Events Frequently Asked Questions


Barbecues and Stampede Breakfasts

Groups wishing to host barbeques or Stampede breakfasts are required to book the space through Conference and Events Management at 403.220.3111. Barbeques and any other events using propane to cook may only take place outdoors, including patio spaces. Once the space is booked, Conference and Events Management will assist the event planner with safe food handling practices and other details they will need to be aware of. These events are permitted only when using pre-cooked sausages patties/links or pre-cooked hamburger patties. These products can be purchased from grocery stores and food service supply companies.

Barbecues and Propane Equipment

All barbecue and propane equipment must be a minimum of five meters from all windows, doors, and air intakes. They are only permitted for outdoor use. All barbecues and propane equipment must have a 5 lb ABC fire extinguisher present at all times. Briquette fueled barbecues are prohibited on campus. Smoking is strictly prohibited in any areas where propane is present. Propane may not be stored inside.

Chili Cook-offs

Chili cook-offs are only permitted with specific approval granted in writing by Risk and requested not less than two weeks prior to the date of the proposed function/event. No event providing food other than what is included in this list or is provided by the university’s preferred food suppliers, the Students’ Union or the Graduate Students’ Union is permitted on the University of Calgary grounds, or premises governed by the University of Calgary unless it has requested and received the written approval of Risk.

The sale of baked goods that do not contain meat, nut, or dairy products is permitted. Ingredient lists must be available for all homemade food sold.

Bake sales are only allowed in designated spaces booked through Conference and Event Management. Kinesiology also has a location for bake sales.

Smudging is permitted in the Vitruvian Space in the Dining Centre. The University of Calgary prohibits smudging in all other indoor areas unless it has been pre-approved by Risk Management and Insurance. 

All alcohol service on campus, with the exception of events in MacEwan Student Centre, must be arranged and served through the university’s preferred food service provider, Aramark. The event planner must be aware that the university has a policy concerning alcohol use on campus.

All tents in outdoor spaces are required to book the space through Conference and Event Management, with the exception of the playing fields which are booked through the Faculty of Kinesiology.

Tents and air-supported structures must be in conformance with the Alberta Building Code and are subject to inspection. All structures are required to have City of Calgary permits.

Tents and air-supported structures must not be erected closer than three metres to buildings or other tents, and be sufficiently distant from one another to provide an area to be used as a means of emergency egress. They may also not be erected on areas within six meters of building entrances/exits so as to not block emergency egress from the building. Tents and air-supported structures may not be erected on or across sidewalks so as to impede pedestrian use.

Hay, straw, shavings, or similar combustible materials are prohibited within a tent or air-supported structure.

Smoking and open flame devices are not be permitted in a tent or air-supported structure while it is occupied by the public unless acceptable to the City of Calgary Fire Inspector and Risk Management and Insurance. For any exceptions, written permission much be requested from Risk Management and Insurance at least ten business days before the event.

If events involve the use of props, costumes, prop weapons, or ceremonial weapons, Campus Security is to be advised.

There will be no open carry, visible transport onto or around campus, or display on campus of toy weapons (including, but not limited to: airsoft guns, paintball guns, cap guns, and starter pistols), prop weapons, imitation weapons, ceremonial weapons, or deactivated firearms outside of specific enclosed venues used by an event.

Any event held outdoors on university property must take every precaution to have minimal impact on the grounds.

All event planners that require the use of the grass or sidewalks must contact Conference and Event Management to book the space. To ensure a successful event, the Conference and Events Management team will coordinate the details with grounds such as sprinkler schedules, lawn maintenance, and utility line marking.

No event structures or materials may block sidewalk access or egress from a building. All structures are required to have City of Calgary permits. Any amusement rides or other outdoor rides must apply for written permission from Risk Management and Insurance a minimum of one month prior to the event and supply all details regarding equipment and safety plans. There are no hot air balloons, unmanned aerial vehicles (drones), helicopters, or airplanes allowed on campus. The university does not allow the intentional release of helium balloons into the atmosphere.

Tents and air-supported structures in outdoor spaces must be booked through Conference and Event Management. They cannot be erected on or across sidewalks so as to impede pedestrian use. They may also not be erected on areas within six meters of building entrances/exits so as to not block emergency egress from the building (see the section on tents for more information).

Playing fields are booked through the Faculty of Kinesiology.

If non-fixed seats are provided for public assembly, aisles shall be located so there are not more than fifteen seats between every seat and the nearest aisle. The clear width of an aisle shall not be less than four feet, or not less than three feet when total occupancy is sixty seats or fewer.

Parking space requires written permission from the University of Calgary Parking and Transportation Services. Contact Parking and Transportation Services to determine if a designated parking lot or spaces or other special arrangements are required for extra vehicles brought on to university property.

All requests for filming or photography must go through the Conference and Events Management office.

A certificate of insurance naming the University of Calgary as an "Additional Insured" is required for all external filming companies requesting to film on campus. A formal agreement will be prepared outlining the details and to be signed by both parties.

Conference and Events Management will consult with Risk Management and Insurance prior to consent.

Events requiring the use of university roads or sidewalks, such as a road race, must apply to Parking and Transportation Services. Details such as the route, any required altering of traffic patterns, or the shutting down of roadways must be included in the request. Parking and Transportation Services will evaluate the request and determine what impact the event may have on other university activities.

Animals that are not owned by the University of Calgary are not allowed in university buildings except for service animals.

If you are bringing animals on campus related to pet therapy programs, contact Risk Management and Insurance at riskmgmt@ucalgary.ca. See the Pets on Campus Policy for further information.

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 (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 conferences/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 on the main events page under specialized events.