From the President

Browse through this blog for the latest updates from the club president, including the monthly President's Report. 

As always, feel welcome to leave a comment on anything that grabs your attention.
  • 29 Apr 2013 11:18 PM | Deleted user

    “April showers bring May flowers” - proverb

    I always think of this little quote at this time of year, but as I watch the news coming from Canada, I wonder, what do April snows bring for May?? 

    I will soon find the answer to this question, as this month my husband and I head back to Canada for a quick visit to see our Canadian family and friends.

    Every time I go back, I always wonder what souvenirs to bring "home". Tim Tam’s always make the list, but since I’m back for Mother’s Day, I thought I’d do something a little different……

    These fab little pieces are from Allegra designs, and CAC members are being offered a discount on their jewellery line this month! Keep reading to find the article about them, and how to claim your discount!

    So what’s going on with the Club you ask?

    April saw the CAC try a new mixer venue, the Opera Kitchen. While attendance was a bit low, it was truly a beautiful evening.  

    CAC member Kim Preminger also organized a Sunday costal walk, which saw 13 members travel from Maroubra to Clovelly on a beautiful sunny day. Please see the event report below. 

    This past month we also ran our Great Canadian Australian Club Logo Makeover Contest and let me tell you, a lot of work has gone into these entries! Stay tuned for details on how to vote for YOUR new logo!

    In May, CAC members will meet at the Quay West for the monthly mixer and if you have ordered an Entertainment Book, they will be available for pick up there. 

    CAC members will say “Farewell!” to the Sydney monorail on May 25th, as dedicated member Brenda Patterson has organised a fantastic afternoon of pub hopping. It would be great to see some of our new members there, so don’t be afraid to sign up!

    Fortunately there is no shortage of Canadian things to do in Sydney this month. Why not check out the extreme outdoors with the Banff Film Festival, or use our special members discount to Calvalia? You could also join CAC members for the Million Paws Walk, or check out some hockey play-off action at the King Street Brewhouse!

    Lastly, I am VERY excited to announce that a “Save the Date”  for our Canada Day party is included below, so keep reading!

    -Kathleen “El Presidente” Prokopovich

  • 25 Mar 2013 9:29 PM | Deleted user

    Hoppy Easter to all my Can-Aussie friends!

    My neighbour has their own “chooks” in the back, so I swapped some store bought brown eggs for her freshly laid white ones. The egg colouring kits my Mom sent me 5 years ago have FINALLY come into use!

    By the time this newsletter finds it’s way to your inboxes, my hubby and I will have spent 4 days at the Byron Bay Bluesfestival listening to the spectacular music on offer there. Canadian musicians such as Matt Anderson, Current Swift and Ben Caplan are all performing, and a little bird tells me there may be another notable Canadian in attendance..... Of course some bigger name acts will also be there, but we all know the REAL reason why I wanted to go!

    So what’s been going on with the Club this month?

    The first of March kicked off with an interactive mixer at the Stuffed Beaver in Bondi. The Stuffed Beaver gave us some great discounts on wings, poutine, Canadian beer and Caesars, which was enjoyed by all. We ended up with a bit of a revolving booth of people, and even got some new members out of the gig!

    CAC member Brenda Patterson inspired us to attend the Ren Education Centre Pub Crawl Trivia in the Rocks, which saw some good times and some lucky guesses. Please see Taran’s review of the afternoon below.

    April sees the club trying out another new mixer venue, The Opera Kitchen, and I encourage all members to come out and mingle at this beautiful location!

    This month also contains the first CAC walk of 2013, which will see members travel from Maroubra to Clovelly, with lunch at the Clovelly Hotel. Please see our Events page for more information.

    Don’t forget about all the FYI events happening this month, such as the Bluesfest sideshows, HNIS, The 2nd Annual Big Lebowski Bash, and photographs by Canadian artist Jeff Wall at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

    We are also launching our Great Canadian Australian Club Logo Design Contest AND our Entertainment Book sale. Read on to find out how YOU can get involved!

