News Archive

Picker & Filter

< 2022


  • December

    Hatchery Experience Is a Net Win for Students

    Shawnigan students have been doing their part recently to ensure the survival of another generation of coho salmon with their work in the School’s own Mark Hobson Hatchery.
    After first catching mature fish for broodstock after they returned to spawn in Shawnigan Creek, students — and some adventurous staff members — had the opportunity to take eggs and milt (sperm) from the fish, beginning the process that will eventually lead to the release of young fish to begin the cycle once again.

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  • The Addams Family Comes Together

    Over more than 90 years and countless incarnations — or maybe “reincarnations” is the proper term — the Addams Family has found ways to remain popular and relevant.
    The first Addams Family cartoon appeared in the New Yorker in February 1932. The original TV series ran from 1964 to 1966, followed by several more TV series, one-off specials, and movies, both live action and animated. Most recently, there have been animated movies released in 2019 and 2021, and the Netflix series Wednesday (which takes place at a boarding school) was released on November 23 of this year.
    The ghoulish clan’s timelessness is a major reason why The Addams Family was selected as this year’s major Musical Theatre production. The students are all familiar with the characters, director Mrs. Rosalynd Roome ’91 explains.
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  • November

    A Spectacular Start to Robotics Season

    Shawnigan Robotics got the 2022-23 season off to a spectacular start last weekend as hosts and winners of the first tournament of the year.
    The School played host to 34 robotics teams from six organizations (five individual high schools, as well as a combined group representing the Comox Valley School District). The robots competed in a disc golf-type game called Spin Up, going through a total of 53 qualifying matches to rank the teams. The top 32 teams made the playoffs, then paired up and played through four rounds to determine the champions.
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  • The Globe Reads and Word Week

    Shawnigan students have spent the last two weeks connecting with the written word, and through that, connecting with each other and far-flung peers.
    Last week, students took part in The Globe Reads, a program that promotes social engagement across borders and oceans by digitally pairing up classes from schools around the world to read and discuss a piece of written work — a poem or a short story.
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  • Remembrance Day at Shawnigan

    Shawnigan Lake School joined the rest of Canada on November 11 to honour those who have served, those who continue to serve, and those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom in a sombre Remembrance Day ceremony with a special focus on members of the Shawnigan community who died in the Second World War.
    Conflict is something unfamiliar to most Shawnigan students, but not all. A film produced by the School, Shawnigan Remembrance Day Reflection 2022: Shawnigan Stories, shared the harrowing experiences of some of our students from places like Ukraine and Afghanistan. Remembrance Day began with an opportunity for students to view that film in their Houses, after which they sang their House hymns and the national anthem before gathering in the Quad with the rest of the School.
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  • Shawnigan Shines at SSUNS in Montreal

    Three students won coveted gavels as best delegates and one earned an honourable mention as Shawnigan’s Model UN team had a superb showing at the Secondary Schools United Nations Symposium at McGill University in Montreal last week.
    Desi S. received the Viola Desmond Award for Advocacy, Zach P. received the Hide Hyodo Shimuzu Award for Peacekeeping, and Audrey T. received the Sergeant Tommy Prince Award for Diplomatic Finesse, while Nikita T. received an honourable mention.
    “It always feels good to win an award,” Desi said. “It shows how much they appreciate the effort you put in.”
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  • Stag Café Shakes Up the Menu

    Controversy surrounded the opening of the Stag Café for the 2022-23 school year on Thursday, November 10.
    Students hoping for a frosty vanilla milkshake — a longtime staple of the Stag Café menu — were met with disappointment. The chocolate and strawberry milkshakes were back on the bill of fare, but the vanilla milkshake was nowhere to be found. Shockingly, it had been replaced by a strawberry-banana smoothie — delicious, no doubt, but not a vanilla milkshake.
    The contentious situation was a learning experience for the senior Entrepreneurship students who are running the Stag Café. While the students are free to set the menu, there is still an element of honouring the past, as Entrepreneurship teacher Ms. Mariel Solsberg puts it. Some breaks from tradition don’t go over well with the customers.
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  • Connecting with the Community through Grassroots Sports

    A new addition to Shawnigan’s 360 (arts and activities) lineup this fall has students engaging with the community to share the joy they get out of sports with local youngsters.
    Grassroots Sports is the creation of Mr. Clay Panga, who joined the School this year as Indigenous Community Engagement Coordinator and Assistant House Director of Kaye’s, with the goal of engaging the community through youth coaching. The program was initially intended to focus on rugby — prior to coming to Shawnigan, Mr. Panga created the British Columbia Grassroots Rugby Foundation, which uses the sport to spread positive values throughout the province — but it had to expand thanks to unexpected popularity among Shawnigan students, adding an ice hockey component already, with more sports to come.
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  • Ingrid H. '23 (Co-Head of School, Kaye's)

    "Shawnigan is the perfect place to develop your existing passions, or to find new ones, because you have so many opportunities to try new things.
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  • Getting to the Core of the Shawnigan Journey

    On a sunny day last month, the Quad was filled with Grade 8 students doing something that looked simple on the outside, but when you looked a little deeper, there was a lot more to the activity than first appeared.
    The students were making apple sauce, but it was more than that. It was both a hands-on activity, and the culmination of the first unit of their Shawnigan Journey (encompassing Health and Career Education 8) class, which looked at nutrition from every angle.
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  • Reflection – Remembrance Day 2022 – Gathering in Chapel on 9th Nov 2022

    During our Wednesday Gathering in the Chapel, the Shawnigan community took time to reflect on Remembrance Day in advance of our ceremony on Friday, November 11. What follows is my address to the School.
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  • Spooky Happenings on Campus!

    Shawnigan’s Halloween Haunted house was created to strike fear in the hearts of students, but it’s possible that no one was more scared on Thursday, October 27 than events coordinator Mr. Blair Sturrock and entrepreneurship teacher and Lake’s House AHD Ms. Mariel Solsberg, who once again guided the project.
    With just hours to go before the Haunted House was scheduled to open, a windstorm knocked out electrical power to the School. While some buildings continued to function thanks to generators, the Hugh Wilkinson Theatre — the location of the Haunted House this year — was not among them. Mr. Sturrock, Ms. Solsberg and the other staff members and parents who had toiled for countless hours to get the Haunted House ready for that night were left wondering if it would have to be postponed until after students returned from November Break.
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  • October

    AGM Message from the Chair of the Board

    Shawnigan Lake School’s 2022 Annual General Meeting was held at the School on Founder’s Day, Saturday, October 22. The following is the address delivered at the AGM by Fiona Macfarlane, the Chair of the Board of Governors, shared here with her permission.

    I am delighted to give the Chair’s address in person this year instead of Zooming in.

    The School is in fine form; financially, we are on very solid ground, admissions are strong, and the School is abuzz with many of the traditional rituals and activities, like Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock, sports events, the Model UN Global Goals Conference, and others. It almost feels like we are back to normal.
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  • Careers Day

    As they think about their futures, Shawnigan Grade 11 and 12 students had the opportunity on Friday, October 21, to hear from School alumni at our annual Careers Day. There were 18 separate sessions throughout the day where Shawnigan graduates shared their professional experiences with current students. Guests included an Air Canada pilot, a producer of CBC’s Dragon’s Den, and a senior regional manager for Emergency Management British Columbia.
    All the presenters were alumni, as Careers Day coincided with Founder’s Day and the Annual General Meeting the following day. Prefects at each session led a modified question and answer session between the presenters and students.
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  • Fall Sports Update

    There has been plenty of action this fall for Shawnigan sports, with several teams already completing their competitive seasons, and others just getting underway.

