The Town of Smiths Falls is a vibrant community that celebrates its culture and heritage, and is host to a number of events each year. 

Special events are essential to providing opportunities for social connection that contribute to a sense of identity, place, and community vibrancy.  The Smiths Falls Festival and Events Policy was adopted by Council in July 2022.  The policy sets out guidelines and provisions related to hosting outdoor events in the Town of Smiths Falls. 

Planning and organization is key to a successful event.  Be sure to read the Events and Festivals Resource Guide before filling out your Special Events Permit Application, and insure you include any additional documents, permits or approvals from outside agencies that are required. See below for more information.

What Is A Special Event?

A Special Event is defined as a one-time or reoccurring activity, which gathers people on Town owned lands such as parks, roads or sidewalks for the purposes of organized recreation, celebrations, or selling products and services. Events in the Town of Smiths Falls fall under two categories:

Major Event
These events require multiple approvals (i.e. road closure, building/fire inspections, health Unit, AGCO) and take longer to review and process.
  • Will Block or restrict the use of Town land.
  • Will have 250 or more participants/visitors.
  • Serves alcohol.
  • Held at multiple locations.
  • Requires road closures/traffic control.
  • Uses fireworks, open flame or inflatables.

Major Events require you to submit your event application at least 60 days in advance of your event and require a minimum of $5million in event liability insurance.

The earlier the better to ensure you receive your approvals well in advance so you can market your event!

General Event
Smaller community events have a separate streamlined process to reflect these types of events.
  • Will block or restrict the use Town land.
  • Will have less than 250 but more than 50 participants/visitors.
  • Does not serve alcohol.
  • Has minimal impact on municipal services.

Small/General Events require you to submit your event application at least 30 days in advance of your event and require a minimum of $2million in event liability insurance.

Applying for an Event

Event organizers looking to host local outdoor events will need to obtain an Events Permit.   Permits are FREE and Town staff have created helpful information and documents and will assist event organizers through the approvals process.

Site maps below can be saved and used to layout your event area, and are required to be submitted with all applications.  you can use your own image or map if preferred.

Depending on your event size and activities, additional documentation may be required as part of your application submission and approval process, the more information/approvals obtained prior to submitting your event application to the Town will assist with a shorter approval timeline.  Be sure to read the Events and Festivals Resource Guide for information and additional requirements for your specific event. 

Event Insurance

All Events operating on the Town of Smiths Falls property requires adequate insurance coverage. This includes not only the event organizers themselves but also those vendors taking part in the event.
Minimum insurance coverage requirements depend on the size and scope of our event:

  • $5,000,000 (Major Event)
  • $2,000,000 (Small/General Event)

Be sure to review the Events and Festivals Resource Guide to determine, which is your event size and insurance requirement.

Insurance policies specifics

The following should be provided to your insurance provider to insure you are obtaining proper insurance coverage for your event.  Be sure to also send this to your vendors as they also require insurance, which you as the event organizer are required to collect and have available on hand should it be requested.

The Event organizer and any amusement exhibitor(s), alcohol providers, food truck or food vendors cooking with open flame or propane, shall at their own expense prior to commencement of operation obtain and maintain until the termination of the contract or otherwise stated Commercial General Liability Insurance issued on an occurrence basis for an amount of not less than $2,000,000 (Small/General Event) OR $5,000,000 (Major Event) per occurrence / annual aggregate for any negligent acts or omissions by the Exhibitor relating to their obligations under this Agreement.

Such insurance shall include but is not limited to bodily injury and property damage including loss of use; personal injury; advertising injury; contractual liability; premises, property & operations; non-owned automobile; broad form property damage; owners & contractors protective; occurrence property damage; products; broad form completed operations; employees and volunteers as Additional Insured(s); contingent employers liability; tenants legal liability; cross liability and severability of interest clause.

Such insurance shall add the Corporation of the Town of Smiths Falls as additional insured subject to a waiver of subrogation. This insurance shall be non-contributing with and apply as primary and not as excess of any insurance available to the Town of Smiths Falls.

Insurance Providers

There are a number of providers of event insurance to assist you.

Local Insurance Company Hunt & Dopson Insurance Group Inc provides Event Insurance Coverage

There are a number of online Event Insurance Providers including:


The Town of Smiths Falls in not affiliated or is not specifically recommending any one service provider and the above list is merely a list of available providers based on an online search. Event organizers are solely responsible their due diligence in vetting and choosing the best and appropriate coverage for their individual event. The Town is not liable for any claims, broken agreements or inadequate service or coverage with any insurance vendors list above.

Funding For Local Events

The Town of Smiths Falls and the Province of Ontario support events through various grant programs which assist with financial assists to offset the cost of hosting events.

Community Grant - Town of Smiths Falls

The Town of Smiths Falls recognizes the valuable contributions made by community organizations and volunteer groups to improve the well-being of the community and the quality of life for its residents. In recognition of these contributions, the Municipality is committed to providing modest financial assistance to such organizations through its Municipal Grants program. Support is provided each year from the Municipality’s operating budget to qualifying organizations through an annual application process.

This grant will provide up to $5000 in funding for local not-for-profit organizations planning to host a community event.

For more information or to submit your completed application, please contact Julia Crowder at or 613-283-4124 x 1107 

Other Grants and Funding

Festivals and Event Ontario (FEO) provides information about grants and funding available to event organizers.

For more information or assistance regarding your Special Event Permit Application, please contact:

Julia Crowder
Manager of Economic Development and Tourism
613-283-4124 x 1107 or 

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