Multi-Day Farmers Market Special Event Application


  • The Town of Banff seeks applications for the operation of a multi-day Farmers Market in Banff by February 10, 2020.
  • The Town of Banff allows an external operator to organize and implement a multi-day Farmers Market in the summer as an activity that provides a positive resident and visitor experience, in terms of activity, cultural experiences and purchase opportunities that reflect our mountain community. The Farmers Market is also a vehicle for small and regional producers and local entrepreneurs and artisans to do business. 
  • The town regulates the farmers market to balance these benefits with potential negative impacts, such as increased traffic congestion, environmental and wildlife impact, noise, and public safety. The Town also regulates the Farmers Market because public space is used to generate revenue for businesses that may be in competition with permanent businesses in Banff. Regulation also ensures this special event aligns with the objectives of the Banff National Park Management Plan and the Town of Banff Community Plan.
  • The Town has set a process to select an operator from more than one interested applicants. The process shall be fair, with transparent criteria and purposeful due to the potential benefits and impacts.


  • The selected multi-day Farmers Market operator shall be granted a permit and agreement for operation in the summer of 2020, with an option to extend the agreement in 2021 and 2022. 
  • If the selected operator for 2020 seeks to continue operation in 2021, the Town will evaluate the 2020 performance and grant a permission for 2021 operation, based on successful performance evaluation (outlined below). The same process would occur to extend the operating agreement in 2022.

Location: The multi-day Farmers Market in 2020 shall occur in the parking lot of Banff’s Central Park, including use of the Gazebo, Gazebo storage and the paving stones between the Gazebo and the Central Parking lot.

Day of week: The market will occur on Wednesdays. The Town has determined this day has least impact on traffic in summer. 

Maximum total days: 20 days for one operator, out of 26 total days for all Farmers Markets in Banff.


Policy C5001 Festivals and Special Events outlines the standards, frequency, and expectations for festivals and special events in Banff.  A multi-day Farmers Market is a special category under this Policy. Farmers Markets are organized and delivered as a special event by external organizations that apply to the Town of Banff for permission to operate a market. The Town regulates this business activity through the Policy and Special Event Standards because the market occurs in the public realm, has a social and economic benefit to the community, while also presenting risks such as safety, traffic, and reputation. The multi-day Farmers Market is considered one special event under this Policy.

Under the Policy, a Farmers Market is defined as “an open public market that contains a variety of booths, tents or stalls that display primarily locally-produced artisanal foods, specialty produce, baked goods as well arts and crafts products.  Farmers market may also offer limited personal services such as temporary henna tattoos, face painting, massage therapy and palm reading.”

The Policy permits Farmers Markets, provided:

  a.    They occur outdoors; 

  b.    They generally conform to the requirements and Standards of Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s Approved Markets;

  c.    They are temporary in nature and held no longer than 2 days per week, 

  d.    100% of the vendors meet the "make it, bake it, grow it" criteria as defined;

  e.    Provide limited personal services which do not comprise more than 10% of the market vendors; 

  f.    They do not include flea market booths, sale of professional, financial and office services, or second hand products; and, 

  g.    They are limited to 26 days per year collectively with the community.

The Policy defines ‘Make it, Bake it, Grow it’ as “locally produced products, made, baked or grown by the seller, the immediate family of the seller, a staff member of the seller, or by a member of a producer-owned cooperative. Products and services originating from outside Alberta and British Columbia, franchises or distributorships will not be considered local in origin.”  The Farmers Market operator is responsible for ensuring that the individual vendors conform to the ‘make it, bake it, grow it’ requirements. The Town interprets this to allow for sale of produce grown outside Alberta and B.C. in rare circumstances when the regional crops are temporarily unavailable. 

Pending Town Council’s amendment to the Policy C5001 and the Special Event Standards (to be discussed in the first quarter of 2020), the Farmers Market can include a maximum of two booths dedicated to information sharing and/or public engagement activity, with no sales offering (such as for non-profits, government organizations, or foundations). In a similar fashion to approving all vendors at a Farmers Market, the Town reserves the right to approve or reject proposed public engagement booths.

Policy C5001 further states: “No single applicant shall hold more than 80% of the special event allocation in any particular event category.” This means that one applicant for a summer multi-day Farmers Market may operate no more than 20 days per year.

