50 Years Ago: the Apollo Moon Landing

During the Apollo program of the 1960s and ’70s, NASA sent nine missions to the Moon. Six of them landed astronauts safely on the surface, the only times humans have visited another world. 

July 20, 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the first humans landing on the Moon on July 20, 1969  as part of NASA’s Apollo 11 lunar mission. 

Union Club member, Henri van Bentum was featured in Canadian Art Magazine in July 1969. In many ways, his comments are still timely today:

You Are Invited to: MODERN CITY – The Legacy of Architectural Modernism in Victoria (1945-1970)

The Executive Hotel (1965), Douglas and Humbolt Streets (photo by Hubert Norbury)

The Union Club’s Honorary Art Curator and long-time Club member, Martin Segger, will be an integral part of the following program. Club members are encouraged to attend:

July 10 – July 18

Public Exhibition at 1515 Douglas Street


July 11 at 7pm

Public Lectures at 1515 Douglas Street

Don Luxton “Mid-century Modernism in Victoria”

Terence Williams “Architecture of the John Wade Practice”

No tickets required


July 13 and 14 from 12pm – 1pm

Free Walking Tour:

“Modern City”

Guided by architectural historian Martin Segger

Meet in the Rotunda at 1515 Douglas Street at 12pm


July 18 at 7pm

Public Panel Discussion

at 1515 Douglas Street

“The Future of V ictoria’s Modernist Legacy”

Panelists: Chris Gower, Steve Barber, Pam Madoff, Franc D’Ambrosio

Moderator: Martin Segger


Hosted by Jawl Properties Limited.

In collaboration with D’Ambrosio Architecture + Urbanism.

Curated by Martin Segger.

Special Thanks to City of Victoria Archives, Saanich Municipal Archives and University of Victoria Libraries Special Collections.

Contemporary photos by John Taylor, Sama Jim Canzian and Sandy Beaman.

Cory Trépanier – Artist, Filmmaker, Explorer – On Display in the Club

‘Mount Thor’ by Cory Trépanier

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”.


An Exhibition of Art and Film by Canadian Painter and Filmmaker Cory

Over 50 Trépanier Arctic paintings and 2 films on tour June 14 – Nov 3, 2019 at the The Bateman Foundation Gallery of Nature in Victoria, British Columbia.

INTO THE ARCTIC Exhibition Tour Promo – Bateman Foundation Gallery of Nature from CoryTrepanier on Vimeo.

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.

‘Glacierside’ by Cory Trépanier

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

‘Mount Thor’ by Cory Trépanier

The Bateman Foundation Gallery of Nature is open daily, 10am to 5pm, at 470 Belleville Street.

Everything You Need to Know About Soho House Hong Kong

A rendering of the House Brasserie, with views of Victoria Harbour from the 28th floor.

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 are.”

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.

A rendering of the Pool Room, located on the 30th floor.
The main member’s bar and club space on the 29th floor.

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.

A rendering of The Drawing Room.
A function room on the 26th floor.
An events room on the 25th floor.

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.

One of the changing rooms at the gym.
A rendering of the gym’s studio space.
The gym’s reception area.

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.

Nick Jones at Soho House Barcelona

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 over time?

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 good achievement.

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 entertainment.

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 community.

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 get.

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.

Sixteen of the World’s Best Luxury Hotels for Design Lovers

If exquisite artistry gives you goosebumps, these ventures may prove irresistible.

