In Memoriam: Henri van Bentum

August 13, 1929 – April 2, 2022

“The brightness that leaps from his canvasses is like crystals seen through a microscope.” TIME

Artist and colour master Henri van Bentum, 92, of Victoria, BC, passed away tranquilly in the company of his beloved lifelong partner, Natasha van Bentum, on April 2, 2022.

Henri was born on August 13, 1929 in the Netherlands. The son of diamond-facetter Hendricus Johannes van Bentum and Antonia Alberse, Henri began painting after WWII in a sanatorium during a long bout with tuberculosis.  Later the doctors said ‘taking up painting saved his life’.

Cured, he immigrated to Canada in 1957, where two years later in early spring he travelled by train to the Rocky Mountains to paint, a trip sponsored by friend and doctor Wilf S. Goodman.

While painting ‘en plein air’ at Moraine Lake, two faculty members of the Banff School of Fine Arts came upon him unexpectedly. When they saw what was on his easel, Henri was invited to attend the school’s summer session (which he didn’t know existed). Having no money, they waived the usual fees.

Ironically it was in the Rocky Mountains that Henri discovered he was a born abstract painter, and left representational art behind, never turning back.  In Toronto he studied with J.W.G. (“Jock”) Macdonald, his respected mentor.  Two one-man exhibitions at Roberts Gallery followed.

Henri’s work is represented in over 200 public and private collections. He had solo exhibitions in Paris, New York, Banff, Mexico City, Toronto and Montreal. The Paris exhibition was officially opened by then-Ambassador to France, Jules Léger.

Henri freely shared his love of art, especially colour, with others, teaching classes with new Canadian immigrants and lecturing widely throughout Ontario.

Henri was a pioneer, as well, of the Artists in the Schools program in Ontario.

All this was done despite a facial disfigurement caused by a failed mastoid operation in his boyhood during WWII in the Netherlands, in which he also lost hearing in his right ear.

Soon after arriving in Canada, a plastic surgeon performed a pioneering, 8-hour operation that restored some symmetry to his face, but sadly this was undone when the original (mastoid) condition recurred in the late 1980’s and another operation was required.

But Henri, a born raconteur, was steadfast. He persevered with sharing and giving teachings despite this disability.

In 1972 while living with Natasha in Morocco and on the island of Madeira, Henri created his opus, the “Organiverse Portfolio” – a series of 100 mandalas in pointillism, each 8.5 cm in diameter.  Dot by dot, “atom by atom”.

Later, back in the Rocky Mountains 1980-85 where Natasha worked at The Banff Centre, Henri embarked on a new series in watercolour, “Spatial Rhythms” and gave a solo exhibition at the Peter Whyte Gallery.

Meanwhile the ‘Organiverse Portfolio’, took on a life of its own.  In 1975 it had been made into a 35mm film and represented Canada at several international film festivals.  In 2005 a limited-edition portfolio of the Organiverse was followed in 2007 by a handheld set, with each mandala on an individual card, contained in a box made from recovered west coast wood.

Henri was actively creative until the very end. Recently Organiverse took on yet another form, a digital video production of the 100 mandalas joined with poems by Rabindranath Tagore’s “Gitanjali”, produced and narrated by friend Brian W.E. Johnson.

van Bentum’s work evokes organic processes of the macrocosmic and microcosmic levels, reminding viewers “what lies above, so below”.   This led NASA’s public outreach program of the Chandra X-Ray Observatory to launch an online exhibit, “Coloring Space”.

The exhibit juxtaposed images of space with a selection of Henri’s paintings. Friend and astronaut Chris Hadfield called the project “a lovely fusion of science and art”.  While Chris was Commander of the International Space Station, he took along a memory stick containing all 100 mandalas.

Henri was a prolific writer and correspondent with friends around the world. Following a diagnosis of bladder cancer in 2015, Henri wrote five children’s stories, all illustrated by Arizona friend P.J. Heyliger.

He was an intrepid world traveller, having been to all seven continents.  These travels were undertaken on a shoestring budget. Henri’s mode of travel ranged from foot, bicycle, donkey, camel, jeep, bus, train, freighter and passenger ship to dingy, dug-out canoe, dive boat, sailboat, to Piper Cub and helicopter.

Henri circumnavigated the globe three times in the company of his partner of 51 years, Natasha, and was a proud member of the Circumnavigators Club. He was also a snooker aficionado, a passion he continued to practice into his 90s at the Union Club, with its heritage Billiards Room, winning a trophy six years ago.

Throughout his rich and varied life, Henri continued to share and give widely. He embodied the motto of his hometown Amsterdam: “Valiant, Steadfast, Compassionate” (Heldhaftig, Vastberaden, Barmhartig).

