Special Event Area endorsement
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This page summarizes information from the Terms and Conditions Handbook and Liquor Policy Manual. Please refer to those policy documents for the most complete and updated information.
The Special Event Area (SEA) endorsement allows Manufacturer licensees to have events and:
- Sell liquor by the glass or bottle for onsite consumption with food
- Sell samples without a daily maximum volume per person
- Offer entertainment and amplified sound
Examples of events include:
- Private parties
- Promotional events open to the public
Before you apply, check with your local government or Indigenous nation to confirm that zoning permits an SEA. This helps prevent any unexpected delays in your application. If zoning does not permit an SEA, you'll have to apply for rezoning before the LCRB can approve your endorsement.
An application for an SEA endorsement requires local government or Indigenous nation notification and public input. Local governments and Indigenous nations often have their own permits and requirements for liquor licences. Local approvals can take some time. See section 11 of the Liquor Policy Manual for more information.
If you are located on the Agricultural Land Reserve, contact the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) to learn about their requirements for liquor manufacturers.
Location and floor plan
An SEA can be located:
- Outdoors with a patio
- Patios must have signage and perimeter barriers
You must submit a floor plan with an occupant load for each service area (interior and/or patio) determined by the local government or building authority.
Outdoor service areas that aren't a patio (i.e., field) do not require an occupant load. Capacity will be determined by LCRB staff.
Your floor plan must minimize occasions when servers pass through an unlicensed area with drinks from a bar to a patio.
Floor plans must show all service areas and the following:
- Labels for each room
- Overlapping areas
- Liquor service bars
- Dance floor
- Sound or DJ booth
- Stairs, entrances, and exits
- $330 (no existing Lounge)
- $110 (if you have a Lounge)
During an event
Liquor and non-alcoholic drinks
You can serve full-size servings of any type of liquor during the event.
The cost to purchase liquor of other manufacturers must not exceed 20% of the total value of liquor (measured in dollars) purchased for the SEA in any given quarter:
- January 1 to March 31
- April 1 to June 30
- July 1 to September 30
- October 1 to December 3
You must also ensure that non-alcoholic beverages are available to patrons.
A lounge endorsement permits outdoor sampling. However, you can also apply for a structural change to have an outdoor sampling area without endorsement.
Maximum serving sizes
See the terms and conditions handbook for information on maximum serving sizes for samples and full pours. The SEA endorsement removes the daily limit on samples per patron.
Food must be available during events where liquor is served.
Food must include a reasonable variety of hot or cold options. Packaged snacks such as chips, nuts and those commonly found in vending machines do not meet this requirement.
SEAs can have amplified sound and entertainment (unless restricted by the LCRB or local bylaws). Please ensure that noise from your special event is not disruptive to residents and businesses near you.
Overlapping endorsement areas
If the SEA overlaps an on-site store endorsement, the on-site store can continue to sell packaged liquor for off-site consumption during the event.
If the event overlaps another endorsement, such as a lounge or picnic area, those endorsements are suspended during the event.
Outside event hours
You may only serve liquor during an event in the SEA. If an event is not occurring, you may not serve liquor in the SEA.
Liquor Policy Manual(PDF,1.7KB). See the following sections:
- 4.11.3: Special Event Area endorsement
- 4.11.5: Liquor consumption in overlapping areas
- 11: Local government, First Nation and community input
- 12.2.6: Additional floor plan requirements for SEA
- 20: Food service