News Archive

Picker & Filter

< 2021


  • October

    Founder's Day 2021

    Founder’s Day is an opportunity for the Shawnigan Lake School community to gather and celebrate not only the founder of the School, CW Lonsdale, but also the alumni and the broader school community that has shaped where the School started from its humble beginnings in the Vancouver Island rainforest in 1916 to what it is now, a large co-educational boarding school with a mission to Spark Minds, Kindle Hearts and Forge Futures. Traditionally a weekend for alumni to gather, Founder’s Day has evolved into an event for the entire School community to celebrate.
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  • Alumni Notebook - October 2021

    Connecting Alumni

    In this edition, we are highlighting Shawnigan alumni who mentor or collaborate with other alumni, and we hope this inspires you to consider ways you can champion your fellow alumni. Our community is always strongest when we support each other.

    Lisa Grover ’90 (Kaye’s) and Annika Belireau ’19 (Strathcona)

    Annika B. at the Banff office of Grover-Froese.

    Lisa Grover '90 shared the following about working with Annika Belireau '19, who was an intern at her law firm this summer:

    "Grover-Froese, a law office in Banff and Canmore, Alberta, had the pleasure of hiring Annika Belireau '19 as a summer intern. Annika is interested in pursuing a career in law and Grover-Froese was delighted to have her on board for the summer. With her keen interest, Annika brought her dedicated work ethic and creative solutions to our firm. I encourage all alumni to consider hiring a young Shawnigan graduate, and I thank Annika for her dedication. We hope to see her at our office next summer."
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  • Shawnigan’s long-standing partnership with Tour de Rock

    Every September for the last 24 years, our students at Shawnigan Lake School have focused on cancer awareness month by participating in the Terry Fox Run, a Canada-wide movement inspired by Terry to raise funds for cancer research. We have also welcomed the Tour de Rock - Cops for Cancer team to campus. This Vancouver Island-based charity cycles 1400 km, stopping at schools and communities to raise money for childhood cancer research and supporting children living with cancer to attend Camp Goodtimes. 
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  • June

    Project Future Update

    Project Future, Shawnigan's new strategic plan, is energizing our School community and building momentum around our key strategic pillars of Academic Excellence, Co-Curricular Distinction, and Student Life Unparalleled. This is a brief progress report on our current initiatives, which we will develop in future editions of Community News. If you have an interest in any of the initiatives, please reach out to us at or 250-743-6235.
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  • Staffing Update 2021/22

    Part of the annual rhythm of the School includes changes to the staff team at the end of the academic year. This year those changes include four retiring faculty and staff! While it is always hard to say goodbye to members of the Shawnigan family, we are excited about the incoming staff who will be joining us this fall from all over Canada and the world to help us realize our Project Future pillars of “Inspiring Academic Excellence,” “Innovating for Co-Curricular Distinction,” and “Imagining Student Life Unparalleled.”
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  • The Extraordinary Art of Finding a Lost Old Boy (Alumnus) – Peter Saul ’50 (Ripley’s)

    It’s such a pleasure connecting with an Old Boy, who for many years has been missing from our rolls. Such was the case when we learned about Peter Saul ’50 (Ripley’s). Much has been written about this American painter and his inimitable popular culture depictions, his use of vivid colours and cartoonish characters to satirize current affairs and political leaders over the many years he has grown to fame, spanning from 1960 to the present.
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  • Alumni Notebook - June 2021

    Robert Sharman ’73 (Groves’)
    (As Robert heads into retirement, he kindly volunteered to help the Legacy Giving program at the School. Hilary Abbott recently had an opportunity to interview Robert about his views on the School, how they have evolved since graduating, and what motivated him to become an active proponent of the Legacy Giving Program at Shawnigan Lake School.)
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  • April

    Admissions Update - April 2021

    In spite of the global pandemic, we are in the strongest admissions position ever in my memory. We are extremely close to reaching our target for next year, a couple of months sooner than normal. Re-enrollment letters were sent out to our current families at least a month earlier than usual this year with a 95% return for Domestic and 94% return for International.
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  • Alumni Notebook - April 2021

    International Women’s Day Profiles

    To help the School celebrate International Women’s Day (March 8), our Alumni Engagement Team profiled four Shawnigan alumnae on our social media channels. We are so proud of these amazing women! We invite you to follow the links below to read the interviews.
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  •  Doreen Deane presents Tai Williams ’16 (Groves’) with the Doreen Dean Award, 2016.

    Legacy Matters

    Why does Legacy Matter?

    The Doreen and Robert Deane Award for Performing Arts
    by Annabel Gale and Andrew Deane ’85 (Lake’s)

    We are very excited to build on the current Doreen Deane Award for Performing Arts. Starting in the 2021-22 school year, The Doreen and Robert Deane Award for Performing Arts will henceforward include a cash amount. We hope that this award, renamed in honour of our parents, will recognise annually a graduating student who is passionate about performing arts, gives his or her best at all times and under all circumstances, and encourages others to perform at their best, so that it can truly be said that the Performing Arts programme is better as a consequence of their contributions.
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  • Stewardship & Community Partnerships

    ‘Our House, Our Home’ – Student Life Unparalleled

    When I think of my own boarding school experience I think of the girls in the dorm, the extraordinary memories we shared, and the lifelong friendships we built. Boarding school is a special and unique experience – what other time in your life will you find yourself with 50 roommates?
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  • March

    Pictured: Erica Youra Lee; Left: Erica at Shawnigan in 2007, Right: Erica with dog Archie in 2020

    International Women's Day Interview: Alumna Erica Youra Lee '08

    Erica Youra Lee ‘08 (Kayes), caught up with Rhodri Samuel and Harriet Klumper ‘09 (Renfrew) on zoom for an International Women’s Day Profile. Erica is currently working in Chicago, Illinois as an Associate Actuary for Milliman, an actuarial consulting firm where she has been since 2018. Erica studied chemical engineering at the University of Cambridge before transitioning to working for an insurance company, where she discovered the actuarial profession and subsequently achieved her Masters in Actuarial Science from the University of Waterloo.

