Special Event Permit

Special Event Permit

If you want to serve liquor in a public place or sell liquor anywhere in Port Alberni, you will need a licence to do so. Depending on your event, you will need either a private or public Special Event Permit. 

Private Functions such as a wedding or family celebration require a Private Special Event Permit which are obtained from the BC Government Liquor Store or on line.

Public Functions such as festivals or beer gardens require a Special Event Permit issued by the City of Port Alberni. Please review the information below regarding applications for these permits.

When do you need a Special Event Permit?

If you plan to serve alcohol at a community event or public celebration in the City of Port Alberni, you need to obtain a Special Event Permit from the City of Port Alberni. 

Special Occasions (Public Special Events) are recognized, community or public celebrations or events, conducted by bonafide organizations or societies.    You must follow British Columbia's liquor laws. The laws which govern commercial bar owners — such as not selling liquor to minors or to persons who are intoxicated — also apply to you.

When should I apply for my Special Event Permit?

The City considers applications for Special Event Permits in the spring of each year and is advertised in the local newspaper and on the City's website.

Who needs to approve my Special Event Permit?

You must obtain approval for your licence from the following:
  1. City Council
  2. BC Liquor Store-The BC Liquor Store can advise you on the allowable amounts of alcohol and selling prices permitted, prior to bringing in your application.

What do I need to submit with my application in order for it to be considered?

An application must:

  • be submitted on a prescribed application form (available at City Hall or online - (https://justice.gov.bc.ca/lcrb/sep)
  • include the financial statement. 
  • be completed in full.

What should I know?

  • The function must be held by a bonafide organization or society located within the community.
  • Applicants must clearly state how the proceeds of the function will be used.  The proceeds of the event must be used for charitable or public purposes.  Any profit realized should not accrue to the organization or society itself.
  • The function must be a recognized community or public celebration or event designated and approved by the City Council, the RCMP and a BC Liquor Store. 
  • Applicants are responsible for contacting the RCMP and a BC Liquor Store themselves.
  • The date applications are received will not necessarily affect the priority in granting Special Occasion Licences.
  • A person with a "Serving it Right" certificate must be on site at all times.  Serving it Right program information is available at BC Liquor Stores, the BC Liquor Regulation and Licensing Branch website, and on line at the Serving it Right website.

Special Event Permit Terms and Conditions - The handbook outlines the requirements of the Liquor Control and Licensing Act, Regulation and the terms and conditions that relate to special event permit holders, which includes individuals, non-profit organizations and business corporations.  It is the responsibility of the permit-tee to be aware of and to operate in compliance with these rules.