COVID-19: Weekly Update 05.21

Welcome Back to Your Club!

As I’m sure most of you are aware, the Club opened this past Tuesday, May 19th. It was very nice to walk in the doors and see familiar faces.

Our opening is a phased one with Club Management and staff working very hard to follow all public health directions, guidelines and recommendations. Please watch for email updates, check the website under ‘Covid-19: Re-Opening’, or call the Club should you have any questions.

Our Club is on solid financial ground unlike some organizations that are not as fortunate. When the decision was made to close, Club Management took decisive steps to trim expenses. Our Finance Committee, led by Rick Sousa, has created multiple budgets for ever changing circumstances while researching and utilizing available financial support programs. Our capital projects are on hold and our savings will remain intact for future building investment.

It is an honour to work with the General Committee, Finance Committee, members, Club Management and staff during these trying times. Tough questions had to be asked and difficult decisions made. I can say without hesitation that we have the right people in the right places.

I sincerely thank our members for their strong support of the Club during these past nine weeks. Your encouraging emails, donations to staff, use of our Takeout Meals Program and above all, patience, clearly demonstrates your resolve and commitment to our Club.

I look forward to seeing you at the Club!

Lyle Soetaert,
Vice-President

The Union Club’s “Soft Opening” Continues

Your Club welcomes you back! The Union Club re-opened on Tuesday, May 19, under the following rules and guidelines. Operating hours will be 7:00am to 11:00pm, seven days a week. For the complete up-to-date re-opening plan, including the rules and regulations that will be in place, please click here.

The Fitness Centre Re-Opens May 26

The Fitness Centre will open on May 26 and will be available to members from 7:00am to 7:00pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday. There will be no early access to the Fitness Centre.

The Steam Room will remain CLOSED until we are allowed to open by the Health Authority. As the Fitness Centre will have a maximum capacity of 6, members wishing to make use of the Fitness Centre must reserve their time. Please reserve your one-hour time block at the Front Desk. Should a member arrive without a reservation, the Fitness Centre Supervisor will determine if there is space available, or if the member needs to wait until the next available time. The changing rooms and shower facilities will be available; however, members are encouraged to bring their own personal grooming products as all Club-provided amenities will be removed.

FOOD & BEVERAGE NEWS!

NEXT WEEK – BREAKFAST, LUNCH & DINNER RETURN!
Your Club’s General Committee and Management Team are excited to announce the return of breakfast, lunch and dinner service at the Club on Tuesday, May 26!
All dining will be by reservation (no walk-ins) with reservations being taken at the Front Desk – 250.384.1151 (ext. 0) or reservations@unionclub.com.

To view the revised menu offerings, please click on a link below:

A LA CARTE TAKE OUT AVAILABLE MAY 26
With the launch of the new menus (listed above), members will now have the option to place take out orders from the a la carte menu. Should you wish to order during the normal hours of service (breakfast 7:30am to 9:30am; lunch 11:30am to 2:00pm, and; dinner 5:00pm to 8:30pm), please contact the McGregor Bar at 250.384.1151 (ext. 313) and provide at least 20 minutes from when you plan to come and pick up.

CHANGES TO SERVICE AT THE CLUB
With the Club’s re-opening of food services comes changes to some service procedures. Table service will be adjusted to limit the amount of time and contact a server spends with you. This means: 

  • Food and drinks will be placed at the head of the table.
  • You will be asked to pour your own water and wine. 
  • You will be asked to place your cutlery on your plate once finished your meal. 
  • You may be asked to pass your soiled plate or glass to the head of the table to be cleared. 
  • The maximum number of guests allowed at one table is 6.
  • Please do not socialize in the bar and leave the space open for members to come in and order a drink / pick up take away food. 

We thank you in advance for your understanding of these important changes.

NEW COCKTAIL LIST FOR THE MCGREGOR BAR!
The Club’s Food & Beverage Manager has recently curated a new cocktail list for Club members! When next in the Club, please visit the McGregor Bar and try a new favourite! To view the cocktail list, please click here.

THIS WEEK’S TAKE OUT MEAL KITS – ORDER TODAY!

To view the take out menu options for May 26 to May 30, 2020 please visit the Club’s Dining page on our website by clicking here.

All meals come fully cooked and packaged, ready for re-heating. Please email sales@unionclub.com to let us know which days you would like to sign up for. 
This week’s deadline for sign up will be Saturday, May 23 at 5:00pm. Meal Pick Up Time will be between 12:00pm – 5:00pm, each 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.
Should you have any questions about the UC Take Out Meal Kits, please contact Danielle Scott, Sales & Engagement Manager, at sales@unionclub.com

NEW FEATURE: MEET THE MANAGEMENT TEAM

The Union Club of British Columbia is home to a unique Management Team. Long-term success depends, above all, on the quality of the Team providing the leadership, direction and vision. The Union Club is in good hands with the current Management Team’s wealth of experience and knowledge of the hospitality industry.

To introduce (or re-introduce in some cases) your Management Team to you, your weekly email will now feature “Meet the Management Team”, where a different Manager will be profiled each week. This week we feature Danielle Scott, Sales & Engagement Manager:

Danielle Scott, Sales & Engagement Manager

Danielle Scott joined the management team in February 2019 as our new Sales and Engagement Manager, and has enjoyed meeting Club members ever since.

Having recently relocated from Vancouver, BC, she is a former graduate of Capilano University with a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree.

Danielle started her career as a Sales and Marketing Coordinator for Tsawwassen Springs real estate development and golf course. She assisted in the sales and marketing of over 450 condos and houses as well as opening the 18-hole golf course, clubhouse facilities and Restaurant and Bar. She gained valuable experience through her diverse roles with Tsawwassen Springs over the 4 and a half years spent there.

She moved on to work for Rosewood Hotel Georgia in downtown Vancouver as an Event Sales Coordinator and was quickly promoted to an Event Sales Manager. She had the pleasure of building strong relationships with both her colleagues and with her clients, and thoroughly enjoyed planning large weddings, social events and corporate seminars.

