With COVID restrictions lifted, many individuals, groups and organizations are moving forward with postponed weddings, reunions and other community events where alcohol will be served. Special Occasion Permits (SOPs) are required for anyone selling alcohol, or for anyone serving alcohol at an event that is not held in a commercially permitted establishment, a private residence, or another private place. This is true for private, invitation-only events as well as for public events.
There are some things applicants can do to ensure their application is processed efficiently and in a timely manner:
When should I apply for my SOP?
Applicants are encouraged to apply well in advance of the event. In ‘normal’ times, we request people apply at least 10-14 days in advance. We are currently experiencing extremely high volumes of applications so the sooner you apply, the better!
I applied for my permit a while ago but still haven’t received it. I’m getting anxious that I won’t get it on time!
As mentioned above, we have been receiving unprecedented volumes of applications since COVID restrictions were lifted and we’re working super hard to process applications and issue permits as quickly as possible. Don’t worry, applications are prioritized according to the event date to ensure that events eligible for a permit can proceed on time.
Can I purchase alcohol for my event before I receive the actual permit?
Yes! Alcohol for events that operate under a Special Occasion Permit must be purchased from a Saskatchewan liquor retailer or Saskatchewan craft alcohol manufacturer. There are approximately 600+ liquor retailers in Saskatchewan to choose from and alcohol can be purchased in advance and can come from more than one retailer. Just remember to hang on to all receipts – they must be attached to the permit at your event in order to make the permit valid. If your retailer asks for your permit number, you can provide the confirmation number you received when you submitted your application.
What other tips can help speed up the process?
If you’re having an event outdoors, you need to provide a copy of municipal approval and a site plan before your application can be approved, so it’s best to include it with your initial application. A site plan should outline the location of buildings, washrooms and entrance and exits to the buildings and overall site. The site plan can be hand drawn or include an electronic screenshot from an online map such Google or Apple maps. Please note that failing to include municipal approval and/or a site map can significantly delay approval of an application.
Where can I find more information?
Additional information about Special Occasion Permits and the application process can be found on the Special Occasion Permit page.