WCM Fea­ture

Univer­sity Women’s Club of Van­cou­ver at Hy­croft

Westcoast Families - - Westcoast Families - by An­drea Vance

A Place All Her Own

pulling up to the gates of Hy­croft, you can al­ready feel the his­tory of this amaz­ing build­ing—and quite a his­tory it is. Built by Gen­eral Alexan­der Dun­can McRae to ex­act­ing stan­dards and com­pleted in 1911, it was once the cen­tre of the so­cial scene in Van­cou­ver. It is now home to the Univer­sity Women’s Club of Van­cou­ver. Founded in 1907, the UWCV at that time con­sisted of eight young fe­male grad­u­ates from Eastern Canada and the USA and was only the sec­ond Univer­sity Women’s Club in Canada. Long­ing for a club­house of their own, the women of UWCV found Hy­croft for sale in 1962. At that time women could not get a mort­gage with­out a male co-signer, so they raised funds on their own and pur­chased the man­sion out­right with cash for $32,000. The build­ing and grounds were in dis­re­pair af­ter hav­ing be­ing left va­cant for two years and club mem­bers spent much of their spare time at the club­house; sand­ing, gar­den­ing, strip­ping, and re­fin­ish­ing. The re­stored Hy­croft re­mains as an amaz­ing land­mark and a is great source of pride for the club which has turned a once crum­bling build­ing into a warm and wel­com­ing place for mem­bers and their guests. This is a women’s club, whose mem­bers share ideas, in­ter­ests, and a lot of fun. As part of the Cana­dian Fed­er­a­tion of Univer­sity Women, the UWCV has a his­tory of pro­mot­ing ed­u­ca­tion, rights and op­por­tu­ni­ties for women, as well as tak­ing an in­ter­est in pub­lic af­fairs and ed­u­ca­tional is­sues. Mem­bers have worked to­gether to be a com­mon voice in sup­port of women in all sit­u­a­tions tack­ling is­sues such as home­less­ness, hu­man traf­fick­ing and prostitution, safety of women, and child poverty. They also work to de­velop pol­icy on many is­sues re­lated to ed­u­ca­tion, sta­tus of women, equal­ity and hu­man rights, and the en­vi­ron­ment. An­other man­date of the club is to pro­vide schol­ar­ships and bur­saries to help women fur­ther their ed­u­ca­tion. A to­tal of 26 dif­fer­ent awards are given each year to UBC, SFU, BCIT, Emily Carr Univer­sity, Lan­gara, Burn­aby North Sec­ondary, and Bri­tan­nia Sec­ondary. Do­na­tions and funds raised through­out the year sup­port this great pro­gram. This Club is also known to kick up its heels and have some fun. Mem­bers are en­cour­aged to start in­ter­est groups, and there are many, rang­ing from Golf and Writ­ers, to Texas Hold’em Poker and Whiskey Women. Fre­quent bar­be­cues in the sum­mer time bring mem­bers and guests to­gether in the beau­ti­ful gar­dens, and Christ­mas at Hy­croft has be­come a Van­cou­ver tra­di­tion and a ma­jor fundraiser to sup­port the preser­va­tion and main­te­nance of Hy­croft. UWCV also has a tra­di­tion of sup­port­ing the vis­ual arts through fine art and craft ex­hibits in the Hy­croft Gallery and pro­duc­ing arts-re­lated events to sup­port tal­ented, emerg­ing BC artists and de­sign­ers. Mem­ber­ship is open to all women who sup­port the pur­poses and val­ues of the Club, whether you are a grad­u­ate from a lo­cal or in­ter­na­tional Univer­sity or a non-grad­u­ate. Mem­ber­ship rates are very rea­son­able with a one-time en­trance fee of $400 and an­nual dues of ap­prox­i­mately $75 per month. This pro­vides you with full ac­cess to Hy­croft in­clud­ing a mem­bers-only lounge and Wi-Fi, plus all in­ter­est groups and mem­bers events (some with ad­di­tional food and bev­er­age costs) as well as the op­por­tu­nity to join com­mit­tees which match your in­ter­ests. Mem­bers also re­ceive sig­nif­i­cant dis­counts on Hy­croft rentals and mem­bers are al­ways wel­come to bring guests along to en­joy events and the ex­pe­ri­ence of Hy­croft. If you are in­ter­ested in learn­ing more about The Univer­sity Women’s Club of Van­cou­ver at Hy­croft, plan to at­tend the next Mem­ber­ship Open House: Septem­ber 11th at ei­ther 10 am or 5:30 pm. You will see a fan­tas­tic pre­sen­ta­tion on the Club and Hy­croft his­tory, a tour of this in­cred­i­ble place and re­fresh­ments. The tour alone makes it worth­while to at­tend! Mark Novem­ber 21st to 24th on your cal­en­dar: The 41st An­nual Christ­mas at Hy­croft is a Van­cou­ver tra­di­tion, and great kick-off to the Christ­mas sea­son.

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