The Union Club is privileged to be lucky enough to have three of Cory Trépanier’s original oil paintings on display in the Lobby.
Through close affiliations with The Bateman Foundation Gallery of Nature, where Cory Trépanier’s exhibit “Into the Arctic” will be on display until November 3, 2019, the Club was chosen to house these three works of art. When next in the Club, please stop by the Lobby to view the three pieces of art, along with a silent video display of Cory’s first two documentaries “Into the Arctic” and “Into the Arctic II”.
OVER A DECADE IN THE MAKING!
An Exhibition of Art and Film by Canadian Painter and Filmmaker Cory Trépanier.
Into the Arctic showcases over fifty original oil paintings by Canadian painter Cory Trépanier. Over a decade in the making, this traveling exhibition comprises of highlights from the most ambitious body of artwork ever dedicated to the Canadian Arctic. With a pack full of painting, filming and camping gear, Trépanier traversed over 40,000 kilometres, through six Arctic National Parks and 16 Arctic communities, exploring many more places in between, in a biosphere so remote and untouched, that most of its vast landscape has never been painted before.
Named one of Canada’s Top 100 Living Explorers by Canadian Geographic Magazine, Trépanier carries on the tradition of painting first made famous by Canada’s Group of Seven, but with the environmental concern of a contemporary artist. Contextualizing the artist’s majestic paintings is a series of Arctic films, which cinematically convey the wonder of the North while documenting his expeditions.
These experiences have created a desire in me to connect others with this remote northern wilderness through my paintings and films, with are assembled for the first time in this exhibition… I hope my work might spark awareness and conservation about Canada’s Arctic, and instil a greater appreciation and concern for the future of its ever-changing landscape.” – Cory Trépanier
The Bateman Foundation Gallery of Nature is open daily, 10am to 5pm, at 470 Belleville Street.
A decade in the making, Soho House Hong Kong is finally getting
ready to open its doors this September. Memorably featured in a 2003 episode of Sex
and the City and now something of a cultural phenomenon in
its own right, the private members’ club was established in 1995 and has gone
from one location in London to 24 clubs spanning the UK, North America, Europe
and Asia. (When it opens this fall, Soho House Hong Kong will be the 25th.) In
case you’re not familiar, the ethos of Soho House is simple: “to create a
comfortable home from home for a community of like-minded people, wherever they
Though one former
proposed location was Tai
Kwun, Soho House isn’t located in Hong Kong’s Soho neighbourhood but
rather in Sheung Wan, on an unglamorous stretch of Des Voeux Road West. However,
there are perks to this location: Occupying a 28-storey tower, Soho House
features views over Hong Kong Island, Victoria Harbour and Victoria Peak. The
interiors are being overseen by Soho House Design, an in-house team, with
inspiration taken from the city itself, including colour palettes and
references from Hong Kong films and the work of directors such as Wong Kar-wai.
Patterns and fabrics that feel uniquely Hong Kong will feature prominently,
while blending with the international design found throughout Soho Houses
around the world.
Art features prominently throughout the property, with a permanent
collection entirely focused on artists born or based in Hong Kong. Featuring
over 100 works of art from established names such as Lee Kit and Tsang Kin Wah,
emerging artists such as Firenze Lai and historic material from the likes of Ho
Fan, Yau Leung, Wong Wo Bik and Choi Yan Chi, the collection has been curated
by Kate Bryan, Head of Collections for Soho House.
What else is inside? Quite a lot, considering this is the biggest Soho House yet, spanning some 120,000 square feet. The gym, dubbed Soho Active, will span three floors linked by an internal staircase; reception and changing areas including sauna and steam rooms will be located on a separate floor. Elsewhere, a co-working space known as Soho Works will occupy nine floors of the building: Floors 17–23 will hold office space for Works members, while floors 2 and 3 will have a lounge and meeting spaces, where Works events will also be held.