The Special Event Standards provides clarity in support of Policy C5001, to ensure successful events and minimize negative impact to the Town. 


The Town of Banff will select an operator from multiple applications based on maximum score on to the criteria identified below. Applications must be submitted online by February 10, 2020. Incomplete applications will not be accepted. 

One applicant will be given at least conditional approval by February 26, 2020.

Initial conditional approval for an event may be given, pending additional requirements, including: final site layout, final vendor list, documentation as proof of licensing and permits (including Town seasonal business licence, and AHS, AGLC and Fire Department permits), proof of insurance, and agreement of indemnification and other legal requirements. A supplemental legal agreement will be implemented with the approved Farmers Market operator to ensure conditions and requirements are met.

If the applicant receives conditional approval, final release of the permit will be withheld until all conditions have been met. Since it may take several days to ensure that the conditions have been properly met, proof of conditions must be submitted at least 30 days before the start of the event.

If an application does not meet the requirements set out below, or Policy C5001 and the Special Event Standards, the Town may refuse approval. 

For ease of submission please compile all relevant documentation into 1 file when submitting.

Information required for a complete application, to be provided online as one Application attachment:

A.    Farmers Market Overview (more detail in subsequent sections)

  • Contact info for applicant (name, organization, phone, email, address)
  • Objectives/description of Market
  • Number of vendors and types
  • Other activity at market
  • Unique attributes

B.    Experience/History operating a Farmers Market

Outline previous years of operating a farmers market, any formal evaluation reports from market operations, other relevant experience, references or testimonials, etc.

C.    Site Plan at Central Park parking lot (use map)

Identify vendor/booth locations and sizes, entertainment locations, signage, special booths such as medical or operator, and waste management locations. Please note:

  • Refer to the map of footprint (PDF) of permitted location for market vendors
    • the cement pads between the gazebo and parking lot are to remain unobstructed due to infrastructure and access requirements
    • Certification of weight is required for any carts and trailers parking on the paving stones between the Gazebo and Central Park.  The town reserves the right to deny access to this location should there be evidence of damage to the paving stones.
  • The aisles between booths must be a minimum of 2.4 metres (eight feet) wide, and no obstructions, signs, sandwich boards or other materials are permitted to obstruct passage within the aisles. All vendor storage, approved signage and other animation must be included within the footprint of their activation.

D.    Management of Farmers Market

  • Identify on-site representative and contact information, including how the public, Town and vendors will be able to speak with the Market Manager
  • Describe operator presence/availability on market days
  • Identify all operation staff/roles
  • Describe source and storage of all equipment on site (e.g. tents, chairs, power cords, etc. rented/owned)
  • Market Day description (Set-up schedule, operation schedule, take-down schedule, vendor delivery access – which may be expanded upon in Parking/Traffic Plan)
  • Labour standards for all workers and contractors on site, including staff, vendors, entertainment (Describe standards at or above Alberta Labour Standards Rules)
  • How vendor compliance to special event guidelines (location, health and safety, content etc) will be managed each Market Day
  • Outline budget for market operations

E.    Initial Vendor List 

Initial list for this Application identifies likely vendors, type of offering. 

Full list required after conditional approval to selected operator requires final vendor list with:

  • Name of booth/business
  • Name of operator and contact information, web
  • Home location
  • Product description
  • Confirmation of meeting "make it, bake it, grow it" criteria

Note: the operator is required to have a presence on site.

F.    Traffic, Pedestrian and Parking Management Plan

Identify issues and mitigation strategy, including any signage and communications activity related to traffic management. Describe market set-up and take-down traffic management, and parking for vendors, or any special coordination of delivery. (Note: Banff’s Anti-Idling Bylaw is enforced, including transport and delivery vehicles.) Describe any special considerations such as shuttle service for attendees, shuttle service for Market vendors whose vehicles/storage are outside the event site, or ways to address Whyte Museum/Public Library parking/traffic concerns about public access their facilities on market days. A description with map is required for any use of public streets, sidewalks or other public space for movement of people or goods. The Town will require a staff or contract position to direct vehicle traffic and pedestrian traffic, to enable effective flow and ensure maximum safety. At minimum, traffic control should occur at the intersection of Buffalo Street and Bear Street. The position must have traffic management (flagging) certification.

