Assorted drinking glasses

Selling alcohol

If you are accepting any sort of payment for alcohol that you are serving at your event, you are considered to be selling alcohol and you need a liquor license.

Serving alcohol

If you plan to serve alcohol at your event (or allow it to be served), then you are considered to be serving alcohol and you need a liquor license.

Liquor Control and Licensing Board

The Liquor Control and Licensing Board (LCLB) regulates liquor service in bars and restaurants, liquor stores, and liquor service at special occasion events.

For more information




Liquor Licensing Help Desk: 1-866 209-2111

Private special event (for special occasion liquor license)

A private special event is only attended by:

  • Family
  • Friends
  • An organization's members or staff
  • Invited guests or ticket holders (tickets must be sold or given away before the event)

The occasion may be:

  • Social (such as a staff party, birthday or anniversary)
  • Religious (such as a wedding, christening, bar mitzvah or other religious occasion)
  • Cultural
  • Recreational
  • Sports-oriented
  • Community-oriented OR
  • Promotional (such as acquainting people with the product of a licensed winery, brewery or distillery)

Pre-wedding parties, such as stags or bachelorettes, do not qualify for a private special occasion license and must be held in a licensed establishment or a residence.

Public special event (for special occasion liquor license)

A public special event is open to anyone who wishes to participate or buy a ticket, either at the door or in advance of the event.

The occasion may be:

  • A community or public event (such as a community festival or outdoor concert)
  • A tasting event so a liquor manufacturer can showcase their product OR
  • Any event that contributes to the cultural or social life of the community

Special occasion liquor license exemption application

You will need to apply for an exemption to your special occasion liquor license if ANY of the following situations applies to your event:

  • You want to run your event beyond standard closing times (10:00 pm for outdoor events or 2:00 a.m. for indoor events).
    Note: This requires additional approvals.
  • You want to sell hard liquor at a public special event.
    Note: This requires additional approvals.
  • You want to charge more for drinks than the prices specified in the Liquor Price Schedule. You can only do this if the event is to raise funds for charity.
  • You hold more than two Special Occasion Licenses per month, or more than 24 per year.
  • You are not a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada.
  • You want the license fee adjusted  because there are limited hours of liquor service at your event. The Special Occasion Liquor License Manual on the LCLB website has more information.

You can only apply for an exemption if:

  • You are the person who applied for the special occasion liquor license.
  • You are not a professional event organizer or promoter.

Download the form 

Temporary food booth application

You will need a temporary food booth application from Vancouver Coastal Health if you are serving or selling food OR liquor at your event.

You will be operating your own food services

If you are operating your own food services, or operating your own alcohol service areas, you must complete the application.

You will allow others to provide food or alcohol

If you are allowing other individuals or companies to provide food or food services, or to operate your alcohol service locations, you are responsible for ensuring they have the appropriate permits from Vancouver Coastal Health.

Related requirements

In addition, Vancouver Coastal Health has requirements for washrooms, water service and garbage disposal related to operating a temporary food booth or alcohol service location.

Vancouver Coastal Health

Vancouver Coastal Health regulates food service at events, including issuing permits for temporary food booths.

For more information


By email

By phone


Ready to apply for your special event?

Ready to apply? If you are ready to apply for your special event permit, click the link below to go directly to the online application.

Apply for events

Is your event in a park? If your event is in a park, you will also need to fill out the Park Board's application.

Apply for events in parks

Contact the LCLB

Liquor Control Licensing Board
Phone: 1-866 209-2111