    At Shawnigan, Erica was the Kayes House Academic Captain–a house she loved to spend time with, was a coxswain in rowing, and participated in photography and many other parts of Shawnigan life.
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  • International Women's Day Interview: Alumna Mikaela Reuben '01 (Kayes)

    Mikaela Reuben '01 (Kayes) was reached out to by the Shawnigan Alumni Engagement team for an International Women's Day profile. Mikaela, a Culinary Nutrition Consultant and Celebrity Chef, generously made time to chat with Rhodri Samuel and Harriet Klumper '09 . For the past ten years, Mikaela has built her business on the art of creating food that both tastes good and is good for you. She provides her culinary consulting services to companies and individuals working in the film industry, as well as working as a ghost-author for celebrity cookbooks. At the time of conversation, Mikaela had just finished a job working with Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively, however she has also worked with celebrities such as Owen Wilson, Ben Stiller, Karlie Kloss, and Hugh Jackman. Mikaela travels globally for work, but typically divides her year between Vancouver and New York.

    In Mikaela's time at Shawnigan she was heavily involved in the Rugby team, and loved spending time with the girls of Kayes house where she was Deputy Head of House in her final year.
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  • Dr. Sonja Leverkus; Left: Shawnigan Graduation Photo, Right: Firefighting in 2020

    International Women's Day Interview: Alumna Dr. Sonja Leverkus '97 (Groves)

    Dr. Sonja Leverkus '97 (Groves), was reached out to by the Shawnigan Alumni Engagement team and–as she was counting caribou in Northern BC–wrote her interview responses by reply email. In her current work, Dr. Leverkus is the founder and owner of her company Shifting Mosaics, an ecological consulting business that works with companies to manage the interaction between industry and environment in ecologically and culturally sensitive ways. Sonja achieved her PhD in Natural Resource Ecology and Management, specializing in fire and rangeland management; and as she states below is “one of only 2 female ignition specialists in Canada.”
    In Sonja’s time at Shawnigan, she was a competitive rower, Head of Groves House, and School Prefect. In addition, Sonja was a founding member of Shawnigan’s Environmental Club, which still exists today. 
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  • International Women's Day Interview: Alumna Dr. Abbie Vandivere '97

    The Shawnigan Alumni Engagement Team connected with alumna Dr. Abbie (Bagley-Young) Vandivere '97 (Groves), to celebrate International Women's Day 2021.

    Dr. Abbie Vandivere '97 (Groves), who is currently working as a paintings restorer/conservator at the Mauritshuis in the Netherlands, recently took time to connect with Rhodri Samuel, Senior Master & Director of Alumni Relations and Harriet Klumper '09 (Renfrew), Advancement Associate. In Dr. Vandivere's current work she is the lead on a team of scientists that examine the iconic "Girl with a Pearl Earring." In 2020, Abbie was featured on the cover of the Dutch feminist magazine Opzij, and was nominated–and made it to the final three–for the Dutch "Women in the Media" awards for 2020.
    In her time at Shawnigan, Abbie focused on science and arts, played rugby and ran track, and spent much time in the Hobbies building. Aside from her many contributions to the school, her teachers and classmates also remember her for carrying her pens to class in a yellow plastic bucket.
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  • February

    Alumni Notebook - February 2020

    Oliver (Ollie) McMillan ‘95 (Lake’s)

    Rhod Samuel caught up with Oliver (Ollie) McMillan recently. He resides with his partner in Edmonds (north of Seattle) and has been with Microsoft for 8 years, over two periods. He has also found time to organise the transportation and event logistics for Hilary Clinton, President Obama, Michelle Obama and Joe Biden domestically and overseas since 2010. He was an official Advance Associate for the White House and remains a member of the active roster for former President Obama and Mrs. Obama, having also advanced a number of times for Biden this past year as well as being asked to be on the debate advance team for Kamala Harris in Utah. He is pictured above in 2016 with then Vice President, Joe Biden.

    He is friendly with Darren Norman (Ripley’s) ‘94 and they attend football and rugby games often.

    He fondly remembers his days in Lake's House and Mr. Anderson's Western Civ classes, and also recalls barely passing one computer science class at school.
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  • Shawnigan War Memorial

    Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the November 11, 2020 Remembrance Day tributes were performed outdoors in an appropriately distanced manner. While many of our traditional elements were present, missing was the usual focal point of the Roll of Honour at the front of the Chapel, which honours the 45 fallen alumni and staff who made the ultimate sacrifice during the Second World War.
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  • Stephen Johnston

    Graham Anderson Scholarship Update

    The 2020 recipient of the Graham L. Anderson Scholarship for Graduate Studies, Stephen Johnston (Ripley’s) ‘06, shares the following update about his studies on salmon off the coast of British Columbia at UBC:
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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.