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Special Occasion Permit

September 22, 2015  |  By:  Oatley Vigmond

This type of license is issued by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario for the sale and service of alcohol beverages at special occasions such as weddings, stage and does, receptions, and fundraisers. A Special Occasion Permit is required any time alcohol is offered for sale or served anywhere other than in a licensed establishment or a private place such as a private office or a residence.

Special Occasion Permits fall under one of the following three categories:

•Industrial Promotional Events: For events to promote a manufacturer(s) through sampling. There can be no intent to gain or profit from the sale of alcohol at this type of event.

•Private Event: For events where only invited guests will attend. These events cannot be advertised and there can be no intent to gain or profit from the sale of alcohol at the event.

•Public Events: For events that are open to the public. These events can be advertised and allow for fundraising and profit from the sale of alcohol.

This rules can be problematic for an event such as a stag and doe. As a result some municipalities have passed laws to be enforced at their licensed community halls which allow the renter to advertise, invite the public and profit from the sale of liquor. Municipal staff serve the drinks, provide security and take in all the money. At the end of the function, after all the expenses and HST are deducted from the earnings, the municipality takes 50% of the revenue generated by the sale of alcohol.

The legislation has a loophole that does allow for individuals or businesses who are not affiliated with a non-profit or charity to throw a public event if the municipal council decides that an event carries “municipal significance” and passes a resolution that the event constitute a public event.

To obtain more detailed information and an application visit the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario Website, (www. agco.on.ca).


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Oatley Vigmond

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