Get Ready for Father's Day
Get Ready for Father's Day

Get Ready for Father's Day

This weekend we’re celebrating the most important men in our lives – our...

Get Ready for Father's Day

Lifestyle

Get Ready for Father's Day

This weekend we’re celebrating the most important men in our lives – our dads, grandfathers, husbands, sons, partners, uncles, friends… If you’re planning a backyard barbecue, we’ve got some spectacular recipes for appetizers, salads, drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic), and more…everything you need to make your party a smashing success!

Rose, Rose, Thorn, Bud.
Rose, Rose, Thorn, Bud.

Rose, Rose, Thorn, Bud.

The Gratitude Game. Neil Pasricha is an expert on happiness, and “Rose, Rose,...

Rose, Rose, Thorn, Bud.

Lifestyle

Rose, Rose, Thorn, Bud.

The Gratitude Game. Neil Pasricha is an expert on happiness, and “Rose, Rose, Thorn, Bud” is one of his hacks. Whether you’ve heard of it before or not - now might be the perfect time to brush off this simple game and give it a whirl.

Summer Trip?
Summer Trip?

Summer Trip?

Likely not this year. But that doesn’t mean you can skip your week off. In fact,...

Summer Trip?

Lifestyle

Summer Trip?

Likely not this year. But that doesn’t mean you can skip your week off. In fact, if at all possible, you mustn’t. Summer holidays, like weekends serve a few specific, vital purposes. The wants and needs differ from person to person, but we all benefit from an occasional, healthy dose of a few - or a lot - of the following: Rest, recovery, escape, play, sleep, fiction, family-time, me-time, down time, outdoor time, slower pace, faster pace, different pace, more exercise, sex, less exercise, more beer, no beer, no news…

Transition
Transition

Transition

We’re in the midst of transitioning from Spring to Summer. The earth is filled...

Transition

Lifestyle

Transition

We’re in the midst of transitioning from Spring to Summer. The earth is filled with growth and promise: there are glorious flowers peeking through the soil and nutrient dense fruits and vegetables simmering just below the surface.

The Lion and The Unicorn
The Lion and The Unicorn

The Lion and The Unicorn

More than four-hundred years ago, a single sovereign came to rule two kingdoms. Each...

The Lion and The Unicorn

Lifestyle

The Lion and The Unicorn

More than four-hundred years ago, a single sovereign came to rule two kingdoms. Each possessed its own coat of arms: one depicting two lions, the other two unicorns. Unification of the lands resulted in the creation of one single coats of arms, with one beast on either side.

Virtual Pride
Virtual Pride

Virtual Pride

When something exists virtually, we mean it is essentially the same. The same in...

Virtual Pride

Lifestyle

Virtual Pride

When something exists virtually, we mean it is essentially the same. The same in essence. When something exists in essence, it is simpler, while the fundamental, important parts remains in tact. Pride will be celebrated virtually this year. As with many things – Personal Training certainly – nothing can replace the energy, power, and impact of person-to-person contact. But still, we can keep the integrity of some of the essential things that Pride Month tries to accomplish.

Your Life Matters
Your Life Matters

Your Life Matters

My Exercise Fundamentals have borne these titles: Movement Matters. Mindfulness...

Your Life Matters

Lifestyle

Your Life Matters

My Exercise Fundamentals have borne these titles: Movement Matters. Mindfulness Matters. Intensity Matters. “To matter” means to be of importance, significance, of great consequence. My titles are deliberate. My own attempt to make you the reader, you the exerciser sit up and take notice. 

Acceptance
Acceptance

Acceptance

People don’t typically ask to be celebrated for their differences. They ask to be...

Acceptance

Lifestyle

Acceptance

People don’t typically ask to be celebrated for their differences. They ask to be accepted. Presumably accepting others begins with accepting ourselves. We need to know our whole self. To accept our whole self. As the foundation for embracing and being our whole self. Love is a basic human right. And so, therefore, is love of yourself. 

Different Differences
Different Differences

Different Differences

There is a lot of literature out there on the power of being different. The importance...

Different Differences

Lifestyle

Different Differences

There is a lot of literature out there on the power of being different. The importance of honouring your uniqueness. Of being strong and courageous and holding true to your different-ness because this will open doors, build new bridges, change the world.

