Open Farm Days AGLC Training Session 2024

Alberta Open Farm Days AGLC Training Session 2024


Toni Hazelwood from the Alberta Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis Commission (AGLC) joins us to discuss liquor licensing required for Open Farm Days participants who are interested in serving alcohol at the event. Toni, a supervisor with the compliance branch in Edmonton, shared essential information on special event licensing and artisan markets, crucial for those planning to participate in Open Farm Days. This session aimed to provide attendees with the knowledge and tools necessary to navigate the licensing requirements and ensure compliance.

Overview of the Session

The session began with a warm welcome and an introduction to Toni Hazelwood, highlighting her expertise and role in guiding participants through the compliance process for Open Farm Days. The session was divided into two main presentations: Special Event Licensing and Artisan Markets.

Special Event Licensing

Toni discussed three types of licenses applicable to Open Farm Days:

  1. Public Special Event License (Community or Commercial): This license is for events open and advertised to the public. Community licenses are for nonprofit organizations, while commercial licenses are for for-profit entities. Tony emphasized the importance of applying early, ideally three to six weeks in advance, due to the processing time required, especially for commercial licenses.
  2. Caterers Extension: This option allows a licensed restaurant or bar to handle liquor service at an event. The chosen caterer must have a specific type of license, such as a Class A tap room or a Class D commercial caterer. Tony advised verifying the caterer’s license type to ensure eligibility.
  3. Licensed Venue: Events can be held in venues that already have a standing liquor license. However, Class C licenses (e.g., local Legions) are restricted to members and invited guests only.

Artisan Markets

Artisan markets offer an opportunity for farms to host local craft beverage vendors. Key points covered included:

  • Application Process: Organizers must apply to AGLC for approval, as artisan markets are not pre-endorsed like farmers markets. The application form is straightforward but must be submitted well in advance.
  • Market Requirements: Markets must focus on high-quality, handmade goods and ensure that 80% of vendors sell self-produced items. The market should not include commercially produced goods, MLM products, or used goods, with some exceptions for upcycled items.
  • Vendor Booths: Each liquor manufacturer must have their own booth, staffed by the manufacturer or their direct employees. Proxies are not allowed.

Important Considerations and Questions

Several important considerations and common questions were addressed during the session:

  • Public vs. Private Events: Even if tickets are sold in advance, an event is considered public if it is advertised to the general public and anyone can purchase tickets.
  • Caterer’s License Verification: Organizers should verify the type of liquor license held by their caterer to ensure it is eligible for a caterer’s extension.
  • Required Approvals: Special event licenses require sign-offs from local police, fire, health, and municipal authorities. Criminal record checks are mandatory for commercial special event licenses.

Toni’s comprehensive overview provided valuable insights for organizers planning to participate in Open Farm Days. By understanding the requirements for special event licensing and artisan markets, organizers can ensure their events run smoothly and comply with all necessary regulations. For further assistance, Toni encourages participants to reach out with any additional questions via email to