The Warehouse Hotel, Singapore

The Warehouse Hotel, Singapore

Before opening as a boutique 37-room bolthole early this year, The Warehouse Hotel enjoyed a storied – albeit muddled – past as part of the Straits of Malacca trade route. Originally built as a spice ‘godown’ (warehouse) in 1895, the building was at the epicentre of underground activity and illegal distilleries – and was even a popular disco in the 1980s. The task of giving this heritage building a much needed new lease of life fell to acclaimed Singaporean hospitality company The Lo & Behold Group, who enlisted the expertise of local architects Zarch Collaboratives and design studio Asylum. The team pledged to keep the entire scheme local, and a focus on homegrown talent is seen throughout – right down to the in-room cups and saucers made by a local ceramic studio. The hotel has character in spades, with a unique design that offers a ‘fresh perspective on the term “industrial”‘, according to Asylum. Large vault ceilings, exposed brickwork and earthy tones nod to its industrial past, as does the statement custom-made lighting fixture made up of wheels and pulleys in the main foyer.

Bisate Lodge, Rwanda

Bisate Lodge, Rwanda 

The beautiful Bisate Lodge sets a new standard in luxury accommodation in northern Rwanda, and it’s not just the hotel’s design and multiple five-star amenities that are impressive. The eight-bedroom rooftop resort is a nature lover’s paradise, with the hotel itself nestled within a natural amphitheatre formed by a long-extinct volcanic cone. The Volcanoes National Park is just a stone’s throw away, and each room looks out across the majestic Virunga Mountains, home to the iconic mountain gorilla. A guided tour to explore the area and catch a glimpse of these magnificent, critically-endangered primates in their natural habitat is a must and can be organised through the hotel. Bisate Lodge has sustainability at its heart, with plans to introduce indigenous plants to the immediate surrounding area among other initiatives. Inside, the lodge’s thatched pods take inspiration from traditional Rwandan design, with domed roofs and natural materials such as wood and volcanic stone balanced by thoroughly modern touches and bright colours.

Park Hyatt, Bangkok

Park Hyatt, Bangkok

Originally scheduled to open back in 2014, the striking new Park Hyatt Bangkok is finally open for business. The five-star hotel is Park Hyatt’s first venture in Thailand, and no expense was spared to create a truly original feat of contemporary architecture. The hotel occupies the top floors of the luxury new Central Embassy shopping mall, and its facade is clad in extruded aluminum tiles to create a shimmering pattern that draws on traditional Thai architecture. Inside, the ambience is a lot more restrained, with an elegant, neutral palette of creams and silver providing a calming contrast to the bustling city outside. Because of the building’s distinctive curved shape, nearly all of the 222 rooms and suites have different layouts, and all are fitted with luxurious rain showers and deep soak baths that look out across Bangkok’s beautiful skyline.

Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo, Monaco

Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo, Monaco

Opened in 2004, Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo is an elegant hotel with a pool area designed by none other than Chanel’s Karl Lagerfeld.  The “haute couture” pool setting, known as Odyssey, features a fresco-style installation made up of 15 glass panels portraying Ulysses’ journey. The hotel also boasts Michelin starred dining by chef Joel Robuchon, as well as beautifully curated gardens.  “Behind the monumental Belle Epoque facade, the place has both pin-sharp classical elegance – and melodious modern rhythm,” says the Daily Telegraph. Designer Jacques Garcia is the person you bring in “when you want to achieve this mix of the gracefully traditional and the contemporary.”

Alila Fort Bishangarh, Jaipur, Rajasthan 

Alila Fort Bishangarh, Jaipur, Rajasthan 

The newly opened Alila Fort is a hotel that’s truly fit for royalty. The 230-year old warrior fortress, located in the picturesque village of Bishangarh, is steeped in character and history and is a prime example of Jaipur Gharana architecture. Following a seven-year restoration project, the fort has reopened as a grand resort, the latest opening from luxury hotel group Alila. The imposing fortress structure has been left intact with its towering turrets, arched windows, even a granite dungeon, now a luxury spa. It’s a spectacular sight to behold and full to the brim with five-star amenities including a library, pool veranda and terrace, cigar lounge and regal banquet hall. The surrounding views of the Aravalli Mountain range only add to its majesty and mystique.

