Commercial and Group Activities - Permits and Licences
Hiking group at Arbutus Point, Portland Island © Parks Canada / Christian J. Stewart
Under the Canada National Parks Act, businesses conducting any part of their operation within the National Park require a national park Business Licence.
If you are a business operator (e.g., kayak or boating guide, scenic-wildlife tour operator, dive charter business) and would like to operate in Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, please contact the park reserve office at 250-654-4000 or 1-866-944-1744, for a copy of the business licence application form.
Looking to go on an adventure? Check out the list of approved licensed operators for Gulf Islands National Park Reserve.
NOTE: Applications for business licences are due by March 31.
Are you planning a special event at Gulf Islands National Park Reserve?
A group site is available at Sidney Spit on Sidney Island for groups up to 30 people for day use or overnight stays. A special activity permit is required for groups larger than 30 – see camping page for more information about the group site. For all other areas of the park reserve, a group size policy has been established to help guide and facilitate your enjoyment of the park, and to make sure we are treating our sensitive ecosystems and cultural sites with care. Smaller groups such as families (12-15 people depending on whether it's day or overnight use) are encouraged to get out and enjoy the park on their own, while larger group use requires written approval in the form of a business license or a park permit (e.g., private events such as weddings, larger picnics, etc). The group policy outlines group size limits permitted for different activities (e.g. day use and overnight use) and clarifies how the sizes relate to different locations. For more information, please contact the park office.
Non-profit organizations and educational institutions require a special activity permit to undertake recreational activities with large groups within the national park. If a non-profit organization is engaging in activities for the purposes of gain, raising funds, making a profit or commercial promotion, a business licence is required. Please note that if you are only participating in routine park activities (hiking, camping, kayaking, etc.) and are adhering to the park’s group size policy (as stated above), a permit is not required. If you would like to hold your event in Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, you can print a copy of the application package by clicking here (PDF, 470 KB).
Individuals who wish to hold special events (e.g., weddings or family reunions or other ceremonies) within the national park require a permit. You can print a copy of the application package by clicking here (PDF, 430 KB).
Kayaking and/or Canoeing with Custodial Groups
A permit is required for all custodial groups* kayaking and/or canoeing in Gulf Islands National Park Reserve’s marine waters. Restrictions have been implemented for this activity, please contact the park reserve prior to arrival for information and appropriate permits.
*A custodial group means a group affiliated with an institution, where at least one person is below the age of majority and is unaccompanied by his/her parent or guardian.
Please allow a minimum of 4 weeks for processing your application. For further information regarding any of the application processes, please contact the park office at 250-654-4000 or 1-866-944-1744.
Applications may be sent by mail to:
Gulf Islands National Park Reserve
2220 Harbour Road