In her free time Danielle enjoys playing competitive indoor and beach volleyball, running, hiking, camping and boating. She is always excited to try a new challenge.

COVID-19: Weekly Update 05.14

Dear Union Club Members,

The Victoria Day weekend is here. Though the forecast calls for clouds and showers, there is more than a glimmer of good news for our Union Club community.

This week, the General Committee virtually met and approved reopening of the Union Club in line with directions from the Provincial Health Officer and WorkSafeBC. As our priority continues to be the protection of members and staff, the reopening will be in phases.

On Tuesday, May 19th, the Club will have a ‘soft’ opening with limited offerings such as complimentary tea and coffee. Food and beverage service is expected to start June 1st. Guest rooms will also be available as of May 19 for members. The Executive Fitness Centre will open when we have direction to do so.

Staff is implementing new health and safety protocols and working on how to inform us of these new procedures. Member cooperation will be appreciated on such matters as physical distancing and staying home if feeling unwell. Staff has assured me that it will be easy to follow the signs!

The Takeout Meals program began last week with many members enjoying the Club’s cuisine and pairings at home. The meals are perfect for singles, couples or even a very small gathering of trusted contacts, the latter in line with Dr. Bonnie Henry’s guidance of course! Remember to check the weekly email on Mondays for menu choices and ordering deadlines. Takeout Meals will continue into the near future.

The General Committee and Management look forward to bringing you further updates and initiatives as they become available.

The past two months have been challenging for all. On behalf of the General Committee, thank you for your support and understanding as we continue to sail uncharted waters. I can hardly wait to welcome you back to the Club. Until then, stay healthy and stay safe.

Grace Van den Brink, President

The Union Club’s ‘Soft Opening’, May 19

The Union Club will be re-opening under the following rules and guidelines on Tuesday, May 19 at 7:00am. Operating hours will be 7:00am to 11:00pm, seven days a week.

For the complete re-opening plan, including the rules and regulations that will be in place, please click here.

This Week’s Take Out Meal Kits – ORDER TODAY!

To view the take out menu options for May 19 to May 23, 2020 please visit the Club’s Dining page on our website by clicking here.

All meals come fully cooked and packaged, ready for re-heating. Please email sales@unionclub.com to let us know which days you would like to sign up for. 

This week’s deadline for sign up will be Friday, May 15 at 5:00pm. Meal Pick Up Time will be between 12:00pm – 5:00pm, each 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.

Should you have any questions about the UC Take Out Meal Kits, please contact Danielle Scott, Sales & Engagement Manager, at sales@unionclub.com

MÉCÉNAT MUSICA VIDÉOCLIPS

As many Club members may recall, we have been treated to international musicians performing at the Club, thanks to our friends at Mécénat Musica (who are also UC members).

Mécénat Musica Vidéoclips is a cultural music video channel hosting original cultural music videos.The non-profit mission is to assist exceptional artists by producing, distributing and marketing cultural music videos. Culture & musicis their passion!

Mécénat Musica Vidéoclipsconvey a sense of culture (not just videos of artists performing).Locations are in streets, parks, galleries, museums, cafes, concert halls, lakes, mountains … anywhere.

For view these videos, please click the link below:
MÉCÉNAT MUSICA VIDÉOCLIPS PLAYLIST

WOMEN’S GOLF DAY 2020

Women’s Golf Day (WGD) is an event celebrating girls and women playing golf and learning the skills that last a lifetime.

WGD is a collaborative effort by a dedicated team, golf management companies, retailers and organizations all working together to engage, empower and support girls and women through golf.

The four hour experience allows a simple and accessible platform to build a foundation and creates a network to support the continuation of golf no matter what skill level or interest while engaging them in a charitable cause with global impact from a local level.

For full details, please click on the link below:
WOMEN’S GOLF DAY 2020

NEW FEATURE: MEET THE MANAGEMENT TEAM

The Union Club of British Columbia is home to a unique Management Team. Long-term success depends, above all, on the quality of the Team providing the leadership, direction and vision. The Union Club is in good hands with the current Management Team’s wealth of experience and knowledge of the hospitality industry.

To introduce (or re-introduce in some cases) your Management Team to you, your weekly email will now feature “Meet the Management Team”, where a different Manager will be profiled each week. This week we feature William Johnson, Food & Beverage Manager:

William Johnson, Food & Beverage Manager

I recently moved my family to Victoria from Vancouver for the Food and Beverage Manager position at The Union Club of British Columbia. I am excited to take the position as I had been a guest at the Club many times and greatly enjoyed my experiences here. I am also good friends with Chef Nicholas, who did an excellent job of convincing me to make the move.

My most recent endeavour prior to joining the Union Club was as the proprietor of Crowbar Restaurant. It was a 30-seat restaurant and cocktail bar in Vancouver. We specialized in whole animal butchery and worked with local farms to bring a simple, contemporary menu together. I worked closely with my team to ensure every guest had a wonderful experience. I also curated the restaurant’s cocktail offerings, wine, cider and beer selection. Crowbar was a labour of love, but I was happy when the time came to sell and begin a new adventure.

Before venturing out on my own, I worked as a manager, barman, and sommelier at numerous fine-dining establishments around Vancouver. My resumé includes stints as bar manager at the award winning L’Abattoir restaurant, bar manager at the renowned CinCin Ristorante + Bar, as well as head barman and sommelier at Gastown’s Nicli Antica Pizzeria. Prior to that, I laid the foundation for a future in the restaurant world at Cactus Club Café, where I climbed the culinary ladder from bartender to manager and eventually earning the role of wine director/sommelier.

In addition to being a cocktail enthusiast, I am also a certified sommelier, completing my Level 4 Sommelier Diploma through the Wine and Spirit Education Trust. I have received additional training with the WSET as an Approved Internal Assessor – a program designed teach the courses that I enjoyed so much. I most recently completed the United States Association of Cider Makers’ Certified Cider Professional program. Additionally, I hold a general arts degree from Capilano University.