Four Seasons Miami, The Surf Club

Four Seasons Miami, The Surf Club

When American businessman Harvey Firestone founded his private members’ club on a stretch of pristine Miami beach, it became one of the city’s most prestigious addresses, attracting everyone from Elizabeth Taylor to Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra and even Winston Churchill. Following its eventual demise in 2013, the iconic club was purchased by local developer, Nadim Ashi, who teamed up with hotel group Four Seasons to transform it into a luxury 77-bed bolthole. Pritzker Prize-winning architect Richard Meier was tasked with reimagining the club while maintaining its original charm, with French designer Joseph Dirand masterminding the chic, minimalist interiors. The hotel now features a beachfront spa with traditional hammam, three pools, champagne bar and – launched in early 2018 – a concept restaurant from Michelin-starred chef Thomas Keller.

The Oberoi Beach Resort, Al Zorah, Dubai

The Oberoi Beach Resort, Al Zorah, Dubai

Just half an hour’s drive from Dubai International Airport, the Al Zorah Nature Reserve in northern Ajman is a verdant paradise replete with lush mangroves, crystal-clear lagoons and white-sand beaches. Located just across from a new 18-hole golf course in the heart of the reserve is the latest opening from the award-winning Oberoi Hotels & Resorts group. The Oberoi Beach Resort Al Zorah is a luxury, eco-friendly wellness resort with a striking, minimalist design made up of interconnecting buildings surrounded by shallow water pools with panoramic sea views from every angle. Light-filled suites and villas – some with temperature-controlled plunge pools – exude the kind of natural, pared-back luxury that runs throughout the entire resort, which also includes two restaurants, a poolside health bar with lounge and a spa with Turkish baths.

Artist Residence, Oxfordshire

Artist Residence, Oxfordshire

The Artist Residence hotel group, which operates boutique boltholes in Brighton, Pimlico and Penzance, has added a fourth property to its portfolio in the Oxfordshire countryside. Artist Residence, Oxfordshire, a converted thatched farmhouse in South Leigh, reopened in May as a cosy pub and restaurant with five rooms. A further seven rooms in the adjoining cottage and stables will open later in the year. Original features, such as dark-oak panelling, exposed beams and brickwork, are teamed with William Morris wallpaper and a pop of signature contemporary colour, courtesy of trendy artist duo, the Connor Brothers.

Le Nolinski, Paris

Le Nolinski, Paris

Luxury French hospitality group Evok have pulled out all the stops for their first hotel launch in the capital. Le Nolinski is a triumph of Art-Deco glamour with contemporary flourishes, located on the prestigious Avenue de l’Opera in Paris’s 1st arrondissement. Housed in former office spaces in a historic Haussmannian building, Le Nolinski’s renovation was masterminded by local architect and interior designer Jean-Louis Deniot, who was briefed to design the scheme as if designing the home of a wealthy fictional traveller. The result is rather special. Undeniable luxurious with a touch of Belle Epoque glamour in the magnificent Carrara marble reception and spacious suites named after the likes of Josephine Baker and Ernest Hemingway, the design also has a sense of playfulness in unexpected bursts of colour and quirky accessories such as vintage radios, cosy fabrics, statement sculptures and light fixtures. The candlelit subterranean spa by La Colline is arguably the highlight of the hotel, featuring a 16-metre pool with mirrored ceilings and stonewalls in a masterstroke of striking, minimalist design.

L’Hotel Marrakech by Jasper Conran

L’Hotel Marrakech by Jasper Conran

Speaking of interior maestros, few designers carry quite such industry prestige as the Conran clan. Jasper, who made his first creative forays in fashion, has recently branched into hospitality with the launch of a luxury hotel, an ambition he’s harboured since the age of eight. L’Hotel Marrakech is a converted 19th-century palace with just five spacious suites (each with a private balcony) surrounding a large courtyard complete with tiled fountain and swimming pool. Conran’s evident good taste underlies everything, (the designer had a hands-on role in all aspects of the renovation and design). Traditional local crafts sit alongside antique furniture, original artwork and paintings from Conran’s personal collection, giving the riad a relaxed yet authentic aesthetic with a touch of 1930s elegance. Up on the terracotta roof terrace, the stunning views across the Atlas Mountains are the only visual stimulation necessary.