On the first floor, a white-box space called the House Studio will host exhibitions, shows and other events. On the ground floor, club reception will sit alongside a new concept called The Store, where members will be able to shop for products from Soho Home and Cowshed as well as items created by fellow members.
Most notable are the club floors, occupying floors 25–30. Up top is the 1970s-inspired Pool Room, designed as a solarium with plants, rattan furniture and daybeds, not to mention a swim-up bar. One floor below is the main bar and club space, with lounge-style furniture, a dark colour palette and a stage that will be used for karaoke nights. The House Brasserie is found on the 28th floor, where a menu of Soho House classics (brick chicken, the Dirty Burger) will be served alongside locally inspired seafood dishes, siu mei, dim sum and Peking duck.
On the 27th floor, the Drawing Room is a light, bright space with contemporary design: think cork ceiling, jade greens and burnt orange. The menu includes a daily afternoon tea set, and there are two private dining areas, which can be fully closed off for events. Two events spaces — a private dining room and a function room — occupy the 26th floor, both equipped with marble-top bars; there’s also a stage which will be used for members’ events. Last but not least, the 25th floor houses a pre-events bar, a screening room and a large function space. Different floors will open in phases, with the club floors expected to be finished by mid-September, while other sections of the building will open in winter and spring.
If you want to become a member, you can start the process here, but note that demand is high and membership is limited to those in the creative industries. There are, however, benefits to joining sooner than later: Existing Cities Without Houses members and founder members will have free access to Soho Works and Soho Active for a year, while those who join after September will have to pay additional fees for usage of those amenities.
To find out more about this highly anticipated new opening, we sat down with Nick Jones, Founder and CEO of Soho House, to chat about Hong Kong’s creative scene, where he plans to open clubs next and more.
Soho House is famous for having a rule against suits and ties, and not
really welcoming finance types. Is that still true to this day? Has it changed
Loads of bankers
going out for a big knees up on a Thursday night is not something we want
to become because it’s not very nice [to be around]. But, individually, we have
nothing against anyone. We don’t want Soho House to be a place full of
corporate entertaining; we want Soho House to be full of like-minded evenings
and fun moments. I think people in finance have changed, so we’re not saying no
to finance — the no suit and tie was just one way of [expressing our point of
view]. And of course, there are plenty of people with great suits and ties who
have nothing to do with finance.
There were reports that Soho House Hong Kong would open in March or
earlier. What caused the delays?
We never announced
exactly when we were opening. We were hoping to open before the summer, and if
we really pushed it, we probably could’ve opened by the end of June. But what we
decided to do is hold off and do it properly in September. So the answer is
yes, it has been a slight delay but no worse than what we usually have. To
achieve a 30-storey tower block and club within just over two years is a pretty
When do you plan to welcome members to Soho House Hong Kong?
Certainly all the
club floors will be finished by the end of September, but the four main club
floors will be open the week commencing September 8th for an open house. To
have one big party is, you know, you have to move all the furniture out, and
what we want to do is show the house off in its glory. So we’ll just invite our
founder membership over a period of four nights. We don’t want them all to come
up the same night because it needs to be controlled. They’ll come in to
experience the club, eat in the club, drink in the club, look at the
The three floors of
Soho Active will be ready from September the 8th. Soho Works will come online
in January and the completion of the ground floor store will be in January or
February. So by spring next year everything will be really up and running.
For someone who’s never heard of heard of Soho House, why should they
want to be a member?
Just because the club
originated from Britain, it doesn’t mean we’re an expat club. We are a club for
Hong Kong Chinese and we very much want them to feel that we’re offering
everything that they need. Hong Kong is a fantastic city with many incredible
places to go. What we want at Soho House Hong Kong is just to add something
additional to the city. I think what’s different is that we are under one roof,
we’re in a great location, and we’ve got plenty of space. We’re not going to be
here now and gone in three years’ time. We have a very substantial lease
through our partners, Nan Fung. We are investing a lot of money to make sure
that the members, every single member, is taken care of. I hope that the people
of Hong Kong will find that very appealing.
