VICTORIA – Just in time for the holiday season, British Columbia’s wine, beer and spirit producers will now be able to take their wares to artisanal markets throughout the province. Riding on the coattails of liquor sales at farmers’ markets – a popular change coming out of the Liquor Policy Review – government has opened up the option for liquor sales at regularly occurring and annual markets that focus on artisanal, handmade goods.
“Liquor sales at farmers’ markets had been so well received throughout the province that we’ve decided to build on the model, adding artisan markets into the fold. Artisan markets focus on high-quality, handmade goods and I think they’ll be a great fit for the many craftspeople who create, produce and take great pride in their spirits, wine and brews here in British Columbia,” explained Coralee Oakes, provincial Minister of Small Business and Responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch.
“This is another innovative way to further support B.C. liquor producers, many of which are small businesses, while at the same time offering consumers additional choices.”
The new rules will keep the spirit of Parliamentary Secretary for Liquor Reform John Yap’s original intention, when he recommended liquor sales at farmers’ markets. Adding liquor sales at artisan markets is being done to support B.C. liquor producers, many of which are small businesses and craftspeople, while providing consumers with additional choice.
As with all updates to B.C.’s liquor landscape, health and safety is top of mind. All market vendors selling and serving alcohol are required to have Serving It Right training, to ensure they understand the responsibilities and risks associated with alcohol.
- Flea markets and commercial markets are not included in this change.
- The market must be comprised of at least six vendors that do not sell or serve liquor to ensure the focus of the market continues to be artisan crafts.
- Liquor sales at artisan and farmers markets are a choice left to each individual market and municipality to adopt.
- An “annual market” takes place once a year and may be open for up to 35 consecutive days (in the same location).