Welcome to the International Club of Canada
"Hands across the net, friendship across the ocean "
To promote friendship and sportsmanship in tennis between Canada and other countries by hosting tennis events with other IC countries and supporting tennis development in Canada by providing mentorship for young tennis players.
The first meeting of Active Members of the International Lawn Tennis Club of Canada was held at the Albany Club in Toronto on Wednesday, August 11, 1965, at 12.30 p.m. Laird Watt, the first president of the Club, was unable to attend and Gilbert Nunns chaired the meeting. In addition to Gilbert those attending the meeting in person or by proxy were familiar names in Canadian tennis history: Peter Barnard, John Bassett, Bob Barnard, François Godbout, Bruce Harrison, Sydney Hermant, Jim Macken, Harry Marpole and Walter Martin. Don Fontana, captain of the Club, agreed to approach the I.C. of the USA for a match in 1966. There were discussions of a black tie dinner, a match against a touring team from England and plans to participate in I.C. matches in Holland. The Canadian I.C. was up and operating. It had officially received “International Club” recognition just six weeks before, at the annual meeting of the Council of I.C.’s held each year during the fortnight of Wimbledon. It joined thirteen other nations with International Clubs, all existing with a common interest in the game of tennis.
The annual match with the USA Club has been the main regular event of the Club since that time, with matches alternating each year between the Donalda Club and various locations in the USA. The Piping Rock Club on Long Island, The Merion Cricket Club in Philadelphia, The West Side Tennis Club on Long Island. In 1971 the matches were divided in an open event competing for the Proctor Cup and a seniors event for the new Lawrence Baker Trophy. Women’s matches were included in the late 90’s and starting in the year 2000 teams will play for the Carole Graebner Trophy.
There is no doubt that tournaments for the Windmill, Christiane Mercelis, and Columbus Trophies represent the highlights of the I.C. Movement. On these occasions many of the now 34 International Clubs meet in team competition. In these tournaments old friendships across the net and across the nations are renewed, and new ones made. Equally enjoyable are the I.C. Tours where teams of I.C. players tour other countries at the invitation of their I.C.’s, or host visiting teams.
This brief review of the Club’s history would not be complete without an expression of gratitude to the spirit behind the creation of the I.C. Club of Canada, the Late Bruce Harrison and those who have served on the Club’s executive, particularly its presidents: Laird Watt, Walter Martin, John Proctor, Jim Skelton, Frank Mott-Trille, Brian Flood and David Dimmer.
On Saturday 10th November 2018 over 500 guests descended upon the London Hilton Park Lane, to help raise money for two of Britain’s leading tennis charities; Give It Your Max (GIYM) and the IC Philanthropic Programme (ICP).
The ball was compered by leading Sky Sports presenter Marcus Buckland, with a key note speech by Sir Trevor Mcdonald, who is Patron of both charities. Leading British comedian Dominic Holland entertained the guests and speed painter Dave Sharp painted two spectacular portraits of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic which were auctioned that evening and will be signed by both players.
Money was raised through a raffle, donations and auction items. The live auction was a great success, skilfully directed by the entertaining and highly regarded auctioneer Charlie Ross.
Tim Henman and Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow MP were amongst the many personalities present. Guests danced into the early hours to The All Time All-Stars, 10 piece band.
Tim Henman, former British Tennis No.1 and GIYM Patron said:
“The Tennis Ball is a wonderful event for two fantastic charities. I’ve worked closely with Give It Your Max and the work they do is really helping to enhance the life of so many children. The money raised from this year’s Tennis Ball will help them to grow their programme to even more areas across the UK.”
Honorary President of The Tennis Ball John Beddington said:
“The fifth Tennis Ball was the most successful we have held yet, raising much needed funds for GIYM and IC Philanthropy – much more than we could have ever expected. This money will go to these two very worthwhile charitable tennis initiatives, giving many children all over the world the opportunity to play tennis.”
The Tennis Ball was supported by Linklaters, Zoo Communications, Maui Jim and City AM.
For more information and to view the video from the night visit http://www.thetennisball.co.uk
Pictures from the night can be seen in the gallery below and by Clicking here