I look forward to sharing the value of my experiences with my team. I hope to teach and inspire the food and beverage team to be truly hospitable. Together, we will strive for friendly and welcoming service and build a culture of kindness and generosity.

COVID-19: Weekly Update 05.07

Dear Union Club Members,

Mother’s Day is mere days away. Please join me in wishing a Happy Mother’s Day to our mothers, grandmothers and women who helped shape and define us in large and small ways. This year is unusual to say the least, and I know many of us are missing the tradition of Mother’s Day Brunch at the Club.

We can still celebrate these important women with a phone call, online, or gifts through local shops. Special moments and memories can also be shared on our Club’s Facebook page.

Earlier this week, the Union Club launched the Take-Out Meal Kits. Enjoy the Club’s cuisine and pairings at home with ready for re-heating meals and extras. Simply order and pick up as below. Given our limited staff at this time and the need for planning, please remember to order by Friday, May 8, 5 p.m. for meals on offer May 12-16.

Yesterday afternoon, the provincial government announced plans to gradually loosen some current restrictions on daily life. Management is working on various opening scenarios and member offerings in line with the direction of public health authorities. We need to ensure our Club has health and safety protocols in place, and that members and staff are well informed of these protocols. We will share information as it becomes available. Stay tuned!

The priorities of the Finance Committee and General Committee continue to be the health and safety of members and staff, and the sustainability and financial viability of our Club. We are strategizing next steps, both for the short term and looking to the future. To this end, we continue to meet remotely on weekly and bi-weekly bases. I would like to thank Lyle Soetaert, Vice President for ensuring we can meet remotely, and his patience as I continue to learn about this technology!

I look forward to welcoming you back to the Club. Until then, stay healthy and stay safe.

Grace Van den Brink,President

MOTHER`S DAY MEMORIES

Share a special memory you have with your mother!

Before Saturday, May 9 at 10:00pm, send a photo of you and your mother to membership@unionclub.com and you could be featured on the Union Club`s Facebook and Instagram pages on Sunday, May 10!

THE CLUB LAUNCHES TAKE OUT MEAL KITS!

On Monday, May 4, the Club launched the `UC Take Out Meal Kits`program. In the first 72 hours, demand has been amazing! It appears Club members are missing the amazing food coming out of the Club`s kitchen.

All meals come fully cooked and packaged, ready for re-heating.

Please email sales@unionclub.com to let us know which days you would like to sign up for. Please note: all menus listed below are for next week (starting May 12).

This week’s deadline for sign up will be Friday, May 8 at 5:00pm. Meal Pick Up Time will be between 12:00pm – 5:00pm, each 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.

To view the take out menu options for May 12 to May 16, 2020 please visit the Club’s Dining page on our website by clicking here.

Should you have any questions about the UC Take Out Meal Kits, please contact Danielle Scott, Sales & Engagement Manager, at sales@unionclub.com

BUTCHART GARDENS RE-OPENS TO THE PUBLIC

As of Friday, May 1, The Butchart Gardens has re-opened to the public, welcoming you to take solace from this beautiful garden.

They do need you to follow specific rules to guarantee you and your families (and their staff and their families) stay safe. Following these rules will allow The Butchart Gardens to remain open to offer comfort to all those who wish to visit there during these difficult times.

For full details, please click the link below:
THE BUTCHART GARDENS COVID-19 UPDATE

ARE YOU MISSING YOUR REGULAR BRIDGE HANDS?
Our friends at The Ranchmen’s Club in Calgary, AB recently introduced us to BridgeBase.com. 

If you are missing your regular social Bridge game, fear not – Bridge is still alive and well, albeit not in the Renaissance Lounge yet, but in the rooms online at BridgeBase.com.

There are a few different ways to play on the Bridge Base Online site (BBO) both for free and organized games with a small cost.

For full details, please click on the link below:
BRIDGE BASE ONLINE

NEW FEATURE: MEET THE MANAGEMENT TEAM
The Union Club of British Columbia is home to a unique Management Team. Long-term success depends, above all, on the quality of the Team providing the leadership, direction and vision. The Union Club is in good hands with the current Management Team’s wealth of experience and knowledge of the hospitality industry. 

To introduce (or re-introduce in some cases) your Management Team to you, your weekly email will now feature “Meet the Management Team”, where a different Manager will be profiled each week. This week we begin with David Hammonds, General Manager:

As I update my bio during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is the first week of May 2020; and we are experiencing a time that we never would have imagined a mere 6 months ago. As I am sure you would all agree, we are all in the middle of one of the biggest challenges we will face in our lifetime; but I remain confident that together we will get through this pandemic, and life will start to ‘open up again’ as we move successfully towards our new normal.

In terms of my biography and ‘who I am’ professionally, I wanted to share with you some of my experience and leadership philosophies, so you can perhaps have a better sense of what motivates me as the General Manager of the Union Club of BC. First and foremost, I feel that my management style is one that empowers people to make their own decisions and supports them to grow within their positions and careers. I am not a ‘shouter’, which for an ex-Chef is rare; especially given my early training and the era in which I came through the culinary field. (Ok – perhaps there were times as a Chef with 165 cooks that I might have raised my voice ‘a little’, as you do sometimes have to make sure the team knows who is in charge!). That being said, I hope my teams – present and in the past – have always viewed me as an approachable and caring leader.

I have always made decisions in the kitchen as if I was making decisions for my own business, and the decisions I make for the Union Club of BC are no exception; always asking myself, ‘if it was my money, what would I do?’. I think this philosophy has worked well for myself and the Club for the past 10 years – as well as in all my leadership roles as an Executive Chef; working in 5 countries and being a part of 9 hotel openings during my career.

