University Women’s Club of Vancouver

Where PowHERful Women Reside

A truly powHERful community of women, the University Women’s Club of Vancouver (UWCV) was founded in 1907 by a group of eight pioneering, well-educated, energetic females. Over the past 100 years, it has grown to include hundreds of women from all walks of life who are committed to forming meaningful connections and promoting education and opportunities for women and girls.

Imagine.  You begin the day in reflection at an early morning meditation class then soak up unlimited refills of your favourite blend while catching up on emails and the latest headlines. There is just enough time to enjoy the rejuvenating sounds of flutes and violin an intimate concert performed by a local chamber group before lunch is served.

You indulge in a delicious 3-course meal made from scratch with fresh ingredients while surrounded by lawyers, politicians, educators, entrepreneurs, scientists, students and other like-minded women you also call friends.

Depending on the day, your afternoon is spent meeting with clients, practicing French, painting on the terrace, shopping along South Granville, or getting lost in a book.

As the sun starts to set, you find yourself engaged in a rousing discussion on women’s equality before expanding your mind at an evening lecture, slipping out early to attend this month’s wine or whiskey tasting for a night cap.  Now imagine doing all of this at an enchanting Edwardian mansion fondly referred to as your “home away from home”, all the while helping to promote education and opportunities for women and girls.

It may seem like a dream but for many women, this is just another day in their life as a member of The University Women’s Club of Vancouver.

University Women's Club of Vancouver | PowHERhouse

When asked about the relevance of today’s women’s organizations and what value they give to the modern day woman, Club President Cleta Brown refers to an answer recently given by Hilary Clinton at a town hall when she was asked what attending a women’s college did to prepare her for the Presidency.

University Women's Club of Vancouver | PowHERhouse“She [Hilary] responded by referring to the leadership opportunities it provided to young women…” says Brown. “Women’s clubs provide the same opportunities.  You can observe close hand women’s leadership modeled for you, and you can undertake new activities, skills and responsibilities in a supportive environment where your learning curve is understood and mentored without the pressure of excelling and competing aggressively with others.  This is a profound opportunity most do not get the chance to experience.”

Whether you’re looking for a place to unwind with a glass of wine at the end of a long day, somewhere fun to try something new, or a way to get involved and make a real difference, the UWCV offers endless opportunities to connect, learn, and impact real change. Says Cleta, “The University Women’s Club of Vancouver is where smart educated women belong.” If you’re a woman living in Vancouver imagine yourself at Hycroft. You belong there.

University Women's Club of Vancouver | PowHERhouse

Photo credit Martin Dee,

Cleta Brown, Club President:

Cleta Brown, a retired lawyer and tireless social justice advocate, is the 62nd President of The University Women’s Club of Vancouver.  A long-time activist for women’s equality, Cleta chaired the UWCV’s Status of Women and Human Rights committee for over five years and traveled as a delegate of the Canadian Federation of University Women to the UN Commission on the Status of Women in 2013.  Cleta is married with 2 children and is the daughter of the late Rosemary Brown, the first black woman in Canadian history to be elected as a member of Canadian parliament.

Cleta Brown powHERbytes on UWCV:

  • We are “energized women in a busy house”
  • The UWCV is a “modern, relevant women’s organization.”
  • “Everything we’re trying to do is connected and invigorates our core purposes and values of education for women, women’s equality, heritage, friendship, and fun. Join in, join us. Dux femina facti”

UWCV Quick Facts

  • Official Club motto “Dux femina facti” translates to “women lead the way”.
  • Members can participate in over 30 different activity and special interest groups ranging from arts, food and drink, games, recreation, travel, and more.
  • Executive Chef Benedict Haines provides gourmet hospitality services including a coveted 3-course lunch that is only $18 for members ($22 for guests)
  • Once perceived as a ‘retired women’s Club’ they have an ever growing millennial demographic – over 50 members under age 40

UWCV “Myths”

You don’t have to be a UBC graduate (or a graduate) to join.

There is a common misconception that The University Women’s Club of Vancouver is only open to female graduates from UBC. This myth is thought to stem from one of the Club’s early successes in lobbying to have the University of British Columbia established in the early 1900’s when the Education Act had been passed but nothing was being done to actually create an institution. While it’s true that there may not have been a UBC if not for the UWCV, Club membership is open to all women regardless of their educational background.

This is not your average social club.

Membership with The University Women’s Club of Vancouver isn’t all fun and games (though there is a lot of that too). The Club’s affiliations with the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) and Graduate Women International (GWI) gives members access to a platform to have their voice heard and advocate for women’s rights as well as a number of other causes at both a national and international level. Unlike other private Clubs, the UWCV designates a portion of their annual dues towards scholarships and bursaries. So just by being a member of  The University Women’s Club of Vancouver you make a difference in the lives of women and girls.

Membership won’t break the bank.

From the outside, Hycroft may seem off limits unless you belong to the same social circle as the Real Housewives of Vancouver but with annual dues working out to less than $80 per month (50% off for women under 30) and no required minimum spend for food or drink it’s just as affordable as a gym membership.

University Women's Club of Vancouver | PowHERhouse

Save-the-Date:  Women Working Together, A Vancouver Women’s Group Symposium at Hycroft.

Wednesday September 14, 2016 5-8 pm

Hycroft, 1489 McRae Ave Vancouver


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