As you know, Hong Kong already has many private members’ clubs. How is
Soho House different?
Hong Kong has had
lots of members’ clubs, a bit like the way that Britain has had lots of
members’ clubs. I think what’s different about us is that we’re inclusive, not
exclusive. We are aiming at a younger, more creative demographic — and the fact
that we’re not about money.
I only want a
membership to Soho House to improve someone’s life. It’s not just physical
space I’m talking about, it’s not just a nice place to hang out and drink and
meet and whatever. We care deeply about making sure that people in our
community meet other people in our community who might be able to help them. I
think with members’ events and everything we’re doing, all we’re trying to do is
make our members’ lives better.
How will Soho House Hong Kong be different from the other 24 clubs?
Well, this is the
biggest House, and it’s the first one where we’ve properly integrated the work
space, the gym space and the House space into one building. We feel it’s a
fabulous location. And of course, it’s our first entry into the Far East. That
makes me nervous but at the same time it makes me incredibly excited.
Why should that make you nervous?
Because if you’re not
nervous, you’re complacent. And I don’t think that’s a good thing.
Why open in Hong Kong before Beijing or Tokyo?
Beijing and Shanghai
and Tokyo and Bangkok are very much on our list. It just so happened that we
felt Hong Kong was going to be the first one to get into. And if Hong Kong works,
we will be having a very, very proactive expansion around the Far East.
Why is now the right time for Soho House to open in Hong Kong?
The timing is more
accidental than deliberate. We have been looking for a Soho House in Hong Kong
for nearly a decade now. As you know it’s really difficult to find good
properties with a decent lease in good areas in Hong Kong, so it’s taken us a
long time to find it. But saying that, I think Hong Kong has changed and the
creative industries are certainly popping up much more visibly than they were.
Fashion music, art — these are very big parts of everyday life here.
Hong Kong has changed
and will continue to change, and having something like Soho House here will
also help it change. There’s also an incredibly interesting community of
people who are in those businesses who would love a place where they could
gather under one roof and feel that they are part of the same community. The
people I’ve met in Hong Kong, they will be brilliant additions to our global
Unlike other clubs, this Soho House has no hotel accommodations. Was
that a deliberate decision?
Well, it was not a
deliberate decision because we initially put in an application for 60 bedrooms.
Through some technical issues with the size of a building, at this stage it was
not possible. Now, we could have reapplied and probably got them, but we sort
of felt that actually, even though bedrooms are a nice amenity, it’s not an
amenity that local Hong Kong people necessarily want, because they live in Hong
Kong. We felt like giving more work space, more club space and more fitness
space was better, so that’s why we dropped the idea.
How has Soho House changed since its founding?
When we started
nearly 25 years ago, what we created there was a home from home for people who
were prominently in the creative industries, but had a like-mindedness about
them where they could meet, connect, work, watch movies, go to members’ events.
I suppose in a way, the principle of that is exactly the same now. Soho House
for 25 years has created a community for its membership, created content for
its membership, and created connectability within its membership. As the years
have progressed, we’ve really just added to what we had at the beginning,
albeit in a more global, diverse, interesting way.
After you open a new club, how do you judge its success?
Our success is judged
purely on member reaction. It’s not done on figures or P&L sheets. It’s
purely done on reaction, how often our members are using us and the feedback we
What other Soho House locations are in the works?
We’ve got Rome
opening next year, and Milan currently under construction. We’ve got Lisbon
just about to go under construction, and Paris opening next year. We’ve got
Nashville opening, Austin opening, and we’re doing one in Philadelphia. There’s
many more houses to come. Our members love more houses: It makes our community
of members more interesting because you go into each city and get the cream of
that city and they join the global gang.
Will any parts of Soho House Hong Kong be open to the public?