    Ice Hockey
    Shawnigan’s ice hockey teams got started right at the beginning of the school year, with camps followed by exhibition games and regular-season games in mid-September.
    The U15 Prep boys’ team attended a Canadian Sports School Hockey League Showcase in Calgary in late September and early October, and hosted a Showcase at the Charlie Purdey Arena last weekend (Thursday, October 20 to Sunday, October 23), with all 10 of the CSSHL’s BC teams. Battling through adversity, the team has compiled a record of four wins and four losses.
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  • Founder's Day 2022

    Shawnigan alumni flooded back to campus on Saturday, October 22 for the first in-person Founder’s Day since 2019.
    All alumni are welcome back every Founder’s Day, but this year’s event was specifically focused on those who graduated in 1952, 1962, 1972, 1982, 1992, 2002 and 2012, as well as the Class of 1997, who returned for their 25th anniversary. Founder’s Day gives alumni a great chance to catch up with each other and their former teachers, and to see their old campus, which, for several grads, has undergone many changes since they left the School.
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  • Model UN Global Goals Conference

    On Thursday, October 20, Shawnigan hosted the Model UN Global Goals Conference, providing 140 students from our School and 160 students from eight other schools across Vancouver Island with the opportunity to engage in conversation on how to accelerate progress toward the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, to raise awareness, and to drive action and change.
    All Grade 10 students at Shawnigan participate in the Global Goals Conference as part of the social studies curriculum, and the Secretariat is made up of senior students in our Model UN program. Sissi L. served as Secretary General, Jenny Y. was Director General, and the rest of the Secretariat included Zavosh K., Izzy M., Grace Z., Jack S., and Zach P.
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  • Advisor Lunches

    The advisor program is well-established as part of the Shawnigan Journey, and a new addition to the program is helping to strengthen the relationships between advisors and their advisees.
    In addition to the weekly group meetings that advisors hold with their advisees, the School has added weekly advisor lunches in Marion Hall that allow them to meet twice a week, enhancing the advisor-advisee bond that is so crucial to a Shawnigan education.
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  • Blending Woodwork with Cultural Awareness

    Grade 8 woodwork students worked jointly on their skills in the shop and on cultural awareness as they spent recent weeks creating and exploring how to use the cajón, a traditional instrument used by enslaved people of African descent in Peru.
    Named for the Spanish word for “box,” the cajón was used to replace the African drums used by enslaved people, which had been banned by their masters. Without anything else on which to play music, they simply used what was on hand, and the items they used evolved into unique instruments.
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  • Opening Address – Sustainable Development Goals’ Conference 2022

    On Thursday, October 20, Shawnigan hosted the Model UN Global Goals Conference, providing students from our School and several others across Vancouver Island to engage in conversation on how to accelerate progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals, to raise awareness, and to drive action and change.
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  • Students Prepare for Japan Super Science Fair

    Two Shawnigan students have combined their passion for science with their love of figure skating for a project that they will present at the prestigious Japan Super Science Fair in early November.
    Grade 11 students Selina G. and Grace Z. are preparing to travel with teacher Ms. Jasmine Bal to Kyoto, where they will present their report, “Determining the Physics and Mechanics Behind a Perfect Quadruple Axel.” Both students are figure skaters, which drove their interest in the project. A quadruple axel had never been landed in competition until September 20 of this year, after the girls had already done the experiment portion of their research, but 17-year-old Ilia Malinin’s successful jump at the U.S. International Classic added something unexpected to the discussion section of their paper.
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  • Alumni Notebook - October 2022

    Summer Alumni Reunion Weekend
    Over the July 15-17 weekend, more than 150 alumni, families and past staff came together on campus to reconnect and re-experience Shawnigan. Our Summer Reunion was a tremendous success, making up for the grad classes that missed their Founder's Day due to the COVID pandemic.
    Those who attended could be spotted in a rowing shell on the lake, skating in the arena, playing rugby on the fields, staying in the dorms, taking an art class with Don Rolston, singing in Chapel, or simply enjoying a meal all together in Marion Hall. Everywhere we looked, we saw alumni and their families reconnecting on campus.
    Thank you to the alumni who were able to attend and, to those who were not able, we hope to see you at another alumni event in future. As we continue to examine our alumni events on the horizon, we are always looking for feedback. If you would like to see more of this type of alumni reunion event, please let us know at!
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  • Graham L. Anderson Alumni Award Recipients Announcement

    Announcing the 2022 Recipients of the Graham L. Anderson Alumni Award: Olivia Burton ’17 (Groves’) and Charlotte Gibbs ’16 (Kaye’s)

    Olivia Burton ’17 (Groves’)
    PharmD Class of 2024, UBC

    Following graduation from Shawnigan Lake School in 2017, Olivia attended the University of Victoria where she gained an interest in medicinal chemistry. In 2020, Olivia was accepted into the Doctor of Pharmacy program at the University of British Columbia. In addition to her studies within the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Olivia currently sits on the Indigenous Advisory Student Subcommittee and recently conducted a research project that focused on Indigenization and Decolonization of academic programs. This work is important to Olivia, as growing up in the Cowichan Valley as a non-Indigenous person, she recognized the distinct differences in privilege and saw how generational trauma has affected the Indigenous presence in our educational system. This is especially apparent within the PharmD program. It is for this reason that she became involved in these projects and will continue with this work even after graduation. Olivia is passionate about pharmacy practice and hopes to be admitted to the Vancouver Island Health Pharmacy Residency Program upon graduation, with an end goal of practising as a clinical pharmacist within the Cowichan Valley. Outside of her academic and professional endeavours, Olivia enjoys exploring Vancouver Island through hiking, skiing and surfing.

    Charlotte Gibbs ’16 (Kaye’s)
    After graduating from Shawnigan Lake School in 2016, Charlotte attended the University of British Columbia, where she completed a dual degree in History and Modern European Studies and graduated with high distinction in 2021. In September 2022, Charlotte commenced her studies at the University of Toronto, where she is pursuing a Master of Arts in History. In her research, Charlotte focuses on women during the Holocaust, particularly how gender matters when studying the Holocaust. Charlotte plans to pursue her PhD in history and hopes to teach and continue making Holocaust education accesible to a wider public using the digital humanities. When not working, Charlotte is often reading, exploring outdoors, or finding new running trails.
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  • Kung Fu Film Festival

    There was no red carpet leading into Mitchell Hall this past Wednesday, but that didn’t dampen the buzz as the Film Production 360 held a film festival to show off the students’ work so far as they prepare for the 2023 BC Student Film Festival.
    Groups of three to five students screened their films — ranging in length from one to seven minutes — for an audience of their peers, then fielded questions from the floor about their projects. The filmmakers discussed the obstacles they had to overcome during the production process, much of which included working on the fly; one group had to rewrite the script when a member fell ill on a filming day.
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  • Students get a look at Canadian universities

    Students from Shawnigan and other local high schools focused on their futures earlier this month when the School hosted the Canadian Universities Event in the New Gym. Representatives from 52 universities across Canada were on hand, and students were able to learn about new programs and new opportunities, and consider post-secondary institutions they may not have thought about otherwise.
    Students in Grades 10, 11 and 12 were encouraged to attend the fair, and many of them took advantage of the opportunity to speak with the university representatives and ask insightful questions.
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  • Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock

    The Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock received a rousing reception from students and staff when it rolled into Shawnigan Lake School this week.
    The festivities were split over two days this time, with a barbecue for the School community and Tour de Rock riders on Tuesday evening, and a rally in the Quad before classes started on Wednesday morning.
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  • Farewell to our Heimbecker Chair for Experiential Education

    This week, Shawnigan bade a fond farewell to Tom Hall, the energetic and intrepid Australian import who we were fortunate to have as the School’s first-ever Heimbecker Chair for Experiential Education.
    As part of Project Future, Shawnigan introduced the Inspiration Chairs Program in 2021, joining the Bruce-Lockhart Fellowship for Teaching Excellence in enabling the School to bring experts from outside the School to campus to help enrich the educational experience for students.
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  • Grade 9s Go Beyond the Gates

