The Vancouver Alpenclub

Vancouver Alpenclub

Vancouver Alpenclub, © Vancouver Alpenclub

23.02.2023 - Article

The Vancouver Alpen Club’s humble beginnings:

The Vancouver Alpen Club was founded in 1935 by immigrants from the Alpine regions of Germany and Austria. They initially came together to enjoy their traditional Schuhplattler folk dancing. Through it, they continued to foster their rich heritage of German culture and language. Even though the German Social Club did not have an official home, the members registered the club as a Non-Profit-Organization and proceeded to join the Canadian Folk Society. This progressive attitude resulted in the Vancouver Alpen Club becoming so well established and respected that it had the distinction of being the only German club to remain open in North America during World War II. Equally impressive, the founders and operators of the organization achieved and maintained a standard of staying relevant and current, which is one of the cornerstones of the Vancouver Alpen Club to this very day.

Vancouver Alpenclub
Vancouver Alpenclub© Vancouver Alpenclub

During their early years, the members of German Social Club gathered in private homes or rented various halls for festivals and events. Then, in 1950, the members decided to pool their resources and construct their own building. Thus, the Vancouver Alpen Club that we know, familiar and beloved by Vancouverites, was built at the corner of Victoria Drive and 33rd Avenue.

Over the last seventy years, the Vancouver Alpen club has become an iconic Vancouver landmark and a favored meeting hub, hosting thousands of popular cultural events and activities, including weekly dances, Oktoberfest, and World Cup. The Vancouver Alpen Club’s Deutsches Haus restaurant also became a Vancouver favorite, offering authentic Germany cuisine and best beer in town.

The Vancouver Alpen Club of tomorrow

Seventy years later, the Vancouver Alpen Club remains stable and true to its cultural heritage. However, the building itself has reached its end of life, and it is also time for the next generation of members to carry the torch. In the true spirit of the Club’s tradition of forward-thinking, its members have approved a property redevelopment plan that is in keeping with the organization’s German roots and will ensure that its ongoing legacy is preserved, but also staying current with Vancouver’s urban vibe, and ushering in a new generation of members. The redeveloped building will be in the original, highly desirable, location, which will make the transition smoother for the existing members and patrons.

This ambitious and exciting redevelopment was conceived with the goal that the new Vancouver Alpen Club be debt free at its grand reopening. This is no small undertaking, because the construction phase will span over two years to completion and will require substantial funding during this transition period. We have secured financial resources for the base building, but additional funds will be required in the coming days, for building design consultants, tenant improvements projects, Alpen Club furnishings, and a multitude of other needs.

We have already implemented some fundraising initiatives and will continue to offer special events and membership promotions, but these alone will not be sufficient to cover the anticipated expenses. Therefore, we are actively seeking private and community donations, as well as sponsors who wish to be involved on a lasting basis by creating an ongoing legacy, through personal involvement and financial contributions.

If you are interested in donating, or becoming a legacy sponsor, or know someone else who may be interested, or wish to discuss our fundraising campaigns, please feel free to email info@vacbc.ca or call 604 874-3811 Ext 22, please ask to speak to Lorenzo Lepore, General Manager.

4875 Victoria Drive | Vancouver BC | V5N 4P3
604 874-3811 | www.vacbc.ca

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