LCLB POLICY DIRECTIVE No: 17 – 03Changes for Tastings, Signage & Catering
BC’s Liquor Control and Licensing Branch has announced changes to all-inclusive ticket pricing at tasting events, signage requirements, and catering authorizations for low-risk events.
1. Low-risk catering authorizations
Before catering an event, all caterers must request an authorization from the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch. Caterers of events considered low-risk must request the authorization a minimum of 10 days in advance of the event.
Examples of low-risk events include:
• events under 500 persons (excluding community events), and
• events where liquor service does not exceed two hours (excluding community events).
Caterers of low-risk events may now request a catering authorization at any time prior to the event. Caterers of events considered high-risk are still required to request an authorization 21 days in advance of the event.
This change provides consistency to the Branch’s policy for assessing similar low-risk events.
2. All-inclusive Pricing
Licensees must not provide unlimited or unspecified quantities of liquor for a single price.
An all-inclusive ticket price may be offered for wine festivals where the purpose of the event is tasting wine. However, licensees must take precautions to prevent the overservice and intoxication of patrons.
An all-inclusive ticket price may be offered for any tasting event where the primary purpose of the event is to acquaint the public with liquor products. However, licensees must take precautions to prevent the overservice and intoxication of patrons.
This change provides consistency for all industry groups. In addition to wine festivals, beer and spirit festivals may now also hold all-inclusive tasting events.
3. Signage requirements
Some licensees are required to post signage informing patrons that liquor cannot be taken outside the service area. In addition, signage is required if minors are not permitted or if permitted only under specified circumstances (e.g. a family food service endorsement permitting minors in a liquor primary establishment until 10:00 p.m. with a parent or guardian.)
Licensees are encouraged to post the following signage, but are no longer required to do so:
• Signage informing patrons that liquor cannot be taken outside the service area.
• Signage indicating if and when minors are permitted or restricted.
Over the past three years a number of policy changes have provided some licensees with additional flexibility regarding when minors are permitted and where liquor may be consumed (e.g. hotel patrons may remove an unfinished drink from the hotel bar or restaurant and take it back to their room). Because of the varying rules, licensees are given the freedom to manage how they will remain compliant with the terms and conditions of their licence.
Further information regarding liquor control and licensing in British Columbia is available on the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch website at http://www.gov.bc.ca/liquorregulationandlicensing.
If you have any questions regarding these changes, please contact the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch toll free in Canada at 1-866-209-2111 or 250 952-5787 if calling from the Victoria area.