    Back for its second year, Shawnigan’s aptly named Beyond the Gates program has been taking Grade 9 students off campus in recent weeks to see firsthand the beautiful and diverse wilderness of Vancouver Island while gaining valuable lifelong skills. A core aspect of Shawnigan’s commitment to experiential learning and part of our intentional design of the Shawnigan Journey, Beyond the Gates is a year-long program that blends lived experiences with academic classes, teaching teamwork, leadership and other valuable qualities in a setting outside the classroom.
    Every Grade 9 student takes part in an excursion in the fall, choosing between a sea kayaking adventure in the Gulf Islands between Vancouver Island and the Mainland, and a hiking trip along the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail on the southwest coast of the Island. Groups were divided up, with one kayaking group and one hiking group heading out over each of the last two weekends.
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  • National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

    A painful, powerful and personal history of the damage done by the residential school system in Canada was the focal point of Shawnigan’s observation of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30.
    Grade 10 student Hannah F. (traditional name Usmanahiih), a member of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, bravely addressed a gathering in Chapel. Saying, “Today is about sharing our truth,” Hannah related that her own grandparents had been forcibly taken from their families and sent to residential schools, and that she is here today because they survived that experience — her grandparents have family members who, like thousands of other First Nations children, never came home again.
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  • September

    P.E. Classes Learn Canada's National Summer Sport

    Over the two weeks leading up to the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30, Grade 8-10 P.E. students at Shawnigan had the unique opportunity to learn about the sport of lacrosse from an accomplished ambassador of the game.
    Naomi Walser, a member of the Beausoleil Ojibwe First Nation band in Ontario, who has called Vancouver Island home for many years, spent the week with Shawnigan’s P.E. classes, sharing with them Canada’s national summer sport, and teaching them a bit about the origins of the game. Walser travels across BC to spread the word about lacrosse, but this was her first time working with P.E. classes at Shawnigan.
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  • Shawnigan Runs for Terry Fox

    Shawnigan students suited up in red and white last Friday and did their part to raise money for cancer research in Canada by taking part in the School’s annual Terry Fox Run. Students collected toonies in their Houses that will go to the Terry Fox Foundation for cancer research then ran 5 km, a mere fraction of the distance that Terry himself ran each day during his Marathon of Hope in 1980.
    Grade 11 student Sharmonie P. and cross country coach Mr. Mark Swannell spoke in Chapel about Terry Fox and the Marathon of Hope and what it feels like to run 42 km.
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  • Reflection at the Gathering in Chapel in advance of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

    On Friday, September 30, Shawnigan will observe the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, which honours the children who never returned home and survivors of the Canadian residential school system, as well as their families and communities. On Wednesday, September 28, students and staff gathered in the Chapel to reflect on the importance of the day. This was my address to the students and staff present.
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  • Mr. Remi Anctil

    "Sometimes teaching doesn’t even feel like a job. Going to class, having fun with the kids, and teaching them things and having discussions with them – I am always blown away. There are some really bright kids here who truly want to learn. I feel really fortunate to teach here.
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  • Grade 8 Camping Trip

    A black bear sighting was just one of many highlights for Grade 8 students on a two-night hiking, canoeing and camping trip to nearby Camp Pringle last weekend.
    All Grade 8 students took part in the trip, which saw half of them canoe and half of them hike to Camp Pringle, on the west shore of Shawnigan Lake, before spending two nights there and taking part in a variety of activities. When it was time to return to the School, the groups swapped modes of transportation, so the students who hiked on the first day went back by canoe, and vice versa.
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  • Inter-House Volleyball and Track and Field

    Inter-House competitions have been a vital part of the Shawnigan experience since the School’s founding. Early in the school year, they help students build new friendships and rekindle old ones, while at the same time renewing long-standing rivalries between Houses, all serving to boost overall school spirit.
    This year kicked off with big inter-House events on back-to-back weekends, with volleyball on Sept. 11 and track and field on Sept. 18. Students suited up in their House colours and supported their teammates exuberantly throughout the lively competitions.
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  • Reflections on the Queen and the notion of duty

    On Monday, September 19, Shawnigan students and staff were invited to a special Chapel service to honour Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's lifetime of service and duty. During the service, The Rev delivered a poignant address about the Queen and the notion of duty to our School community, which I am sharing here in my column today, with his permission.
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  • 360 Fair

    The Quad was buzzing last Friday as Shawnigan students explored their options for the 360 program this year. And with 31 options to choose from at the 360 Fair, there was a lot to ponder for students making their after-school plans for the coming year.
    A co-curricular after-school program that students take part in twice a week, 360 operates separately from regular classes but is another part of the whole that helps distinguish the Shawnigan experience. Programs are run with a large element of guidance by the students themselves, but are still designed to teach skills and create well-rounded students.
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  • Dragons' Den Dumbbells Donation

    Dragons’ Den-style pitches made by Shawnigan students last June are starting to pay off this fall.
    In June, students from Entrepreneurship and Marketing 10 held their own version of the popular show Dragons’ Den, pitching ideas to members of the Shawnigan Parents Association (SPA), hoping that their projects would be selected and provided with a financial investment to make it a reality.
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  • Prefect induction weekend

    Shawnigan’s 2022-23 prefects spent the weekend before the school year started getting to know each other and their unique responsibilities within the School and the student body.

    Prefect induction weekend started on Friday with a team-building evening of canoe-paddling, led by Clay Panga, Shawnigan’s Indigenous Community Engagement Coordinator, who explained the significance of the canoe, which belongs to Thunder Rugby, but which stays at Shawnigan, and the School is encouraged to use.
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  • Preseason sports camps

    Shawnigan’s field hockey and ice hockey teams were in action on the turf and at the arena before their fellow students were even back on campus, with camps being held on the weekend prior to opening day.

    The field hockey season is already off to an “awesome” start, according to head coach Andi Conroy, who led her players through a three-day preseason camp. Some players were unable to attend, so Conroy is excited to see her entire roster get together.
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  • Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

    Today, Shawnigan marks the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the UK’s longest serving monarch. She also served as Queen of Canada for 70 years, given our country’s Commonwealth status.

    The Queen held a special place in her heart for Canada and made more than 23 formal visits to this country. Her last visit to Vancouver Island was in 1994 for the Commonwealth Games in Victoria, named after Queen Victoria (her great great grandmother).

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  • July

    Closing Day Address – Shawnigan 2022

    The commission for me to give a short Head’s Address at this Closing Day no doubt fills you all with dread: “he’s going to talk about trees on campus at length again… once was enough at Grad!”

    But never fear: not today!

    And you’ll be pleased to hear that Kathini took a ruthless red pen yesterday to my closing address, mindful of the blazing sun and possible heat stroke!

    But it wouldn’t be me if there wasn’t some Latin thrown into a speech.
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  • Going Beyond the Gates

    Launched as a pilot program in September 2021 as part of Project Future, Shawnigan’s strategic plan, Beyond the Gates has taken a group of Grade 9 students through a dynamic experiential learning journey in its first year. The program aims to take learning out of the traditional classroom and into the beautiful and diverse wilderness of Vancouver Island, deliver a more hands-on approach to lessons, connect lived learning experiences with academic classes, focus on place-based learning, and challenge students in new and exciting ways.
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  • June

    Shawnigan Stag gifted to the School by Rande Cook, Kwagiulth artist

    Indigenous History Month

    Throughout National Indigenous History Month, the Shawnigan community has had many opportunities to learn more about the rich and diverse histories and cultures of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples.
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  • Mrs. Leslie Smith

    "My favourite part about teaching is the students. It's those transformational moments, those “aha” moments when a student does something that they never thought they could do. Those are my happy moments – seeing my students experimenting and discovering new things, and having fun along the way. I think that's why I love teaching junior students so much, because we can have fun, and we do have fun every single day.