Along with his lifelong partner, Natasha van Bentum, Henri also leaves behind step-daughter Melissa Hall Torre of New York State, daughter Maya Ehses of Haida Gwaii, step-brother Bruce G. Davis of Victoria, and in Europe, nephews W.A. Harder and Carel van Bentum.

A memorial gathering will be held mid-August in Victoria at a location to be decided.

150 YEARS OF ART from the Union Club Collection

This is the final event in our year-long celebration of 150 years since the union of British Columbia with Canada. Drawn from the Club’s art collection, each of the 16 works has been selected to represent a decade in the 150 years since 1871.

Landscape, Road through the Trees Watercolour on paper 1917

Florence M. Terry, 1917 Collection of The Union Club of British Columbia          2017.05.06

Terry was an exquisite master of the contemporary popular aesthetic, realism with a tinge of Romantic idealismA release from the harsher realities of the War years.

Painting Returns to the Reading Room after Conservation Treatment

Highland Cattle, painted in 1900 by Louis Bosworth Hurt, has been reinstalled in the Reading Room.  During its three-month course of treatment in the hands of professional fine-art conservator, Cyndie Lack, the entire work was cleaned and restored. Flaking surface paint was consolidated, missing paint infilled, scratches and abrasions refinished, and the badly damaged signature restored.  Ms. Lack’s work included repairing the frame: removing bronze over-paint from the gilded finish then damaged areas were filled and in-painted. 

It is not known exactly when Highland Cattle was acquired, but our ownership probably dates from the building of the present club-house in 1913.

150 YEARS OF ART from the Union Club Collection

This is the final event in our year-long celebration of 150 years since the union of British Columbia with Canada. Drawn from the Club’s art collection, each of the 16 works has been selected to represent a decade in the 150 years since 1871.

150 YEARS OF ART: 1900-1910 Suspension Bridge, Cariboo Road, Spuzzum, BC Black & white photograph on paper, ca. 1900Richard Henry Trueman (1856-1911)
Collection of The Union Club of British Columbia2016.02.01

By the turn the century cameras had replaced the pencil and sketchbook as documentary media. The photograph successfully recorded new landscape interventions of the Province’s rapid settlement and industrialization.

150 YEARS OF ART from the Union Club Collection

This is the final event in our year-long celebration of 150 years since the union of British Columbia with Canada. Drawn from the Club’s art collection, each of the 16 works has been selected to represent a decade in the 150 years since 1871.

150 YEARS OF ART: 1890-1900  Caen with Cathedral in Back Watercolour on paper, 1895 Sophie Pemberton Beanlands Deane-Drummond, RCA (1869-1959), attributed
Collection of The Union Club of British Columbia 2019.10.01

Victoria artists usually arrived as professionals having trained in Europe. Locals, such as Emily Carr and Sophie Pemberton studied abroad: Carr in San Francisco and Paris; Pemberton in London and Paris where she exhibited at both the Royal Academy and the Paris Salon.


Beginning on Thursday, February 3 and continuing through every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening in February, the featured McGregor a la carte menu will be a menu that truly focuses on all aspects of sustainability and healthy oceans.

Given Chef Nicolas’ extensive experience with seafood, this unforgettable Ocean Wise menu will showcase the best of what the pacific northwest has to offer – sustainable seafood!

These nights will be very popular with limited seating.

Reservations from 5:00pm | A La Carte Ocean Wise Menu | Dress Code: Smart Casual



Trio of Oysters
Lemon Pepper Granita, Gin & Lime Espuma, Cucumber & Shallot Mignonette

Endive & Apple Salad
Radicchio, Granny Smith Apples, Poached Quince, Apple Cider Vinaigrette, Yoghurt & Blue Cheese Dressing, Candied Walnuts

Artisan Romaine Salad
Roasted Garlic + Lemon Dressing, Romaine Puree, Focaccia Croutons, Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano, Smoked Bacon Lardons, White Anchovy

Scallop & Shrimp Ceviche
Side Stripe Shrimp, Preserved Green Strawberries, Cucumber Variations, Yuzu, Chili, Lemon Gem Marigold

Lightly Cured Sockeye Salmon
Citrus + Juniper Cure, Pickled Beets, Blood Orange, Shaved Fennel, Smoked Crème Fraîche, Dill, Rye Crisp

Albacore Tuna Tataki
Miso Tonnato, Watermelon Radish, Shaved Kohlrabi, Dashi Vinaigrette, Coriander Oil

