In British Columbia new liquor licences and amendments to existing licences are issued by the Liquor & Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB).
The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) has a role in many liquor licence applications, as the LCRB must request comment from local government on licensing decisions that may have an impact on the community. The RMOW requirements vary depending on the type of application. In some cases, the views of residents must be gathered and a formal resolution from Council obtained.
Liquor Licence Types:
- Food Primary Licences: For selling liquor by the glass, primarily at businesses such as restaurants where the focus is the service of food.
- Liquor Primary Licences: For selling liquor by the glass, primarily at businesses such as pubs, lounges or nightclubs where the focus is beverage service, entertainment or hospitality.
- Manufacturer Licences: Issued to facilities that produce liquor products, including breweries, wineries and distilleries, which may have an endorsement to sell liquor produced by the glass.
- Retail Sales Licences: Issued to private Licensee Retail Stores and Government Liquor Stores that sell liquor for consumption in a location other than where it is sold.
- Catering Licences: Issued to businesses that provide a full range of food and beverage services at their clients’ events.
- Special Event Permits: Issued to individuals, organizations and businesses to allow the sale and service of liquor at a variety of family, private and public events.
Municipal Liquor Policy
Council Policy G-17, Municipal Liquor Licensing Policy, establishes a framework for municipal policies and decisions regarding liquor sales, service, licensing and consumption. The policy includes guiding principles for licensing decisions, the role of the Liquor Licence Advisory Committee, policies and guidelines for specific licensing decisions, occupant load (capacity) determination, the Good Standing review process and the municipal processing requirements for various types of liquor licence applications.
Licences in Whistler
As of 2020, Whistler’s permanent Liquor licensed establishments, and licensed facilities and events include:
- Food primary licensed establishments (cafe’s, restaurants, on-mountain day lodges): 83
- Liquor primary licensed establishments (nightclubs, pubs, lounges): 39
- Event driven liquor primary licensed venues: Three (Whistler Conference Centre, Maury Young Arts Centre, Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre)
- Retail liquor sales: four private stores, three government stores
- Liquor manufacturing: two breweries, one brew pub, one distillery
- Catering: One catering licensed business, several licensed establishments with catering endorsements
- Temporary licensing for events: Temporary changes to existing licences, Catering licences/endorsements, Special Event Permits, Temporary Use Area endorsements (Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains)
The Municipal Liquor Licensing Policy, Schedules A-F describes the RMOW process and fees for the various application types. Municipal application forms can be found at the following links:
New liquor licence
- Application for a new liquor primary licence, a new Temporary Use Area endorsement for a ski area or golf course, or a new brewery, distillery or winery lounge
- Application for a new food primary liquor licence requiring a resolution from Council, which includes hours past midnight and/or patron participation entertainment
- Application for a new basic food primary licence where a resolution from Council is not required
Permanent change to liquor licence
- Application for a permanent or structural change to a liquor primary licence, a Temporary Use Area endorsement or a brewery, distillery or winery lounge
- Application for a permanent change to a food primary liquor licence requiring Council approval, which includes hours past midnight and/or patron participation entertainment
- Application for a permanent or structural change to a food primary licence where a resolution from Council is not required
Temporary change to liquor licence
Special Event Permit Licensed and Catering Licensed Events
- Special Event Permits (previously known as Special Occasion Licences) are issued by the LCLB (information and online applications can be found on the LCLB SEP website). Some Special Event Permit and catering licensed events require municipal review or approval. See Municipal Liquor Licensing Policy, Schedule E for details of the review process and fee.
Temporary Use Area Licensed Events
- Some Temporary Use Area licensed events require municipal review and/or approval. See Municipal Liquor Licensing Policy, Schedule F for details of the review process and fee.
Occupant Load Stamp
- Application for an occupant load stamp for an existing licensed establishment, not related to one of the other application types
Liquor Licence Advisory Committee
The RMOW’s Liquor Licence Advisory Committee (LLAC) provides input and recommendations to municipal Council and to staff on liquor licence applications and other matters related to liquor licensing and liquor policy.The structure and appointments to the LLAC have been established by Council to provide representation from key community stakeholders and municipal staff.
Brook McCrady, Planning Analyst
Provincial Liquor Inspector
Tyler Maloney, B.C. Liquor Licensing Inspector