The club has always had a congenial atmosphere heightened by a full program of social events. Outside speakers and members have been invited to give talks on a variety of topics in the fields of politics, history, investments, music, literature, art, and wine and food. And who will forget the assembly of four former Quebec premiers of differing political stripes, gathered at the club for a discussion on the challenges they faced in political life. Also, members of the gourmet set have ensured the UCM’s reputation for fine dining by organizing “themed” culinary or wine-tasting events.
Long, double-martini business lunches and billiard games stretching into the evening belong to the shades of the past. However, traditions have not been allowed to fall, as the club continues to hold oyster parties, a president’s cocktail, a round-table for lunch, business breakfasts, and annual dinners to celebrate exceptional members. The UCM Christmas dinners and never-ending lunches are still an integral part of the club’s festivities.
In 2007 a history of the University Club of Montreal was published in celebration of its one-hundred years. Long-standing members hold fond memories of the former Mansfield Street “club house,” but we look forward to settling into a grey-stone mansion built in 1882 on Sherbrooke Steet, which was once labelled the “Fifth Avenue” of Montreal. On the walls inside the club will be examples of the art collection: landscapes of the Laurentian hills, portraits of early founders, such as the well-loved author and humourist Stephen Leacock, and non-figurative renderings by prominent Quebec artists, Alfred Pellan and Jean-Paul Riopelle. In the new quarters, members will be able to settle back in their favourite old (reupholstered) couches and chairs and place their drinks on the revered brass-topped side tables from the former club lounge.
The membership of the Club has broadened its reach culturally and linguistically, and we are on the verge of a new history based on a solid historical foundation and traditions of friendship and conviviality.
Library & Art Committee