Jerusalem Artichoke Velouté
Dungeness Crab Salad, Preserved Lemon, Confit Fennel, Parsley Coulis, Crispy Sunchoke, Old Bay Seasoning


Pacific Sturgeon
Pan-Roasted Sturgeon with Herb Spätzle, Charred Cabbage, Local Beets, Sauerkraut, Confit Citrus, Shallot & Caper Vinaigrette

Wild BC Lingcod
Herb-Crusted Lingcod with Salt Cod Tortellini, Vin Jaune Sauce, Truffled Leeks,
Honey-Glazed Parsnips, Crispy Wild Rice, Fava Shoots


Grilled Sablefish
Farmer Rob’s Chickpea Miso, Roasted Butternut Squash, Maitake Mushrooms, Shellfish & Squash Bisque, Glazed Salt Spring Island Mussels, Wild Mountain Huckleberry

Celery Root Risotto
Celeriac Puree, Roasted Cippolini Onions, Pickled Celery, Toasted Hazelnut, Herb Mascarpone

Octopus & Pork Belly
Grilled Giant Pacific Octopus, Confit Belly, Smoked Paprika Glaze, Braised White Beans, Salsa Verde, Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Red Pepper & Sherry Emulsion, Pork-Shallot Crumble

Fraser Valley Duck Breast
Honey-Glazed Duck Breast with Stewed Grains, Carrot, Creamed Lacinato Kale,
Roasted Hedgehog Mushrooms, Black Garlic Sauce


Beretta Farms Beef Fillet
6oz Tenderloin, Pommes Dauphine, Winter Vegetables, Watercress Puree, Roasted King Oyster Mushroom, Braised Shallot, Anchovy & Roasted Garlic Butter, Bone Marrow Bordelaise

Artist-in-Residence: Sharon Wareing

Sharon was born and raised in Alberta and graduated from Animal Health Technology in 1982.

She focused on the health and welfare of large animals and ran an elk ranch for 10 years. Animals, wildlife, the arts and the environment have always been at the top of her interests. Currently, Sharon is still involved by volunteering at the BCSPCA Wild Arc taking care of injured and orphaned wild animals.

Also, Sharon has been involved in the arts since the age of 11. She has taken classes, workshops and studied the old masters ever since.

Painting is a passion. Visually, some things just need to be painted due to their beauty or emotional value. Always striving to be able to paint anything and everything – painting is a private, solitary endeavor. Luckily, Sharon is surrounded by friends and fellow artists that inspire creativity and excellence.

More recently, Sharon has been focusing her art on our environment – the oceans, water and trees that are necessary for life as we know it.

Sharon Wareing will continue displaying at the Union Club until March 31, 2022.

150 YEARS OF ART from the Union Club Collection

This is the final event in our year-long celebration of 150 years since the union of British Columbia with Canada. Drawn from the Club’s art collection, each of the 16 works has been selected to represent a decade in the 150 years since 1871.

150 YEARS OF ART: 1880-1890 Rocky Mountain View Mixed Media on paper, ca. 1887-1889 Marmaduke Matthews, RCA (1837-1913)
Collection of The Union Club of British Columbia 2016.01.12

The dramatic landscape of British Columbia represented equally both an attraction and resource. In art it found expression in the late Victorian taste for the “Picturesque”.

Artist-in-Residence: David Hunwick

David studied sculpture at Ravensbourne College of Art and Design in London, UK. (1981-1985) 

After graduating, he trained as a teacher of Art and Design. David was a regular exhibitor at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh. He also exhibited at the Whitworth Gallery in Manchester at the New Contemporaries show and had sculptures sited at the world-renowned Yorkshire Sculpture Park. David emigrated to Canada in 2001.

David specializes in teaching sculpture, completing commission pieces, and mold making and casting. He formally taught sculpture at Brentwood College in Mill Bay on Vancouver Island. He also taught at Metchosin International School of the Arts in 2012 and also in 2014; Red Deer College in 2016; and in Pietrasanta, Italy each summer as part of the Sculpt Italy experience ( 2013 to present)  In 2009-2010 David was commissioned to work on the Blue Whale project for University of British Columbia.

In 2012, David worked as artist-in-residence at the Gitskan Art Centre in Hazelton, teaching First Nation carvers how to mold and cast their artifacts, including an 8ft totem. In the Fall of 2017, David also completed molding and casting another major First Nation public sculpture which will be installed at Fraser Valley University.

His work displayed in Preso Museo Ugo Guidi in Forte del Marmi, Italy, to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Michelangelo, as well as the 2018 Levigliani Wine Festival.