The Silo, Cape Town

The Silo, Cape Town

The latest opening from The Royal Portfolio group is so much more than just a new hotel. The Silo is an ambitious five-star retreat set to transform Cape Town’s cultural scene, with hopes it will become as synonymous with the city skyline as the Eiffel Tower is to Paris. The Grain Silo building opened back in 1924 and was, at the time, the tallest building in sub-Saharan Africa. When The Royal Portfolio owner Liz Biden secured it for her next venture, maintaining the building’s history and industrial roots was integral to its renovation. Thomas Heatherwick was brought in for his architectural expertise, and his 18ft ‘pillowed’ windows in a unique inflated dome shape are nothing short of works of art. At night, the effect is of a lantern protruding from the V&A waterfront. Biden has decorated each of the 28 suites (including a penthouse) individually with curated artwork and pared-back luxury finishes in keeping with the original design. The lower half of the Silo building is now home to the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA), a new cultural institution, which is aiming to rival the likes of London’s Tate Modern and NYC’s MoMA.

Soho House, Barcelona

Soho House, Barcelona

Trust the effortlessly cool Soho House group to make its mark on Spain’s coolest city. The 18th branch of the ever-expanding Soho House portfolio is housed in a grand 19th century apartment block on the edge of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter. Spread across six floors, the new hotel (which is open to non-members) employs the tried-and-tested Soho House interior design formula of earthy colours and country-house chic mixed with local finds; think Mediterranean tiles, patterned rugs, textiles and exposed red brick. There’s also the ubiquitous rooftop pool, flanked on one side by striped daybeds overlooking the picturesque Port Vell marina, and features Soho House’s only indoor pool inside the vast Cowshed Spa. 

Haymarket by Scandic, Stockholm

Haymarket by Scandic, Stockholm

Sweden is one of the world’s undisputed design capitals, famous for its minimalist architecture and style. Minimalism, however, is the last word that comes to mind when stepping into the new Haymarket by Scandic hotel. This imposing 405-bedroom bolthole is located within the former Paul Urbanus Bergström (PUB) department store, where Greta Garbo worked in the millinery department in the 1920s. A decadent Art Deco theme runs throughout the interior scheme, which was masterminded by local design studio Koncept. Geometric shapes, brass finishes, rich jewel tones and heavy furniture fitted with Hollywood-style spotlight bulbs creates a bold aesthetic with a hint of Miami glamour, while still managing to feel like a boutique hotel in spite of its impressive size.

The Whitby, New York

The Whitby, New York

The Whitby is the second New York opening from the award-winning Firmdale Hotels group, and the 10th worldwide. Located just two blocks from Central Park, The Whitby is spread across 16 floors with floor-to-ceiling windows on every level. The task of designing the 87 guestrooms naturally fell to Kit Kemp, Firmdale co-founder and Design Director. Renowned for her use of bold colour, pattern and textiles, as well as having a keen eye for contemporary art, Kemp’s signature style permeates every room and space. Her influence can also be seen in the book-lined drawing room, private outdoor terrace, orangery and 130-seat cinema room.

San Luis, South Tyrol

San Luis, South Tyrol

This modern fairy-tale retreat in Italy’s rugged South Tyrol region is a bastion of peace and luxury, comprising beautiful treehouses and gorgeous lakeside chalets built from local wood.

All chalets come with their own hot tubs and saunas and are full of exquisite homemade furniture that combine the historical and contemporary. The treehouses are set up high in the forest, while a remarkable communal spa features floor-to-ceiling windows, open fireplaces, an inside-outside pool and hot tubs in the middle of the lake.

As the hotel’s website says, this amazing little retreat is truly the realisation of the original South Tyrolean “summer freshness”.