    I am an English teacher; my interest in and passion for ELL developed during my time here at Shawnigan and have evolved into an area of speciality. My Shawnigan career began 20 years ago and my first role was providing support services to students who had ELL needs or executive functioning needs. Back then there was no Learning Centre. Then, I got back into the classroom and worked in the English Department and the Prep School before moving full time into the English Department.
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  • The Lion King Jr.

    The African savannah came to life on the Hugh Wilkinson Theatre stage as the Grade 8 class ended their year of Fine Art ventures with a spectacular production of The Lion King Jr.
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  • Five Year Dinner 2022

    The Shawnigan journey is shared by all who attend the School, and while it may look a little different for each individual, there are a select few whose journeys have a commonality; their Shawnigan journey has spanned five years, taking them from Grade 8 to Grade 12. For this group of students, the five-year dinner is a rite of passage dating back to 2015, when it was decided that those who have dedicated their high school years to Shawnigan should be celebrated!
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  • Inter-House Track and Field

    Inter-House events at Shawnigan are instrumental in providing an avenue for students to connect, have fun, let loose and show their House spirit in an exciting and memorable way. Throughout the year, students have enjoyed many different inter-House events in academic, artistic, and athletic disciplines. In the lead-up to the end of the school year, the School community participated in one of the biggest events of the year, Inter-House Track and Field. Gathering after lunch on a Saturday, the fields were a sea of colour as students donned their finest House colours and prepared for an afternoon of friendly competition. From long jump to high jump, and shot put to sprints, there was something for everyone.
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  • The Laramie Project

    With June being Pride Month and Shawnigan having just celebrated Pride Week, there have been many opportunities for those around campus to learn about, support, and experience what Pride represents and means to different people. While many associate Pride with colourful rainbows and joyfully exuberant events, there are also some challenging and difficult discussions surrounding the firsthand experiences of LGBTQ2+ people.
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  • University Horizons

    This afternoon it was my great pleasure to deliver a presentation for all Grade 11 students (and any interested Grade 10s), alongside Craig Brown, Director of University Guidance, on university horizons and current trends at universities.
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  • Grade 8 Sorting Hat Ceremony

    The student journey at Shawnigan is a carefully crafted one, and for our youngest students, our Grade 8 program offers an experience unique to any other boarding school. From the moment they arrive on campus, the specially designed Grade 8 Houses, Stanton for the girls and Levien for the boys, welcome these students into an environment where they will be nurtured and cared for as they learn the ropes of Shawnigan and experience being away from home for the first time. These students get the opportunity to bond and create close friendships, an essential foundation for them as they finish their first year.
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  • BCSS Rugby Championships

    This past weekend saw the top 48 boys’ and girls’ high school rugby XVs teams from the province merge on the fields at Abbotsford's Exhibition Park, where along with 32 rugby 7’s teams, they played in a festival-style tournament to determine the best teams in the province. One of Canada's largest high school sporting events, this tournament is the pinnacle of the rugby calendar, where teams vie for the coveted blue BCSS championship banner. This year marks a historic year for the event, with girls' rugby being included in this specific tournament for the first time. Shawnigan was represented by three teams, with the Iron Women, Boys' Colts and Boys' 1st XV all participating.
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  • CSSRA Rowing Championships

    Shawnigan’s rich history in rowing was at the forefront this past week, with our top rowers flying across the country to St. Catharines, Ontario, in pursuit of winning a medal on the waters of the Royal Canadian Henley Rowing Course as part of the 75th annual CSSRA championships. After a couple of years of training hard and waiting for the return of the competition after a two-year pandemic hiatus – meaning that many of them were, unusually, technically deemed “novice” athletes – Shawnigan’s rowers were primed and ready to race.
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  • Shawnigan Pride Week 2022

    With Pride Week as the focus, there was a lot to celebrate this week! The week kicked off with everyone in their Houses watching a video created by students from our SOGI group, defining pride and what it represents. Tuesday's Chapel gathering followed up on that messaging. It was filled with inspirational words and music shared by LGBTQ2S+ students and was followed by all students being invited to help create a rainbow walkway with chalk through the Quad celebrating pride and all it stands for at Shawnigan. The diversity of our School community is something to be celebrated, and it is through weeks like this that we show our unwavering support for all.
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  • Shawnigan's Dragon Den

    Earlier this week, students from Entrepreneurship and Marketing 10 held their very own version of the popular show Dragon’s Den, pitching ideas to a panel comprised of the Shawnigan Parents Association. The goal? That their project be selected and provided with a financial investment to make it a reality. Student groups were tasked with coming up with an idea to better our Shawnigan community, and with an audience, including the Head of School, seated comfortably in Mitchell Hall, they courageously addressed the room and pitched their ideas.
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  • This I Believe

    Graduation is a special time for students, and at Shawnigan, there is so much to celebrate and reflect on as their final year of high school comes to a close. Students in English 12 have a unique assignment for their final weeks: a challenge to compose and deliver original speeches in a similar style to the legendary radio program called “This I Believe,” created in the 1950s by Edward R. Murrow. For this namesake project, the class embarked on a writing journey to create a memorable speech that reflects on their time at the School and the core values that have guided their daily lives. Starting with the words, “This I believe,” students shared a wide range of topics and stories in their speeches, which they presented in class. 18 presenters were then selected by their peers to participate in an evening showcase.
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  • Celebrating our Connection with Nepal

    For the past seven years, Shawnigan Lake School has been honoured to partner with Shree Mangal Dvip (SMD), a school in Kathmandu that provides free education, housing, and care for children from remote Himalayan mountain villages. SMD, which operates fully through philanthropy, educates students through Grade 10. Graduates are encouraged to stay on at the school to work in teaching, mentoring, or administrative roles while completing their education elsewhere in the city. The school also works hard to find ways for their students to experience the world, with the hope that they will return to Nepal and work to improve the conditions there. Accordingly, SMD has connections all over the world – including with Shawnigan Lake School.
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  • Asian Heritage Month

    This week, Shawnigan Lake School had a wonderful opportunity to celebrate some of the diverse cultures that make up the School community during a special event held to commemorate Asian Heritage Month. School Prefect Janie Z. organized the festivities, which included fun games and activities, delicious food, and student musical performances.
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  • Cassie And Friends Walk

    On a mission to support children and their families with Juvenile Arthritis and other rheumatic diseases, the Cassie and Friends Society has the unwavering support of Grade 12 Shawnigan student Danica M., who, as part of her Capstone project, set out to raise awareness and funds for it. Having been diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis at a young age, dealing with the disease has certainly had its ups and downs and has affected many parts of her life, making it a cause close to her heart.
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  • Grade 9 Boat Race

    The Health and Career Education 9 class had some fun last week as they held their 6th annual boat race, a much-loved team-building activity that brings a bit of fun to the class and marks the start of spring. While it seems mother nature did not receive the memo this year, the competition still proved to be a fun yet wet experience for all Grade 9s in the class. After being divided into groups and tasked with designing and building a raft using recycled materials found around campus and a few bought items, the students then got to work. The end goal? To navigate their boat, with all team members on board, around a buoy on the lake.
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  • Physics 11 Rocket Launch

    The rocket lab is an annual physics event that students look forward to each year. AP Physics 11 students take on the challenge of building and designing their own rockets using paper rocket kits, with the goal of creating the rocket that reaches the highest mark in the sky.
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  • Provincial Golf Champions!

