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Venue Rental: Frequently Asked Questions

Please read over this FAQs before your event/venue rental. For easier navigation, questions have been organized in the order of before your event, during and after.

Should you need further clarifications or if your question is not answered here, please contact the GSS Events Manager at events@gss.ubc.ca.

Before You Rent a Space / Your Event

A graduate student event is one that has 50% or more current UBC graduate students attending.

Most events that are clearly focused on graduates are easy to determine. However, for some events we may ask for more information to show your attendance in advance. For this reason, we recommend renting your space as far in advance as possible.

There are special privileges and rates for graduate events as current UBC graduate students at UBC Vancouver are members of the Graduate Student Society.

No, there is no fixed discount for this. However, based on your event and expected participation, we are happy to work out a special rate for you.

As a general rule, the capacities are as follows. Please note that capacities also depend on set-up:

MaximumCapacitySize (ft²)
TheatreBanquetClassroom
Graduate Student Centre
GSS Ballroom288200-250100-1203,735
Thea’s Lounge15012070-802,420
Leon’s Lounge403215-20520
GSS Penthouse756430-401.470
Study RoomN/A15N/A300
GSS Loft
Social Lounge150Please inquirePlease inquire1,080
BoardroomN/A10N/A181.5

Our venues are available to rent in 4-hour blocks. Events of up to 4 hours are charged at a 4-hour rate, and anything longer is charged at an 8-hour rate. Some special arrangement can be made on a case-by-case basis. For completing the venue inquiry form, even if your event is one hour, please select the 4-hour rental block.

Our spaces are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please contact us for more information.

Each venue rental includes tables and chairs, and we set them up according to your event needs. The more detail you provide, the better. Other items are listed in the venue rental agreement, but if they are not identified or selected before your event, we cannot guarantee their availability. The only limit on tables and chairs is the capacity of the space. In addition, we provide trash cans (per your attendance) and permit the use of the built-in bars in Thea’s Lounge, GSS Ballroom and GSS Penthouse.

Yes, we welcome all groups here, and our spaces are available to events hosted by non-UBC parties.

Yes, absolutely. However, with the strict liquor regulations in British Columbia and on campus it will take 2-4 weeks to get the required licensing. We will need to sign a document for approval with the campus so please factor this in.

UBC Approval: forms and information can be found at UBC Student Services – Licensed Events.

BC Special Event Permit: Once you’re approved by the University, you need to apply for a BC Special Event Permit. The approved license needs to be sent to the Events Manager at least two (2) days prior to the event starting.

Venue rentals should be done as far in advance as possible. Ideally, at least one month in advance. In general, our spaces are booked for the next two weeks at any given time.

Yes, all the spaces are accessible by elevator. There are multiple handicapped washrooms in the building for your convenience.

Signs are permitted only if discussed in advance. If you wish to bring a sandwich board or portable signage we are happy to accommodate. However, nothing should be taped to walls or windows. Charges apply for signage remaining after your event.

Generally, graduate student rentals do not need a deposit if you hand in a letter of support along with the contract. Events Management may request a deposit in some circumstances. A letter of support, deposit or written confirmation to our Events Manager must be received before a space can be considered booked.

You are welcome to bring in your own catering or catering services, as long as the catering arrangements are taken care of within your rental time. We do not allow catering groups to leave food or catering equipment overnight, or past the time of your booking. For example, if your event runs 9am to 5pm, catering must be picked up and dropped off within those times.

Koerner’s Pub in the basement level of the Graduate Student Centre offers catering services. We suggest you request a quote from them for your event.

Notes on catering:

  1. Pick-up and drop-off during the rental time only
  2. No cooking is permitted on site – no exceptions
  3. There is no kitchen space for outside catering companies to use; food must be brought pre-prepared
  4. Warming dishes permitted
  5. We do have a microwave available for use if needed; please arrange this with us in advance.
  6. Linen, table skirting, and other items are available at an additional cost if needed; please indicate your needs on the Venue Inquiry Form and we would be happy to send you more information

Yes, please discuss this with us in advance to ensure the bars are open and available for you.

No, we ask that you use our A/V equipment unless we are not able to provide something. Exceptions may be made upon our approval in these instances. Persons found tampering with GSS equipment or furnishings may be subject to fines and cancellation of your event.

Yes. The GSS has recently reduced its rates as part of our ongoing service initiative. If no set-up is required, you will not be charged for any A/V or set-up costs, including labour fees, but the space rental cost will still be required.

No, we provide staff and a reasonable rate to set the room up for you. Due to health and safety restrictions clients and guests should not move furniture under any circumstances. Please feel free to ask any questions about your set-up before your event start date, and we will try our best to accommodate your event needs.

No, we will try to help where we can, but unless you pay for additional supervision, we cannot guarantee we will be able to provide additional items.

Music and bands are permitted at events held at our spaces. Our Audio equipment is normally pre-set and adjustments are to be made by our staff. If you wish to come in and test sound levels before your event, please arrange a time with us in advance. Noise levels must be maintained at reasonable levels in consideration of nearby offices and residences.

No, each evacuation plan is specific to an event, please contact us to assist you with this.

During Your Event

The spaces are set up to your event specifications, and normally a GSS events staff will come and check in with you at the beginning of your event. If you need additional assistance during your event, please contact our Events Manager or the assigned events staff.

For health and safety, there will always be a GSS event staff present in the building for the entire duration of your event.

Every wedding is special and unique. Please discuss with our Events Manager on your ideas, and we will try to come up with a solution for you.

Yes, to an extent. All you need to do is take the garbage from your event and place it in the trash cans provided in space. We will dispose of the garbage. However, you will be charged for any damages or excessive clean-ups.

No. Paid parking at UBC is available right outside and across from our building. You may also try parking along Marine Drive and the surrounding area. In some special cases we may permit parking on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us prior to your event starting for permission. Any vehicles in the GSS parking lot without a parking pass will be towed immediately.

After Your Event

After your event, an invoice will be sent to the email address provided on the contract/agreement. This invoice is to be paid within 30 days or interest will be accumulated.

Cash, cheque or credit card (over the phone or in person). Please note that credit card payments will be subject to an additional charge. JV payments cannot be accepted as we are not part of UBC Finance, unfortunately. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Yes, we collect items left behind and if nothing is claimed within one week, we hand them over to UBC security.

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Frequently Asked Questions