary.ca to request an updated copy.

There are specific retention rules regarding waivers (scroll down to the Frequently Asked Questions section). 

If you are taking photos of the event that you are planning to post or use in some manner, see the university's filming and photography guidelines.

  1. Activities that Require Waivers

    To request these waivers, contact Risk Management

    • Bubble Soccer - If you are renting the equipment from a third party, the agreement must go through Supply Chain Management for review and signature.
    • Chillin' for Charity - Request form through Clubs Coordinator. All equipment rental from a third party (or the loan of equipment) must go through Supply Chain Management for review and signature. Follow the Chillin' for Charity or Polar Bear Swim guidelines in the dropdown section below. 
    • Dodgeball - This waiver can be used when indoor dodgeball is being played.
    • Fun Run - Space for runs taking place on campus must be booked through Susan Austen in Parking and Transportation Services (sausten@ucalgary.ca). All equipment rental from a third party (or the loan of equipment) must go through Supply Chain Management for review and signature.
  2. Activities that Require a Raffle License

    • 50/50 draws
    • Wine Survivor
    • Bingo
    • Raffles for prizes (i.e. prize baskets, tickets, lunch with the Dean)

    Review the United Way campaign toolkit

  3. Activities that Require Contract Review

    • Photo booth

    If you are renting any equipment from a third party, the agreement must go through Supply Chain Management for review and signature.

  4. Activities that Do Not Require Further Approval

    • Book Sale
    • Give 'n' Thanks Stars
    • Jeans Day
    • Donation Boxes (cash jars for small or large donations)
    • Haunted house (email Emergency Management at emergencymgmt@ucalgary.ca or call 403.210.6510 regarding any guidelines related to the space and materials used, to ensure that it adheres to the fire code.)
    • Archives Tour
    • Bake Sales (bake sales must meet the following Special Event Program guidelines):
      • The sale of baked goods that do not contain meat or dairy products. No nut products are to be used in baked goods on campus. Ingredient lists must be available for all homemade food sold. Bake sales are only allowed in designated spaces booked through Conference and Event Management (CEM). Kinesiology also has a location for bake sales.

This event is only allowed on university owned or lease property for University of Calgary and Student Union Club events and approved on a case-by-case basis. 

Approvals

The event must be booked through and approved by Conference and Event Management. 

Site Safety

  • The site must be secured and cordoned off from spectators and others so that it does not pose risk to anyone else in the area. Spectators must be allowed no closer than ten feet from the car.
  • The site must be checked for any hazards pre and post event.
  • There must be tarps placed under the car so any debris or remnants of liquids go onto the tarp. This should not occur on the TFDL quad due to the damage to the bricking that might occur from any spilled fluids.
  • Car smashes should be completed in one day, where possible.
  • Car smashes may only take place on Mondays, Tuesdays, or Wednesdays.
  • The car must be attended by an organizer until such time as it is removed from the campus on the day of the event.
  • Where special permission has been given by Risk Management and Insurance for a two-day event, the area must also be surrounded by fencing and, after the car smash is completed each day, the vehicle must be tarped for the night. This permission will only be given in extenuating circumstances.
  • The vehicle must be towed on and off campus.
  • All fluids in the vehicle must be drained prior to the vehicle being brought on to site (washer fluid, gas, oil, coolant/antifreeze, etc.). Any and all glass must be removed including the mirrors (inside and out).

Activity Safety

  • Only one person can participate at a time. All others must be behind the roped/fenced off/barricaded area. There is no jumping on the vehicle allowed.
  • Participants must wear personal protective equipment. This includes close-toed shoes, safety goggles, work gloves, a hardhat, and overalls. The safety goggles, work gloves, and overalls must be provided for the participants.

Site Clean-up

  • The ground area must be protected by large tarps in order to ensure that:
    • it is not damaged
    • that there are no pieces of the vehicle left that could potentially cause an injury or damage to mowers, etc.

Waivers

  • All participants must sign a waiver which will be produced by Risk Management and Insurance.

Accidents

  • Any accidents/incidents must be reported to Campus Security.

Updated: Sep. 18, 2018

As a general rule we will only allow this for Student Union Clubs or University of Calgary events.