I came to The Union Club of British Columbia in March 2010 with over 25 years of experience working with Fairmont Hotels and Resorts; including 17 years as the Executive Chef of the Fairmont Empress . Prior to the Empress, I started my career at the famous Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland, and then moved to the Birmingham Metropole Hotel at the National Exhibition Centre. In the late 1970s’, I arrived in Canada and had a short stop with Holiday Inns, and then moved to open the King Edward Hotel on King Street in Toronto. The west coast of Canada was calling, and I accepted the job to open the Delta Mountain Inn in Whistler. After 18 months in Whistler (I even learned how to ski), The Empress Hotel hired me as their Executive Chef, and so my career with Fairmont (formerly CP) Hotels began.

After my departure from the Fairmont Empress, my family and I spent seven years in Dubai, UAE, where I was the Executive Chef responsible for the culinary operations as well as the opening of the Fairmont Dubai (with a culinary staff of 165 and 9 restaurants to oversee). During my time in Dubai I also traveled to Cairo to take over a Sheraton Hotel and brand it to a Fairmont. Our years in the Middle East were exciting and very challenging, with many very early starts to the day and late ends. I left Dubai in 2008, and Fairmont then asked me to assist with the opening of two hotels in China. To that end, I accepted the position as Integration Chef with the Fairmont Beijing (Beijing, China) as well as with the Fairmont Yang Cheng Lake (Kunshan, China). I feel this global experience has brought me a valuable international perspective, that I have in turn been able to bring to the Union Club.

My international experience, depth and breadth of food and beverage knowledge, has provided the Union Club with a strong commitment to member services and a wealth of knowledge in the hospitality/service industry. Again, my leadership style is best demonstrated through the support of, and interest in, employee relations, engagement and communication.

My goal remains to make The Union Club of British Columbia a Club that is not only successful financially, but also a Club that members feel comfortable in – a place they can call a ‘second home’; and, equally important, as an employer that our employees love coming to work with. Basically, to sum it up, a place of friendship and loyalty.

COVID-19: Weekly Update 04.30

Dear Union Club Members,

I hope you’re enjoying the weekly emails. They are a great way to stay connected with our Club. And the recipes are something to look forward to while staying at home!

Personally, this week is one of reflection for me. Our family was to visit the Netherlands for the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of that country. May 1945 was a significant point in our history and echoes through to today where I’m thinking of how history informs and inspires our lives, our families and our communities.

We are living through a disquieting and stressful time. Yet it is important to remember that our Club has stood for 140 years. We’ve not only endured but have overcome the challenges of world wars, epidemics and financial downturns. It is our connections and our community that will see us overcome today’s challenges.

Our doors are closed right now but our community continues, seen with the generous members’ donations to the staff grocery gift cards, Members Helping Members program, and the appreciated words of support and encouragement. And, as a shareholder-owned organization, our dues continue to meet both our limited operational expenses and will help with re-opening preparations.

Now is the time for us to add our chapter to the Union Club’s history. Together, we will come out of this crisis together and build for the future. Our Club is more than a historic site, it is a living community. It is where we celebrate with family, build life-long friendships and relationships, and share common interests. We are not alone. We are our Club motto: In Unitate et Fortitudie Amicitia – Friendship in Unity and in Strength.

Take care everyone. I look forward to seeing you soon.

Grace Van den Brink, President

MESSAGE FROM YOUR GM

Your Management Team and General Committee continue to listen to Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer, for further information as to when the Club might be able to have a ‘soft opening’ with social distance measures in place. Given this, we continue to work on plans on how this would look for both members and staff at the Club. As details unfold, we will be sure to communicate with all members.”

– David Hammonds,General Manager

MEMBERS HELPING MEMBERS

The Club is pleased to remind members of “Members Helping Members” where, during this difficult time, many of our at-risk members can obtain assistance with acquiring groceries and/or medication. The strength of community unity is more important than ever!

If you are healthy, able and willing to help, please contact Danielle Scott at membership@unionclub.com with your name, service area, phone number and/or email address.

The first list of member volunteers has been formulated, and has been posted to the Member Central area of the Club’s website (MemberCentral/COVID-19 News/Members Helping Members), in order to maintain privacy. Those needing help can contact any of the volunteers directly to organize assistance.

We are a family at the Club, and in these times, we need to look out for one another and help where we can. 

10 ACRES MARKET OFFERS ONLINE ORDERING

Our neighbours at 10 Acres Bistro (611 Courtney Street) have launched a new pickup and delivery service, where you can pre-order groceries, cook-at-home packages, ready-to-eat meals, family-size kit meals and wine!
For full details, please click the link: 10 ACRES MARKET

THE COURTNEY ROOM OFFERS DINNER BOXES TO GO

Our neighbours at The Courtney Room (619 Courtney Street) are offering Dinner Boxes to go – meals that are ready for you to cook at home, with cooking instructions included.
For full details, please click on the link: THE COURTNEY ROOMDINNER BOXES TO GO

COVID-19: Weekly Update 04.23


Good afternoon Union Club Members,

As mentioned in previous emails, we launched a program titled ‘Members Helping Members’, and I wanted to share an email I received from a member this week in response to this new initiative:

“We want to thank the Club for setting up the ‘Members Helping Members’ arrangement.Because of my husband’s venerable age (a youthful 90), I am being extra vigilant. So, I’ve reduced my grocery trips to the bare minimum; if I were to get the virus, then he would too, and that would be very serious.

So, we’ve connected through the Club’s web page, to one of the UC members who volunteered to help out, and this is working out well. ‘s a member we don’t recall having met before all this, but she knew us.

This is all much appreciated, so thanks again to you and the team / Committee who set it up.Meanwhile stay well and best wishes to all.”

Thank you to the members who have reached out to assist other members. As you can see from the comment above, it is a valuable service and very much appreciated.