Pride.
Pride.

Pride.

This month is Pride Month. And I would like to “lean in”. I am afraid to do...

Pride.

Lifestyle

Pride.

This month is Pride Month. And I would like to “lean in”. I am afraid to do so. Fear is a strong emotion. A strong word. I don’t use it lightly. I am more afraid of silence.

Lip-Smackingly Delicious Summer Recipes
Lip-Smackingly Delicious Summer Recipes

Lip-Smackingly Delicious Summer...

What a beautiful start to the weekend! Our team has been spending some extra time in...

Lip-Smackingly Delicious Summer Recipes

Lifestyle

Lip-Smackingly Delicious Summer Recipes

What a beautiful start to the weekend! Our team has been spending some extra time in the garden and whipping up our favourite summer treats to help beat the heat. Spoil yourself, your family, and your friends with these delicious recipes all summer long.

Creative. Determined. Inspired.
Creative. Determined. Inspired.

Creative. Determined. Inspired.

That’s you. No virus is going to hold you back from taking charge of what you can...

Creative. Determined. Inspired.

Lifestyle

Creative. Determined. Inspired.

That’s you. No virus is going to hold you back from taking charge of what you can control: your strength, your health, your fitness, yourself. Today, June 6th, 2020, is National Health and Fitness Day. And today, we want to celebrate you.

Adversity Exposes Weaknesses
Adversity Exposes Weaknesses

Adversity Exposes Weaknesses

Sometimes weaknesses are a direct reflection of our strengths. We are tenacious yet...

Adversity Exposes Weaknesses

Lifestyle

Adversity Exposes Weaknesses

Sometimes weaknesses are a direct reflection of our strengths. We are tenacious yet stubborn. We are patient and careful, but prone to overthinking, overanalyzing to the point of paralysis. We are sensitive, dogged, or committed in ways that are admirable, but can be frustrating, overwhelming.

Adversity Inspires Risk Taking
Adversity Inspires Risk Taking

Adversity Inspires Risk Taking

Some people like taking risks. They love the thrill, the excitement, the freedom. For...

Adversity Inspires Risk Taking

Lifestyle

Adversity Inspires Risk Taking

Some people like taking risks. They love the thrill, the excitement, the freedom. For others, it makes us far too uncomfortable, insecure, nervous. Still, others, don’t necessarily enjoy risk taking per se, but do it anyways: They understand – usually from experience – that incredible innovation, transformational change, unprecedented achievement typically requires assuming a certain degree of risk. They know that risk can lead to failure. They know that failure – in the right hands – cultivates humility, curiosity, and can be a phenomenal learning experience. 

Adversity & Opportunity
Adversity & Opportunity

Adversity & Opportunity

Sometimes an adversity will burn trees, homes, and bridges for miles around. For a...

Adversity & Opportunity

Lifestyle

Adversity & Opportunity

Sometimes an adversity will burn trees, homes, and bridges for miles around. For a moment there seems to be so little you can do. As indeed there is. And that can be the magic of it. We know that too many options, too much choice can be debilitating. It can leave you questioning your judgement to the point that no matter what you decide, you remain a little anxious that you could have chosen better. 

Adversity & Survival
Adversity & Survival

Adversity & Survival

Our bodies are physically programmed to handle adversity. It’s one of the reasons...

Adversity & Survival

Lifestyle

Adversity & Survival

Our bodies are physically programmed to handle adversity. It’s one of the reasons we’ve survived for as long as we have. When bombarded with an onslaught of incredible physical demands, the human body ultimately responds by increasing energy efficiency, building lean tissue, and increasing neuro-muscular mechanism so we are stronger and more powerful, and improves our capacity to resist fatigue and handle stress.

Adversity
Adversity

Adversity

Adversity comes in so many different forms and can be physical, mental, emotional, or -...

Adversity

Lifestyle

Adversity

Adversity comes in so many different forms and can be physical, mental, emotional, or - often - an intricate combination of all three. Adversity creates real pain and can be accompanied by fear, anguish, and despondency. It can also incite anger and spur furious, violent action.