    Now where's my Cadbury mini-eggs.......

    Kathleen “El Presidente” Prokopovich

  • 27 Feb 2013 8:57 PM | Deleted user

    Hello CAC Members and Friends!

    March 1st has arrived, we have *officially* moved from summer to fall (or Autumn, in Aussie speak). 

    Even though there was some temperature fluctuations last month, we had some beautiful summer days. For example, while some Ontario motorists were here…..

    The CAC members were here:

    I mean, if we can’t gloat, what’s the point of being so far away?!?!

    Saying that, here’s what’s been going on with the Club……

    February saw our return to Monthly Mixers, which took place at the City Hotel in the CBD. Some very dedicated members attended (in spite of the horrible weather and traffic), but none the less, the Club was just short of reaching its goal for minimum attendance. All members should remember that with higher attendance, the more power we have to negotiate drink deals and specials.

    The CAC also went snorkelling at Shelly Beach in Manly! This event had a GREAT turn out, and all in attendence had fun. Please see Linda Johannesson’s event report for more details.

    March 1st (today!) finds the CAC trying out a new monthly mixer location at The Stuffed Beaver in Bondi. This is the only Canadian themed restaurant in Australia, so we hope many of you will be able to check it out!

    If you’re looking for something to do on March, join some CAC members at a Trivia Pub Crawl for charity, watch some hockey at the King st Brewhouse, or check out a risqué Canadian movie screening at the French Film Festival.

    Lastly, it is with much regret that I announce that our Events Coordinator, Ron Tucker, resigned last month. We thank Ron for all his contributions to the Committee, and we wish him the best in his future endevors!

    Happy reading!

    Kathleen ‘El Presidente’ Prokopovich

  • 27 Jan 2013 10:23 AM | Deleted user

    Hello my Fellow Canalians!

    How bout this heat/rain/wacky weather?

    Incase you haven't seen any Canadian news (or FB/twitter statuses), there's been a slight cold snap back home. Check this out:

    As much as we can get homesick, this time of year I sit back and relax in the sun, knowing that I don't have to take a blow torch to unfreeze my pipes in the house!

    Weather aside, ss we roll into the second month of 2013 things are really starting to gear up for the CAC..... 

    January started with an “FYI” event at the East Coast Showcase, which was a fantastic night, and it would be great to see more members there in the future. 

    Due to low numbers the Crooked River wine lunch was cancelled/postponed. If you were interested in this event but couldn’t attend that date, please email me at and I will try to coordinate another afternoon lunch.

    I am excited to announce that February marks our return to monthly mixers!! Our new monthly mixer venue is the City Hotel, located at the corner of King and Kent St in the CBD. This is a casual, relaxed venue, which we hope will improve mixer turnout, and encourage more socialising between members. Monthly mixers occur on the 1st Friday of every month (that's today!), so I hope many of you pop in for an after work bevy :)

    The CAC’s first activity event for the year is snorkelling, and will be held on February 10th, at Shelly beach in Manly. A big thank you to Mick Patterson and Linda Johannesson for making this happen! If you are looking for some general snorkelling info, please see our Latest Club News for “Mick’s handy snorkelling tips”.

    Other upcoming FYI events include the return to Hockey Night in Sydney, Pub Crawl Trivia, and musician Ben Caplan in Sydney. Check out our "Upcoming Events" page for more info.

    The committee met for the first time this past month and we were able to cover a lot of ground at the meeting. As always, the need for event hosts for walks, restaurant/wine nights, and general volunteers were highlighted, and the committee welcomes any expression of interest in those two areas. Please email Ron at or Catriona at to register your interest to help.

    Sadly, due to personal commitment’s, your ‘El Presidente’ must send her regrets for the February events. I look forward to meeting many of you in at our March and April events, and don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to the other Committee members :)

    Kathleen “El Presidente” Prokopovich

  • 26 Dec 2012 12:34 PM | Deleted user

    Happy New Year and Bonne Année to all my Can-Aussie friends!!

