Hosting Events

Food Safety Requirements at Special Events

COVID-19 Vaccination Verification

Starting September 22, 2021, each person who enters an indoor facility for meetings or events must show proof of vaccination and identification at the time of entry, which will be verified by the event organizer or designate. The only exceptions permitted for meeting and event spaces include:

  • Children under 12 years of age
  • Individuals with a medical exemption and supporting documentation from a physician/nurse
  • Individuals using the washroom or passing through an indoor space to access outdoor space
  • Retail or admission/membership purchases (without the intent to stay)

For more information, visit www.hamilton.ca/ProofOfVaccination

Do I need proof of vaccination to go on a tour in the museum?
You do not need to show proof of vaccination to access the gift shop, washroom facilities, retail or admission purchases and guided tours. Proof of vaccination is only required to enter indoor meeting and event spaces.

What can I expect for vaccine verification when I visit a City Museum event or meeting space?
Each person who enters an indoor facility for meetings or events must show proof of vaccination and identification at the time of entry, which will be verified by the event organizer or designate. Verification is required for any individual who is not an employee working in or operating the facility.

When arriving at a meeting or event space, signage will indicate the main entrance. Vaccine verification is required when entering a meeting or event space, followed by contact and health screening. Please plan and adjust arrival times accordingly as you may experience wait times before entering. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.

Will my vaccination records or personal health information be kept or recorded?
No. Any vaccination records or documentation will only be visually verified - no information will be retained or copied.

If I am just leaving the facility briefly and coming right back in, do I have to show my vaccine verification each time I enter the facility?
Yes. Businesses and organizations are not permitted to retain vaccine records or status, so individuals will be required to show their proof of vaccination each time they enter the facility.

What is acceptable proof of vaccination or identification?
Proof of vaccination, identification and exemption requirements are determined by the Ministry of Health. For more information, visit www.hamilton.ca/ProofOfVaccination. Identification is required to verify name and date of birth only.

  • Must show Name and Date of Birth, issued from an institution or organization
  • Does not need to include a picture
  • Can be shown as a photocopy or digital/electronical version (on a device)
  • Can be expired

Do I need to show vaccine verification to use the washrooms in museum facility?
No. Members of the public will be permitted to quickly use the closest non-changeroom washroom and exit the building.

I am unvaccinated – can I still enter the event or meeting space?
These vaccine exemptions apply to meeting and event spaces:

  • Children under 12 years of age
  • Individuals with a medical exemption and supporting documentation from a physician/nurse
  • Individuals using the washroom or passing through an indoor space to access outdoor space
  • Retail or admission/membership purchases (without the intent to stay)

Are youth required to show identification?  What is acceptable identification?
Youth 13 to 17 years of age accessing a meeting or event space are required to show proof of vaccination and identification in accordance with the Ministry of Health. For more information, visit www.hamilton.ca/ProofOfVaccination.

What if I refuse to show vaccine verification?
No member of the public will be permitted to enter the event or meeting space without proof of vaccination or exemption.

The City of Hamilton has a Zero Tolerance policy. Anyone engaging in verbal assaults, threats or aggression, vandalism, or incitement of violence will be ejected from the property with a mandatory suspension from all municipal facilities. We ask that everyone attending a City recreation centre/arena contributes to a positive and supportive environment for children, their families, and community sport.

What if someone in attendance at my event refuses to show vaccine verification?
The event organizer is responsible to ensure that attendees are aware of and comply with the Provincial requirement to show vaccination status when entering a meeting or event space.  If they do not comply, the event may be cancelled, and a refund will not be issued. Staff may request at any time, documented proof of contact tracing, and evidence of vaccination screening.

Requirements for food vendors at special events

Hamilton Public Health Services helps Event Organizers and vendors ensure safe food handling at Special Events in the City of Hamilton to reduce the risk of foodborne illness. Public Health Inspectors will inspect food vendors at the event for safe food preparation and handling.

  • Vendors must comply with the Requirements for Food Vendors at Special Events and with all applicable sections of the Food Premises Regulation, under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, R.S.O., 1990.
  • All food served at the event must be obtained from an approved and inspected source and prepared in an approved and inspected kitchen.
  • Food vendors selling, giving food away or providing samples must complete the application form.
  • Food vendors and food trucks must attach a copy of the kitchen’s most recent public health inspection report.
  • If the food vendor/truck uses or rents a kitchen space to prepare food, the vendor must attach a letter from the owner of the kitchen space confirming that the food is prepared at that location. A copy of the kitchen’s most recent public health inspection report shall be included.

How to apply

Individuals or groups planning to organize or operate any event where the general public is invited and will consume food or beverages must notify Hamilton Public Health Services by completing and submitting the Application Forms below at least 14 days prior to the event.
Download the special events packages for more information and fill out the included application:

Submission deadline

You must return organizer and vendor applications no later than 14 days prior to the event.

  • Email completed applications to [email protected]
  • Drop off or mail completed application forms to:
    ​Public Health Services, Food Safety Program, Robert Thomson Building, 110 King Street West, 2nd Floor, Hamilton, Ontario L8P 4S6
  • Fax completed application forms to 905-546-2787

Cost for application

  • A fee of $41 (includes HST) is charged per vendor for special events and festivals.
  • The special event coordinator is responsible for paying the full fee to Public Health Services.
  • Only one cheque or money order will be accepted for payment for each event. Please do not submit payment before your event. You will be invoiced after the event if inspections were required.
  • Refreshment vehicles fully licensed by the City of Hamilton are not required to pay the $41 vendor fee.
  • An additional fee of $31 (includes HST) is charged per vendor if the application is not received at least 14 days ahead of the event.

Contact us

For any questions about your food safety package contact:
Public Health Services, Food Safety Program
110 King Street West, 2nd Floor (Robert Thomson Building)
Hamilton, Ontario L8P 4S6
Phone: 905-546-2489
Fax: 905- 546-2787
Email: [email protected]