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