Apply to sell or serve alcohol at a general public event, including charity events

Find out how to apply for a general public event permit.

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Apply online for a general public event permit using our self-service iAGCO portal.


No-sale permit: $50 per day.

Sale permit: $150 per day.

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Public events are open to everyone. With a public event permit, you can advertise, fundraise, or profit from selling liquor.  

Types of general public event permits

There are two types of general public event permits:

  1. No-sale permit: Needed when serving liquor to guests at no charge.  
  2. Sale permit: Needed if collecting money for liquor in any way. 


  • No-sale permit: $50 per day.
  • Sale permit: $150 per day.

Step 1: Prepare your application

Here’s what you’ll need when filling out the liquor permit application for a public event:

  • The name of the person responsible for the event
  • Event name and details
  • Dates and times (start and end time) – hours need to be between 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. the following day, except for New Year’s Eve (December 31), where end time may be up to 3:00 a.m.
  • Location  
  • Roughly how many people will attend  
  • How many people the location can hold (the builds or fire department provides these standards for many indoor events; for outdoor areas, you can figure out capacity by dividing the size of the permit area by 12 square feet, or 1.11 square metres per person)
  • If liquor will be sold

You’ll need to provide other information for outdoor events, such as:

  • Notification letters that you’ve submitted to municipal authorities, including local building departments, the city clerk, police, fire, and health authorities, identifying the date, time, and location of the event
  • Detailed sketch that shows the physical boundaries of the space (if you’re using a tent, marquee, pavilion, or tiered seating, contact your local municipal building department)
  • Letter of support (only if a representative of a foreign government is holding the event)
  • Municipal resolution for public events that are designated as an event of municipal significance, or outdoor public events that involve restaurants or bars
  • Involvement of restaurants or bars: for outdoor public events designated as “municipally significant” where attendees may bring a drink between the event area and a bar or restaurant, you’ll need to provide a letter of agreement with the bar or restaurant to the AGCO at least 30 days prior to the event date. 

Step 2: Apply online

To get a liquor permit, you’ll first need to create an account through the iAGCO portal. Once you’ve set up your iAGCO account, you can:

  • Apply for your liquor permit
  • Check the status of your application
  • Ask for changes and print the permit once it’s approved 

Apply for a permit now

Step 3: Wait for a decision

Indoor event applications need 10 days to process. Outdoor event applications need 30 days to process.  

You’ll also need to send notification letters informing municipal authorities (30 days before if you’re expecting fewer than 5,000, 60 days before if you expect more than 5,000). The AGCO needs a copy of the letter.

Once you’re approved, you need to prepare for and run your event in the right way. Read the next section to make sure you’re following the standards and requirements established by the Registrar.  

Know your responsibilities

As a permit holder, are responsible for meeting all Registrar’s standards that apply to your permit, all applicable laws and regulations (including the liquor licence control act), and any terms and conditions that may be applied to your permit.


If you want to advertise that you’ll be serving alcohol at your public event, make sure you read and follow the standards and requirements established by the Registrar.  

Designated public events with outdoor areas involving liquor sales licensed places

If your outdoor public event has both licensed areas, such as bars and restaurants, as well as other defined areas, such as the street where the event is happening, people attending the event may bring their drink between the two areas, provided:

  • the event is outside (like a street festival)
  • the event has been designated “municipally significant” and you have a letter from a delegated municipal official or a resolution from municipal council
  • you have an agreement with the liquor sales licensee(s) saying that there’s no unreasonable risk to the public interest and no unreasonable risk of non-compliance with all acts and requirements


As the permit holder, you’ll want to make sure that you have the right level of security to meet the standards created by the Registrar

Where to buy alcohol for your event

Your liquor permit includes a number. You’ll need to provide this number to the cashier when you buy your liquor. For details on where you can purchase liquor for your event, see Section 15 (purchase of liquor to be sold, served) of Regulation 747/21.  

Event inspections

An AGCO inspector may come to inspect the premises and event.  

If you’re hosting a large event, an AGCO inspector will contact you to confirm the details and do a walkthrough with you before the event.

Other important information

You must comply with all the conditions that come with having a liquor permit. Otherwise, a police officer or an AGCO inspector can shut your event down or take away your liquor permit.  

For more information about liquor permits for public events, and to understand what you need to do as the holder of a liquor permit, you must read:  

Making changes to a permit

To make a change to the permit after we’ve issued it, you’ll need to submit a change request through the iAGCO portal. Depending on the kind of change you want to make, you may need a new permit.

Request a change