    By the time this report finds it’s way to your inboxes, we have all (hopefully!) indulged a wee bit too much this holiday season and are ready to start the year afresh with new goals and resolutions.

    As the new club President (El Presidente, if you will indulge me), I want to take this opportunity to share with you some CAC resolutions for the New Year. It is my hope that with a supportive committee AND membership base, we will achieve the following goals in 2013:

    1. Tailor our events to suit the Club membership

    2. Engage CAC members in their first and second year of the club

    3. Actively promote Canadian events in the Sydney area

    At the AGM, it was identified that some of the struggles faced by previous committees could be due to a lack of engagement new members, as well as the type of events we focus on. It is my hope that the 2013 CAC Team can begin to turn these trends around in 2013.

    It is important to note that for our club events to be successful, we need our members there! Therefore, I encourage all CAC members to make a resolution to attend one more event then they did last year.

    In January, why not start with attending the East Coast Showcase on the 8th in Newtown, in what’s sure to be a great Canadian event to kick off the year!

    Or come down south and chat with me over lunch at one of the best wineries on the South Coast, Crooked River Wines.

    So on this note, I invite you to take your two Panadols, lift up your glass of freshly made juice (that new diet starts today, right?), and give a big “Cheer” for the New Year!!!

    Now where’s my cigar……….

    Kathleen “El Presidente” Prokopovich

  • 02 Dec 2012 5:09 PM | Anonymous member

    Canadian-style (Climate) Change

    On the day I first put pen to paper for this, my last President’s Message, I awoke to the sounds of birds, clear blue skies and a promise of a beautiful, warm sunny day to formally end spring. Since then we’ve had thunderstorms, a 40o heat wave, and the sultry mugginess of this morning. Not quite the Decembers of my St. John’s childhood!

    After nearly a decade of living here – and several Christmases before that as a visitor – I still find it hard to reconcile the arrival of Summer coinciding with the advent of Christmas Carols in the shops.

    But in life, as in most things, change is constant and we must learn to embrace it (Change, that is, although embracing life is probably a good axiom to live by too!).

    And with that segue firmly established, I am delighted to be able to write to you in my last formal communiqué as CAC President. As you will know, our 2012 AGM is on Friday, Dec 7th and I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible there to give thanks to our 2012 Committee, celebrate our successes, ponder our challenges and to elect a new committee of your peers to guide the club in 2013.

    As for the last item, I am pleased to inform you that we have a great slate of candidates who have put themselves forward for positions on the committee. There is still at least one gap, so if there is anyone who wishes to help out – and have some fun in the process – I’d encourage them to contact me before Friday though, as usual, nominations are possible “from the floor”. As to the current slate, there are some continuing stalwarts, some new blood and some “returning to the table” after an absence – a great mix of continuity and new ideas.

    As part of that sense of renewal and rebirth, the new committee is keen to hear your views – a “CAC Social Audit”, if you will. After a year of working with a slimmed down committee and a highly pared down meeting schedule (perhaps TOO pared down and, for that, I apologise unreservedly – mea culpa!), the existential question of what you want from your club and its committee remains tantalizingly unanswered.

    The new Committee-elect will kick off that Social Audit question as part of a brief, functional AGM and we look forward to hearing your views in the sensational social setting of the Official Canadian Residence at the reception following the AGM.

    With thanks to our Consul General, Mario Ste Marie, and his wife, Anne Lessard, for graciously allowing us the use of their home for the club’s AGM, I encourage all members to register and join us. For all AGM attendees, drinks & canapés will follow in the Residence grounds – weather permitting (if not, we’ll all be marginally cosier inside)!

    Which brings me neatly (perhaps circuitously!) back to my opening lines – for those expats, like me, there are many things to be thankful for about our chosen life here in Australia. Weather is but one of those blessings, family is often a bittersweet one (given the common diasporas of family for those Canadians who live here), and calling a safe and democratic country our first or second home is also one.