Sure, we’ll have
exhibitions which will be open to the public, and times when The Store is open
to the public downstairs. But [generally], you have to have a membership to be
able to come in here.
The Union Club of Victoria hosts two Rotary Clubs. The Rotary Club of Victoria was established in 1913 and the Harbourside Rotary Club in 1980.
The Rotary Clubs’ membership represents the ethnic and cultural diversity of the Greater Victoria community. As the service club of choice, Rotary comprises leaders from all vocations and institutions. With the motto “Service Above Self”, Rotary has a reputation for integrating the resources of the community to support the disadvantaged.
Its youth programs support children of all ages and serves to prepare young people for the future through enhanced nutrition and literacy, developing leadership, and providing educational and travel opportunities.
For more than a century Rotary has undertaken programs to enhance and build the Victoria community and affect conditions throughout the entire world. As a Rotarian you can mingle with 1.2 million Rotarians in more than 35,000 clubs in 130+ countries.
The London-based h Club has touched down in Los Angeles, the latest in a wave of social clubs kicked off by the debut of Soho House here in 2010. HKS Architects, led by architect Luciano Mazzo and interior designer Russell Sage, have transformed the former Redbury Hotel on Hollywood and Vine into a five-story destination that includes a rooftop garden and restaurant. Hidden behind a sleek blue facade, the renovation suggests that this new incarnation will write a future every bit as compelling as its rock-and-roll past.
Certainly that was the intention of the club’s founders—the late Paul Allen, global philanthropist and co-founder of Microsoft, and musician Dave Stewart—when they opened the London outpost in 2004 in a converted Victorian hospital in Covent Garden. With its unique resources, including a television studio and an art gallery, it quickly proved a magnet for the city’s creative class. The Los Angeles branch seems poised to repeat that success.
It’s the h Club’s out-of-the box thinking that sets it apart.
The h Club clearly offers all the expected luxuries of a high-end private club—open-air pool deck, beauty salon, gym, plush bedrooms and numerous lounges and bars offering chef Kris Morningstar’s richly layered food. But it’s the h Club’s out-of-the box thinking that sets it apart. That starts with its arts foundation, which has not only curated work for sale by artists such as Anja Neimi, Gina Osterloh and Freize star Lisa Anne Auerbach but has also invited them to become members. The club’s partnership with neighbor Capitol Records manifests in a collection of rare photos from the Capitol archives displayed throughout the property. An app encourages members to share projects, and a state-of-the-art recording studio welcomes singers, musicians and podcasters. An Artists’ Lounge can morph to host a band, a comedy show or a screening. This cornucopia of amenities is set against a dynamic backdrop that Luciano Mazzo characterizes as “British, but with a twist.”
“We wanted to create something that would become almost an icon in Hollywood,” says the Italian-born, UK-based architect. That began with his reimagining of the formerly blood-red Redbury Hotel as something bright and welcoming. Light-filled open-plan rooms partner with small, cozy spaces, nodding to the varied sensibilities of Los Angeles and London as well as to the different phases of the creative process. “There are moments that, as creatives, we want to communicate, and there are moments that we want to be alone,” Mazzo explains.
Mazzo’s classical framework contrasts with Russell Sage’s whimsical visuals. That translates into a potpourri of joyful, provocative details that delight the eye with rich colors, vibrant wallpapers and exuberant patterns dancing throughout the rooms. An Asian tea room intertwines a half-dozen hand-painted Chinoiserie wallcoverings; upon close inspection, a bedroom’s wallpaper pattern is revealed to be made up of frolicking naked bodies; a gentry over the bar packed with colorful liquor bottles provides a glittering rainbow of color. (“I’m always looking for a free sparkle, the ability to turn something into a chandelier,” Sage admits.) This exuberant whirlwind is kept in check with a strong foundation of clear blues, deep greens and polished woods.