Borgo Egnazia, Puglia

Borgo Egnazia, Puglia

This unique and stunning hotel, created in the mould of a traditional Puglian village, was designed by local architect Pino Brescia under the vision of the Melpignano family.

Just a stone’s throw from the Adriatic Coast, Borgo Egnazia is a spacious yet private compilation of 63 luxurious suites, 92 mini houses and 29 villas, perfect for families.

Another world-class spa takes the edge off a tough day of sunbathing and wine tasting, complete with an Aroma Lab, private infrared sauna, a cryotherapy cabin and a meditation room.

Light Sprang Forth: Celebrating Light Through the Eyes of an Artist

“Light Sprang Forth”, Henri van Bentum, 1964, acrylic on canvas

The International Day of Light (#IDL2019) is an annual event, a global initiative held on May 16th, providing an annual focal point for the continued appreciation of light and the role it plays in science, culture and art, education, and sustainable development, and in fields as diverse as medicine, communications, and energy.

The broad theme of light allows many different sectors of society worldwide to participate in activities that demonstrates how science, technology, art and culture can help achieve the goals of UNESCO – education, equality, and peace.

Why May 16th?
May 16th is the anniversary of the first successful operation of a laser in 1960. The laser is a perfect example of how a scientific discovery can yield revolutionary benefits to society in communications, healthcare and many other fields. The International Day of Light however is not just about science – the themes cover all areas of light in its general sense including art, culture, and development.

Light Sprang Forth 2
Celebrating the work of Netherlands-born artist and colorist Henri van Bentum, and to mark the International Day of Light 2019.


“Perhaps his background as a diamond-faceter’s son is responsible for the almost crystalline aspect of van Bentum’s work. His paintings have a luminosity, a radiance, that emanates from within.” By clicking the link above, you will be taken to a rotating gallery of some 21 “micro-macro” paintings, all created in the years before microphotography or images from space were available — all inspired from an inner vision. (For the title and year of each painting, hover your mouse over the bottom of the image.)

About Henri van Bentum

“The art of Henri van Bentum reminds us of organic processes on the cosmic and microcosmic levels.  There are many organic processes embodied in the work; they help me sense the vastness, complexity and beauty of the cosmos.” Leslie Mezei 

Artist Henri van Bentum was born in the Lowlands. His work is represented worldwide.  He has travelled extensively, including three circumnavigations by ship as lecturer and art instructor, and also has made several snorkel expeditions to coral reefs.  He is a member of the international Circumnavigators Club.  Henri collaborated with NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory on a project called “Coloring Space”, juxtaposing images from space with his “Organiverse” Starry Night edition.

Edie DaPonte Quintet: Under Paris Skies | The Music of Edith Piaf

Following the amazing performance at the Club on March 30, many members were curious to know about future Edie DaPonte performances. The Club is pleased to share the following information:

Date And Time:

Fri, 10 May 2019 at 7:30PM


Dave Dunnet Community Theatre, 2121 Cadboro Bay Road, Victoria, BC V8R 5G4

Music lovers will have the chance to see the incomparable Edie Daponte again as she performers her show “Under Paris Skies: The Music of Edith Piaf!” Last year’s concert was a huge sold out success, so don’t wait to get tickets, they will sell out!

Edie promises to make people smile, laugh and cry … though mostly smile! In 2017, Edie’s song, “Island Rain” was awarded song of the year in the Jazz category by Vancouver Island Music Awards. In 2016, she was nominated vocalist of the year and her song “Ride the Wind” was nominated as song of the year in the Traditional Category at the International Portuguese Music Awards.

Under Paris Skies – La Musique de Edith Piaf is a unique show combining music and entertainment inspired by Paris. With a live four-piece band Edie will perform many of the French cabaret singer’s soulful and emotional numbers. Non Je Ne Regrette RienLa Vie en Rose; Hymne a L’Amour; songs of enduring popularity, interwoven with Edie’s engaging style of audience-interaction, and interpretation of the French lyrics. She’ll also be mixing in some songs and stories that fit alongside Piaf’s oeuvre – inspired by a recent trip to Paris and meandering the city’s streets.