    And friends – and though there are many circles and networks of friends available to us (both here and abroad), there is something special about being able to share our Canadian-ness without having to explain it. To, as it were, start any conversation in the middle trusting that the sense of Canadian history and connection is a given understanding.

    So, do join us – if you’re not yet a member, there’s no better time to join! This is one of the CAC’s rare Members’ Only events (due to numbers & security) and we look forward to seeing new and old friends on Friday the 7th at 6pm (please be there by 6:15pm at the latest!). You can register here: CAC 2012 AGM & Christmas Reception

    Finally, though my closing words on Friday will be those of thanks – to my fellow committee members of the last few years, to the Consul General and the Canadian Consulate and especially to those new committee members who have volunteered to serve going forward – I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of you, the membership, for allowing me the privilege of serving in one formal (or interim) office or another for the last four years.

    Merci bien et á la prochainé!

    Kind rgds,


    President, Canadian Australian Club

  • 29 Jun 2012 4:58 PM | Anonymous member

    As the eve of yet another Canada Day spent abroad creeps upon us, I am reminded of Canada Days past in cities near and far.

    I am, yet again, not in Canada but I am also not in Australia as I have been more of an Absent President than an Acting President this year, spending more than half of 2012 overseas.

    On July 1st, the Canadian side of our psyche turns to thoughts of patriotism and nationality.  Though we may not be the most fiercely patriotic of modern nations, I would argue that we Canadians are fiercely proud of our nation and of being "from Canada".

    Whilst some of us may have chosen the expatriate lifestyle and others may have had the decision taken for them by work or education (or partner!), all will share the familiar bittersweet pleasures of visiting “home”.  Sweet as it is an opportunity to see old friends and family again; bitter as often the old cliché “You can’t go home again” kicks in as you find yourself a stranger in your own home town.

    So, whilst I may not be in Canada on the 1st, I – like many others who are lucky enough to wield more than one passport – will cherish my Canadian one above all, representative as it is of global acceptance and respect.

    As far as our annual CAC celebrations are concerned,  I am very sorry that we are not there with you on the night and I wish you all well at the Art House.  Our thanks, as ever, to the small, hard-working band of volunteers – especially Catriona, Kathleen & Brenda – without whose efforts, the sparkle and magic of these events would never come to fruition.  My thanks as well to our very own Consul General, Mario Ste-Marie, and his wife, Anne Lessard, for their welcome presence and to Mario for stepping up to the plate in my absence to say a few words.

    And now, with no small lack of irony, I’d ask you all – from 15,000kms away – to raise a glass and join me in a toast to…

    … Absent Friends and Family!

  • 31 Dec 2011 6:10 PM | Anonymous member

    Having spent more years being amongst the first in North America to welcome in the New Year rather than the first in the world (ignoring the Kiwis at my peril), I’ve never quite got my head around New Years’ Resolutions.  Probably because my only resolution for most of those Canadian New Year’s Eves was to “get off this effing freezing fireworks foreshore and back to someone’s – anyone’s – warm house party”!

    (It’s a bit long, the spelling is atrocious and disowned by the pedant in me but it’s “some real b’y”)

    So, along with a turkey-less Christmas (almost, but not quite! – thanks, S&A), temperatures in the reasonably high twenties (that’s Celsius J, not 1970s Fahrenheit L) and the ability to stroll to the foreshore tonight in shorts rather than ski-suits, I’ve got more time to think this season.

    Therefore, this year I thought I’d take a crack at the Resolutions process on behalf of the CAC.  Not by way of admonition or exhortation, but rather as a set of guiding principles to shape our new year.  So here we go: In 2012, we shall endeavour to have:…”

    • Greater Inclusiveness: to “open our doors” to like-minded members from other States, other organisations, and those living overseas (“Re-patriated Member” category, anyone?); this particular action was on my own To Do list from 2011 and remains “unfinished business”;
    • Wider Engagement: to become more of an enabling organization rather than an organizing entity by focusing on providing the platform for you, the members, to organize events of your choosing with the facilities and infrastructure provided by the club and the committee;
    • Better Social Networking:  to put the Social back into Networking and the Networking back into Socialising. By this I don’t mean a return to business networking events like First Tuesdays, but rather using the power of each of our 6 Degrees of Separations to encourage more CanAustradians to enjoy the benefits of our socializing and our networking.