The Art of Putting
The Art of Putting

The Art of Putting

The putter is the most used club in a Golfer’s arsenal, so it’s certainly...

The Art of Putting

Lifestyle

The Art of Putting

The putter is the most used club in a Golfer’s arsenal, so it’s certainly important. But I imagine being a good putter is far more important than having a good putter. Being a great putter can be the difference between winning and losing. And while you might think you need to spend hundreds on a new putter… it’s likely more valuable to take a long hard look in the mirror and decide what you can improve in yourself first.

Don't Stop Believing
Don't Stop Believing

Don't Stop Believing

Believing in something… believing in yourself… that’s the stuff of...

Don't Stop Believing

Lifestyle

Don't Stop Believing

Believing in something… believing in yourself… that’s the stuff of survivors, champions… the people who make it happen… when everyone else said it was impossible. Hope – even unfounded – keeps a fragile spirit alive. Hope when it’s founded? That’s a beast to be reckoned with. A belief that is founded is based on facts: historical or scientific evidence that the future hoped for is not only probable, it’s inevitable.

Getting out of trouble
Getting out of trouble

Getting out of trouble

Pitching wedge, gap wedge, sand wedge, and lob wedge. These are the golf clubs with the...

Getting out of trouble

Lifestyle

Getting out of trouble

Pitching wedge, gap wedge, sand wedge, and lob wedge. These are the golf clubs with the highest loft. Designed for chips, pitches, and playing out of sand bunkers. Designed – in other words – to get you out of trouble after you’ve made a less than optimal shot.

Vance Cooper: The Cambridge Club's Gentleman of the Year

Posted: Dec 17, 2019

This year, for the first time ever, the Cambridge Club crowned Vance Cooper “Cambridge Club Gentleman of the Year” – an accolade bestowed upon a Member that best exemplifies what the Cambridge Club is all about. For those of you who don’t know Vance, and for those of you who want to learn a little bit more about the man behind our phenomenal Vancestock Unplugged events, we sat down with Vance to chat about his experience at the Cambridge, being named Gentleman of the Year, and the reason he began Vancestock.

Thanks for taking the time to chat with me today! Let’s start at the beginning, how long have you been a Member at the Cambridge Club? And what led you to the Cambridge in the first place?

I joined in 1991. I had been working downtown since 1983 and was playing squash at a club on Lombard Street. After it was ruined by a fire, I was looking for a new home. I needed to find a place close to my office so that I would have to go out of my way to avoid working out. At the time, I thought the Cambridge Club was out of my league from a price perspective. As it turns out, joining was one of the best decisions I ever made.

Can you speak to your community at the Cambridge Club?

The Cambridge Club is unique in that it is really several communities or Clubs in one. There are people who come at lunch only. Others attend after work. I am part of an informal group known as the Morning Boys. There are a surprising number of enthusiastic Members who show up to play squash or do their workouts from 6:00am until about 8:00am. It is very social and very supportive. Most of all, it’s fun.

What is your favourite part of being a Member at the Cambridge Club?

I think the Cambridge Club is truly an oasis. Whether I am in the gym early in the morning, meeting a friend or client for lunch, or stopping in later in the day for the proverbial executive workout a.k.a. the Tribathalon [steam, hot tub, and shower], it is welcoming and as comfortable as an old pair of shoes. It reminds me of the old TV show “Cheers” where everybody knows your name.

You were named this year’s Cambridge Club Gentleman of the Year, what does that mean to you? Were you expecting that?

I was very honoured and very flattered. I do what I do to make me happy - whether that is sponsoring the Canada Cup, putting on my annual charity fundraiser [Vancestock], or putting on singer-songwriter shows in the Oak Room [Vancestock Unplugged]. The fact that people found those activities to be beneficial to others is very rewarding but certainly not the primary driver behind what I do.

[For those who don’t know, the criteria for the Cambridge Club Gentleman of the Year award are:

  • This Member is a regular at the Club, known by fellow Members and staff.
  • Exemplifies what the Cambridge Club is about: Culture, History, Respect, Comradery, etc.
  • Involved in every department and aspect of the Club. Regularly uses the Oak Room for dining and involved in Member events, supporting the Club’s efforts to develop events to bring Members together. Uses the gym and fitness offerings in the Club.
  • This individual’s presence and demeanor makes the Club a better place.
  •  “If he died tomorrow the Club would be diminished.”
  • This individual has been a Member of the Club for an extended period of time (10+ years).]