Site Safety

  • Area must be cleared of snow and ice.
  • Volunteers must be on water and ice watch — if it is getting too icy, they can spread ice melt. Watch the mats, the stairs, the sidewalks and the asphalt for slippery areas.
  • Pools must be placed beside a drain or sewer grate and water must be directly pumped into the sewer system when the pool is empty.
  • Event area must be barricaded off from the rest of the area.
  • No alcohol consumption allowed.
  • Must have a heated space set aside to allow for changing clothes (if you are planning to use the change rooms in Kinesiology, check with the faculty for permission first). 
  • Must have a heated space for participants to warm up directly before and after the swim. This can be a heated tent or a hot tub (see below for specifics) or the group may rent CSA approved patio heaters (a minimum of two).    

Swimming Pool

  • Tri-fold mats must be placed under the pool for cushion as well as around the sides.
  • No diving, only jumping feet first.
  • Platform for participants to jump off into the pool (no jumping over the sides).
  • Volunteer must be present to assist participant coming down the ladder.
  • Certified lifeguard must be present at all times.

Hot Tub (should the group wish to have one)

  • The hot tub must have signage indicating who should not be in a hot tub (medical restrictions).
  • There must be an absorbent area around hot tub to allow participants to get out and put their shoes back on.

Tents (should the group wish to have one)

Contracts, Insurance, and Waivers

  • All participants must sign waivers with the Governors of the University of Calgary listed as a release.
  • All contracts with third parties must go through Supply Chain Management for review and signature. The exception is when this is a Student's Union Club and then the group should check with the SU.
  • All contractors must provide a certificate of insurance to the University of Calgary for $2 million general liability insurance that names the Governors of the University of Calgary as "Additional Insureds".
  • If anything is being donated (i.e. hot tub, pool), then the owner must sign an agreement to release the Governors of the University of Calgary from any liability for the pool. They must also produce the operating instructions for the pool to the event organizer.

Updated: Nov. 26, 2018

As a general rule we will only allow this for Student Union Clubs or University of Calgary events.

Locations

  • Event must be in a space other than Area 2 (the Quad), which has restricted pedestrian traffic and less sidewalks, where possible.
  • All sidewalk areas and storm sewers must be covered during the event, and the covers and paint removed by the event organizers immediately following the event.
  • Event organizers are required to clean the area after the event including sweeping up any paint that inadvertently is on the sidewalks. If the event take place in the summer, the grounds department should be asked to mow the area shortly following the event.
  • Event organizers are required to cordon off the area in some manner so that other individuals that are not part of the event do not enter the space.

Safety Requirements

  • The Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for the paint must be sent to Environment, Health and Safety and riskmgmt@ucalgary.ca for review and the organizers are required to ensure that they are following all preventative measures listed on the sheet. The paint should also be approved by the FD&C.
  • The paint cannot be thrown within five meters of a building including doorways, windows, or air intakes
  • Only event organizers can throw the paint and it must be done from the neck down and not into anyone's face or eyes.
  • Smoking is strictly prohibited in any areas where the paint will be present.
  • A 5 lb AC fire extinguisher must be present at all times as the powder is very flammable.
  • A portable eye wash station must be available.
  • A recommendation must be given to participants that they should wear a mask and eye wear to prevent particles from entering their eyes or lungs.

Waivers for Paint Throwing Participants

  • The waiver must include the possible danger of the paint entering eye or lungs as well as possible allergic reactions. It must also include that "participation in the paint portion of this event is not recommended for individuals with asthma or other respiratory issues, nor for children."

Updated: July 25, 2018

Inflatable or air-supported structures, including “bouncy houses/castles” can only be used on university property if they comply with the following:

  • All safety regulations from the manufacturer/owner of the inflatable or air-supported structure must be reviewed by the event coordinator and the requirements must be met.
  • The structure may not be erected on or across sidewalks.
  • The structure cannot be located within six meters of building entrances/exits nor within less than three meters to other structures (including other inflatable devices).
  • Where the structure will be outside on the grounds:
    • the event coordinator must contact Conference and Events Management who have authority for booking space on the grounds
    • the structure must be firmly attached to the ground as per the manufacturer’s regulation
    • the event coordinator must contact the grounds department for a review to ensure that attaching the structure will not impact sprinkler lines or any other equipment under the surface.
  • University departments and departmental graduate associations: the contract with the supplier must be reviewed and signed by Supply Chain Management. Contact riskmgmt@ucalgary.ca to determine if a waiver is required.
  • Students’ Union clubs and third parties: Contact Conference and Events Management (cem@ucalgary.ca ) to book space for your event. 
  • Third parties: You will be required to provide proof of insurance that includes coverage for bodily injury and property damage related to your use of the structure.

If you are renting an inflatable house or games and you intend to use it on property that is not owned by the University of Calgary, you must have written permission from the property owner to allow it and follow all of the safety and structural rules above. You are still required to have the contracts approved through Supply Chain Management.