    As we look forward, it is also worthwhile to look back.  Not only at the tremendous number of activities that have been miraculously conjured by and for you over the last year or at your team that has worked so assiduously over the years past, but also at special members we have lost.  As you may have read elsewhere in this digest, the club lost a sterling member only a couple of days ago with the passing of Pat Alldritt, who died peacefully on Dec 29th after a courageous battle with cancer.

    Pat, as anyone who had the pleasure to meet her would know, was a fascinating and stalwart founding member of the club – initiating it with her fellow ex-patriates back in 1967.   Pat was an inimitable character with a delicious sense of humour.  A tireless supporter of the Club, Pat returned to the committee last year – a committee she had originated some 45 years before – to help forge new, and rekindle old, connections and solutions for the club.  Not content with making it to as many CAC events as she could handle – including strapping on the boots for Ice Skating in July! – she strived for inclusiveness for all, regardless of affiliation, age or aptitude for particular activities.  An indomitable spirit fighting a brave battle with her trademark wit – I vividly remember her answer to my children (then both 5) at our first Canadian Thanksgiving together when she explained away her headscarf as her “Canadian costume for the day” – she would not be vanquished easily.   Her memory, however, shall never be extinguished in the minds – and annals – of the club.  To Ralph, Steve and Jane and the rest of the Alldritt family, the thoughts of all at the CAC are with you.

    Picking up the torch from Pat (and the rest of our excellent 2011 committee - to whom I pass on, on your behalf, our most grateful thanks), we’ve got a great new team for 2012.  There’s another article elsewhere on the group – some new faces, some familiar returnees – and it is on behalf of them, and (somewhat recursively) on behalf of the entire membership, that I wish you all a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous CanAustradian New Year!

    Kindest regards,


  • 31 Oct 2011 11:34 PM | Chris Betcher

    Due to circumstances beyond our control, we are reluctantly having to reschedule the AGM previously called for Friday, Nov 4th.

    Instead of proposing a new date and having to reschedule again, I am going to ascertain revised availability for all committee members and re-post as soon as a new date is chosen, which will likely be in the latter half of November.  At the last committee meeting, we also agreed some proposed changes to the Constitution - and, in particular, the structure and format of the committee itself - which we will be putting forward to the AGM for the membership's approval.  I plan to have a summary of those suggested changes as part of the revised notification.

    Therefore, further to clause 7.2 of the CAC Constitution, I am giving formal notice that the Annual General Meeting scheduled for Friday, Nov 4th is cancelled and that you will all receive - at least - 10 days notice of the rescheduled date.

    The good news is that the normal Monthly Mixer will go ahead as planned on Friday the 4th with the normal snacks and 50% off all drinks for card-carrying members!

    Kind regards,

    Chris Warrick
    CAC President

    (Posted by Chris Betcher on behalf of Chris Warrick)

  • 31 Jul 2011 10:23 PM | Anonymous member

    I’ve just come from the Ice Rink.  It was 18o+, the sun was beating down, the hockey team that finished just before us had left the ice pretty fresh – even without a Zamboni – and the beers were cold.  Couldn’t have been a more perfect Canadian Day!

    Except that we were at Cathedral Square, Sydney and not Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto and the skates were orange (with buckles) rather than standard CCM black (with laces).  But that didn’t stop the 25+ of us from having a blast, true Canadian Australian-style!