You are also the mastermind behind Vancestock. What’s the story behind the creation of Vancestock?

In the summer of 1983, I started work in downtown Toronto as an articling student. There was a legal assistant who asked me if I would come out to listen to her brother-in-law’s band. They were playing some bar on Queen Street West and, as she put it, they needed to put bodies in seats. I was happy to come out and support the effort. There were not a lot of people there to be sure. Her brother-in-law was Jim Cuddy and the band was Blue Rodeo.

Years later, a friend’s son was a drummer in a band, Great Bloomers, playing original material. I saw them at the El Mocambo on a Friday night with barely 50 people in the room. They were fresh faced young kids with great talent playing songs they had written to an audience that was barely indifferent. I thought to myself that if I could somehow introduce this band to a new audience, they might gain some traction and be the next Blue Rodeo. I thought there was an opportunity to put on a show featuring “undiscovered” musicians and invite my friends, family, colleagues and clients to attend the show.

The final piece to the puzzle was the charity aspect. I am always happy to give to anyone walking, rowing, swimming, riding a bike, playing tennis or hockey or doing thing else to raise money for charity.  I decided that I would cover all of the expenses of the evening - room, food and musical talent - and ask those who wanted to attend the event to make a donation in the amount of their choosing to a specified charity in order to gain admission to the event.  I wanted the charity to be connected to kids and camping.  I discovered Trails Youth Initiative and they couldn’t be more deserving of support. There isn’t enough space in this piece to discuss the work and success of Trails. Briefly, Trails takes at-risk inner-city youth at age 12 and provides them with a four-year program which literally turns these kids around. 90% of the graduates attend postsecondary education compared to 10% percent of their peer group. Indeed, Trails was just recognized by Maclean’s magazine as one of the best Canadian charities for 2020.

And, thus, Vancestock was born. The first Vancestock was help in September 2012 and has continued to grow every year since. The upcoming Vancestock IX, currently scheduled for Thursday, October 22, 2020, will return to its original roots and will feature undiscovered musical acts without a cover band or tribute act. I’m excited this tradition continues to be popular as we approach our 10th anniversary in 2021. We have raised over $260,000 for Trails in 8 years, met, supported and befriended many musicians and bands along the way and enjoyed a great party with friends, family, clients and colleagues.

That’s truly incredible! And now you also host Vancestock Unplugged at the Cambridge Club.

I do! After a trip to Nashville to visit the Bluebird Café – famously both Garth Brooks and Taylor Swift played here before they were discovered – and attending a number of shows at Songbird North in Toronto, I decided I wanted to create a similar style of acoustic show in a more intimate location.

I approached Clive Caldwell about bringing this style of show to CGOC members and their guests. He couldn’t have been more supportive. With the aid of Paul Hudson, GM at the Cambridge Club, and Christina De Bartolo, Food and Beverage Manager at the Cambridge Club, the Oak Room is transformed into an intimate listening room for singer songwriters and those who appreciate an intimate and interactive musical listening experience for Vancestock Unplugged. It has been nothing short of magical.

We put on 3 shows in the first half of 2019. In the 2019 – 2020 season, we have ambitiously planned for 5 shows. Two have been held, to rave reviews by those in attendance, and 3 shows are scheduled in the first half of 2020 - Thursday, January 30th, Wednesday, April 1st, and Thursday, May 28th. For me, it has been an absolute labour of love and an opportunity to share my love of music with friends, family, and like-minded people.

 What three words best describe Vancestock?

Labour of love. Another three might be “F’ing good time!!”

When is the next Vancestock and Vancestock Unplugged?

The next Vancestock charity event is Vancestock IX. At the moment, it is scheduled for Thursday, October 22nd, 2020 at Radio @ Adelaide Hall, located at the corner of Adelaide and Duncan.

The next Vancestock Unplugged event will be held in the Cambridge Club’s Oak Room on Thursday, January 30th. If you are interested in attending, please contact the Cambridge Club Front Desk for details.

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