G.    Site Signage

Indicate locations of wayfinding, traffic and market promotion signage, and include images depicting signs or sign type. Identify any ATS-approved traffic management signage. Describe signage material and positioning used by vendors indicating the vendor and/or products and if there is uniform presentation. In addition to on-site sign(s), an off-site sign(s) promoting the market may be approved, based on design and location review and approval. 

H.    Marketing and Community Communications Plan

Identify methods and frequency of promoting the market, and channels and methods for notifying Banff residents and businesses about the market and traffic disruptions, as well as receiving and responding to community suggestions, concerns and complaints. The communication plan should include the timing, draft messaging, target audiences (e.g. residents, local businesses, visitors to Banff), as well as the frequency and strategy for notification. The operator must plan to notify residents and businesses in the community about the multi-day Farmers Market dates, times, setup/take-down, traffic management, programming, entertainment, and ways to contact the event operator. The operator may wish to include marketing messages and channels to visitors about access, public transit and parking. A copy of the notification(s) will be provided to the Town of Banff.

I.    Waste Management Plan and Environmental Protection Activity

Identify waste management infrastructure and processes. Explain efforts to help advance towards the Town of Banff goal to produce zero waste going to landfill, by preventing creation of waste and diverting waste generated by the market away from landfill. This may include support for composting, recycling, food/beverage ware washing station, and use of certified biodegradable material. This may include support to attendees and vendors. Describe management of receptacles. Identify any activities to enhance wildlife, ecosystem or other environmental protection and energy/greenhouse gas emissions reduction.

J.    Risk & Public Safety Assessment and Mitigation Plan

Identify risks associated with the Farmers Market in Banff, and how the operator will manage/mitigate or respond to risks, especially as it relates to public safety. A lost child procedure is required. The public safety assessment may be reviewed by the Banff Fire Department, RCMP, Parks Canada and Alberta Health Services. 

K.    Medical Plan

Provide information about location of fire extinguishers, grease spill kits, first aid kits, first aid presence, qualified personnel, and processes for dealing with medical emergencies. A first aid station is recommended. First aid measures should also be in place during the set up and take down portions of the Farmers Market.

L.    Entertainment/Programming

Describe curated programming or entertainment and how performers/artists are engaged, compensated, scheduled and managed. 

M.    Evaluation Method

How will you evaluate the success of the market, satisfaction of attendees and stakeholders, and address concerns to enable continuous improvement? How will you record the number of attendees and the number of people employed on site? Will you determine the composition of market attendees with periodic survey tools?

N.    Application Processing Fee 

The application fee for special events is $250.

Subsequent information

Information to provide the Town after applicant is selected and Town has provided conditional approval, but required before a Special Event Permit and Operator Agreement is implemented:

O.    Insurance

The Town of Banff must be provided with a copy of your insurance certificate indicating a minimum of $5 million in General Liability insurance and listing “The Town of Banff” and “Her Majesty the Queen in the Right of Canada as represented by the Parks Canada Agency” as additional insured no less than three weeks prior to the event. Other organizations may need to be included as additional insured depending upon the event or facility used. Where alcohol is served or sold, the event organizer must obtain an extension to normal general liability insurance to include “host liquor liability”.

P.    Licenses and Permits

Documentation of all required permits and licences is required. A Farmers Market operator shall apply for a special event seasonal business license from the Town of Banff which covers individual vendors. The attainment of appropriate special event licensing is a condition of approval for special events in Banff.

A permit is required in accordance with the Alberta Fire Code (2014) and Town of Banff Fire Department Bylaw 66-2 if the Farmers Market includes cooking appliances or open flame.

Food and beverage management for requires permitting and inspection from Alberta Health Services. 

Alcohol management for consumption requires AGLC permitting.

  • Contact the Town of Banff for seasonal business license: 403.985.9016.
  • Contact the Fire Department for pre-event inspection of temporary structures and permitting for open flame/cooking, propane or gas on site: 403.762.1256.
  • Contact Alberta Health Services at 403-762-2990 to secure permitting for food/beverage and water requirements.
  • Contact AGLC about permitting and requirements for alcohol samples: 1-800-272-8876.