Updated: Jan. 2, 2019

Pet Therapy Events May be Held by

  • Employees with department head approval that this is a university event and where the attendees are employees or students only
  • Students with approval from either the Students Union or the Graduate Students Association that this is one of their club events and the attendees are students only.

These guidelines are only for events held on University of Calgary campuses and event organizers are required to ensure that they have complied with the below protocol. See the Pets on Campus Policy for more information.

 Third Party Company/Animal Providers

  • Animals must be certified to be a “service animal” or “pet therapy animal”
  • The animals must be fully vaccinated.
  • Dogs and cats should be a minimum of one year old.
  • The company bringing in the animals must hold general liability insurance for their employees and volunteers and produce a certificate of insurance to the University of Calgary showing $2 million coverage and having the University of Calgary as an “Additional Insured”. Their employees must also be covered by Workers' Compensation.
  • Any contracts or agreements with third parties to provide the animals must go to Supply Chain Management who have the signing authority for such contracts.

Department

  • In case of a first aid issue during the program, first aid qualified staff should be available.  
  • The promotional material must indicate what types of animals are included so that individuals with allergies are made aware of the possible exposure. 
  • The Risk Management and Insurance department of the university has a Pet Therapy Waiver that must be completed and the company may as well.  Please check the upper left hand corner of any waiver that you intend to use and ensure that the date is August 14th, 2019 or newer. If the waiver displays a date older than August 14th, 2019, it is no longer a valid document. In that circumstance, please contact riskmgmt@ucalgary.ca to request an updated copy.

    If this is a Students’ Union club, obtain a waiver from that organization.
     
  • The department and/or company are responsible to clean up any “accidents” and must arrange for a thorough cleaning of the area afterwards to remove any animal hair or dander.
  • Where possible for programs that will take place inside buildings, the department should try to use a room that has access directly to the outside to minimize the potential for people being exposed to allergens. 
  • If you are taking pictures of individuals and will use them for university purposes, follow the university's filming and photography guidelines.

Updated: July 12, 2018

For information and waivers specific to residence events, see the residence waivers page.

Sidewalk chalk is allowed temporarily during the June through September period. It must be temporary sidewalk chalk and must be removed immediately following the event. 

Updated: July 25, 2018

Administrative Unit Heads

We have received inquiries concerning participation in the national “Take Our Kids to Work” program. It is the responsibility of the supervisor or head of each unit, and ultimately the department head, dean, or director to determine whether or not the unit will participate in the program.

If the department head, dean, or director has made a decision to participate, ensure that the following procedures are followed: 

  • The parent must complete the Take Our Kids To Work Day - Participation Request, Waiver, Risk Acknowledgement and Indemnity Agreement and obtain the written consent of their supervisor and the department head, dean, or directors to agree to participate in the program. The supervisor must review the non-public areas/locations on the form as well as the hazards, potential risks and scope of activities prior to approving the program. A copy of the completed and signed form must be scanned and emailed to riskmgmt@ucalgary.ca with a copy retained in the employee file.
  • If the visit is intended to include a laboratory, the Young Persons Accessing Laboratories Standard must be followed (see Laboratory Safety Manual, Operational Requirements). No one under the age of fifteen is allowed to be present in a laboratory. 
  • The parent is responsible to supervise and accompany the child at all times while participating in this program.
  • Ensure that parents do not bring their child to work if the child is ill and be sure to maintain good infection control practices in the workplace.
  • Employees may not bring children other than immediate family to the workplace to participate in this activity.
  • Some schools require the employer to sign a registration and/or acknowledgement form as a condition of participation. Contact Legal Services at 403.220.2557 or tafaas@ucalgary.ca for review and advice before you sign it.
  • We strongly recommend that you also review the risk management measures outlined in the Marsh Risk Bulletin from the university's insurance broker. Although the bulletin was published in 2001, it is still relevant. Additional information is available on the Take Our Kids to Work program website including a workplace guide with recommendations on programming and safety at Take Our Kids to WorkTM  Program

Updated: July 25, 2018

Volunteers at the Trick or Eat Event should ensure the following:

  • wear adequate clothing for warmth and appropriate footwear for slippery surfaces
  • take extra care when going up stairs
  • take care when lifting heavier bags/boxes of donations
  • wear lighter coloured clothing and reflective strips, if possible
  • carry flashlights as not all sidewalks are easily visible
  • travel in groups of two or more, do not go alone
  • be aware of the traffic and only cross at designated crosswalks
  • if you are using a vehicle, ensure that it remains locked when unoccupied
  • if you are in an area that makes you feel unsafe, leave and find another place to gather donations
  • houses may have dogs that come to door, be cautious.
  • be aware of traffic safety as there are so many Trick-or-Treaters on the road.