We continue to keep in touch with our staff weekly. Last week they were very excited to receive Thrifty Smile Cards, which were purchased from member donations which total over $18,000. We will be purchasing another round of Smile Cards around the end of April. Again, thank you all for your commitment and generosity to our staff! This week, staff will get another food hamper, the contents of which will be purchased from the Staff Fund.

I have had a couple emails from members asking about take-out food – both delivery and pick up. Unfortunately, as our kitchen is currently undergoing maintenance at this time, we will not be able to provide this service at present. However, I have noticed that our neighbours, 10 Acres Bistro and The Courtney Room are currently providing this service. Please find the links below to these two programs, for your information. Both establishments look like they have a variety of great offerings.

Your Management Team are busy preparing plans for a soft opening of the Club at some point, hopefully in the ‘not too distant future’. Listening to Dr Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer, it seems that when we do get the green light to open, it will be with physical distancing considerations in place. Given this, we continue to work on plans on how this would look for both members and staff at the Club.

Both the Finance Committee and General Committee continue to meet over and above the regular monthly meetings. It is planned that President Van den Brink will provide an update on behalf of the General Committee at month’s end to be distributed to all Members.

As always, many thanks for your continued support. Please stay safe and I look forward seeing you soon.

Regards,
David

David Hammonds,General Manager

10 ACRES MARKET OFFERS ONLINE ORDERING

Our neighbours at 10 Acres Bistro (611 Courtney Street) have launched a new pickup and delivery service, where you can pre-order groceries, cook-at-home packages, ready-to-eat meals, family-size kit meals and wine!

For full details, please click the link below:
10 ACRES MARKET

THE COURTNEY ROOM OFFERS DINNER BOXES TO GO

Our neighbours at The Courtney Room (619 Courtney Street) are offering Dinner Boxes to go – meals that are ready for you to cook at home, with cooking instructions included.
For full details, please click on the link below:
THE COURTNEY ROOM DINNER BOXES TO GO

MEMBERS HELPING MEMBERS

The Club is pleased to remind members of “Members Helping Members” where, during this difficult time, many of our at-risk members can obtain assistance with acquiring groceries and/or medication. The strength of community unity is more important than ever!

If you are healthy, able and willing to help, please contact Danielle Scott at membership@unionclub.com with your name, service area, phone number and/or email address.

The first list of member volunteers has been formulated, and has been posted to the Member Central area of the Club’s website (MemberCentral/COVID-19 News/Members Helping Members), in order to maintain privacy. Those needing help can contact any of the volunteers directly to organize assistance. 

We are a family at the Club, and in these times, we need to look out for one another and help where we can. 

COVID-19: Weekly Update 04.16

Good afternoon Union Club Members,

Please allow me to begin by sincerely thanking all those members who have donated to assist our wonderful staff during this very difficult time. Your generous donations to-date have amounted to just over $14,000! As a result, the Club is purchasing Thrifty Foods Smile Cards for all the staff – $150 each for full-time employees and $75 each for part-time employees. Initial distribution of these cards to our staff begins tomorrow. On behalf of all the staff, the Management Team and the General Committee, thank you for your kindness. Also, next week, we will be putting together another food hamper for each staff member to enjoy.

I want to also let you know what is going on in your Club while we are closed. Both your General Committee and Finance Committee are meeting when necessary, and the Management and General Committee leadership meet regularly. Of course, all our meetings are being held virtually and I must say, we are getting better at it every time we hold a meeting!

As previously mentioned, the Management Team is working hard to ensure that our Members are continually informed of what is going on and are focused on making improvements to the Club. We are also working on re-opening strategies and plans to ensure that when Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer, gives approval to open, we are ready to welcome all of you back as safely and as quickly as possible.

Your Club’s maintenance team has taken advantage of an empty parking lot this week with cleaning and painting new lines. They have also started to touch up items in the kitchen before all the equipment is put back.

Our Food & Beverage team have been busy! Given the success of “Cooking with Chef”, Chef Nicolas and William are working on a cooking and cocktail video series. These videos can be found online! Please find the first two links below.

In closing, I want to thank you all for your support over the past four weeks. I appreciate that this is not an easy time for anyone, and I am grateful for your continued support of both your Club and our employees.

Please stay safe and I look forward to welcoming you all back to your Club soon.

Regards,

David

David Hammonds, General Manager

UNION CLUB YOUTUBE (UC-TUBE?)

The Union Club is proud to launch a new YouTube page! Please find links to our first videos below – enjoy!

Video 1 (10:32):

Executive Chef Nicolas Hipperson Shows How to Make Hollandaise Sauce & Poached Eggs – at Home!

Video 2 (01:54):

William Johnson, Food & Beverage Manager, Shows How to Make a Hemingway Daiquiri – at Home!

WHAT ARE MEMBERS WATCHING?

Given that most of the world is catching up on TV shows and movies right now, and a lot of this viewing is through streaming services – Netflix, Crave TV, Prime Video and Disney+, just to name a few – we thought Club members might like to know what other Club members are watching. Do you have any TV shows or movies that you would like to recommend? If you do, please visit the Club’s Facebook page and look for the post “WHAT ARE MEMBERS WATCHING?” and leave your suggestions in the comments. If you do not wish to leave a review, please feel free to visit the comments section to possibly learn of some new TV shows or movies!

MEMBERS HELPING MEMBERS

The Club is pleased to remind members of “Members Helping Members” where, during this difficult time, many of our at-risk members can obtain assistance with acquiring groceries and/or medication. The strength of community unity is more important than ever!

If you are healthy, able and willing to help, please contact Danielle Scott at membership@unionclub.com with your name, service area, phone number and/or email address.

The first list of member volunteers has been formulated, and has been posted to the Member Central area of the Club’s website (MemberCentral/COVID-19 News/Members Helping Members), in order to maintain privacy. Those needing help can contact any of the volunteers directly to organize assistance. 

We are a family at the Club, and in these times, we need to look out for one another and help where we can. 

ARE YOU MISSING JAZZ AT THE CLUB?

