During the COVID-19 pandemic, the AGCO will continue to accept applications for Special Occasion Permits (SOP) for events that meet the criteria under Ontario government’s re-opening framework.
For more information on permissible gathering limits and restrictions on social gatherings and organized events, please refer to the Ontario government’s website: https://www.ontario.ca/page/reopening-ontario
Do you have a private event Special Occasion Permit or are you looking to apply for one?
Take this Private Event Special Occasion Permit (SOP) course to understand what some of your most important legal responsibilities are for hosting this type of event.
The video is approximately 10 minutes long and participation is anonymous.
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is responsible for administering the Liquor Licence and Control Act, 2019 (LLCA), which together with its regulations and the standards and requirements established by the Registrar establish the licensing and regulatory regime for most aspects relating to the sale, service and delivery of liquor in Ontario.
Among its responsibilities in the liquor sector, the AGCO oversees the administration of the Special Occasion Permit (SOP) program, which allows for the sale and service of liquor on special occasions, such as cash bars at weddings or private receptions, as well as larger scale events that are open to the public, such as charity fundraisers.
An SOP is required any time liquor is offered for sale anywhere other than in a liquor licensed establishment .
A permit may be issued for the following types of events:
Private Events are limited to invited guests only and may not be publicly advertised. There can be no intent to gain or profit from the sale of liquor at the event.
Public Events are open to the public. These events can be advertised and fundraising and/or profit from the sale of liquor at the event is permitted. There are several types of eligible public events:
Public events include events of provincial, national or international significance, or events designated by a municipal council or its delegate as an event of municipal significance.
Charity Events are public events conducted by a charitable organization registered under the Income Tax Act (Canada), or a non-profit association or organization for the advancement of charitable, educational, religious or community objects.
Tailgate Events are public events that are held in connection with, and in proximity to, a live sporting event and where attendees may bring their own liquor (BYOB) for consumption at the event.
Industry Promotional Events are public events held to promote a manufacturer’s product(s). Manufacturers or a licensed representative (or an event organizer acting on behalf of either) can provide or sell samples at cost or less and take orders for liquor purchases.
Auctions are conducted by a charitable organization, administrator or executor of an estate or law enforcement officer acting within the scope of their duties. Auctions may be conducted wholly or partly online.
This portal is intended for those applying for a Private Event SOP.
The information and resources below will help you apply for a permit and better understand your obligations as a permit holder.
Note that you must first create an account via the iAGCO portal in order to apply for a permit online.