    The Shawnigan Lake School competitive golf team, comprised of Ben B., Adam H., Owen Q., Jonny R. and Nolan W., traveled to the majestic Sandpiper Golf Course this past week to compete in the BCSS “AA” Golf Championships. The course is one of the province’s hidden gems, nestled snugly on the banks of the Harrison River in the Fraser Valley. Arriving at the venue as Vancouver Island’s third seed, the team understood that only their finest efforts would see them be competitive in the deep and challenging tournament field.
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    Shawnigan students have been working hard all year on their SOUL Seeking inquiry projects. Following two days of science fair-style presentations, 16 finalists were announced, with the top three projects chosen after final presentations were made to a panel of judges. Over the next few weeks, we will feature each of these outstanding finalists. Congratulations to all students on another wonderful year of SOUL Seeking!
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  • SOUL Seeking Finalist Feature: Grace Z.

    Shawnigan students have been working hard all year on their SOUL Seeking inquiry projects. Following two days of science fair-style presentations, 16 finalists were announced, with the top three projects chosen after final presentations were made to a panel of judges. Over the next few weeks, we will feature each of these outstanding finalists. Congratulations to all students on another wonderful year of SOUL Seeking!
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  • May

    Career life Education Speaker Series

    This week our Grade 11s got to hear first-hand from Shawnigan alumni the opportunities that lay ahead of them beyond Shawnigan. Over three evenings this week, the Career Life Education 11 class Zoomed in with several graduates who shared where they are now and what it took to get them there. A part of the curriculum, career life education is critical in preparing students to determine the pathways they will need to take for their future plans. Choosing a profession can be daunting, and evenings like this allow students to ask questions and explore their options. The alumni who participated came from various disciplines, each having very different paths to get them there. Some went to post-secondary institutions while others entered the trades or started their own business, showing that not everything has a strictly academic route to get you there.
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  • Graduation 2022

    This year’s graduation celebration returned to its traditional location, the much-loved Fairmont Chateau Whistler, where graduates and their families enjoyed what has become a rite of passage for Grade 12s at Shawnigan. With families from around the globe able to attend in person after a two-year pandemic hiatus, the excitement brewing behind the scenes as the Events Team and staff helpers made the final preparations was palpable. The anticipation grew once the festivities kicked off, with parents welcomed to the Woodlands Terrace on Thursday evening for a special parent gathering. The Senior Leadership Team, teachers, House Directors, and advisors were exhilarated to celebrate the students' achievements and share them with the parents who entrusted the School to educate and nurture their children throughout their high school years.
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  • Shawnigan Regatta 2022

    The weekend of May 13-15 marked the first Shawnigan Regatta since 2019, and as hundreds of athletes from around the province gathered, the anticipation to get on the water could be felt by all. As is often the case, the regatta was disrupted by wind and rain; the extreme weather, however, certainly didn’t dampen the rowers’ spirits! The weather may have put their patience and their abilities to the test, but they persevered through it, exhibiting great passion and determination. Weather aside, the weekend was a tremendous success, with rowers gaining experience on the water, (re)discovering their love of the sport, and making lasting memories.
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  • SOUL Seeking Finalist Feature: Gavin C.

    Shawnigan students have been working hard all year on their SOUL Seeking inquiry projects. Following two days of science fair-style presentations, 16 finalists were announced, with the top three projects chosen after final presentations were made to a panel of judges. Over the next few weeks, we will feature each of these outstanding finalists. Congratulations to all students on another wonderful year of SOUL Seeking!
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  • SOUL Seeking Finalist Feature: Harrison M. and MacKinley B.

    Shawnigan students have been working hard all year on their SOUL Seeking inquiry projects. Following two days of science fair-style presentations, 16 finalists were announced, with the top three projects chosen after final presentations were made to a panel of judges. Over the next few weeks, we will feature each of these outstanding finalists. Congratulations to all students on another wonderful year of SOUL Seeking!
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  • Grad 2022 - Head’s Address for the leavers

    This is the Place you were Made

    Amongst the swirl and glamour of Grad 2022 in Whistler, I wanted to send you a graduating message grounded and rooted in our Shawnigan campus, your home-away-from-home.
    My team (well, in truth, the tyrannical Mrs. Miranda) has asked for a graduating message which is compelling, heartfelt and unforgettable. A tall order but, as ever, her wish is my command.
    I will save a more playful approach for the last week of term and one of our final gatherings.
    A few weeks ago, a grade 12 dared me to subtly slip in as many of the family names of your graduating class as possible into my speech for a little bit of mischief. Listen carefully and try to count how many times I do. There’s an individual prize tonight if you hear your family name in this speech, and then there is the main prize of a homemade dinner for you and a friend at the Head’s House - served by the Head in a tuxedo - for the student who gives me the total number of names used before the end of tonight.
    Here goes….
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  • Mrs. Rayna Hyde-Lay

    "I was 14 years old when I first came to Shawnigan, joining 30 others to make up the first group of girls to attend what had until that point been an all-boys school. Most of us had brothers who were already at the School or came from the boarding school at Queen Margaret's School, so it wasn’t entirely new for us, and we embraced this unique opportunity head on. Made up of Grade 10 to 12 students, being a part of this pioneering group of girls was exciting. It was awesome being in the first year of girls, and we really bonded as a group.

    The connections I made at the School started from the very beginning. The first year of girls was in School House with everyone on the same floor. I knew the Grade 12s as well as I knew the younger students, and being together really bonded us. It was a critical time for the School, and they were careful to make sure we understood the microscope we were under as the first group of girls. “All for one, one for all” was a motto we lived by in those early years, and it was in those years we got to know everyone. When Kaye’s House opened up the following year, and the girls were divided into two Houses, we remained very connected as a group.
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  • SOUL Seeking Finalist Feature: Rosie P.

    Shawnigan students have been working hard all year on their SOUL Seeking inquiry projects. Following two days of science fair-style presentations, 16 finalists were announced, with the top three projects chosen after final presentations were made to a panel of judges. Over the next few weeks, we will feature each of these outstanding finalists. Congratulations to all students on another wonderful year of SOUL Seeking!
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  • SOUL Seeking Finalist Feature: Sharmonie P.

    Shawnigan students have been working hard all year on their SOUL Seeking inquiry projects. Following two days of science fair-style presentations, 16 finalists were announced, with the top three projects chosen after final presentations were made to a panel of judges. Over the next few weeks, we will feature each of these outstanding finalists. Congratulations to all students on another wonderful year of SOUL Seeking!
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  • Inter-House Roundup

    While students have been busy with their academics, athletics, and co-curricular 360s, the inter-House events on campus provide an opportunity for the students to connect, enjoy a little friendly competition, and show off their House spirit. The most recent inter-House activities have left a mark on the students this year as they took place just as we saw a lifting of the COVID-19 mandates, making the events feel more like pre-pandemic times. Donned head to toe in their brightest House colours and with loud cheers of support, the pent-up energy flowing through the crowds at each event was contagious.
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  • Shawnigan Night of Dance

    On Sunday, the School was thrilled to be able to hold the Shawnigan Night of Dance and to welcome visitors back onto campus to enjoy a beautiful showcase of dance put on by students in our Grade 10 and Grade 11/12 curricular dance classes as well as those in our sport group. Held in the Hugh Wilkinson Theatre, there were two shows, a matinee and an evening show, and what a turnout they had! The matinee ended up being a full house with more families in the audience than they had ever seen before. The evening show was just as busy. Organizers put out an additional 30 seats in anticipation of a larger crowd, but even that wasn’t enough, and audience members flooded over onto the floor in front of the stage – talk about floor seats! The supporters extended beyond those who were physically present in the theatre as the evening show was also live-streamed so that families could support their child(ren) virtually.
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  • SOUL Seeking Showcase

    After a full year of SOUL Seeking, two afternoons of science-fair style presentations, and a showcase featuring the 16 finalists, a year of discovery has come to a close. With a panel of judges viewing the final presentations, and staff invited to watch, mocktails were enjoyed by the finalists as the judges announced the winners.
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  • Cowichan District Hospital Foundation's Champagne Dinner Auction & Gala