For those jazz lovers who are missing hearing live music at the Club, we are pleased to point you in the direction of the “Worldwide Concert for Our Culture: 2020 Jazz at Lincoln Center Gala.”

This 90-minute Gala premiered last night, April 15th, however you can go visit and watch at anytime, via the links below:

WEBSITE LINK

YOUTUBE LINK

Enjoy!

ARE YOU MISSING DANCE, OPERA & THEATRE?

Marquee TV is where you can watch dance, opera and theatre on demand. While there is a monthly fee for this service, they are offering a free trial period. From their website:

“Watch Marquee TV FREE for 14 days and see acclaimed productions from the Royal Opera House, Bolshoi Ballet, Teatro Real, the Royal Shakespeare Company, Opera Zurich and more. Watch ad-free on desktop, iOS and Android devices, Roku and Amazon Fire TV. Cancel anytime. No charge within the free trial period.”

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

UNION CLUB HISTORY…

Please find below another link to UC history from the Archives, for your viewing pleasure:

The Union Club of British Columbia’s Newsletter, April 1992

COVID-19: Weekly Update 04.09

Dear Union Club Members,

I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank those members who have sent a ​direct donation to our staff. This is very kind and generous. ​All donations will be sent through the purchase ​of gift cards for our staff, so they can buy groceries or personal health items. Since last week, I have received many emails from members asking how they can kindly donate to our staff. If you would like to donate to our staff, you can email our accounting department – memberaccounts@unionclub.com – with the details of the donation and whether you would like it added to your monthly account or paid immediately by credit card or e-transfer. Thank you very much for this kind gesture.

I know I speak for all the Staff when I say how much this is appreciated and makes everyone feel even more a part of The Union Club of BC ‘family’. Also, this week, the Management Team put together Easter Food Hampers for each staff member, filled with a variety of food and other items. The staff will be picking up their individual hampers over the next couple of days to enjoy over the Easter weekend. Items purchased for the hampers were done so through the Staff Fund. 

We are also looking into the government program that allows organizations to bring its employees back into the work force and onto payroll to help retain staff.  I am also in touch with the staff on a weekly basis and have also encouraged them to contact any of the Management Team at any time. Our managers are reaching out on a consistent basis, too, keeping in touch during this challenging time even if it is just to say hello.

What’s happening this week in your Club? Our maintenance department is busy touching up woodwork in the building, removing all equipment and wares from the kitchen and thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing the Executive Fitness Centre. We have had a cleaning company come in to power wash the kitchen (after all the equipment was removed), and we have also booked a company to come in and completely sanitize your Club (using same process you may have seen being used on pubic transport recently). 

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all members and their families a Happy Easter – even though it will be a bit quieter than in years past. I look forward to welcoming you back to your Club as soon as it is safe to do so. 

Thank you again for your continued support and loyalty as we navigate through this challenging time, and please do not hesitate to reach out to me or any of the management team at any time.  

Best Regards

David   

David Hammonds, General Manager

UC COCKTAIL FEATURE

The Club’s Food & Beverage Manager, William Johnson, has kindly provided the following cocktail recipe for members to enjoy during their time of self-isolation!

The Staycation 

A simple 3 ingredient strawberry margarita!

  • 60ml good tequila (make sure it says 100% agave spirit on the bottle)
  • 30ml fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp strawberry jam (you can substitute any fruit preserve)

Add all the ingredients to a shaker tin. 

Do a “dry shake” (shake without ice) to help incorporate the preserve  into the tequila and lime juice. Then shake with ice. 

Strain the cocktail onto fresh ice and enjoy. 

You can also do a blended version by adding all the ingredients with ice into a blender and blending until mixed.

UC RECIPE FEATURE

The Club’s Executive Chef, Nicolas Hipperson, has kindly provided the following recipe for another Union Club staple that members can enjoy during this time of self-isolation!

UC Creamy Chicken Pot Pie

  • Poaching Chicken & Stock
  • 1x 8lb whole chicken
  • 5-6 L water (to cover)
  • 4 Spanish onions, chopped
  • 4 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 large leeks, chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf

Place all of the ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and poach chicken until fully cooked. Remove chicken from poaching liquid and allow to cool before cutting into cubes. Continue to reduce the poaching liquid until you have enough for 6 cups. Reserve stock for the filling.

For the Filling

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 cup green peas
  • 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1⁄2 cup celery, diced
  • 1⁄2 cup leeks, chopped
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp rosemary, chopped
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup 35% cream
  • 6 cups reserved chicken stock
  • Puff pastry

Pre-heat oven to 425F. In a large heavy bottom pot, sauté all of the vegetables until softened. Deglaze with white wine and reduce by half. Add fresh herbs and remove from heat and reserve.

In a heavy bottom pot over medium heat make a roux with the butter and flour. Whisk in the chicken stock. Add milk and cream and simmer until sauce has thickened and “flour” taste has disappeared. Season with salt and pepper.

Combine chicken, vegetables, and cream sauce together, check seasoning and adjust. Portion into ramekins, cover with puff pastry. Before placing in oven, brush pastry with egg wash and sprinkle with cracked pepper. Bake until pastry is golden brown. Enjoy!

WAYS TO STAY IN TOUCH WITH FELLOW MEMBERS

Zoom? Houseparty? Which app should I use to keep in contact with friends and family? The following article originally appeared in the National Post:

These Four Apps Will Help You Survive Social Distancing in the Age of COVID-19 

Until now, you may have relied on WhatsApp and Messenger, but extraordinary times call for extraordinary apps.

As you are no doubt well aware, we are living through a time of social distancing and isolation. We are staying home. We are avoiding physical contact with family and friends. We are lonely.

But, good news here folks — you can still socialize!!!! — you just have to do it at a distance. That’s where apps come in to help us keep connected to our loved ones. Sure, WhatsApp and Messenger usually do the job for this — but extraordinary times call for extraordinary apps, and here are four of the best… to continue reading the article, please click here.

