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Special Events program

Special Events Planning

Special Events program

Special Events Planning

Special Events program

Special Events Planning

Special Events Planning

Note: this program is offered as Special Events Management in September 2017 and January 2018.

Do you have an eye for detail, a flair for the creative, and a drive for executing a perfectly planned event? If you’re interested in a fast-paced career that offers incredible versatility, explore the Special Events Planning program and learn how to plan and execute events including community festivals, charitable fundraisers, weddings, corporate meetings and conferences.

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Program Description

Whether you are planning cultural and social events, charitable fundraisers, conventions, festivals, weddings or corporate affairs, this two-year program will prepare you for an exciting career in the fast-paced special events industry.

The Special Events Planning program will provide you with the skills and training required to bring together hospitality, accommodation, culinary and professional services with the cultural, historical and natural attractions of a geographical location.

You will focus on events designed to support the economic growth, quality of life and richness of rural and urban communities; learn how to plan and execute large and small events; and gain valuable hands-on experience in event management practices such as:

  • Budgeting
  • Design
  • Event evaluation
  • Fundraising and sponsorship
  • Marketing
  • Planning
  • Risk management

You will prepare a plan for a special event while applying a variety of skills in areas such as marketing, security needs, accounting and cost control techniques, which support various aspects of the tourism and event industries.

The Special Events Planning program will be offered at the Whitby campus, home of the college's new Centre for Food. This incredible new learning space will provide access to state-of-the-art labs, classrooms and meeting spaces.

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Admission Requirements

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or Mature Student Status
  • Grade 12 English (C or U)
  • Grade 11 mathematics (C, M or U)
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Field to Fork

The field-to-fork concept is based on the harvesting, storage, processing, packaging, sale and consumption of food – in particular the production of local food for local consumers. Durham College has adopted this concept and applied it to a diverse range of programs that crossover traditional academic schools. To capitalize on classroom and lab equipment availability select courses may be offered at any of our locations including the Oshawa and Whitby campuses and the Centre for Food.

The curriculum, faculty expertise and state-of-the-art facilities and equipment required to implement this concept have been built into each program, providing students with unparalleled exposure to field to fork.

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Career Options


  • Conference services co-ordinator
  • Event co-ordinator
  • Event manager
  • Festival organizer
  • Third-party event planner
  • Wedding planner


  • Conference centres
  • Corporate or private organizations
  • Cruise ships
  • Educational institutions
  • Golf courses
  • Hotels
  • Municipal government event planning offices
  • Not-for-profit or fundraising organizations
  • Regional tourism organizations
  • Resorts
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Program Costs

YEAR ONE FEESDomesticInternational
Compulsory Ancillary


Program Incidental$175$175
Total Fees:$4,166$14,338

Please note: fees are based on the 2016-2017 academic year and do not include textbooks. For more information please see Other fees to consider.

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Field Placement

Your learning experience will be complemented by an 80-hour field placement component in the final semester, which will be completed in a professional tourism, hospitality or event planning environment.

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Students applying to this program may be eligible to apply for the W. Garfield Weston Foundation Award. Qualified recipients of the award will receive $5,000 per year, for up to two years, including $1,500 for tuition and $3,500 for other expenses such as travel, food, books, tools and supplies. For more information, please visit the award page.

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  • code: SEVP
  • Program length: Four semesters
  • Credential awarded: Ontario College Diploma
  • Location: Whitby
  • School: Centre for Food
  • Domestic tuition: $2,851 (CDN)
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