    On Saturday, April 30 the School hosted the Cowichan District Hospital Foundation's Champagne Dinner & Auction Gala, one of the Cowichan Valley's premier fundraising events. We have been proud to welcome the hospital community and its supporters to campus over the years. I was delighted to address those in attendance and I have shared my welcome message here.
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  • Grade 8s hear real-life shipwreck tale

    Following their recent study of The Dove in Social Studies, the Grade 8 class had the opportunity to hear from Shawnigan teacher Mr. Galen Loiselle, who, as a child, was shipwrecked for six months in the Panamanian archipelagoes. Thank you to Brady Z. for sharing his reflections on this experience!
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  • Young Entrepreneurs Hit the Ice

    Students in Shawnigan’s Entrepreneurship & Marketing 10 classes have learned a lot this year, but nothing beats what is learned through real-world applications. Following on the success of the soccer jerseys that were designed by last year’s class for the School’s “Vancouver Island Premier League” – our in-house Shawnigan soccer league that was created during the pandemic when competing against outside schools wasn’t possible – the classes have embarked on a similar project, this time for the Shawnigan Staff & Friends Hockey League (SSFHL).
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  • April

    Legally Blonde the Musical

    Shawnigan Lake School’s musical theatre company dazzled in its return to the stage at the McPherson Playhouse in Victoria with its production of Legally Blonde the Musical. This fun, high-energy show, based on the beloved 2001 film of the same name, took those fortunate enough to be in the audience on a magical ride, keeping them grinning from ear to ear, singing along with the songs, and cheering on the protagonists throughout the show. 
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  • Shawnigan Celebrates Earth Week

    Shawnigan’s Sustainability Council is a completely student-run initiative that looks at the School’s outlook and impact on the environment and how it can improve on its sustainability. Through student involvement and by using the student voice to garner support and buy-in from their peers, the students who make up this Council are well on their way to being role models for sustainability. Started by Grade 12 student Sebastian S. in his Grade 11 year, the Council has grown from 12 students to nearly 20 students and is actively working around campus and our surrounding community to raise awareness of the amount of waste produced and how to go about reducing our overall environmental impact.
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  • Alumni Notebook - April 2022

    Jasmine ‘21 (Kaye’s) & Naokah ‘18 (Renfrew) Bailes

    Alumnae and sisters Naokah ‘18 (Renfrew) and Jasmine ‘21 (Kaye’s) Bailes were recently featured on CBC and in Nunavut News for having both received the Sahtú Renewable Resources Board's environmental studies scholarship, as well as for their respective studies and pursuits related to the Sahtú region in Canada’s Northwest Territories. Congratulations Naokah and Jasmine on receiving this scholarship and for all your hard work!
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  • SOUL Seeking Fair 2022

    Students at the School have spent the last six months exploring what they are passionate about and turning it into a project of discovery. Now the third and final SOUL Seeking week has come for students at Shawnigan to finalize these projects in preparation for the final presentations they will deliver during the SOUL Seeking Fair, taking place this Friday and next. These presentations require students to delve into a topic of their choice and demonstrate not only what their project is about, but how they got there and why. All students and faculty will attend the fair and vote on their favourite projects, with the vote criteria looking for the projects that are the most inspiring, creative and passionate. Ten finalists will be determined based on the votes from their peers and advisors, with those selected taking part in the final SOUL Seeking Showcase being held in the Friesen Centre in early May.
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  • Spring Hatchery Update

    It has been all hands on deck this past week as the Mark Hobson Hatchery prepared for the release of thousands of juvenile Coho salmon into neighbouring Hartl Creek for their journey to the Pacific Ocean. Months of hard work go into the rearing of these fish in the on-campus hatchery, and students in Science 9 and Environmental Science 11 and 12, as well as the Fly-tying 360, play an important role in the annual cycle of incubating, caring for, and releasing the fry. Under the watchful eye of science teachers Laura Robson and Justin Wilke, students get hands-on experience while learning about the central role this species plays in the ecosystem of the Pacific Northwest.
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  • Reflections on Sacrifice

    In Chapel on April 9, the Reverend Holland gave a powerful address to students about the nature of sacrifice. I have shared his address here, with his permission. 

    These next few weeks are important holy days for three of the world’s main religious traditions: Ramadan for Islam, Passover for Judaism, and Easter for Christians. These three traditions have been formative for western civilization and have had a significant impact on cultures throughout the world; in some very good ways and some not so very good ways.
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  • Shawnigan Graduate Selected for the Page Program

    For graduates at Shawnigan Lake School, the opportunities beyond Shawnigan are many, and 
    for Class of 2022 student Annie C., this couldn’t ring more true. Selected for the Page Program in the House of Commons – an honour given to 40 first-year students in the Ottawa/Gatineau region each year – Annie is excited for the opportunity to be a non-partisan employee of the House administration next academic year. After undergoing the highly competitive national process that narrows it down to 40 successful applicants, the Page Program provides year-long, part-time work for students at eligible post-secondary institutions in an effort to broaden and enrich their knowledge of the Canadian Parliamentary System. For Annie, this was made possible because of her acceptance and commitment to the University of Ottawa to study Political Science and French.
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  • Shawnigan Student Earns Entry into National Science Fair

    Shawnigan students continue to shine, and this week Grade 11 student Sarah M. is no exception as she emerged from the virtual Vancouver Island Regional Science Fair (VIRSF) with an impressive second-place overall finish. This year marked the first time Shawnigan had an entry in this regional fair, and the results saw Sarah—along with the other top six projects from the fair—earning a spot in the prestigious Canada-Wide Science Fair, being held virtually in May. The national fair is Canada’s foremost annual youth science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) event that brings together the country’s top young scientists selected from approximately 100 regional fairs that take place across the country.
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  • Sports Update

    The third term is in full swing at Shawnigan, bringing with it a very full athletics calendar. This is a very exciting time for our athletes and coaches, as they (like much of the rest of the world) haven’t seen inter-school spring competition since March 2020. This means that, for many of our athletes, this is their first taste of competition in these spring sports. Please find below just a small sampling of all that has been happening in the past few weeks!
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  • Inspiring Academic Excellence

    On Tuesday, April 5th, 13 of our top senior math students at the School wrote the Euclid Math Contest, an annual test held by the University of Waterloo’s Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing for senior-level high school students.
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  • Legally Blonde the Musical

    Shawnigan’s musical theatre cast and crew have been busy preparing for their upcoming production of Legally Blonde the Musical. A fabulously fun award-winning musical based on the adored movie, Legally Blonde follows the transformation of Elle Woods as she tackles stereotypes and scandal in pursuit of her dreams. Action-packed and exploding with memorable songs and dynamic dances, this musical is so much fun it should be illegal!
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  • New Deputy Head of School

    I was delighted to welcome to campus Bill Nicholas, our new Deputy Head, at the start of this week. Bill has joined us directly after the conclusion of the winter term at Marlborough College, his former school in the UK, and has had a busy first week familiarizing himself with the rhythms of the School and meeting Shawnigan students and staff. Bill’s wife, Sheryl, will be joining us in the summer after the conclusion of the academic year at Marlborough, where she is currently Executive Assistant to the Master (Head of School). She will be joined by their son, Jonty, who we were thrilled to learn will be joining us for his Grade 11 year. Their daughter Georgie is currently studying for her Master’s at the University of Edinburgh.
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  • Student Leadership in Action

    Grade 12 Shawnigan students Cailin M. and Tina X. have had a wonderful opportunity to put their leadership skills to the test this year – to great result. When faced with the prospect of not having dance available as an after-school sport program at the start of the year, they decided to take matters into their own hands. “We thought, if you can have student-led fine arts, why can’t you have student-led sports?” explains Tina, referring to the fact that Shawnigan has been fortunate to have outstanding students lead a few co-curricular activities of late, including, most recently, astrophotography and fly tying. “There was no way we weren’t going to make it happen,” emphasizes Cailin.
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  • Sunflowers for Ukraine

    As conflict continues in Ukraine, it can be difficult for students at the School to know how to respond. In Saturday’s chapel, Grade 12 student Danica M., a member of the Service 360, addressed the students and announced an initiative for students to show their support for Ukraine and all those affected by the ongoing conflict.
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  • Ice Hockey Playoffs a Success!

