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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the AGLC’s role is licensing “safe grad” parties?

The AGLC does not licence ‘safe grad’ after-parties.

In April 2011, the AGLC advised all liquor retail outlets, including hotel off-sales, not to issue Special Event liquor licences for functions such as bush parties, or after hour 'safe grad' parties.

Special Event licences are issued to bona fide graduation banquets and dances for the provision of liquor service and consumption to those individuals at least 18 years of age.

Special Event licencees have the same responsibilities as other liquor licencees regarding safe and responsible liquor service, hours of service, limiting service to adults, 18 and older and preventing liquor service to intoxicated patrons. AGLC inspectors are responsible for inspecting licensed premises and events. The AGLC is consistent with other provincial jurisdictions regarding the prevention of liquor service to minors.

What is AGLC's policy on nude entertainment?

The policy related to nude entertainment  in liquor licensed premises has been in effect since the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) was formed in 1996. There are no plans to alter this policy.

All forms of nude entertainment must be performed in minors prohibited premises, that means no one under the age of 18 would be allowed to enter or remain in the premises.

The policy (Section 5.11.1) states that “nude” means the exposure of genitals (male or female) and/or breasts (female), whether the person is fully or partially unclothed. These body parts are considered exposed if covered only by paint or another non-fabric substance (e.g.,mud, ink, tape, etc.).

The policy is available online in the Liquor Licensee Handbook.

Is a specific liquor licence required for nude entertainment?

All forms of nude entertainment must be performed in minors prohibited premises.

Nude entertainment is allowed at a:

  • Class A Minors Prohibited licensed premises;
  • Class C licensed premises (private establishments); and
  • Class A Minors Allowed licensed premises:
    • in a banquet room for a private function; or
    • that has a licence endorsement prohibiting minors during the hours the nude entertainment is taking place.

The policy is available online in the Liquor Licensee Handbook.

Are minors allowed to perform as entertainers in minors prohibited premises?

Anyone under the age of 18 is prohibited from working in a Class A Minors Prohibited premises in any capacity, including as an entertainer. Minors are permitted to perform in licensed premises where minors are allowed, such as restaurants, recreational facilities and cultural or music clubs.

What role does the provincial government play in Alberta's privatized liquor industry?

The AGLC administers and enforces the Gaming and Liquor Act and Regulation, including maintaining liquor policy, and collects the government’s flat mark-up on beverage alcohol.

Retailing, warehousing and distribution of liquor is privatized. Suppliers and agents must register with the AGLC, and are responsible for all aspects of ordering, consolidation, shipping, and marketing.

Any liquor products sold in Alberta must be registered with the AGLC. More information is available from Connect Logistics Services Ltd.

What is the legal drinking age in Alberta?

18 years of age.

I'm hosting an event at which liquor will be served. How do I get a liquor licence?

Information on special event liquor licences is available on the Special Events Liquor Licences page of this Web site.

How do I purchase liquor that is not available in Alberta?

If you have discovered a wine, beer or any liquor product while travelling, visit www.liquorconnect.com to view a list of available products in Alberta, or to learn how to get the product in Alberta with the help of a local retailer or liquor agent.

Can I bring liquor back from my vacation outside Alberta?

Adult Albertans who travel to other provinces can bring home liquor of any kind for personal consumption. There are no limits on quantity or frequency as long as the liquor accompanies the individual and is for the individual's personal use. Read more on personal importation of liquor from other provinces.

An adult may bring back from another country no more than 45.45 litres of liquor in any 90 day period. Federal duty, provincial mark-up and GST will be payable on alcohol over the returning resident's personal exemption.

For more information on importing liquor into Canada, visit the Canada Border Services Agency.

Can liquor be purchased online in Alberta?

Yes. AGLC policy allows licensed retail liquor stores to advertise their products on the Internet and allows customers to place orders on-line. These orders must be delivered by the retailer or a Class D licensee (e.g., delivery service). The licensee is responsible for not selling/delivering to minors or intoxicated persons.

AGLC policy does not allow 'virtual' or 'e-commerce'-only liquor stores. All licensees must have a physical store location.

The AGLC does not have information about which retailers provide on-line services.

What are minimum drink prices?

Minimum drink prices are rules designed to make Alberta's drinking establishments safer for staff and patrons. These rules eliminate cheap drink specials, regulate the duration of ‘happy hours’ and limit last-call drink orders in licensed premises. The then (2008) Solicitor General and Minister of Public Security Fred Lindsay explained these rules “...are not meant to interfere with responsible patrons – they are designed to limit the liquor consumption of those drinkers who don’t wish to set their own limits.”

Beginning August 1, 2008, the following Minimum drink prices were enacted:

Item Min. Price
Spirits and liqueurs
$ 2.75
Wine
$ 0.35/oz. ($1.75/5 oz. glass)
Draught beer
$ 0.16/oz. ($3.20/20 oz. pint)
Beer, cider or coolers
in cans or bottles
$ 2.75/12 oz. bottle or can
Happy hours

Licensees may reduce the regular menu price of drinks, but drinks can not be sold for less than the regular menu price after 8 p.m. At no time, even during ‘happy hours’, can a drink be sold for less than the new minimum price.