Channelling Piaf, with her rich timbre and captivating stage presence, Edie aims for a completely authentic experience and her experienced band will help create the atmosphere of an intimate Parisian theatre. Joining Edie are long-time collaborator Joey Smith on bass, and local favourites Karel Roessingh on piano, Jonathan Eng on drums and filling the important role of accordionist, Aaron Watson. All these talented musicians have long careers in the Vancouver Island jazz scene. You might not see Edie wearing the characteristic ‘little black dress’ that Piaf was known for – she prefers a little more flare – but she promises to deliver Piaf’s music as it was originally intended, with emotion and love.

Growing up in Quebec in a Portuguese family, Edie (named Edith at birth) feels Piaf has always had a role in her life, listening to scratchy vinyl recordings through her early years, despite not understanding the words in their French originals. As an adult singer Edie has witnessed again and again the strong emotional pull Piaf’s songs have on an audience. After a recent Courtenay show, a fan left the comment: “My French is rather limited but that did not stop me from being fully transported, getting completely lost in your sweet and powerful Edith Piaf renditions.”

Joseph Plaskett: Still Life in a Hectic World

“Remains of a Breakfast” Joseph Plaskett

Winchester Galleries is delighted to have been invited by the Union Club to present:

JOSEPH PLASKETT: Still Life in a Hectic World, May 3 until the end of July in the Renaissance Room.

The still lifes of Joseph Plaskett always bring joy into a room and somehow quietens the hectic world beyond that room.

And so we are delighted to fill the Club’s Renaissance Room with the joy of Plaskett’s iconic still lifes and tablescapes. Here is a table vacated after breakfast, the serviette laid purposefully, the café presse drained, the butter dish left uncovered. And here is a generous bowl of oranges, an hospitable pineapple, an amaryllis in vibrant red bud; and then we encounter the artist himself – a self portrait, looking directly at the viewer, but nestled into his own still life with antique surrounds and a vase of wispy flowers.

Each time Plaskett documented the mundane, everyday life, he extended himself and somehow made the subject sing and made the objects significant.

Joseph Plaskett received a BA in history and a teaching certificate from the University of British Columbia in 1939. He went on to study with Jack Shadbolt and B.C. Binning at the Vancouver School of Art and with A.Y. Jackson at the Banff Summer School. In 1946 he was awarded the first Emily Carr Scholarship which he used to study at the California School of Fine Art, San Francisco.  Canada’s most beloved painter later established his own foundation which continues to award similar scholarships to emerging artists.

Known for his figurative and still life paintings, Plaskett has long been highly collectable. Prior to the artist’s death in 2014, he was still painting, exhibiting on two continents, and collecting awards including Officer of the Order of Canada and several honourary doctorates. Plaskett exhibited extensively in Canada as well as in London and Paris. His work is included in every major museum collection in Canada from Victoria to Charlottetown.

OPENING RECEPTION: Thursday, May 9 – 3:00pm to 5:00pm.

Spirit of Canada: An Artist’s Journal of the Canadian Landscape by John Stuart Pryce

The Maritime Museum of BC is pleased to announce the opening of a new art show titled Spirit of Canada: An Artist’s Journal of the Canadian Landscape by Union Club member John Stuart Pryce, on now till August 29, 2019.

“The Golden Years” by John Stuart Pryce

About John Stuart Pryce

John Stuart Pryce

John’s love for art began at a very early age, as he discovered the great satisfaction derived from his ability to draw and paint. He continued developing his artistic interests, and eventually became an art major at the highly acclaimed H.B. Beal Tech. in London, Ontario. Since that time John has worked and studied in Montreal, Chicago and Toronto. During a successful career as an architectural illustrator, his work was used in projects around the world. His seemingly loose yet eloquent technique is the result of years of experience in the disciplines of drawing, colour and composition.