    March break was a time for many to get away, travel, visit with family and friends and decompress after the winter term. For our hockey teams, March Break was filled with hockey, hockey and more hockey as our teams took to the ice and played as they have never played before. There were many ‘firsts’ for our teams, and parents and coaches alike were beaming with excitement as they got to cheer on the Black and Gold as they competed in the CSSHL Western Championships in Penticton. We had four teams represented at the tournament: our U18 female Prep, U15 Prep, U17 Prep, and U18 Prep, with three of the four teams advancing out of round-robin play and all four playing at a high level throughout. 
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  • The Shawnigan Lake School Menstrual Movement

    Students at Shawnigan Lake School are continually coming up with unique ideas and finding solutions to matters that affect those that live and work on campus. Most recently, two Grade 12 students, Janie Z. and Grace L. the student leaders of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, BE A JEDI, took on the challenge and addressed a topic that affects nearly half of the students and staff, yet is something that is rarely talked about: the menstrual cycle. In an effort to destigmatize this topic, these students have started the Shawnigan Lake School Menstrual Movement.
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  • March

    Pi Week Celebrations!

    Math enthusiasts unite! With the first three significant digits of the mathematical constant 𝚷 being 3, 1 and 4 the date of March 14 is recognized around the world as ‘World 𝚷 Day” where lovers of mathematics and ‘pie’ can find common ground. With the School on holiday on March 14 this year, Shawnigan math teacher and pi enthusiast Mark Swannell turned the week before Spring Break into a Pi Week Celebration!
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  • Shawnigan Hosts the VEX Robotics Island Regional Championships

    The Shawnigan Robotics team finished up a great season at the VEX Robotics Island Regional Provincial Championships on Saturday, March 5, hosted here on the Shawnigan campus. Top robots from across the island gathered in the new gym and battled for four berths in the VEX Robotics World Championships, taking place in Texas this summer. The four berths were awarded to teams and their robots in the categories of Excellence and Design, with two spots also given to the Tournament Champions. Our teams fought hard and all made it to the quarter-finals, where they were eliminated in close matches. One Shawnigan team posted the fourth-highest score in the province for individual skills challenges and another team posted the sixth-highest provincial score for skills. This is a huge accomplishment as they have seen great progress year over year.
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  • A Starry Night Experience

    Students were treated to a magical experience on Sunday evening as Grade 12 student Elle L., as part of her Capstone requirement for graduation, transformed The Friesen Centre into a fine dining experience complete with chauffeured golf cart rides, hors d’oeuvres, “mocktails,” live music, bonfires, and photo opportunities. With the guiding question for her project asking, “Can a student produce a high-quality luxury dining experience and can that experience produce a high enough profit to be donated to a local not-for-profit organization?” Elle is well on her way to finding the answers. Being inspired by the experience gained from participating in previous Valentine’s Day dinners run by students in Entrepreneurship 12, the next step was to challenge herself to do it on her own, and A Starry Night Experience was created.
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  • C.A.S.E.

    There is always something new and exciting going on at Shawnigan Lake School, and for our Communications, Arts, Sciences and Entrepreneurship (C.A.S.E.) program, which encourages innovation in the Applied Arts, that couldn’t ring more true after two new purchases made possible by C.A.S.E. donors and the Bradley Family Foundation. A new white toner transfer printer, as well as a plotter printer, have been put to the test by our students with great results. The white toner transfer printer allows the Digital Arts students to take their artwork and print it onto T-shirts and Hoodies. It has provided the students with extra motivation resulting in better and more thoughtful artwork as well as a physical medium in which to display their designs. Graphic Arts inherently tend to stay digital, and this new printer has meant the students have a fun way of bringing their designs to life for others to enjoy too.
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  • Samuel House: a pioneering new boarding house for Grade 8 students

    On Tuesday, March 1, 2022 the Shawnigan Lake School community came together for a very special St. David’s Day Chapel service full of powerful songs, stories, and poetry. The service, which celebrates the patron saint of Wales, was not only a wonderful way to learn more about Welsh culture and history, but it was also the perfect opportunity to honour two Shawnigan legends (and proud Welsh nationals), Gaynor and Rhodri Samuel, through the announcement of Samuel House, a new co-educational Grade 8 boarding house named in their honour.
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  • Winter Sport Update

    Whether it was on the water, on the court, or on the ice, you would have experienced the spirit of Shawnigan amplified no matter what sport you were cheering on the past few weeks. With the pandemic restrictions loosening, the teams have been re-energized as they return to tournament play complete with crowds in the stands and on the sidelines cheering them on.
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  • February

    Mark Hobson Hatchery Update

    With signs of spring around us, tucked away in the Mark Hobson Fish Hatchery located in the heart of campus on Lake Omar, there are thousands of salmon eggs at the start of their life cycle under the watchful eye of Shawnigan students. Offering a hands-on learning experience with this little school of fish, the lessons learned while in the hatchery extend outside of the classroom. It all starts with the delivery of the salmon roe which are cared for as they go through their stages of development, from alevin to fry to smolts, when the time comes to release them into nearby Hartl Creek which joins with the larger Shawnigan Creek. With Hartl Creek then becoming their natal creek, it is anticipated that these salmon will return year after year as part of their life cycle. The role the hatchery plays is significant as Shawnigan Creek has one of the largest Coho Salmon returns in the entire Province.
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  • At Shawnigan, we take care of each other

    Pink Shirt Day gives us the opportunity to emphasize our stance against bullying and recognize how important it is to take care of other members of our community. Throughout the academic year, this message is constantly reinforced and it is made very clear that this is a full community responsibility. While there is no 'playbook' for looking after others, there are three simple steps that students know should form the basis of establishing good community care.
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  • Shawnigan Lake Outstanding Minor Officials

    Our very own Shawnigan Lake Outstanding Minor Officials (affectionately known as the SLOMO team) are making a name for themselves when it comes to the work they are doing on the court. From our internal coaches, to external coaches, all the way up to major officials, the team is getting praised for their work under pressure. Many referees have chosen to sign up for Shawnigan home games, not only because of the facility but also for the teamwork they experience working with the SLOMO team. Recently, an official was overheard personally telling the crew at the scores table that they are the reason they will continue to return to Shawnigan to officiate.
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  • Apres Ski Week a Success!

