The Coast Mountains were graced with warm, sunny weather last weekend as our Grade 12s, their families, and a contingent of staff members travelled to the Fairmont Chateau Whistler for an epic Grad 2023 celebration last weekend.
The festivities kicked off on Thursday evening with Parents & Friends Night on the hotel’s rooftop terrace — an opportunity for families and staff to gather in a less-formal atmosphere. Guests enjoyed a buffet catered by the hotel while surrounded by images taken by School photographer Ms. Arden Gill. Nametags featured swatches of colour representing families’ House affiliations, and the evening included a raffle for Shawnigan-themed prizes.
Friday saw some students off to appointments as they prepared for the big night, while others relaxed by golfing with their Houses or found other ways to enjoy all the amenities the town of Whistler has to offer. Students then gathered outside the hotel prior to the ceremonies where they had House photos taken, followed by a photo of the entire graduating class.
Once inside, Mrs. Wendy Milne and Mr. Matt Clinton-Baker served as masters of ceremonies through dinner, speeches, musical performances, and the much-anticipated grad slideshow. For his remarks, Head of School Mr. Larry Lamont shared a film that evoked the feeling of being back to campus for a few minutes.
Co-Heads of School Ingrid H. and Henri G. were joined by their families for the first dance before everyone took to the floor for the rest of the night.
Mrs. Cheryl Miranda, who had the unique perspective as the Executive Assistant to the Head of School and a parent watching the last of her three children graduate from Shawnigan, shared the following:
“As a parent of a graduate, I loved and appreciated every moment of celebrating the graduates of 2023 in Whistler. I think they felt suitably celebrated! It was certainly a magical experience for everyone involved.
“The Parent Event on Thursday evening was such a welcomed addition to the graduation weekend. I enjoyed connecting with other parents and staff, which is much harder to do on the gala evening with its more scripted nature. The energy and collective appreciation were palpable — and the snacks were delicious.
“The Friday night Grad Gala event was spectacular. As an employee at Shawnigan, I know the effort that went into creating such a memorable event for each of our students and their families. I have an immense amount of gratitude to our Events and Communications teams who, in my opinion, thought of everything. The little details they arranged, from the gratitude video from staff to the chocolate truffles on the table to the photos of graduates displayed around the venue, I noticed and appreciated it all.
“Yet despite the grad gala being located in Whistler, the event was very much rooted in Shawnigan, on campus. From the Head's grad speech to the abundance of photos, the magic of Shawnigan was ever present the entire grad weekend. My heart is full as we enter these last few weeks of school and I plan to take in and appreciate every moment I have left with the grad class of 2023, the fabulous group that they are.
“I really look forward to connecting with our Grade 12 families on Closing Day, especially the families that were unable to travel to Whistler this past weekend.”
Thank you to everyone that joined us for the Grad weekend in Whistler, and to the Events team and all the other staff members who made the celebrations possible.
Grad photos will be shared on our photo sharing site before the end of the school year.
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.
Shawnigan Lake School is an independent co-educational boarding school for ages 13 –18 on Canada’s beautiful West Coast. Our diverse, interdisciplinary and innovative programming helps shape the next generation of global leaders.