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Special Events

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Special Event Advisory Team (SEAT)

You may be required to submit a Special Event Advisory Team (SEAT) application. Watch our SEAT info video on YouTube for more information.

You can then visit the Special Event Advisory Team (SEAT) website for:

  • SEAT Applications
  • SEAT Guidelines
  • Event Producing Resources

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Hamilton Civic Events

Canadian Pacific Holiday Train
in support of Hamilton Food Share

Photo of CP Holiday Train

Date: Sunday, November 30, 2014

Location: Gage Park at Lawrence Rd

Time: 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. (The Holiday Train is expected to arrive at 7:45 p.m.)

The CP Holiday Train is making a stop in Hamilton offering a free concert and seasonal festivities from a boxcar turned into a travelling stage. The entertainers on this year's Holiday Train have not yet been announced, but previous trains have included the talents of musician such as Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan, Melanie Doane, and Doc Walker.

The concert is free, but attendees are encouraged to make a cash or non-perishable food donation to Hamilton Food Share which will be on site at the event.


For more information on the CP Holiday Train, please visit the CP Rail website:

Or phone the City at 905-546-2666

24-in-Gore Marathon

Date:6 pm Thursday December 4 to 6 pm Friday December 5

Location: Gore Park & on the radio at Y108

Gore Park holiday festivities begin on Thursday, December 4th, led by Ben McVie with the Y108 team and special guests broadcasting live in Gore Park during the "24 in Gore" Marathon. Staying on the air from 6:00 p.m. Thursday until 6:00 p.m. Friday and fueled by donations to the Children’s Fund, this broadcast will bring greater awareness to the Christmas Tree of Hope and the Operation Santa Claus Toy Drive.

Christmas Tree of Hope - Tree Lighting and Free Concert

Photo of Christmas Tree of Hope

Date: Friday December 5

Location: Gore Park

Time: 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tree Lighting at 6 p.m.

This festive event, much enjoyed by Hamiltonians young and old is presented in partnership with the Downtown Business Improvement Area and AM 900 CHML and will bring together people from all parts of our community for the lighting of the tree and a free concert by local band Crank .

Children can ride holiday amusement rides and place their letters to Santa in a "direct to the North Pole" mailbox. The free children’s train and carousel rides will begin 12:00 p.m. Friday December 5th and continue operation in Gore Park until 3:00 p.m. Christmas Eve - December 24th. The rides run Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 12:00 to 7:00 p.m.; Tuesdays 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.


Please contact 905-546-2666

Children's Rides in Gore Park

Date: December 5 - 24

Location: Gore Park

The City of Hamilton in co-operation with CHML/Y108 and the Downtown Hamilton BIA presents the Official Light Up Ceremony on Friday, December 5th in Gore Park beginning at 5 pm. A live concert, free refreshments, Christmas miniature train and merry-go-round rides and the official light up of the Christmas Tree of Hope. Festivites includes the opening of free miniature train and carousel rides that will be operating daily until December 24th.

Christmas in Gore Park

Date: December 6

Location: Gore Park

Presented by the Downtown Hamilton BIA, the day-long family friendly program invites the public to continue the holiday cheer on Sat. Dec. 6 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., for the annual Christmas in Gore Park event. Start your Christmas shopping in Santa's Village with great vendors, free refreshments and free Christmas crafts.  The whole family will have a great time caroling and enjoying Christmas entertainment throughout the park.  Have your picture taken with Santa Claus and bring your letters to put in Santa’s Mailbox.

Event Listings

Visit these websites for event listings: 

Events Contact Information

General Inquiries 

28 James St. N. 2nd floor
Hamilton, Ontario (Lister Block, 2nd floor)

Mailing address:
City of Hamilton
Planning and Economic Development Department
Tourism & Culture Division
P. O. Box 2040
Hamilton, ON L8P 4Y5

The City of Hamilton (Creative Industries Section) is a proud member of Festivals & Events Ontario.

Follow us on Twitter @FEOntario

The City of Hamilton (Civic Museums Section) is a proud member of Attractions Ontario.

Follow us on Twitter @AttractionsOnt

Special Occasion Permit (SOP) or Temporary Liquor License Extension

Vist Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) to get applications and remember to note deadlines to avoid disappointment.

If your event:

  • includes alcohol and
  • is taking place outdoors on CITY PROPERTY

you may be required to submit a SPECIAL EVENTS ADVISORY TEAM (SEAT) application for your event to be approved.

You will also need to adhere to the City of Hamilton's Municipal Alcohol Policy.

Please be aware of the City's deadlines pertaining to SEAT.

For more information please visit

Event suppliers looking for Hamilton area festivals

The City of Hamilton does not hire performers or vendors for Hamilton area events.
Please contact events directly for information on performing or vending opportunities.

Street Performance ("Busking")- Policy & Guidelines

Here is an excerpt from the City of Hamilton Street Performance Policy & Guidelines. See Appendix A.



  • Performances are allowed in outdoor public places in Hamilton except where the space has been permitted for a specific time and use. Outdoor public spaces include but are not limited to sidewalks, courtyards, squares, exteriors of buildings etc ;
  • Performances are allowed in public parks during regular park hours only except when the park, or a portion thereof, has been permitted for a specific time and use;
  • Busking is prohibited on private property without permission of the property owner;
  • Busking is prohibited at transit stops, in transit vehicles, or near public toilet facilities; and,
  • Buskers must not unreasonably interfere with pedestrian or vehicular traffic flow nor encourage audience formation in such a manner as to cause such interference.


  • Maximum performance time is three hours per busking location;
  • Only battery operated amplification may be used;
  • No high risk or unsafe performances, dangerous materials or dangerous implements which may put the performer or audience at risk (e.g. no knives, swords, chainsaws, fire or flammable liquids); and,
  • Consideration must be given for other acts performing in close proximity.


  • Buskers may receive monetary appreciation volunteered by an audience for their performance but may not solicit funds; and,
  • Buskers require a business license to offer goods for sale.


  • Performers must comply with all other statutory requirements, rules, regulation and bylaws of the City and/or other authority;
  • Public Space, which is being permitted by the City for a specific use and time, may not be used for busking during the period of the permit; and,
  • Performers must immediately cease any activity and remove any performance equipment or materials at the request of a Hamilton Police Service Police Officer or any person designated by the City for reasons of public safety.


  • Audience members are encouraged to provide donations for performances they enjoy; and,
  • Effort should be made to address concerns and complaints with the performer prior to seeking involvement of Hamilton Police Service.


  • Street performers, or buskers, are not contracted entertainers nor are they licensed as performers by the City of Hamilton.
  • Festival and event organizers, having secured a permit for use of a specific public space, may implement additional or different guidelines within the parameters of the permitted occasion (e.g. may require auditions, or identify specific locations for busking activity).

On December 14th, 2011 City Council approved the City of Hamilton Street Performance Policy & Guidelines. Download the staff report (PDF). The policy is attached to this document as "Appendix A".