“It’s Great To Be a Canadian / Soyons Fiers d’être Canadiens” is the motto of the Canadian Progress Club, an all-Canadian service club having no international affiliations. Membership and its privileges are open equally to men and women.
Progress members seek the advancement of the communities in which their individual clubs are located. Progress is entirely Canadian in concept and development. Each club conducts its own affairs and its own charitable projects.
There is no classification system within the Club. Progressians are men and women from all walks of life who enjoy hands-on involvement in charitable activities. In particular, members are proud of their contributions in the area of under-privileged children, and of helping to foster the cause of the physically, mentally and socially handicapped people of Canada through service to the community. In doing so they meet new friends and have fun!
In addition to their commitments to local communities, on a national level, Canadian Progress Clubs proudly support Canadian Special Olympics through the Canadian Progress Charitable Foundation.
Aims & Objects
To create and preserve in the Canadian Progress Club a spirit of friendship that is sincere, helpful and enduring.
To uphold a standard of personal self respect requiring that members’ behaviour shall cause no reproach to be reflected upon those with whom they associate in public or private life.
To live up to a code of honour which requires business transactions to be in accordance with recognized ethics.
To make each Canadian Progress Club an Association of individuals of high ideals, devoted to the advancement of the best interest of the community in which that club is located.
To aid and assist those in need.
To foster goodwill throughout the whole of Canada; to aid in uniting all the people of Canada into a nation that shall stand as one of the great and prosperous people of the world.
To show by leadership and example the pride of being a Canadian.
Maurice Guenear and James Brennan founded the Canadian Progress Club in 1922. Its first club was the Canadian Progress Club Toronto Downtown. This club’s first meeting was held on November 16, of the same year. One hundred businessmen and professionals joined together to form the club. Included in this group of men was former Toronto mayor, Nathan Phillips, who was an Honorary President of the Toronto Downtown club until his death on January 7, 1976. Growth and Expansion Across the Country…
The Canadian Progress Club was centrally based until the 1960s. There was not one club outside of Quebec and Ontario until 1963, when the Calgary Downtown club was established. It has chartered many clubs in the region including the first all-women’s club, “Calgary Eves” in 1977. Today there are 36 clubs across the country. They are divided into the Eastern, Central, Great Plains and Western Regions.
(Excerpts from “A Brief History of the Canadian Progress Club” by Lee Irwin)
The Canadian Progress Charitable Foundation
On January 25, 1968 the Canadian Progress Charitable Foundation was chartered. Clubs contribute to the foundation each year and the money funds the travel and outfitting costs of Canadian Special Olympians at their World and Olympic competitions
A National Convention of the Canadian Progress Clubs is held annually at locations across Canada and even one, in 1977, in Bermuda. Regional conventions are also held annually.
Calgary Downtown Club
The Downtown Club has chartered several clubs in Calgary and we formed the Uncles at Large Calgary program in 1970. Together with other Progress clubs we funded and directed the program until it was merged with Big Brothers Big Sisters in 1994. This is still Downtown’s main charity. We have three or four main fundraising events each year and raise an average of $250,000 per year with thirty members. We hold several social events each year such as a Golf Tournament, an Awards Night BBQ and a Christmas party and participate in community service activities such as the Food Bank, Mustard Seed and Feed the Hungry. We are a lively group of men committed to making a difference.