David’s sculptures are located in many private and public collections in The UK; Australia; Germany and Canada. Some of David’s public sculptures are on display at the Sidney Sculpture walk;  Oak Bay sculpture trail;  Kingsbrae sculpture garden, NB,   and the Castlegar Sculpture walk.

David is serving as the president of the Vancouver Island Sculptor’s guild, as well as the founding organizer of the Sculpt Italy sculpting classes:

Currently, David continues to sculpt and paint in his studio based in James Bay, Victoria. He is passionate about teaching sculpting, and allowing others to discover the joy of creating and releasing their potential.

David Hunwick will continue displaying at the Union Club until January 31, 2022.

Take-Out Meal Kits | January 12 to 16, 2021

Executive Chef Nicolas is pleased to continue “UC Take Out Meal Kits” for UC Members!

Please contact to order your meal.

The deadline for sign up will be Sunday, January 10 at 5:00pm.

Meal Pick Up Time will be between 12:00pm – 5:00pm, on the respective day.

If for some reason you are unable to pick up directly from the Club, please let us know and for $15.00 we will deliver it.

Take Out Menu for January 12 to 16, 2021

Tuesday, January 12th, 2021

Truffle Bucatini & Meatballs Meal Kit

$30 per person

Truffle Bucatini & Meatballs

Lightly-Spiced Italian Meatballs, Rich Tomato Sauce, Bucatini Pasta in Truffle Cream with Herbed Ricotta Cheese, Toasted Focaccia Bread

Wild Arugula Salad

Shaved Pecorino Romano, Organic Cherry Tomatoes, Capers, Lemon Vinaigrette


Wednesday, January 13th, 2021

Miso-Glazed Sablefish Meal Kit

$34 per person

Miso Glazed Sablefish

Miso-Glazed Wild Sablefish, Baby Bok Choy, Forbidden Rice with Edamame & Shitake Mushrooms Edamame & Shitake Mushrooms

Soba Noodle Salad

Chilled Soba Noodle Salad with Pickled Daikon, Shredded Carrots and Scallions, Toasted Walnuts, Cilantro, Sesame Lime Vinaigrette


Thursday, January 14th, 2021

Hunter’s Stew Meal Kit

$30 per person

Hunter’s Stew

Braised Quebec Venison, Red Chieftain Potatoes, Preserved Summer Peas and Saanich Carrots in a Rich Red Wine and Thyme Jus

Beetroot Salad

Lightly-Pickled Organic Beetroots, Wild Arugula, Blood Oranges, Crumbled Goats Cheese, Shallot Vinaigrette


Friday, January 15th, 2021

Chili Con Carne Meal Kit

$25 per person

Chili Con Carne

Angus Beef Chili with Kidney Beans, Tomatoes and Roasted Poblano Peppers, Served with Sour Cream, Green Onions, Aged Cheddar and Garlic Bread

Caesar Salad

Traditional Dressing, Toasted Sourdough Croutons, Shaved Parmigiana, Lemon & Capers Lemon & Capers


Saturday, January 16th, 2021

NY Strip Loin & Wild BC Shrimp Meal Kit

$36 per person

New York Strip Loin & Wild BC Shrimp

12oz AAA Black Angus New York Striploin Steak, Garlic Roasted Side Stripe Shrimp, Baked Potato, Grilled Seasonal Vegetables, Red Wine Jus

Wedge Salad

Iceberg Lettuce, Chopped Vine Tomatoes, Red Onion, Crumbled Bacon, Boiled Egg, Blue Cheese Dressing Boiled Egg, Blue Cheese Dressing


Please contact to order your meal.



Espresso-Soaked Lady Fingers, Mascarpone Mousse,

Espresso Creme Anglaise, Cocoa Powder


Crème Brûlée

Honey-Infused Crème Brûlée, Whipped Chantilly Cream


Chocolate Mousse Cups

Sirene Dark Chocolate Mousse, Caramelized White Chocolate,

Hazelnut Cake with Salted Caramel


UC Drinks

Union Club Fresh Nut Milk

House-Made Cashew & Hazelnut Milk with Medjool Date, Raw Cacao,

Cinnamon, Vanilla Bean & E3Live Blue Majik Powder

$10.00 – ½ Litre

Union Club Cold Pressed Juices

$10.00 – ½ Litre


Celery, Cucumber, Apple, Lemon, Ginger & Wildflower Honey


Carrot, Orange, Pineapple, Anjou Pear, Lemon & Turmeric


Organic Beetroots with Bartlett Pears, Saanich Carrots, Lemon,

Dandelion Greens & Parsley


Organic Kiwi, Romaine Lettuce, Apple, Lemon, Cucumber and Cilantro

Please contact to order your meal.