Updated: Nov 23, 2018

This is a five day overnight event that takes place outside on the university campus. The guidelines for the event are as follows. 

  • Permission for green space use must be received from Conference and Events Management.
  • Participants may use tarps or cardboard.
  • Participants must wear appropriate winter clothing for the temperatures expected to be reached at night time.
  • Participants must ensure that they are using winter weight sleeping bags.
  • Only battery powered lanterns or flashlights can be used (i.e. no equipment that uses gas or has an open flame).
  • Heaters and camp stoves cannot be used.
  • There must be one cell phone in each tent that can be used in case of an emergency.  It is the responsibility of the participants to ensure that they have set up a line of communication with Campus Security so that if they need to enter MacEwan Student Centre to use washrooms when the building is locked, that can be arranged. Campus Security can be reached at 403.220.5333.
  • Event organizer - ensure that you have sent Campus Security your name and contact phone number (it can be emailed to: security.operations@ucalgary.ca. Ensure that you have a list of participants and their emergency contact person/phone number to use in case of emergency.
  • The overnight portion of the event should reviewed each day. If this temperature on a particular night falls below -10 degrees Celsius, that overnight will be cancelled.
  • Items should be removed on a daily basis by the participant when they are not present at the site or when the site is unattended.

Organizing UCalgary Events

A university conference or event must have the following aspects in order to be insured by the University of Calgary's liability policies:

  • The department head, dean, director, vice-president or other executive member must sign-off that it is a "university event" and that it complies with the following:

    • It must be monitored and controlled by the department head, dean, director or a member of the university executive (or their designate) who must be present at meetings and have a veto in all decisions. 

    • All contracts and agreements for space, food, transport, etc. are in the name of the "The Governors of the University of Calgary" and are signed by the appropriate signatory as per the Signing Authority Policy.  Agreements for off-campus sites must be reviewed by Supply Chain Management who have signing authority on these types of contracts.

    • No external bank account is being used (university conference/events are required to be managed through the university accounting structure.)

    • This is not a Students Union Club Event nor a Graduate Student Association/DGA event (which are managed and insured separately by the Students' Union and the GSA)

    • This is not a third party event (i.e. it is not an event hosted by a separately incorporated society or outside company). Some groups in which University of Calgary faculty, staff and students have memberships are legally incorporated as societies or outside entities.  The University does not provide liability insurance for events hosted by outside entities.

  • This sign-off should be in the form of an email to riskmgmt@ucalgary.ca indicating the name and dates of the event, the department, and that it complies with the items above.

  • If this conference/event has physical activities as part of its agenda, the department is required to contact Risk Management and Insurance at riskmgmt@ucalgary.ca to determine if a waiver is required for participants.

Only university accounts can be used to receive revenue and pay expenses. No external bank accounts may be created.  

University conference/events are required to be managed through the university's accounting structure. For events or conferences where you are receiving revenues (i.e. conference fees), contact your faculty/area Finance Partner to ensure that revenue and expense documentation is being managed within financial guidelines as well as forming a plan for any financial loss/gain related to the conference/event.

All contracts related to your special event, including vendors for space rental, catering, entertainment, tents, inflatable bouncers, etc., must be reviewed and signed by Supply Chain Management as per the university's policy. Contact a Procurement Specialist on their Customer Service Team 3. This includes all online applications or agreements.

If you require a certificate of insurance as part of your contract/agreement complete the online request a certificate of insurance form and also email a copy of your agreement to riskmgmt@ucalgary.ca.

The university does not carry event cancellation insurance to pay for losses incurred if a conference/event cannot go forward and registration or other fees must be refunded. This coverage could be purchased if this is a very large conference/event where the financial loss to the university would be significant, however, the insurance premiums would be charged back to the department as part of the conference expenses.

The university does not insure or contract for Department Graduate Association Events. Contact the Graduate Student Assoication for contracts, insurance, and waivers.

If you are a University of Calgary department hosting a large special event or one that has physical activities involved, contact riskmgmt@ucalgary.ca or 403.220.5719 and we will assist you with a risk analysis for your event. Special requirements for some regularly occurring UCalgary events that include unusual activities may be listed above under Specialized Events above.

The university does not insure or contract for Student's Union Club Events. Contact the Students' Union for contracts, insurance, and waivers.