we look forward to working with you throughout the planning process
We have compiled this Event Planning Handbook as an introduction to our booking process, policies, timelines and other information we thought may come in handy. We know when planning an event there are a lot of moving parts so we hope you find this a useful resource during your process.
And, of course, do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions or need clarification.
We wish you all the best with your event and can’t wait to see you on the big day!
our Event Architect will walk you through these stages and will be available for any questions throughout the process
Read through this handbook and meet with us to discuss your initial plans.
We'll prepare a contract and send it to you to sign electronically.
We'll send you the initial invoice for 50% of your venue rental.
In addition to being in contact via email, we'll book a time to chat a month or so prior to your event to discuss details.
You'll confirm with us all of your event services details like rentals, vendors and insurance.
We'll send you the last invoices: for the remaining 50% venue fee, any additional event services you request and the damage deposit.
We'll meet at the agreed time and walk through the space and answer any last questions.
We'll be here throughout your event to make sure it all goes smoothly.
We ask you to return the room in it's original condition. We'll do a final walk through of the space together.
We've got you covered! For every event we create a personal online folder which houses your Event Toolkit spreadsheet where you can keep track of your plans, order additional services and have your information all in one place.
To help you keep track of all the information we'll need, we've created an easy-to-use tookit spreadsheet and saved it in your personal event folder. We'll give you access to this folder once you've booked and we invite you to use the enclosed spreadsheet to keep track of your decisions regarding:
Don't worry! Using this folder isn’t mandatory. You can choose to fill it out yourself as you make decisions or you can wait to meet with us and we can go through everything together.
we offer a plethera of included and optional add-on services to make your experience exceptional
We try to make our event packages as turn-key as possible, including many services and amenities free-of-charge so you don’t need to worry about your budget skyrocketing.
We also offer additional services and ammenities but you don’t need to make up your mind about these right away. We’ll touch base with you before you submit your final event details and can answer any questions you have along the way.
maps and directions for your guests
We'll have lots of signage and staff onsite to help your guests find parking and the entrance to your venue.
getting down to the nitty gritty
It's a lot of information we know but we’d rather be guilty of over-communicating than put you in a position of saying “I didn’t know!”
If your question isn't listed or you need more information, please don't hesitate to contact our Event Architect.
We’ll craft a contract with the basic information for your event, such as date and times, approximate number of guests and general expectations.
We send this to you to sign electronically and ask that you sign within ONE WEEK of receipt to confirm your date. Please note your date will not be confirmed until we have a signed contract and the first paid invoice.
We want to give you every opprtunity to ask questions and iron out your details with us. As part of your venue rental fee you receive two 1-hour meetings with our Event Architect.*
The first meeting will take place before you sign your contract so you can ask us any questions. The second meeting is before you submit your final event details (usually a month before your date).
In order to respect everyone’s time, we connect with you before each meeting to agree on an agenda. We are happy to answer any further questions with you over email or phone. Additional in-person meetings, or meetings that go more than an hour, may attract a fee of $75/hr.
*For weddings and larger social events we include one more meeting about a week to 10 days prior to your date to ensure we have all the details and have a chance to run through the timeline with you.
Below we’ve outlined what you pay and approximately when. This is detailed in your contract and will be summarized in your Event Toolkit spreadsheet provided in your personal event folder.
The initial payment for the venue rental is due upon signing of contract and is equal to 50% of your venue rental fee. This payment is non-refundable.
The second payment, equal to the remaining 50% of your venue rental, is due 1-3 months before your event. The exact timing depends on the nature of your event and when you are booking.
Yes - your damage deposit is due five days before your event and is returned within five days of the commencement of your event, given there are no damages.
If you need to add more time or rent additional items, services or tech, there may be additional charges which are due at least two weeks before your event. Don’t worry – there will be no surprises. We include many services within our basic pricing and none of the extra event services or rentals are mandatory. A complete listing of the event services is in your Event Tookit spreadsheet and listed here, as always, feel free to ask for clarifications. We know keeping within a budget is always a concern and so we are happy to talk through any grey areas you may have.
You also need to budget for Special Event Insurance (typically around $150) and possibly a liquor license (usually around $25).
Once you receive an invoice, please remit payment within 5 business days. We prefer e-transfers or cheque but can also accept credit cards, although additional admin fees may apply.
All Commons staff will be dressed appropriately for your event and their primary responsibility is the safety of your guests, and to make sure all venue policies, AGLC rules and City By-laws are adhered to.
If you require them to perform additional services (ie. ticket taking, guest check-in, etc.) please discuss with your Event Architect a minimum 5 days prior to your event. Additional fees will apply.
Our in-house Event Architect will ensure your jubilee goes off without a hitch. They will be available throughout the planning process to answer your questions and walk you through the details such as contracts, expectations and policies. They are your go-to person for any questions or concerns.
All venue packages include one event host who will be onsite for the entirety of your affair. They are there to greet you and be available to you throughout your event to make sure any venue-related issues are addressed.
Our event host can only provide basic technology assistance. If you think you will require a more advanced tech team we can provide an onsite technician.
We may require at least one doorman for security for any large event (over 80 people), events that are serving alcohol, and/or events that will go later than 10pm. For events with more than 120 people we may require more than one doorman. For our wedding packages on door person is included in the rental.
If you will be having more than 120 people in attendance or have booked multiple rooms we may require an additional Event Host be onsite.
Have peace of mind that all the details of your event will come together as you envisioned. We offer day-of coordination to ensure your event goes off without a hitch and you are able to truly enjoy every moment of the day.
All third-party service staff hired driectly by you, including bartenders, servers, caterers, cleanup, DJ, florists and décor, are your responsibility, which means you will communicate with them about drop off/pick up, cleaning and venue-specific policies and be responsible for any damages or issues that arise.
It is mandatory that you have an assigned event planner/coordinator/designated point person on the day of the event that will act as the main point of contact and will coordinate the setup and takedown. This person does not need to be a professional (ie: they can be one of your guests), however we need to know who they are and preferably have met with them before the event. They also need to remain sober throughout your event and be available from set up to clean up.
Certainly! In fact we encourage it. Event planners really help with all the details and can save you time and money in the end. We can also recommend some planners that know our space well.
All bartenders must be approved by The Commons. They must have pro-serve certification and cannot be guests or friends. We can provide bartender recommendations if required.
In The Commodore Room, we can arrange available furnishings to best suit your event, workshop or alternatively - completely clear the room for yoga classes, photo shoots and pop-up shops. Technology includes wireless internet, a 70" monitor, Apple TV and Google Chromecast.
The Hemingway Room is known for its adaptability as a beautiful ‘raw canvas’ with its towering exposed brick walls and sleek concrete floors. With the rental of this room, we are happy to include a limited amount of tables, chair and bar stool offerings as listed here. Technology in The Hemingway Room includes a projector and speaker system.
For further accouterments, we have a variety of furniture available for rent and for items we don't carry, we would be happy to provide recommendations on rental companies.
We have a variety of standard room layouts for The Parlour Room and The Commodore Room. If you require other room set ups there is an additional room set up fee.
All furniture moving and set-up must be done by The Commons staff and/or accompanied by The Commons Staff. Restrictions apply on what furniture can be brought in/removed and all layouts must be approved by your Event Architect.
The Hemingway Room is considered our blank canvas venue, meaning you are free to determine your own layout and furniture requirements. We can offer some suggestions based on our experience with the room, but note that you will be responsible for the layout. If you would prefer we do the set up/take down this can be arranged for an additional fee.
Of course, but all decor must be pre-approved. Nothing can be mounted to the ceiling or walls without approval and no tacks, pins, tape, gum or other materials that may damage the walls, ceiling, floors or furniture may be used at any time without getting prior approval from your Event Host. No glitter, confetti-like substances (such as popcorn, rice, small decorations) or other hard-to-clean items are allowed.
All damage is your responsibility and will be deducted from the damage deposit.
Yes, but all details must be approved and, if required, IATSE or our production vendors must be onsite for hanging and install.
The furniture that is currently in the room is included in the venue cost (at our discretion and based on the agreed layout). If you need furniture from another room we have rentals fees associated. Note not all furniture can be moved and permission will be given at our discretion.
Yes, but please let us know what you will be bringing in and when it will be delivered and picked up. Storage and/or delivery outside of your venue rental time must be discussed in advance and is based on availability.
Unfortunately because our building is a heritage building and due to fire code open candles are not permitted and decorations need to be flame-proof.
You can move furniture within the room with prior approval. You are responsible for any damage that may occur and you must return the room to its original layout at the conclusion of your event.
Some décor, linens, glassware, cutlery and tableware need to be brought in by the client. All rentals must be delivered within the agreed venue rental time, unless otherwise confirmed with your Event Architect.
The Parlour Room can accommodate small low-key live bands, or DJs or canned music to provide low-key background music. Typically a dance floor is not permitted. The Hemingway Room allows DJ’s, larger bands and more shimmy-and-shaking!
We include basic technology with our event packages but understand your event may require an elevated experience. We work with a great local company, Calgary Show Services, who can provide you with additional technology such as speakers, microphones, stages etc.
In all of our three venues we have micro-kitchens with prep areas available for your culinary arrangements. Please note we do not have a full kitchen available in any of our spaces.
We have curated a selection of local catering companies who provide a variety of price-points and menu options. We can help make recommendations based on your event needs but you will hire and coordinate your catering requirements directly with the catering company you select. Our preferred vendors are listed here.
If you chose to use a catering company outside of our preferred vendor list, a Catering Rights Fee will apply and it will be required that the catering company does a site visit no later than one week prior to your event.
We may allow self-catering, however a Catering Rights fee would apply as well, a site visit and full disclosure on details is required a minimum 21 days prior to event and is subject to the approval of your Event Architect and The Commons.
For events in The Parlour Room, your menu must be approved by The Commons as the room is furnished with high-end furnishings and is used by our cowork clients, therefore messy food is not allowed. Please speak with your Event Architect about the types of foods permitted in The Parlour Room and discuss your menu options prior to confirming your details with your catering company.
For an additional fee we can provide gourmet drip coffee and a selection of high-end teas sourced from our local Rosso Coffee Roasters.
Yes, but note your caterer usually includes these in their fee.
Not yet but we are working on it!
All events serving alcohol require a liquor licence as outlined by AGLC. If you are having a private function (defined as having a closed invite list and the event is not advertised publicly) this permit is easy to acquire at your local liquor store when you buy your alcohol (we suggest buying it at the same time as sometimes stores do not provide it if you do not purchase your alcohol from them). The cost of the license is usually around $25.
If your event is open to the public, you'll need to plan a bit in advance to gain a liquor license - and be prepared that depending on the nature of your event it may not be possible to get a license. We can help guide you, but we suggest you consult the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission to learn more about this process and the costs associated.
We allow you to bring in your own alcohol, however we do not allow self-serve bars and all service must be done through professional pro-serve certified bartending staff. It cannot be a friend or family or guests of your event.
If you are planning on people drinking, we insist that you have a pre-planned system to get them home. This may be designated drivers, Keys Please, Taxi chits or clearly identified taxi numbers posted throughout the space etc. This is for your protection and ours as you are liable for your guests' safety.
Access to the room is as outlined in your contract. All required time, including set-up and tear-down, must be included in your total booking time. If you require early access or late check-out, please contact your Event Architect in advance. Additional time is billed starting at $125/hr and is subject to availability.
Things may have changed since you first signed your contract – we expect that! So this is why we provide you with your online event folder where you can, among other things, revise your timelines and book additional set up/take down time if needed. Please be aware that these can only be granted based on room availability. Our Event Architect will contact you 1 month-2 weeks prior to confirm additional time.
Depending on the particular room's booking schedule, we can offer flexible options so that you can bring your event vision to life with a little extra time!
Early drop-off by vendors is only permitted if pre-arranged with your Event Architect. We have limited storage space so in some cases we will not be able to accommodate early equipment drop-offs and pick-ups.
Unfortunately we cannot accommodate early arrivals unless pre-arranged. All required time, including set-up and take-down, must be included in your total booking time.
Please notify us at least an hour prior to your event’s end time if your schedule has shifted. Based on our staff availability, we will determine how we can best accommodate you and your guests. Additional time will be billed starting at $200 per hour and is subject to availability.
Of course - just please book a time with our Event Architect in advance.
Please check in with your Event Host upon arrival, who can get you settled and introduce you to the amenities available in our venues. We will touch base with you a half hour before the end of your booking and prior to your departure will do a walk-through of the space. Please note failure to check out with us may result in forfeit of your damage deposit.
For all bookings, 50% of the venue rental fee is charged when you book and is non-refundable. All cancellations must be made in writing.
Cancellations up to 90 days prior means the initial 50% venue charge will be forfeited but you do not owe any additional amount. If you cancel with less than 90 days notice 100% of the rental fee will be charged.
Cancellations up to 30 days prior means the initial 50% venue charge will be forfeited but you do not owe any additional amount. If you cancel with less than 30 days notice 100% of the rental fee will be charged.
For late-notice bookings (less than 30 days out) full rental will be required at the time of booking and 100% of the rental fee will be charged in the event of cancellation.
In the event that damage has been done to the venue or furnishings and decor during the time of rental, the client will be responsible for all the damage fees. A damage deposit is required no later than 5 days prior to your event date in an amount determined by The Commons. An inspection will be done by your onsite Event Host after the event. If damage has occurred, an estimate of costs for the repair will be determined and provided to the client no later than 5 days after the commencement of the event and a portion or full amount of the damages will be deducted from the damage deposit. If the damages exceed the deposit, the client will be required to remit payment for the difference within 5 business days to cover the final amount.
We simply ask you to return the venue to the same way you found it. This means tidying the space and putting back all furniture to it’s original location, wiping down surfaces, removing all décor and food service and disposing of all event trash, bottles and recycling in the designated areas. We don’t require you clean bathrooms or mop floors, rather just a general tidying up of the space.
Your Event Host will provide you with a cleaning checklist when s/he greets you the day of your event.
As The Parlour Room and The Commodore Room are also used by our cowork members we require every event hosted in these venues to be cleaned before you depart for the night. The Hemingway room is more flexible, but the ability to come clean the following day is subject to availability.
Failure to clean up as outlined in the cleaning checklist may result in a $200/hr post event cleaning fee and/or forfeiture of your damage deposit.
Yes - for an additional charge we offer event planning services such as liaising with vendors such as caterers, musicians, rental companies and bartenders and essentially bringing your vision to life. We work with a team of event planners who specialize in a myriad of event styles, so you are sure to get the expertise you require.
Yes! We love designing events which includes determining the decor and ambiance of the event space to match your theme and vision. We can also provide graphic design services such as invitations, posters, and fine stationery details such as placecards, signage and thank you cards.
Yes, every event we book requires its own Special Event Insurance. As the host of you event, you are responsible for the safety of your guests. Special event insurance protects you from mishaps and accidents. We carry our own insurance, however our insurance does not cover your event or your guests.
If you or your company does not already carry event insurance, we can recommend an insurance provider that can do this for you online or over the phone within 48 hours.
We require proof of insurance five business days before an event. If you cannot provide us with the proof, you will not have access to the room. You can budget around $150 for insurance but it differs between providers.
If you require any assistance obtaining insurance, please contact your Event Architect.
The Commons is a non-smoking venue. Smoking is only permitted in designated outdoor smoking areas. There is a zero-tolerance policy for smoking inside the venue and The Commons holds the right to shut down your event in the case of this happening.
The Commons has a zero-tolerance policy on drug use onsite or surrounding areas of the venue. The Commons holds the right to shut down your event and will involve the authorities in the case that drug use and/or suspected drug use is taking place.
No pets are permitted on the property unless you obtain prior approval from The Commons (with the exception of service dogs).
We know it can be challenging planning an event and it is important to us that you have an exceptional experience.
We love events and are excited to help you bring yours to life! We approach all projects looking for a win/win solution and truly look forward to contributing to creating a fantastic experience for you and your guests.
Our focus is on providing a venue where everyone’s safety is paramount. We are open to your ideas and will do our best to help them come to fruition. If there is something that can’t work we will do our best to find alternative solutions, and we will always be available to answer your questions and provide guidance when requested.
We value open communication – the more information the better – so please share your ideas and decisions with us throughout your planning process. We expect you to respect our policies and processes as it has taken us a number of years and a lot of experience to craft them and if you have any issues or questions please bring them to us as soon as they arise so we can work through them together and come to a solution.
Most of all we expect you to enjoy yourself and let us take care of the details and we hope you see us as a valuable partner as you plan your event.