    (Member 'Skipper Frank' Volckmar, Oliver Warrick, your humble correspondent and soon-to-be member, Australian Geoff Kendall - albeit already an Honorary Manitoban and Screeched-In Newfy)

    And that’s not all we’ve done this last month or so.  I can confirm that at least 58 people were Screeched In earlier this month (and “shouted out” live on Newfoundland VOCM radio during the event) at our festive, fireworks-funtastic Canada Day party in Darling Harbour, we’ve had a couple of Penrith Bears hockey games, the Tucker & Dale vs. Evil screening at the Sydney Film Festival and the Darling Harbour Jazz & Blues Festival.

    In less than a fortnight, I (along with fellow CACers) will also get to step out to the Sold Out opening night premiere of the Canadian Film Festival (Score: A Hockey Musical), the CAC-Sponsored Canadian Film Festival premiere of A Beginner’s Guide to Endings on Aug 10th (some tickets still available), plus our own Matt Gerber performing live in Petersham, a Penrith Bears hockey game and our perennial heart-starter Monthly Mixer.

    Don’t get me wrong – even I don’t get to ALL of this (though that IS me in the picture up there) – but I do get to choose:  whether for me, for Caz & I or for me, my family and friends!

    And all this doesn’t happen by magic.  Or rather it does. 

    A special type of magic.  And those that conjure that magic do benefit along with the rest – perhaps a tad more, as they say “giving is the best gift you can receive”.  (Well, if they don’t say that, THEY should.).  But there are only so many magicians, so many wands… and more magic is needed.

    There’s been more than one previous exhortation in this column – including one from me – to join the team that creates that magic.  But exhortations appear to fall on deaf ears – or only those ears that can hear.  Those that are already on that station, on that wavelength

    So, ‘enough already’ with the exhortations.  Let’s get straight to the invitations and, I’m not proud, pure bribery.  If it works for my 7-year olds, it’s surely gotta work with a bunch of Canucks and Canuck-ophiles.

    We, your elected committee, meet monthly and – depending on the role – do a bit more beyond that.  Since the Betcher Era (and with the kind generosity of our sponsor – also family membersRedback Conferencing), we’ve efficiently held every 2nd one of those meetings by free teleconference.  On the 3rd Monday (sometimes the 4th)  of every other month, we meet in person at the Harrington Bar at Quay West Suites in the CBD – same site as our Monthly Mixers – to deliberate, delegate and, hopefully, decide what you the membership want from your club.

    So, I am extending an OPEN invitation to one and all, new or long-standing members, young or old (well, if you’re the same age as my kids, you might have a problem getting the 50% discount at the bar!), previous committee veterans or “new blood to the board room” to join us – as observers – for either of the next two face-to-face meetings (6:15pm-8:00pm) before the next AGM in November:

    ·         Monday, August 22nd

    ·         Monday, October 17th

    So, where’s the catch?  No catch.  Please just rock up at 6:15pm – though an RSVP would be appreciated – to see how things are done, how we operate and how – maybe – you might be able to help with an hour or two a month.  NO speaking is expected – though, if you want to say something, you will NOT be shouted down (we are Canadian, after all!) – and you will not be drafted or dragooned against your will.

    No catch – so what about lures?  I have it on good authority that – miraculously – there are still sufficient supplies left of both Clamato Juice AND Newfoundland Screech to mix up a cocktail of your choice on the night.  So, throwing my Treasurer’s classic caution to the wind, we are offering a free drink – (Bloody) Caesar OR Screech – for the first 10 (30?!) committee observers to pitch up.  (And, Committee, worry not, for your continuing outstanding service, you will also get your free drink – whether or not you’ve already been Screeched In!).

    It’s a truism that “if you want a job done, give it to a busy man/woman.”  We know everybody’s busy (including us), but if you want to feel good, make a difference AND get a free Screech/Caesar into the bargain then just ‘get your skates on’ for either Monday (August 22nd or October 17th) and see if we can’t take the Bored out of Board Room (BTW, we don’t actually meet in the Board Room – we ARE the CAC, we meet in the bar! ).

    We hope to see you there.


    "Still Acting, Still President"

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