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Month: May, 2013

Stag and Does and the new Liquor Laws

Stag and Does have long been a tradition in Bruce and Grey Counties. A way for the community to celebrate the impending nuptials and great opportunity to raise some funds to help the newlyweds get off on the right foot. Recently though, changes have been made to the Liquor License Act that impact the traditional Buck and Doe as we have known it.

Last night I attended a presentation given by AGCO Inspector Brian Johnston and OPP Sergeant M.L. (Mike) Pierzchalski on the recent changes to the Liquor Licence Act and Regulations and how they impact private and public events in our area.

There are now only three types of Special Occasion Permits: Private Events, Public Events and Industry Promotional Events. Family celebrations like buck and does or stag and does, weddings and anniversaries all fall under the category of Private Event. (For more on Private Event S.O.P.s check out http://www.agco.on.ca/pdfs/en/tip_sheets/3202.pdf )

Under a Private Event Special Occasion Permit:
– You can only have invited guests
– There can be no intention to profit from the sale of alcohol at the event
– You cannot advertise the event
– There can be no unlawful gambling

This is a change from the past where tickets were available at the door and if there was nothing else going on that night, the whole town might show up. Since you cannot advertise the event in the newspaper, radio or facebook in theory the only people who know about the event should be the ones that are invited. There is some added pressure on family and friends to sell tickets beforehand, but on the upside, all of those funds go to the bride and groom, so if you sell a lot before the event you know that the evening will have been a success.

You cannot profit from the sale of alcohol. Many people respond, “then what is the point of hosting the event?” The key in this regulation is that you cannot profit from the sale, however that is after all of the costs of the event have been covered. Organizers will have to do a bit more planning, but a simple budget (microsoft has several event budget templates) can be created that includes the hall rental, bartender costs, security, alcohol and mix expenses. Use your tickets sales to estimate the attendance, how many drinks you will sell and price the drinks to cover the event costs.

So how do you make money at a stag and doe? There are many ways, however many of the traditional games and raffles are no longer options since that would be unlawful gambling. OPP Sergeant Pierzchalski broke it down into five ways to generate revenue for the couple:
– Ticket Sales
– Donations (two jars at front, one with the bride’s name and one with the groom. Guests are encouraged to put a twoonie the jar of the person they do not want to see get a pie in the face.)
– Silent Auctions (get prizes donated – no liquor bottles, but you can get LCBO or Beer Store gift certificates – have people write their bids down on a piece of paper. Try to get the Bride’s side bidding against the Groom’s side to increase the bid amounts)
– Live Auction (same as above except with a lively auctioneer!)
– Games of Skill – not chance (putting contests, scoring contests, nailing the log, guessing how many jelly beans in a jar etc.)
All of the funds raised through these methods go directly to the Bride and Groom and there have been many couples hold very successful events adhering to the new regulations.

For more information on the new regulations, visit the AGCO website at http://www.agco.on.ca
To find out about the kind of insurance coverage you need to host a great stag and doe, or any private or public event, give us a call at Miller Insurance 1-800-265-3000 or visit our website http://www.millerinsurance.ca

Weathering the Storm

After the Storm

Yesterday’s events in Oklahoma remind us of how quickly life can change, that Mother Nature can do unbelievable damage and that there is no way to avoid being in the path of the storm. As my family watched the television coverage, my kids asked if it was possible for that kind of storm to hit us in Kincardine. That’s when we pulled out the tablet and started looking at photos from the F3 tornado that hit Goderich in August of 2011. Ontario has an average of 12 tornadoes a year. Most of them occur between the months of May and September and since they can strike anywhere in the province, the answer to their question was yes. It is scary at any age to think about your home being ripped apart, so we talked about the things that we could do to prepare ourselves for that kind of emergency. We went to the Ontario Government site listed here http://bit.ly/12SXNWV. It’s an online tool that helps you create an Emergency Preparedness Action Plan for your household. It shows the number of Ontarian’s that have used the tool to create a plan. Fewer than 2,500 to date, out of over 13 million households in Ontario. As Insurance Brokers, we want to help prevent or minimize losses. We encourage you to take the time to create an emergency plan for your household. Talk about it with your family and make sure everyone knows what to do in the event. Build an emergency survival kit and sign up for public alerts to be emailed to you or text messaged to your phone. Download our insurance app ( http://bit.ly/13FbyHv ) and use it to keep your insurance information at your fingertips.
As we continue to learn, we can’t control when and where a storm will strike, but we can take some steps so we are ready to ride it out.