City Drinks at Seaforth Armoury

An elegant fall fundraiser

Thursday November 22nd, 2018

7pm – 10pm

Tickets $110 (includes a $50 charitable tax receipt)


Our annual fundraising event returns this fall, this time generously hosted by the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada at the historic Seaforth Armoury. Join us for a special evening inside the recently restored mess halls at this landmark building, designed in Scottish Baronial style by architects McCarter & Nairne and completed in 1936. Guests will enjoy music from violinist Rosemary Siemens and saxophonist Eli Bennett, wine, hors d’oeuvres and of course lots of history, including the opportunity to view artifacts from the Seaforth Museum and hear from archivist James Calhoun about the regiment’s long history in Vancouver. The Seaforth pipe major will offer a traditional welcome and we’ll savour a delicious Scotland-inspired cocktail. Both live and silent auctions will offer an array of items to bid on and help VHF achieve our fundraising goal. All proceeds support our educational programming and projects.

The auction will include a wide variety of local items including private guided history tours, hotel stays, an authentic Eames molded plywood chair, architectural antiques, original artwork and framed prints, restaurant gift cards, wine and cognac and many other unique items. The evening’s catering will include a selection of tantalizing flavours such as cinnamon roasted Fraser Valley duck, wild mushroom and Salt Spring Island chevre croustades and a selection of domestic cheeses and charcuterie.

Join VHF for this special evening to celebrate our city’s historic places and support VHF’s educational programs and projects.

If you would like to donate an item for the auction or become an event sponsor, please contact the office.


About the venue

The Seaforth Armoury is set on a large site at the southern approach to the Burrard Bridge. It was built as the home of the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada, Vancouver’s infantry regiment established in 1910 by members of the local Scottish community and reflects these roots in its architecture. Completed in 1936 in an imposing Scottish Baronial style, it was designed by the highly successful local firm of McCarter & Nairne Architects and Engineers, also the architects of the Marine Building (1928-30) as well as a large catalogue of projects in the region. Constructed in reinforced concrete by Smith Brothers & Wilson, it recently underwent seismic upgrading. The Officers’ Mess and Sergeants’ Mess Halls feature original fireplaces, coffered ceilings and other historic details. The impressive parade square continues in regular use while newly-created regimental history displays line the walls.

About the musicians

Rosemary Siemens is a world class improv violinist and vocalist. With her violin named “Sparkle”, that was played in King Louis XIV’s orchestra, she’s performed at New York’s Carnegie Hall, played private concerts for two U.S. Presidents and Canadian Prime Ministers and was the first violinist to perform at the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican since its first mass in 1483. Eli Bennett is an award-winning jazz-funk saxophonist and four-time Leo-Nominated film composer. Eli has performed twice at the GRAMMY Awards in Los Angeles and shared the stage with the likes of Oscar Peterson, Hank Jones, Barry Harris, Terence Blanchard, Dave Holland, and the Neville Brothers. 

Past City Drinks Events

2017: City Drinks at the Vancouver Club

Established in 1889, The Vancouver Club sits in the heart of Vancouver’s financial district past and present. The current building was erected in 1913 by renowned architectural firm Sharp & Thompson and designed to resemble a London gentlemen’s club of the Victorian era. Guests toured through the historic spaces in the club, enjoyed wine and hors d’oeuvres and a good dose of history with author and artist Michael Kluckner, along with music from celebrated local jazz performer Andrea Superstein. A silent auction of donated items and experiences rounded out the evening.


2016: City Drinks at Casa Mia

City Drinks 2016 featured an exclusive evening at one of Vancouver’s most well-known heritage mansions, Casa Mia. Built in 1932, the Ross A. Lort designed home is a fine example of Spanish Colonial Revival architecture with the special addition of a children’s nursery hand-painted by Disney artists and a lower level ballroom with ties to an impressive list of performers. Guests toured parts of the home during the evening and also enjoyed wine, hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction. Music from Canadian instrumentalists Roy and Rosemary set the scene with their internationally renowned cinematic style.


2015: City Drinks in Shaughnessy

In 2015 we enjoyed an elegant evening at the impressive Disher House in First Shaughnessy. Built in 1912 for John Binns Johnson, Disher House is one of the only homes in Vancouver to be attributed to Architect Paul Phipps. The home served as a stunning backdrop for an evening of conversation about heritage in our city. A very special private piano performance by Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Music Director Bramwell Tovey, a talk about the history of the home, music from local artists, wine and hors d’oeuvres and  a silent auction of local items were all included in the event.


2014: City Drinks at the Sun Tower

The inaugural City Drinks fundraiser was held at the Sun Tower. Attendees enjoyed the opportunity to visit an upper floor in the tower, freshly restored while retaining original radiators, windows, floors and fittings, which was not open to the public. There was a raffle with great prizes including a chance to visit the roof of the Sun Tower, or a personalized photoshoot of your home with architectural photographer, Martin Knowles. Tickets included wine and canapés, a special cocktail inspired by the 1930s from Bambudda bar manager Buck Friend, musical entertainment by local jazz musicians James Danderfer and David Blake, a short talk by special guest author and historian Daniel Francis, and small group tours of an upper floor.