UNION CLUB HISTORY…

Please find below two links to UC history from the Archives, for your viewing pleasure:

The Union Club of British Columbia’s Annual Report, 1953-1954

The Union Club of British Columbia’s Newsletter, April 1991

COVID-19: Weekly Update 04.02

Dear Union Club Members,

At the time of writing this email, members of the General Committee are meeting with members of the Management Team to investigate all government programs to benefit Union Club staff. Also, the Management Team is allocating funds from the Staff Fund to purchase food hampers for our staff – with the next hamper distribution being just before Easter. I have been in weekly contact with our staff, and have also noticed an increase in staff following the Club on Social Media, as they continue to keep in touch with the Club and the Management Team.

Please find below some interesting Club-related news to help pass the time and keep you updated on what’s happening at your Club.

All the best,

David

David Hammonds, General Manager

MEMBERS HELPING MEMBERS

Further to the announcement made in last week’s email, the Club is pleased to announce the launch of “Members Helping Members” where, during this difficult time, many of our at-risk members can obtain assistance with acquiring groceries and/or medication. The strength of community unity is more important than ever!

If you are healthy, able and willing to help, please contact Danielle Scott at membership@unionclub.com with your name, service area, phone number and/or email address.

The first list of member volunteers has been formulated, and has been posted to the Member Central area of the Club’s website (MemberCentral/COVID-19 News/Members Helping Members), in order to maintain privacy. Those needing help can contact any of the volunteers directly to organize assistance. 

We are a family at the Club, and in these times, we need to look out for one another and help where we can. 

UC COCKTAIL FEATURE

The Club’s Food & Beverage Manager, William Johnson, has kindly provided the following cocktail recipe for members to enjoy during their time of self-isolation!

The Union Club Sour

A cocktail to keep you healthy during the quarantine. 

  • 60ml Gin 
  • 30ml fresh lemon juice
  • 20ml honey syrup (mix a little warm water with honey)
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters 

Add all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice.  If you don’t have a cocktail shaker you can use a mason jar. 

Shake hard for 1 minute (it counts as exercise!). 

Then strain into an old fashioned glass with fresh ice. 

Garnish with a lemon wheel or some candied ginger and enjoy. 

UC RECIPE FEATURE

The Club’s Executive Chef, Nicolas Hipperson, has kindly provided the following recipe for a Union CLub staple that members can enjoy during this time of self-isolation!

UC Cream of Mushroom Soup

  • 6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (GOOD STUFF)
  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 pounds cremini mushrooms, cleaned, roughly chopped or sliced 1/8-inch thick (you can use whatever mushrooms you want)
  • 3/4 cup minced shallots 
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 4 cups (1 liter) chicken stock (or vegetable stock for vegetarian option)
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • Fresh Chives – Minced for garnish

In a medium pot (7-8 Liter Capacity) over medium/high heat combine the olive oil and butter. Once the butter has had time to melt add mushrooms, stirring to coat them with the fat. Cook the mushrooms until they are lightly browned and have started giving up their water, should take 8-10 minutes.

After mushrooms have finished cooking, remove approximately 1 cup of them, you will add them back later.

Reduce the pan heat to medium and add your shallots and garlic, keep an eye on the heat as you don’t want these to get to dark and produce a bitter note. Cook for approx. 1-2 minutes.

Add the tarragon, salt and chicken stock to the pot and increase the heat again to medium/high. Bring this all to a simmer for 10-12 minutes then remove from heat.

Puree the soup using an immersion blender or working in a couple batches with your countertop unit. Puree the soup silky smooth.

Return the puree soup to the pot and finish with the heavy cream, reserved cooked mushrooms and black pepper. Check your seasoning and adjust salt levels to your taste. 

Pour into serving vessels, garnish with the fresh minced chives and a drizzle of that really good olive oil.

COVID-19: Weekly Update 03.26

SPECIAL GENERAL MEETING REMINDER:

The Special General Meeting, originally scheduled for Thursday, March 26, 2020 has been postponed until further notice. Once a date has been scheduled,Club members will be notified.

Dear Union Club Members,

On behalf of the General Committee, thank you for your support as our Club and community enter uncharted waters. It is hard to believe that it’s been only 10 days since our world began to change at breakneck speed and on such an unprecedented scale. 

A small rotating staff remain on site including the Management Team and Maintenance. They continue to address members’ inquiries, manage and maintain our Clubhouse and look at how best to engage with our members in light of social and physical distancing requirements. Between members of the Management Team and our overnight security staff, the building is being secured 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

A first step in this is Members Helping Members. As described below in this email, we are a family at the Club and know that some members may need assistance and others want to help with such tasks as acquiring groceries and medications. 

Our General Manager David Hammonds has heard from members concerned about our staff. They are integral to the Club and we want to ensure they return to work as soon as it is safe to do so. Mr. Hammonds remains in touch with staff whether it is last week’s food distribution or sharing information on how the Club can assist them. 

Regarding the latter, Vice President Lyle Soetaert with a few General Committee and club members are actively looking into how the Club can assist staff. We will let you know of any actions as soon as we can. In the meanwhile, please remember that by continuing with the monthly Staff Fund fee, you are supporting our staff. 

A Frequently Asked Questions section is now posted on the Member Central site under COVID-19 News (member log-in required). The FAQs continue to evolve and we thank you for your patience as we work to answer your questions. We also appreciate members keeping accounts up to date at this time as monthly dues fund the upkeep and fixed expenses of the Club even while the facility is closed.

Given our commitment to stay in touch, weekly emails will continue in addition to announcements or Club news. We are also exploring how we can continue with printed material. It may not look like the monthly State of the Union newsletter, but we want to ensure that all members have information on the Club and our community.

Today, we can only guess what the future holds. What is for certain is the commitment of the General Committee and Management to the safety of our members, staff and Clubhouse, keeping members informed of next steps, while engaging our membership and strategizing our next steps, be it short term or looking to the future. To this end, we are meeting regularly and remotely.

