Running for Municipal Office

What do candidates need to know? 

This webpage page provides candidates and potential candidates for municipal office answers to key questions: 

What is it like to be an elected official? 

How do I run for municipal office? 

How does COVID affect municipal campaigns and elections? 

Where can I find more info?

This webpage was developed in partnership by Alberta Municipal Affairs, Alberta Municipalities, and the Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA).

Should I run? 

In the following videos, Alberta Municipalities and RMA Board members discuss what it is like to be a municipal elected official: 

How do I run for municipal office? 

Running for municipal office may seem intimidating, but Municipal Affairs has prepared a number of resources to help potential candidates understand the process.

The 2021 Candidates Guide provides a detailed overview of what to consider prior to seeking nomination as a candidate, the nomination process, campaign financing, and how to campaign. Please note that the 2021 Candidates Guide includes some specific information about temporary alterations to address COVID-19 public health and safety protocols.

For additional general information on municipal elections and election processes, we encourage you to review the extensive suite of resources developed to support municipalities and Returning Officers in conducting their respective municipal elections here.

For specific questions related to your municipality’s nomination, campaigning, and election process, visit your municipality’s website. Some municipalities have an election webpage with an election information package and returning officer contact information. If you are unable to find this information for your municipality, use the main municipality contact number or email for any inquiries.  

How does COVID affect municipal campaigns and elections? 

As noted above, the 2021 Candidates Guide has been modified where applicable to address specific changes made to the election process to address public health guidelines related to COVID-19.

Furthermore, Alberta Municipal Affairs has developed a COVID-19 Risk Reduction Guide for the upcoming 2021 municipal elections. For more information please review the guide here. 

What can I expect when I’m elected? 

Alberta Municipalities and RMA’s Elected Officials Education program provides an orientation course, Munis 101 The Essentials of Municipal Governance following the municipal elections, starting in September for Summer Villages and resuming in early November following the general municipal election. Visit to learn more.

Both Alberta Municipalities and RMA hold our conventions in November, providing additional learning and networking opportunities for elected officials and municipal administrators alike. 

Municipal Affair’s website also includes useful information for elected officials: 

Recognizing that economic development is on the minds of many candidates. Alberta Jobs, Economy and Innovation has developed a video on Economic Development for Elected Officials. The 15-minute video explains what economic development is, what drives it, the role of elected officials, where to begin, and tips for success. In addition the video highlights further support and information available from the Ministry’s Regional Economic Development Services and Economic Developers Alberta.

Where can I find more information? 

If you still  have questions, connect with Municipal Affairs: 

Phone: 780.427.2225 

Toll free: 310.0000 before the phone number (in Alberta) 

Email: lgsmail [at]