- The B.C. government is committed to an Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) that works for farmers, and that includes helping farmers grow their businesses and earn a better living through farming, food production and activities like agri-tourism.
- In August 2016, the B.C. government brought clarity to permitted agri-tourism activities in ALR to help farmers grow their incomes, and help British Columbians share the growing passion for local foods and farming.
- The Ministry of Agriculture developed a regulation to clarify that ALR land owners do not need to apply to the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) to host activities like commercial weddings, concerts or non-agriculture related festivals, providing all of the below criteria is met:
- The farm is classified as having farm status under the Assessment Act;
- No new, permanent structures are being built;
- All parking must be on the farm (no road parking) but the parking area must not be permanent nor interfere with the farm’s agricultural productivity;
- The number of guests at any event is 150 or less; and
- The number of events is 10 or less in a calendar year.
- An application to the ALC is required if any of the above conditions are not met. For example, a farm that wishes to hold a wedding with 200 guests, or hosts the 11th wedding on their farm in a calendar year, needs to apply to the ALC.
- In addition, farmers must continue to meet all relevant local government requirements, such as event hosting, liquor licences and fire code requirements, regardless of whether an application to the ALC is required.
- The restrictions in the regulation do not apply to wineries, meaderies and cideries, as many are established providers of these services and already have infrastructure, licensing and procedures in place. These facilities can continue to operate as they have been without requiring an application to the ALC.
- Irrespective of the five criteria, no application to the ALC is required for a farmer hosting weddings for family members or friends at no charge. If farmers are receiving a payment for hosting the wedding of a family member or friend, an application to the ALC is required if any the five conditions are not met.
- The parameters were decided on following conversations with representatives of local governments, farmers and the ALC.
Concerns about an event:
- People who believe that the conditions listed above are not being met, e.g., there are in excess of 150 guests or a permanent structure is being built, can contact the Agricultural Land Commission at 604 660-7000 or: ALCBurnaby@Victoria1.gov.bc.ca
- Complaints about noise, parking on the road, fire safety or other disturbances should be directed to the local government.
- Complaints about a violation of ALC regulations can be:
- communicated to the local government who will enforce and/or forward the concern to the ALC.
- communicated to the Ministry of Agriculture’s AgriServiceBC staff at 1 888 221-7141 or AgriServiceBC@gov.bc.ca for forwarding to the appropriate organization.
- reported to the ALC directly at 604 660-7000 or: ALCBurnaby@Victoria1.gov.bc.ca
Government Communications and Public EngagementMinistry of Agriculture