Q.    Medical Plan Approval

The operator is expected to contact the Banff Mineral Springs Hospital and the head paramedic to review all medical aspects of their event. Town of Banff will require a letter of approval from the Banff Mineral Springs Hospital to confirm they approve the medical plan. Identification of the qualified first aider(s) on site will need to be included.

R.    Final Vendor List

Full list required after conditional approval to selected operator requires final list with:

  • Name of booth/business
  • Name of operator and contact information, web
  • Home location
  • Product description
  • Confirmation of meeting "make it, bake it, grow it" criteria

Note: Any vendors added during the season must be approved before they arrive on site.  

S.    Final Site Map: Include all final vendor locations and all equipment and use area.

T.    Operator Agreement and Special Event Permit

An Operator Agreement will be executed and signed, containing all conditions, as included below, and any other special requirements. A special event permit will be issued and signed by the operator. This permit will include permission for Streets and Public Place Use; a separate Streets and Public Place Use Permit is not required. A bank draft of $1,000 will be required as a damage deposit.  A Payment schedule of fees must be agreed to by both parties, including a down payment as a condition of the Special Event Permit being issued.


In addition to the Regulations Governing Farmers Markets and the requirements of the Application as outlined above, the following Conditions will be incorporated into and form part of the Special Event permit and Operator Agreement:

1.    By signing the application, the applicant agrees that the Town of Banff Department Director Responsible, Town Manager or their designate may enter the event site and cause the festivals and special events to be stopped and the withdraw festivals and special events approval.

2.    The Town of Banff Department Director Responsible, Town Manager or their designate may enter and inspect the festivals and special events site from time to time to ensure compliance with the conditions of approval.

3.    The Special Event Permit to operate the Farmers Market issued by the Town of Banff must be available for inspection on site at all times during the event.    

4.    The operator is responsible for ensuring that the Farmers Market is operated in a safe, orderly manner; is restricted to the approved area; the event activities do not interfere with other park users or contravene any Town of Banff Bylaws. All requirements of permitting agencies and their direction must be adhered to. Fire hydrants must be accessible at all times, according to existing regulations.

5.    The operator is responsible for planning and implementing safety measures such as ensuring all power cords in publicly accessible space are covered and trip hazards are minimized. This includes booth layout, adequate weights and positioning to minimize customer obstruction by sidewalk curbs.

6.    The operator has exclusive commercial, entertainment and information-sharing rights to the designated site as approved in the permit, and is responsible for managing the area. Therefore, the operator must grant permission to other commercial, entertainment or information sharing on the site, provided it is a permitted activity under Town of Banff bylaw, regulations and policy.

7.    The operator is responsible for ensuring that the Farmers Market site is secured from the time the first item is brought onto site until the last item is removed from site. This includes security of Town property, including but not limited to Gazebo storage, power supply units, public washroom janitorial closet, and waste receptacles. The operator is responsible for determining the level of security to be provided.

8.    The Town of Banff reserves the right to cancel any or all booked time or operations, including individual vendor activity, should any portion of the site area be rendered unsafe/unusable due to mechanical/electrical or structural failure; or due to emergency weather conditions, or due to potential for wildlife conflict; or due to environmental impact.

9.    The Town of Banff will provide written (email) direction or requests to amend operations to address any safety or other issues, as outlined in the Operator Agreement. In urgent situation when phone or in-person direction is provided, they will be followed up with written direction to serve as documentation. The operator shall respond to direction or requests in a timely manner indicating the action to address the request. 

10.    The Town of Banff may suspend or revoke approval, without payment of any compensation, for violation of any provision of Policy C5001 or any other applicable law, bylaw, rule or regulation, for violation of the conditions herein, or for any misrepresentation by the applicant, their agents or employees or independent contractors under contract with the applicant. Non-compliance may also result in fines, penalties, and additional charges.

11.    The Farmers Market operator is responsible for ensuring that the individual vendors conform to the “make it, bake it, grow it” requirements outlined in Policy C5001.  