Maximum drink order

The maximum number and size of drinks that may be sold or served to a patron after 1 a.m. is limited to two standard servings per order – one standard serving is one ounce per highball or one bottle or can of beer. Also, a patron can’t have more than two drinks in their possession after 1 a.m.

Do minimum drink prices apply to private events?

There are two types of Special Event liquor licences that deal with private events such as weddings, community parties or team fundraisers:

  • Private Resale Licence: Allows a licensee to sell liquor to guests at a private event. The event organizers are free to set whatever price for liquor they feel is appropriate.
  • Private Non-Sale Licence: Allows a licensee to provide free liquor to guests at a private event. The licensee is not allowed to charge any money for liquor.

There are a number of other conditions that licensees must follow in regard to hosting a licensed event. These conditions are printed on the back of the licence. Special Events licences can be purchased at most retail liquor stores. The person who is purchasing the licence must choose between Private Resale and Private Non-Sale at the time of purchase.

Q: We are considering having a “toonie bar” for our wedding reception at a community hall. Do the new rules for minimum drink prices apply to us?
A: The minimum drink price policies that went into effect in Alberta on August 1, 2008 do not apply to liquor sales or service under a Special Event liquor licence.

Can staff working at a licensed establishment consume liquor while working?

Licensee staff may not consume liquor or be under the influence of liquor or drugs while on duty. However, it is acceptable for staff to consume an alcoholic beverage after their shift ends, and for the Board-approved manager/owner of the licensed premises to consume an alcoholic beverage while entertaining a client. For more information, please read section 5.3.18 of the Liquor Licensee Handbook.

Where can I find information on the different types of liquor licences required in Alberta?

Go to the AGLC's Liquor Licences page.

Can I serve homemade wine at my wedding/reception?

No. Under legislation, homemade wine, cider, and/or beer may not be served or consumed at any licensed function. Homemade products can only be legally served in a private residence.

Are U-Brews and U-Vins permitted in Alberta?

Current legislation in Alberta does not allow for U-Brews (self-making beer stores) or U-Vins (self-wine making stores) in Alberta. The Gaming and Liquor Act does permit an adult to make up to 460 litres of beer or wine in the adultís residence for personal consumption. The legislation is very specific in that the beer and wine must be produced in the adultís residence.

I am interested in importing and distributing liquor products into Alberta. How do I go about this?

Only AGLC registered liquor agencies are authorized to import a supplier’s product. You may contact the AGLC at 780-447-8600 (in Alberta, dial 310-0000 for toll free access) to receive a Liquor Agency Information Package, which contains:

  • information outlining the requirements for the registration of a liquor agency
  • current legislation governing liquor products
  • policy guidelines on liquor advertising and product promotions
  • Canadian labelling requirements (followed in Alberta)
  • quality and health standards
  • New Product Information Form (used to register a new product)
  • how to calculate the wholesale price of your products, and
  • how the warehouse is operated and the associated charges

To become a registered liquor agency in Alberta, the applicant must have a Canadian company and be incorporated in Alberta. If the company is outside Alberta, you must obtain extra-provincial registration or be registered under the Business Corporations Act of Alberta. There is a $200 non-refundable fee to register a liquor agency.

I work for a registered liquor agency. Where can I find AGLC's
     - New Product Registration Form and/or
     - AGLC's Price Change Request Form?

There are three options:

  1. A hard copy of either form can be mailed or faxed to you by calling 780-447-8833
  2. Electronic versions of the forms can be sent via email to you. Please submit a request to:
    a) product@aglc.ca for the New Product Information Form or to
    b) pricing@aglc.ca for the Price Change Request Form
  3. Internet Account – you can set up an internet account to receive access to the electronic copies of these forms on our website.

I work for a registered liquor agency or a licensed liquor establishment. Is there a way I can review price changes on your website?

Yes, you can set up an Internet Account to gain access to that information at this link.

Where can I return liquor bottles?

All liquor containers can be returned for a full deposit at any bottle depot. There are more than two hundred bottle depots located throughout Alberta. Visit the Beverage Container Management Board website to get the addresses and hours of operation for all bottle depots.

What is Bring your own Bottle or BYOW?

After consulting with liquor and food service industry stakeholders, changes have been made to provincial liquor laws and policies to permit patrons to bring their own wine to participating restaurants, remove partially consumed wine from a restaurant, and to permit commercial catering companies to be licensed to serve/sell liquor at public and private events.

More information about BYOW is available on the Responsible Liquor Service page of this web site and BYOW participating locations.

I'm interested in working for AGLC. Where can I send my resume?

Please check our Employment Opportunities page. You may fax your resume to 780-447-8918, or mail your resume to:

Human Resources
Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission
50 Corriveau Avenue
St. Albert AB   T8N 3T5

Please ensure that you quote the competition number on your resume.

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