    Shawnigan Lake School’s much anticipated annual Ski Week looked different this year, because, like so many things, the pandemic has required a shift in how things happen. The creative minds at the School took to the challenge and designed and executed a week to be remembered. With the goal of providing an opportunity for the students and staff to enjoy a change of pace midway through the academic year, the week was rebranded as Apres Ski Week and succeeded in encapsulating the core values of Shawnigan: Curiosity, Compassion, Community, and Courage. Curiosity and courage were witnessed in the many who challenged themselves and tried new activities – from skiing and snowboarding to bowling, esports tournaments and Reach for the Top quiz games. Compassion was shown to the younger students as older students led activities and helped on ski days, gaining valuable leadership skills. Throughout the week, with all that was taking place, the community building that occurred only made our foundation as a School community stronger. 
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  • CVIAA Junior B Basketball Champions

    Congratulations to Shawnigan’s Junior B (Grade 9) boys’ basketball team, which has just won the Central Vancouver Island Championships! The tournament, which took place at nearby Duncan Christian School on Tuesday, February 15, brought together the top four teams – the “Final Four” – from the 11 team league.
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  • Inter-House Competitions

    Inter-House competition was in full swing as part of the Apres Ski Week festivities this week with an esports tournament on Tuesday night followed by a Reach for the Top quiz night on Wednesday night. With the pandemic requiring that these events take place virtually, the organizers had their work cut out for them as they set up a live stream so that all Houses could cheer on their delegates. In esports, House representatives battled it out in teams playing Super Mario Super Smash Bros. For those not familiar with esports tournaments, just imagine a sports tournament but for video gamers! Introduced in pre-pandemic times, the esports tournament at Shawnigan has become an annual event the students look forward to, and it's an event that can take place regardless of what is going on around us. With that being said, the stakes were high as students from each House took to the controllers to battle to the top.
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  • Periodic Table of Canadian Black History

    This year, Shawnigan Lake School is approaching Black History Month through national and global lenses. Visual displays have appeared in the Library, residences, and classrooms to foreground the vast innovations, transformations and legacies of Black individuals from around the world. Duke’s Café is hosting Shawnigan’s take on the Periodic Table of Canadian Black History, an interactive digital learning display first created in 2020 by educators and Parents for Diversity Board members in Ottawa, Ontario.
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    Exploring one's passions and finding what makes you ‘tick’ can be a fun and exciting thing to do, and this week at Shawnigan, alongside Apres Ski Week festivities, students were able to do just that as they work on their SOUL Seeking projects. Designed to encourage innovation, curiosity and to explore passions, students used the week to delve deeper into and finalize the proposal for their selected topic and plan how they will get to the final product and their presentation in April. For the Grade 12s, this fulfills their Capstone requirement for graduation so it is an important part of their educational journey. The campus was buzzing all week with energy as the facilities were taken over by inquisitive minds exploring and researching through inquiry-based learning.
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  • Shawnigan Rings in the Year of the Tiger

    As Shawnigan Lake School emerges from a busy January, this week, under a new moon, the School community started February off with a celebration to remember! With February 1st marking the Lunar New Year, Shawnigan students and staff welcomed the Year of the Tiger in style. Also known as Chinese New Year, this holiday traditionally celebrated in China and other East and Southeast Asian countries is now celebrated around the world, and is an important part of our celebration of diversity and student sense of belonging here at Shawnigan. Marking the end of winter and the beginning of spring, it’s also known as the Spring Festival, and the week was the pick-me-up that everyone needed.
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  • MacKinley B.' 22 (Strathcona)

    "Shawnigan has been a part of my life forever. As a young child, I would often visit the campus with my dad who would be attending board meetings or alumni events – we would even come to watch school musicals. Seeing all the students walking together I was always struck by all the happiness, warmth, kindness, and laughter. They always looked like they were having so much fun. I remember thinking that these are the types of people I would have in my life if I came here – and I wanted it. I think that was definitely strategic because my dad was trying to get me to fall in love with Shawnigan. Little did he know I was already counting down the days till I could be a part of the Shawnigan community.
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  • January

    Dom S. '22 (Co-Head of School, Ripley's House)

    "I started my journey at Shawnigan in Grade 9. I remember feeling a mix of emotions as I was packing up on my last night at home and sitting in the living room listening to my dad sing a song he had written on his guitar for my departure. I went to bed feeling sad and woke up the next morning overflowing with excitement. We drove to the School blasting a Bee Gees album the entire way, not knowing at the time that this music would be the soundtrack of my Grade 9 year. We entered the grand gates of the School and pulled up to Ripley’s House, where I was immediately greeted by some Grade 12 students who walked me in and got me settled into my room. This warm welcome, along with the excitement that filled my first week, will forever be ingrained in my memory.
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  • Search, Rescue and Outdoor Skills Goes to New Heights

    The Search and Rescue (SAR) 360 spent a sunny day this week high in the sky as they got fully immersed in rescue training as part of their unit on rope rescue. Taking all of the skills learned while on campus, they ventured over to the local fire department where they participated in high-angle rescue simulations involving injured ‘patients’ (volunteers from the group) who had ‘fallen off a cliff’ and retrieving them on stretchers using ropes. Simulating this scenario allows for first-hand practice with incident command and for these students, the hands-on experience from this is invaluable. The teamwork required to execute such a task, all while learning the do’s and don’ts as you go, is something the students can only benefit from.
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  • International Holocaust Remembrance Day

    There are certain things we take the time to remember so that they will forever impact us as we move through our lives. One such day is January 27, International Holocaust Remembrance Day – a day designated by the United Nations to commemorate the liberation of the concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. At Shawnigan, during non-pandemic times, we hold an annual Holocaust and Genocide Symposium in partnership with the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre and through the generous support of current Board member Zev Shafran ’74 to help us remember.
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    Every once in a while we take the time to sit down and interview an amazing student or staff member at the School to find out what it is they love about Shawnigan and what their experience at the School has been like. Called ‘I am Shawnigan,’ these personal reflections are invaluable in providing insight into Shawnigan and everything the School has to offer. The most recent profiles of one of our Co-Heads of School for this year, MacKinley B. ‘22. can be found here. Stay tuned for one featuring our other Co-Head of School, Dom S. ‘22, coming next week. Click the link to view MacKinley’s story and others to see how Shawnigan is fulfilling its mission to Spark Minds, Kindle Hearts and Forge Futures.
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  • Legion Remembrance contest

    In the fall of 2021 students from Law 12 and Beyond The Gates (Humanities 9) produced meaningful essays and poetry themed on Remembrance, as an honour to Canada’s veterans, and submitted them to the Royal Canadian Legion’s annual poster and literary contest. With submissions from all over Canada, judges reviewed and gave awards in different categories starting at a local level, with the first place recipients moving on to the regional level with some making it to the national level where their work will be proudly displayed for the year at Canada’s War Museum in Ottawa. Last year, Shawnigan Lake School’s Abby Dyer ‘21 won first place at the national level in 2020/2021 for her Senior Poem submission.
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  • Opening of Term January 2022

    First and foremost, I hope that you and your family have had a wonderful winter break.
    We finished the end of last term impressively with a delicious Christmas dinner and a magical candlelit carol service – and with the proud and remarkable record of no student COVID cases on campus over four terms.
    And then Omicron entered the picture.
    The next month may well be one of the more challenging periods of the pandemic.
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  • RBC Training Ground finalist, a Shawnigan first

    A bit of hard work, grit and determination can get you almost anywhere. Just ask Ava F., a Grade 11 student at Shawnigan who recently competed in the RBC Training Ground top 100 finals, and earned a spot in the top 30! A huge accomplishment for anyone, RBC Training Ground is a program designed to seek out young Canadians with Olympic potential, through various tests of endurance, strength, power and speed to determine who has what it takes to achieve those podium dreams and award them with a spot on Team Canada. Only 100 athletes from across the country were selected to participate, and Shawnigan had two athletes represented this year.
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  • Working together for a safe return to school

    From heat domes to atmospheric rivers, mother nature has shown Shawnigan Lake School what she is truly made of in recent months, with the latest show of force coming in the form of a big snowfall that covered the grounds of the School in a beautiful white blanket of snow. With amounts of up to 50 cm in some places and the anticipated arrival of students back on campus after the winter break, the operations and transportation teams had their work cut out for them. Endless hours were spent shovelling and moving snow, with teachers and other support staff jumping in to help wherever they could. The operations team had their equipment running day in and day out to clear roads and walkways and remove icicles, ensuring all could get around campus safely. With cleaning staff needing to navigate between boarding houses to get the deep cleans done, and the transportation team needing to get the vehicles out safely to pick up students keen to arrive back on campus, it was all hands on deck.
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We acknowledge with respect the Coast Salish Peoples on whose traditional lands and waterways we live, learn and play. We are grateful for the opportunity to share in this beautiful region, and we aspire to healthy and respectful relationships with those who have lived on and cared for these lands for millennia.