But it is the h Club’s rooftop that may be its crowning glory, blending fantasy and refinement in equal measure. Jarman’s restaurant, in one corner, is the club’s most elegant dining space, accented by lampshades created from Hermès scarves and palm-frond fans spinning languidly overhead. This high polish is in madcap contrast to the rustic wooden shed and desert garden (complete with an old ruined speedboat) just outside its door. Nodding to British filmmaker and political activist Derek Jarman’s legendary oasis in Dungeness, Kent, inspiration for it struck Sage like a bolt of lightning.
“I suddenly thought, Everyone in L.A. wants a rooftop garden,” he explains. “But there’s the sheer impossibility of it—water restrictions, the baking sun. This captures that spirit of total inventiveness. It’s stupid and crazy and fun, but it just works.” The spirit of h Club Los Angeles in a nutshell.
For any tennis fan there’s a certain point in the
year when the sport becomes hazed in romance: the start of the grass season.
After months of play on hard or clay courts the
arrival on our TV screens of luscious green stripes feels like a return to the
The biggest opener of the grass season is the
week-long tournament at Queen’s Club in West Kensington, now called the Fever-Tree Championships,
which starts on 17 June. The annual men-only competition is one of
the key warm-up events for Wimbledon, and this year has the added draw of a
comeback appearance from Andy Murray.
For these professionals grass is the ultimate test,
but for club players and amateurs, too, the surface has an appeal all wrapped
up with an era personified by Fred Perry and John Betjeman’s Miss Joan Hunter
The smell of the grass and its natural appearance
is part of its attraction, says Graham Kimpton, head groundsman at the
133-year-old Queen’s Club. “It might sound a bit twee, but it’s the feel
of it underfoot. The fact it’s a natural surface and that it reacts with the
elements. A hard court or artificial grass is the same every day,” he says.
On grass, a tennis ball bounces faster, and lower,
forcing players into a leaping athleticism but providing a softer landing
on the turf if they do slip. Some detractors complain that balls can bounce
unpredictably; Wimbledon champions like John McEnroe have said that’s exactly
why they love it. This, coupled with its fast pace,
means the professionals are desperate to clock up hours of drills on
grass before Wimbledon rolls around.
Tantalisingly, there are only three months of the
year when you can actually play on the surface. From May until September, the
high-end tennis clubs that maintain grass courts are inundated by members who
want to book an hour or two’s play. For the rest of the year grass is
This strictly limited period of availability, added
to the cost and labour of maintaining turf, means that a game on grass is a
more exclusive pleasure than ever. That’s if you can even get into a club to
A major barrier-to-entry for any wannabe Roger
Federer or Serena Williams is the waiting list for any of the leading lawn
tennis clubs. Queen’s, which has 12 grass courts, has now closed its waiting
list for full memberships.
There is a 1,000-strong waiting list join the
All-England Club in Wimbledon, which has 20 practice and 18 championship
courts. As Tim Henman once said, “The easiest way to get in is to win it.”
(Wimbledon singles champions get honorary membership.) Meanwhile, the
Hurlingham Club in Fulham, whose members include Jeffrey Archer and Pippa Middleton, has a
30-year waiting list.
Could the answer be to build and install your own
lawn tennis court? For a keen player or family of players with a country home
and spacious grounds, a private simulacrum of Centre Court is possible,
according to sporting turf experts.
You’ll need at least 34m x 17m of spare garden, but
a more modest space can work too. “They can be squeezed into a slightly smaller
area,” says Steve Pask, a project manager for specialists Fineturf. “We’ve just done one in Suffolk inside a
walled garden which was very tight but the owners were happy.”
Pask builds one or two high-spec domestic grass
courts a year, but says the demand has grown over recent years. Fineturf
recently completed one such for the Cotswolds home of the British-Australian
hedge fund billionaire Sir Michael Hintze.
“Once a client decides they want a grass court,
they never put anything else in,” says Pask. Artificial grass or all-weather
courts may be easier to keep, but have none of the poetry of lawn.