John currently divides his time between painting and sharing his artistic knowledge with others through his painting workshops.

“The purest and most rewarding form of painting, in my opinion, is “en plein air” as it challenges all of the skills and discipline of the artist.”

Artist’s Statement

“Na Nuq” by John Stuart Pryce

“There is value in all forms of art whether decorative, non-objective or representational but I prefer to use my artistic skills to bring an awareness of the beauty that surrounds us and the environment that we take for granted.

A painting should have a soul, make a statement or give rise to thought and conversation.

I paint only subjects or experiences that are personally connected and strive to share the emotions that I feel as eloquently and creatively as possible.

My goal is to share with others what my eyes see, my heart feels and my soul yearns to understand”

Show Dates: April 12 – August 29, 2019
Location: 634 Humboldt Street, Victoria BC
Hours of Operation:

  • 10am-5pm, Tuesday-Sunday
  • May 20 to August 29,  10am-5pm daily

The artwork is for sale.

World’s Most Expensive Bottle of Whisky That Was Made in 1926 Sells for Record-Breaking £850,000 in Edinburgh

A Bonhams porter shows the bottle of Macallan Valerio Adamai 1926 whisky to packed auction house in Edinburgh today. The whisky was bottled in 1986 having been stored in a vat for 60 years previously

The world’s most expensive bottle of whisky – described by experts as the ‘Holy Grail’ – has been sold for nearly £850,000 at auction.

The 60-year-old Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 sold for a record-breaking £848,750 when it went under the hammer today at Bonhams Whisky Sale in Edinburgh.

Although 12 bottles of the vintage whisky were produced, it is not known how many of them still exist.

Bonhams auctioneer Charles Graham-Campbell takes bids during the sale of this whisky.

The bottle (right), which was expected to fetch between £700,000 and £900,000 ended up being sold for a record-breaking £848,750

One is said to have been destroyed in an earthquake in Japan in 2011, and it is believed that at least one of them has been opened and consumed.

Since the auction was announced earlier this year, Bonhams has been receiving inquiries from across the world, particularly China, for the tipple.

Bonhams Whisky specialist in Edinburgh, Martin Green, said: ‘I am delighted at this exceptional result.

‘It is a great honour to have established a new world record, and particularly exciting to have done so here in Scotland, the home of whisky.

‘Bonhams now holds the record for the three most valuable bottles of whisky ever sold at auction.’

The whisky was bottled in 1986 having been stored in a vat for 60 years previously.

Bonhams’ auction house in Edinburgh was packed out for the sale of the whisky today. Martin Green, Bonhams’ whisky specialist Martin Green said he was delighted with the result of the auction

Although 12 bottles of the vintage whisky (pictured) were produced, it is not known how many of them still exist. When they were bottled in 1986 Macallan commissioned world-famous pop artist Valerio Adami to design a label for the 12 bottles. Valerio Adami is an Italian artist famous for painting bold, flat forms outlined in thick, black lines, in a style reminiscent of comic art

The price keeps on rising at Bonhams’ auction house in Edinburgh where the whisky – made in 1926 – fetched a whopping £848,750 at auction

The whisky was expected to fetch between £700,000 and £900,000 at auction.

Macallan commissioned two world-famous Pop Artists, Valerio Adami and Peter Blake, to design labels for a very limited edition of 24 bottles -12 of the Adami and 12 of the Blake labels.

Valerio Adami (born 1935) is an Italian artist famous for painting bold, flat forms outlined in thick, black lines, in a style reminiscent of comic art.

He is among the most acclaimed of 20th Century Pop Artists.

The previous record for a whisky sale was held by another bottle of The Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 which was sold at Bonhams Hong Kong in May.

It was sold for a world record-breaking price of £814,081 – the most paid for a bottle of Scotch whisky at public auction at the time.