12.    Specific conditions apply to vendor sales:

     a.    No vendors shall be permitted on site that are not included in the Final approved Vendor List, unless expressly permitted by the Town of Banff the week before the addition of the new vendor.

     b.    Merchandise, produce and services must be of acceptable quality, reasonably priced, environmentally friendly and compatible with a public place. In the event of a dispute over these qualities, the matter will be referred to the Town Manager whose decision will be final and binding. 

     c.    Third-party product sales are permitted only where the product sold is original art or craft produced by the seller (includes musical recordings by performing artists).

     d.    Vendors must clearly display to the public prices for all products/produce/services and whether or not GST is included in the advertised price.

13.    The operator will adhere to the Community Standards Bylaw 260 regulations ensuring that noise from the event does not intrude unreasonably upon residents living and/or working adjacent to the event site.  The Farmers Market operator is responsible for curating entertainment and for monitoring noise/volume from performances, entertainment, vendors and other the activity in Central Park. 

14.    The Town of Banff reserves the right to require that the event operator reduce amplified sound levels if these are found to be excessive (e.g. causing undue public complaint, unreasonably interfering with adjacent users, or exceeding noise bylaw limits, etc.).

15.    All structures must be safe, including rented or owned temporary (pop-up) tents. All tents must be treated with a certified Fire Retardant (CAN UCL 5109-m). Documentation must be made available upon request to prove the tent is treated. This can be in the form of a written letter by the person responsible for the equipment. Inspection of tents by the fire department is mandatory and could be subject to a $250 fee based on compliance.  Propane tanks may not be placed inside a structure and there is to be no cooking which produces grease laden vapours inside the tents without a proper canopy ventilation system in place. 

16.    Tents are to be secured for safety at all times, by using tent weights only (minimum 20 pounds per leg) and must be secured at the base of legs, not near the roof, to prevent tipping in wind. Staking is not permitted. 

17.    Protect Central Park’s turf, plants, trees and landscaping. Some activities or items have great potential to damage turf or tree roots. Placement of boxes, tables, tents and other equipment on turf, plant beds or tree roots is prohibited. Specific activities may be required to reduce the possibilities of damage occurring and must be put into place during event site development. Vehicles on grass or cement path to Gazebo are prohibited. At any time, sensitive or damaged areas of the park may be closed to the public. The operator will be informed of the possibility of closure at the earliest opportunity. New grass or sod and wet areas where the water table is high are most sensitive.

18.    The operator will be responsible for all cleanup operations during and after the operation of the Market.

19.    Incremental Charges for Utilities and Litter Control may be billed to the event organizer if water, electrical use, or litter control services are deemed to be excessive by the Operations Department. For example, if usage is significantly higher than those related to normal park use, the department will ask the Town liaison to charge the permit holder for the service at cost plus GST. The operator is required to implement the Town’s “Low Waste Guidelines,” Appendix A in the Special Event Standards

20.    The Town of Banff is not responsible for lost or stolen articles.

21.    The operator/vendors/staff/volunteers/artists/performers shall indemnify and hold harmless the Town of Banff for:

     a.    Damage or expense sustained by the operator/vendors/staff/volunteers/artists/performers at the Farmers Market, 

     b.    Any claim to which the operator/vendors/staff/volunteers/artists/performers at the site may become liable by reason of personal injury or property damage sustained by any person attending the Farmers Market site, a spectator, or any other person participating in activities of the Farmers Market during the term of the Agreement, and

     c.    Any personal injury or property damage suffered by anyone from a breach of item b.

22.    The operator shall be responsible for the orderly behavior of all persons participating in the Farmers Market, and shall ensure that the site and equipment are used only for the purpose listed in the Permit and Agreement.

23.    Vehicles are not to be driven onto grassed areas or restricted access zone at any time. 

24.    All aspects of the Traffic Bylaw 16-8 will be enforced, including parking regulations, parking time limits and no overnight parking in public spaces. Vendor parking must be coordinated or directed by the operator under existing rules. It is not the responsibility of the Town to organize parking for vendors or their deliveries. 

25.    The operator must ensure vendors, contractors and staff comply with the Traffic Bylaw 16-8 requirement: “No operator of a Commercial Motor Vehicle shall stop or park or leave his Commercial Motor Vehicle at a standstill with the engine running or Idling anywhere within the Town of Banff.”

26.    Signage on site complies with the Land Use Bylaw. An exception may include off-site promotion signage, after approval based on design and location. Signs are never to be attached to trees in any manner and should be placed so that they do not hinder regular use of the parks or pathways. Signs and banners not permitted are outlined in the Special Event Standards, Appendix B.

27.    A $150 key deposit is required when signing out facility (Gazebo) keys.

28.    The Town will assess any damage that may occur as a result of the event and payment for such damage will be the sole responsibility of the operator. A security bond of $1,000 shall be provided to the Town of Banff, to be used in the event of damage to the Central Park site, the Gazebo, turf, landscaping, irrigation systems, power supply boxes, water supply units, sidewalk concrete, asphalt, broken locks, electrical servicing, and water or snow removal.

29.    In accordance with the Land Use Bylaw, advertising of products outside the vendor booths/tents of vendors is prohibited.

30.    Activities not permitted include: 

     a.    Activities that may cause damage to the turf, infrastructure, park or the environment

     b.    Activities specifically prohibited by bylaw and law

     c.    Activities that are distinctly incompatible with natural open space or Banff National Park

     d.    Activities that involve undue risk to individuals or the Town of Banff and its residents

     e.    Fireworks and pyrotechnic use

     f.    Use of drones

31.    Copies of public notification(s) identified in the Communications Plan will be provided to the Town of Banff prior to distribution.

32.    Whenever a wiring system is installed, connected to, or disconnected from, a town operated power supply, the service must be provided through a local company endorsed by the Town of Banff’s Operations Department at the organizer’s cost. Applicable costs include electrical labour and supplies, permitting and inspection fees and GST. Organizers must ensure that electrical equipment being connected is certified for outdoor use and is CSA approved.

33.    All gray water collected during events must be properly disposed (information provided in final Operator Agreement). All sinks must be accompanied by gray water tanks. When the tanks are near full, they must be emptied off site, at an approved location. Gray water cannot be released anywhere else. No liquid or frozen material including beverages, ice, wastewater, paint, grease, and soap may be dumped on the site, adjacent grass or into any bodies of water. Storm water sewers are never to be used to dump liquid waste. All liquid waste is to be disposed of using liquid waste receptacles supplied by the operator or arranged for vendors, and removed at the completion of an event for appropriate dumping elsewhere. Failure to do so will result in fines and a cancellation of future event applications. Gray water tank supplier must be made aware of authorized locations within the Town.

34.    Additional legal conditions will be included in the final Operator Agreement, in accordance with all Town of Banff contractual agreements.

2020 Performance Evaluation

The Operator Agreement and Permit is based on a one-year term, with an option to extend each year for another two years. The decision to offer the extension rests with the Town of Banff and will be based on an evaluation of these factors:

  • performance to the conditions set out herein
  • compliance with requirements in the Agreement
  • responsiveness to Town requests or direction, as documented in written communication, and overall working relationship with the Town
  • post-season operator-provided evaluation information
  • Town-facilitated public and vendor feedback

Selection Criteria

If an application is not complete and/or does not meet the requirements of this Application, Policy C5001 and the Special Event Standards, the Town may refuse review of the application. 

Complete applications will be evaluated based on this criteria and maximum points:

FactorMaximum points
Farmers Market Overview3
Experience/Previous History and compliance5
Site Plan with Map3
Management of Farmers Market5
Initial Vendors List3
Traffic, Pedestrian and Parking Management Plan5
Site Signage3
Marketing and Community Communications Plan4
Waste Management Plan and Environmental Protection Activity5
Risk & Public Safety Assessment and Mitigation Plan4
Medical Plan4
Evaluation Method3
Maximum total50

Application Review and Selection Panel

  • Director of Operations, or designated Manager, Town of Banff
  • Manager of Municipal Enforcement, Town of Banff
  • Manager of Recreation, Community Services, Town of Banff
  • Development Planner,  Planning & Development, Town of Banff
  • Visitor Events Specialist, Communications, Town of Banff
  • Director, Events and Animation, Banff & Lake Louise Tourism


The details of the evaluation and final scoring will remain confidential, in accordance with Alberta’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act requirements to protect third party business interests (s. 16) and third party personal privacy (s. 17).