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Private Events

Private events are limited to invited guests only and may not be publicly advertised, such as on social media or through any other medium. The public cannot be admitted and there can be no intent to gain or profit from the sale of liquor at the event.

Examples of a private event would include stag and does, bridal showers, wedding receptions, anniversary parties, baptisms or birthday parties, among others, where only family, friends and people known to the hosts or permit holders are invited to attend.

Public Events

A public event SOP can also be issued for the following types of events:

  • An event of provincial, national or international significance; 

  • An event designated by a municipal council as an event of municipal significance;

  • A charity event conducted by a charitable organization, a non-profit association or organization for the advancement of charitable, educational, religious or community objects;

  • A tailgate event held in connection with, and in proximity to, a live professional, semi-professional or post-secondary sporting event. For more information on tailgate events, please see the AGCO’s Tailgate Event Permit Guide.


A public event permit holder may advertise or promote the availability of liquor only in accordance with the standards and requirements established by the Registrar.

Designated Public Events – outdoor public events involving liquor sales licensed establishments

If an SOP has been issued for an outdoor event that has both licensed areas (bars, restaurants, etc.) and areas to which the SOP applies (e.g. the street on which the event is taking place), patrons may bring a serving of liquor between these areas under certain conditions set out in the Licensing Regulation. Licensees and permit holders are responsible for ensuring they meet the requirements listed below.

To be eligible, the event must meet the following criteria:

  • The event must be an outdoor event (e.g. street festival) taking place on both the licensed premises and premises to which the licence does not apply;

  • The event must be designated “municipally significant” and the applicant must submit a resolution of municipal council or a letter from a delegated municipal official designating the event as “municipally significant”; and

  • The licensee(s) and the permit holder must have entered into an agreement to ensure that there is no unreasonable risk to the public interest and no unreasonable risk of non-compliance with the Liquor Licence and Control Act, its regulations or standards and requirements established by the Registrar by either of the parties.

This agreement must be submitted to the AGCO for review and approval at least 30 days prior to the event.

Please refer to the Licensing Regulation of the Liquor Licence and Control Act for further information.

Special Occasion Gaming Events

The holder of an SOP for a public event may offer liquor, donated or otherwise, as a prize, provided there is a Special Occasion Gaming licence issued by the AGCO to the permit holder. Only charitable, non-profit, or religious organizations/associations are eligible for a Special Occasion Gaming licence. Please note only those 19 years of age or over may be awarded liquor as a prize and this condition must be disclosed and printed on all tickets.

For more information on obtaining a lottery licence, including a Special Occasion Gaming licence, please visit the AGCO website.

Industry Promotional Events

Industry promotional events are public events that promote a manufacturer’s product(s). Samples for tasting at the event may be provided (under a “No Sale” permit) or sold (under “Sale” permit). Manufacturers and/or their representatives may accept orders for liquor purchases at the event.

Retailing of liquor is not permitted at an industry promotional event, except under a temporary extension endorsement to a manufacturer’s licence. For more information on temporary extension endorsements, please see the Manufacturer’s Licence Guides.


An industry promotional event permit holder may advertise or promote the availability of liquor only in accordance with the standards and requirements established by the Registrar.

Market Research

Market research may be conducted under an industry promotional, “no sale” SOP or on behalf of a manufacturer for the purposes of gathering and analyzing information about consumers’ needs and preferences. Market research must be conducted in accordance with the standards and requirements established by the Registrar.

If an event organizer or AGCO licensed representative of a manufacturer is conducting market research or providing samples on behalf of a manufacturer, the event organizer may be required, upon request, to make available a letter from the manufacturer authorizing them as their representative to conduct market research and/or sampling.

If the market research is done in an open area (e.g. a mall foyer), the area must still be readily distinguishable from the area where the permit does not apply.

Liquor being sampled at a market research event does not have to be purchased from a government store.

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