“A natural grass court is an English thing and it’s
about tradition. It tends to be people who’ve got a property that lends itself
to it. It goes hand-in-hand with a quintessentially English way of life.”
Construction of a brand-new, fully irrigated,
LTA-standard court will cost around £200,000 but it is less expensive to
refurbish an existing court gone to seed.
“The lowest budget we could resurrect a court would
be £5,000,” says Pask. “But the variation is driven by how much you aspire
to use it, and the amount of maintenance you want.”
Even those who hold precious lawn-tennis club
memberships may still yearn for their own back-garden court. Kimpton says that
some of the members at Queen’s ask him for advice on how to replicate the
grass experience at home.
“I get calls from members who have a country
pad and who want that. If it’s only used by family or friends, it’s do-able,
but don’t expect it to be like here or Wimbledon,” warns Kimpton, who works
year-round at Queen’s with a team of eight. “They can still have a nice
game with the family on a Sunday afternoon in July.”
Once the grass has grown in, a groundsman or
specialist gardener will be required to take on the duties of routine mowing,
fertilising, weed-control, aeration, scarification, top dressing and
over-seeding; carried out by staff, this would cost around £3,500 a year to
maintain, according to Pask.
For a select few, a lawn court has become not just
an amenity but a valuable property add-on. Charlie Ellingworth of the buying
agent Property Vision notes
that clients regard a tennis court as a safer investment than a swimming pool.
“Even if the buyer is not a committed tennis player themselves, as long as the
court is not impinging on the house, most people look at it as part of the
pleasure of country living.
“A grass court is less intrusive, and if there is
detachable temporary netting, it is something that blends in to the garden
rather than looking as if a supermarket carpark has been dropped into the
If all that sounds like too much trouble, don’t
despair. Roger Federer, the king of grass, last year confessed to
a Swiss media outlet Blick that he actually avoids excessive practice on lawn.
“I prefer to play on a hard court than on a
half-wet lawn,” Federer said, adding that the natural surface gives him
backache. “You have more soreness.”
Secrets of the world’s best tennis groundsmen: how to get Grand-Slam grass:
Soil with clay content is important.
“This is what makes the ball bounce correctly,” says Steve Pask of Fineturf.
The grass courts at Queen’s were relaid with Onger loam, a heavier, harder
clay, in the mid-1980s.
Think about the position of your
court. You need a reasonable amount of sunlight and air movement, to prevent
diseases and to grow strong grass (Queen’s is often said to have a superior
Centre Court as the seating stands around it are temporary, maximising
Technology has bred grass seed that
is now more tolerant of pests and drought. Queen’s uses a mixture of ryegrass,
fescue and bent. Ryeseed is the choice of Devonshire Park, specifically
Limagrain MM50, according to Danny Negus, head groundsman at the club where
the Eastbourne International is
A new grass court needs to be grown
in; if it is sown in autumn, the surface should be playable by
spring. Steve Pask of Fineturf estimates growing-in costs at £6,000 for the
For a fully-blown domestic court,
plan for a drainage layer and automated pop-up irrigation.
Expect to cut the grass every day,
ideally at 10 or 11am, in growing season. “The more you cut it, the finer and
thicker it gets,” says Kimpton. He advises using a cylinder mower that you can
The Centre Court at Queen’s Club is
cut to 7mm for the Fever-Tree Championships, but 10mm will play well in a
You’ll need to regularly scarify your
court (essentially, raking it to remove dead bits of grass and debris) either
by hand or machine, and aerate it (targeting puncturing of the turf, using
either a hand fork or mechanical device).
If dried-out patches emerge, soak the
turf, and re-seed it, says Kimpton. “If you’ve got one in your back garden and
you want to use it anyway, just do your repairs at the end of the season.”
Upon the conclusion of the Union Club’s 140th Annual General Meeting, which took place in the Centennial Ballroom on Thursday, June 6, 2019, the following members were acclaimed to the General Committee: