Our mission is to produce passionate and service-obsessed industry professionals for the urban hospitality and culinary experience. Special Event Management offers you the opportunity to gain valuable experiential planning, coordination and execution experience across the multiple facets of the events industry. The program focuses on event planning, design, coordination, marketing, sponsorship, budgeting, risk management and event evaluation.

H131 Female event planner standing in front of room full of event participants


Program name
Special Event Management
Experiential learning
We believe in learning by doing and that is why we have incorporated work integrated learning opportunities into all CHCA programs.
2 years (4 semesters)
Starting month
September, January, May
Ontario College Diploma
Method of study

Year of Study

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Program Availability

Domestic students
Sept. 2020 Open
Jan. 2021 Open
May 2021 Open
International students
Sept. 2020 Open
Jan. 2021 Opens Apr 6, 2020
May 2021 Opens Aug 3, 2020

Full Description

Are you a dynamic person who loves events? Are you looking for an exciting career in a fast-paced industry where every day brings something new?

Our Special Event Management program will teach you event project management fundamentals through a variety of event types including hospitality events, weddings and other social events, fundraising events, meetings, conferences and trade shows. You will take part in event management opportunities each semester, culminating in a final capstone event and a 14-week externship placement. This experiential approach to learning and the course mix, including event-specific courses, business foundations and hospitality, will provide you with the skills to jump-start your career in event management.

Part Time Study Options

George Brown also offers part-time tour guide and event and meeting management programs and a variety of evening courses in Hospitality and Tourism. See the Continuing Education Course Guide at coned.georgebrown.ca

Experiential Learning

We believe in learning by doing and that is why we have incorporated work integrated learning opportunities into all CHCA programs.

Your Field Study options

This program provides a final capstone event and a mandatory 14-week externship placement. George Brown works with employers and industry partners to identify potential work experience opportunities. Students are also strongly encouraged to pursue self-directed event management industry work experience opportunities they believe would provide the learning experiences they value and meet the learning outcomes of the program. This valuable work experience can be added to your resume.

CHCA students can also participate in several short study abroad opportunities. Our options change often, but in recent years have included Peru, Europe, Spain, Costa Rica, India, Thailand and trips across Canada. Some trips are purely experiential learning, while others provide you with the opportunity to receive credit for a course in your program.

In addition to more formal on-the-job work experience, George Brown College endeavours to provide learning opportunities with real-world challenges and clients. Find out more about field education at the Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts.

Program Standards and Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Develop and implement revenue initiatives based on event objectives through methods such as sponsorship programs, grant applications, and fundraising initiatives.
  2. Plan, design, and coordinate effective site and facility operations.
  3. Select and use current and relevant principles of marketing to increase the likelihood of success of events.
  4. Implement strategies for effective human resource management in the planning and operating of a variety of events.
  5. Create, plan, and implement effective programming for events.
  6. Select and use accounting and financial knowledge and skills to increase the successful operation of events.
  7. Identify, select and use appropriate business administration skills in the operation of events.
  8. Manage a variety of events using principles of professionalism and ethics in such a manner as to bring about success of the events.
  9. Coordinate food and beverage services appropriate to the event.
  10. Use principles of sustainability in the management of events.

Required Courses


semester courses
CodeCourse Name
HOST1070Introduction to Catering
HOST1137Marketing for Special Events
HOST1033Service Excellence
HOST1043Special Event Planning and Delivery
HOSF1145Sanitation (online)
HOSF1146Emergency First Aid/Heartsaver CPR (weekend course)
HOST1068Smart Serve (online)
MATH1102Math for Hospitality**
COMM1007College English**
GNEDGeneral Education Elective


semester courses
CodeCourse Name
HOST1097Meetings, Conferences and Special Events
HOST1146Leading, Following and Speaking with Confidence
HOST1129Selling Special Events
ACCT1037Hospitality Accounting
LAW2014Introduction to Hospitality Law
HOST1084Introduction to Wines and Beverages for Special Events
HOST1126Career Preparation
GNEDGeneral Education Elective


semester courses
CodeCourse Name
HRM2012Human Resources Management
HOST2066Event Operations I
HOST2059Management Accounting for Special Events
HOST1139Technical Meeting and Event Production
HOST2077Building Your Special Event Business
HOST2072Volunteer Management
GNEDGeneral Education Elective


semester courses
CodeCourse Name
HOST2063Events Operations II - Capstone Event Project
HOST2131Industry Externship

** Based on the results of your placement test, you may be required to take COMM 1003 (English Skills) or CESL 1003 (English Skills – ESL) before progressing to COMM 1007. You may also be required to take MATH 1000 (Math Foundations) before progressing to MATH 1102 (Mathematics for Hospitality). COMM 1003/CESL 1003 and MATH 1000 do not count as courses required for graduation and you will be charged for these extra courses. Please visit georgebrown.ca/assessment for more information.

Detailed course outlines

General Education Electives

Your Career

Student working with a group

You will have your pick of exciting and challenging roles such as:

  • Event Planner
  • Conference Planner
  • Meeting Planner
  • Catering Manager
  • Incentive Travel Manager
  • Festival Planner
  • Social Event Planner
  • Event Fundraiser
  • Volunteer Coordinator

Future Study Options

Earn a diploma and a bachelor’s degree. Qualified graduates of our Special Event Management program may be eligible to enter the Honours Bachelor of Business Administration (Hospitality) degree program at George Brown College as an advanced standing student in September or January. You may also choose to start in the spring bridging semester from May to August continuing into the degree program in September. This educational path requires a minimum grade point average of 3.0 to qualify. Talk to a program co-ordinator about articulation options.

For further information, see georgebrown.ca/transferguide.


$4,109.00* †

Additional Cost

* Amounts listed are the total of tuition, materials, student service and ancillary fees for the first two semesters of programs starting in Fall 2019. Fees are subject to change for programs starting in Fall 2020 and at later dates.

† Additional Cost (subject to change)

Textbooks (per semester)$500
Field trips and industry site visits (per semester)$50

International students: Visit the International Fees and Related Costs page for more information.

Financial Assistance

This program is approved for OSAP funding, provided the applicant meets OSAP eligibility criteria.

Admission Requirements

Applicants are selected on the basis of their academic achievement, including the required courses, and any other selection criteria outlined below.

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma or equivalent**
  • Grade 12 English (C or U)
  • Grade 11 Math (C, M or U) or Grade 12 (C or U)

Applicants may also qualify for admission through completion of the Hospitality Services (Pre-Hospitality) program (H101) with an overall grade point average of 3.0. There are a limited number of seats available and admission is not guaranteed.

** Mature Student status (19 years of age or older and no OSSD)

Mature Students may take the Admissions Assessment for English and Math, OR may consider upgrading to achieve the credit(s) needed in English and Math.

Please note that George Brown is committed to ensuring that applicants will succeed in their program of choice and meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to the program. Applicants may be required to have grades higher than the minimum requirements stated.

Course Exemptions

College or university credits may qualify you for course exemptions. Please visit georgebrown.ca/transferguide for more information.

International Students

Visit the International Admissions page for more information.

Apply to

Domestic students should apply through Ontario Colleges

Health Policy

Students should be aware that various allergens, including nuts, dairy and shellfish, are routinely used in practical labs. Students should also note that George Brown College is sensitive to religious observances; however, while products purchased for production and consumption meet all provincial and federal regulations, they may not meet specific dietary laws related to Halal and Kosher foods.

Success Stories

“Going to George Brown College and being part of this program really taught me the ins and outs of planning an event. I couldn’t have succeeded without my wonderful professors, who were so great at teaching me the event planning business. This program – along with various event internships – has really shaped my planning career, and I couldn’t have chosen a better experience!”

Nicole Escano (Graduate 2010, Special Event Management)

Chris Palivan

Chris Palivan graduated from the Special Event Management Program. In the four years since co-founding the Toronto Cider Festival, Chris Palivan has grown the award-winning event into the largest cider festival in Canada. Together with the Toronto International Cider Awards, launched in 2017, Palivan hopes to put Toronto on the map as an international cider hub. Palivan also lent his event planning skills to the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia, the 2017 Toronto Invictus Games and the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto. In recognition of the positive impact of his own education, Palivan established the annual Toronto Cider Festival scholarship in Special Events Planning program at the college.

Chris Palivan (Graduate 2014, Special Event Management)

Contact Us


For inquiries about domestic admission requirements, admission deadlines or the admissions process, please contact the Admissions Office at admissions@georgebrown.ca or visit the Admissions web page.


For inquiries about international admission requirements, permits, visas, accommodations or anything specific to international students, please contact the International Centre at international@georgebrown.ca or visit the International Application Process web page.


For inquiries about OSAP, bursaries, scholarships and other financial inquiries, please contact the Financial Aid Office at FinAid@georgebrown.ca or visit the Financial Aid web page.

Special Event Management (H131)

For general School of Hospitality and Tourism Management related inquiries, please contact hospitality@georgebrown.ca

For program curriculum inquiries, please contact the Co-ordinator:

Paul Araujo, Program Co-ordinator, School of Hospitality and Tourism Management

Email: paraujo@georgebrown.ca


Doris Miculan-Bradley, Program Co-ordinator, School of Hospitality and Tourism Management

Email: dorisbradley@georgebrown.ca

For more information about George Brown College, you may also call the Contact Centre at 416-415-2000 (TTY 1-877-515-5559) or long distance 1-800-265-2002.

Visit Our Campus

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Sign up for our Open House Discovery Day.

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    George Brown College is continually striving to improve its programs and their delivery. The information contained in this calendar is subject to change without notice. It should not be viewed as a representation, offer or warranty. Students are responsible for verifying George Brown College admission, graduation, and fee requirements as well as any requirements of outside institutions, industry associations, or other bodies that may award additional designations concurrently with, or after completion of, a George Brown College program.