I look forward to welcoming you back to the Club. Until then, stay calm, stay safe and stay clean.

Thank you,

Grace Van den Brink, President

MEMBERS HELPING MEMBERS

During this difficult time, many of our at-risk members will need help with acquiring groceries and/or medication. The strength of community unity is more important than ever!

If you are healthy, able and willing to help, please contact Danielle Scott at membership@unionclub.com with your name, service area, phone number and/or email address.

Once a list of volunteers has been formulated, the Club will post this list of available members weekly on the member’s side of the website, in order to maintain privacy. Those needing help can then contact you directly to organize assistance.

We are a family at the Club, and in these times, we need to look out for one another and help where we can. 

COVID-19 BC SUPPORT APP & SELF-ASSESSMENT TOOL

BC Health has recently released a Support App and Self-Assessment tool. The app will let you receive the latest updates, trusted resources, and alerts. The Self Assessment tool is built in.

To download the app for your Apple device, please click here.

To download the app for your Android device, please click here.

If you do not want to download the app, you can access the web version. Please note that this is best viewed on a mobile device.

COVID-19 DO’S & DON’TS of SELF-ISOLATION

as shared by the BC Centre for Disease Control

If you have been asked to self-isolate at home because of the possibility of having come into contact with an infected person or because you traveled, this does not necessarily mean that you have COVID-19, but you are at risk for developing the disease and passing the infection on to others.

DO Stay at Home for 14 Days

Work from home

Use food delivery services or online shopping

DO Protect Others

Wash your hands frequently (hand hygiene)

Cough into your sleeve (respiratory etiquette)

Keep 2 metres away from others (social distancing)

Greet with a wave instead of a handshake, a kiss or a hug

DO Monitor Your Symptoms

If you develop a cough or fever, report symptoms to by calling 811

If you are having trouble breathing, call 911

If you are directed to an assessment centre or the Emergency Department, wear a surgical/procedure mask

If travelling by ambulance, notify the dispatcher that you may have COVID-19

DO Keep in Contact with Friends

Use technology, such as video calls, to keep in touch with friends and family

Host virtual meetings, hangouts, family dinners or playdates with your children

DO Continue to Exercise

Exercise at home

Go outside for some fresh air, a run, bike ride, walk the dog or get the mail – ensuring you stay 2 metres away from others

DO Clean All High-Touch Surfaces

High-touch surfaces: toilets, bedside tables and door handles should be cleaned daily using a store bought disinfectant. If not available use a diluted bleach solution, one part bleach to 50 parts water (e.g. mix 10ml bleach with 500ml water), and allow the surface to remain wet for 1 minute

If they can withstand the use of liquids for disinfection, high-touch electronics such as phones, computers and other devices should be disinfected with 60% alcohol that remains wet for 1 minute

DO NOT Go to School, Work or Other Public Areas

For example: malls, fitness centres or places of worship

DO NOT Have Visitors

Except for individuals providing care or delivering food/supplies, and in that case, maintain a distance of 2 metres

DO NOT Use Public Transportation

For example: buses, taxi cabs, etc.

DO NOT Share Personal Items with Others

Including toothbrushes, towels, linens, thermometers, cigarettes, unwashed utensils and electronic devices (such as phones and computers)

Learn more at bccdc.ca/covid19

COVID-19: Weekly Update 03.19

Dear Union Club Members,

Earlier this week, the General Committee made the decision to close The Union Club of British Columbia until April 30, 2020.

I would like to thank you for your continued support of our Club during this difficult time and over the next while. The emails and calls received are appreciated.

I also thank our General Committee and Management for their commitment and professionalism as circumstances beyond our control continue to evolve.

Given our commitment to stay in touch, weekly emails will continue in addition to announcements or Club news. Information will include updates on what is happening at the Club during this temporary closure, as well as items from the community at large that may be of interest to members. For example, the latter may be tips on staying healthy, coping at home, and how to help others. Information will also be posted on the Member Central website (internal to members) social media sites (links found below). 

Recognizing our Club’s closure and the significant impact to our community, we know that members will have questions. We ask for your patience as we endeavour to answer them. To help, a Frequently Asked Questions section will be posted to the Member Central section of the Club’s website. This will continually evolve as we work to answer concerns. We have included a few questions below.

Our top priority is the health and well-being of members and staff, and the sustainability of our Club itself. If you have any questions or comments, please email Mr. David Hammonds, General Manager at generalmanager@unionclub.com.

Again, thank you for your support of our club. Stay healthy.

Grace Van den Brink, President

FAQs 

Are any facilities open for member use during the temporary closure?

All facilities of the Club are closed. This is line with both current public health guidelines and to ensure the health and safety of all our members and staff.

Do I continue to pay my fees and dues during the closure?

Yes. Membership fees and dues, which pay for the operational expenses and the maintenance of our Club, continue. Even during this temporary closure, we have fixed costs, e.g. minimal staffing and utilities.

Will Club events take place during the closure?

All Club events up to April 30, 2020 are canceled. We will continue to monitor the health crisis and assess next steps as required. Updates and information will be via email and the Member Central website.

Will I be charged for an event booked during this closure?

No. Members and guests will not be charged for any event bookings during the closure.

How is our staff affected by the closure? Who is still working?

Senior Management is working with staff regarding the temporary layoffs.

There is a small rotating staff on site including Front Desk, Management Team and Maintenance. During this closure, staff will thoroughly clean and sanitize the Club.

Can I pick up my mail?

Yes. See the Front Desk 9am – 5pm daily.

Can I drop off a library book?

Yes. See the Front Desk 9am – 5pm daily.

Has the Union Club ever closed like this before?

As far as we know, our Club has not closed its doors for such a duration. The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented in our 140-year history which saw us stand through two World Wars, Prohibition, the Depression and many good and bad economic times. We will get through this together.