Yes, you can host your own neighbourhood block party celebrating Car Free Vancouver any time of the year. It's easy! The following steps outline all you need to do.
Step 1 - Review City of Vancouver Block Party guidelines
Review City of Vancouver Block Party website for guidelines found here.
Step 2 – Collect approval from majority of households in the block
The City requires all block parties have approval from a majority of the households (at least 2/3) in the block and that everyone in the block be notified about the party before they can approve the street closure to traffic. The City provides a sign-off form to collect your neighbour signatures at Block Party Sign-off form that must be emailed to them. Please note this polling requirement may be waived for recurring annual events with a successful history.
Try and find someone else from the block to help you with this -- it's more fun and it's easier when you share responsibilities. Going door to door for signatures also gives you a chance to get contact information from new people who would like to help plan the party.
We suggest you write up a notice that you can leave at homes where you couldn't reach anyone. This notice should have info on the time and location of the block party, your contact info and a suggestion that they contact you to sign the form or send you an email and join in the fun! An example of a short notice can be found at Invite Template or a longer notice with survey at Neighbourhood Letter and Survey Template for Block Party. Please note that these templates don't replace the City sign-off form requirement.
Step 3 – Apply for a free Block Party permit and street barricades
Apply for your free Block Party permit with City of Vancouver at least two weeks before your party date at on-line block party permit form. And get free liability insurance and street barricades.
Once your application has been reviewed and approved by City of Vancouver, the City will reserve street barricades at the community centre you requested in your application. You are only required to have a barricade if you are closing a street.
Barricades are limited and reserved for approved block parties on a first-come, first-served basis. If all barricades are loaned out at your requested community centre, you will be referred to another centre.
You are responsible in picking up the barricades at a time arranged with the Community Centre. The barricades are plastic so maybe only 15 pounds each. Each barricade breaks down into 2 flat triangle ends and 1 long eight foot by six inch piece.
Step 4 – Planning
Arrange to meet with your neighbours to plan the fun things you'd like to do for your block party. Check out Car Free Vancouver's Block Party Festival Planning and Ideas Toolkit and Greening your Block Party.
Step 5 – The Event
- Pickup your street barricades at the scheduled time with the Community Centre.
- Set up your barricades on the day of your event and you're ready to go.
- Remove the barriers after the event and store them in a secure place until you have returned them to the Community Centre at a prescheduled time.
Get your application in early to ensure you can get street barricades at the community centre of your choice.