International Week 2017

A celebration of cultural diversity

As the final dishes were cleared away Monday evening following a bustling International Food Fair, it was time to reflect on the excitement and successes of International Week 2017.

With a variety of events organized to showcase 60 different countries, International Week provided the whole Shawnigan community with an opportunity to celebrate the School’s global representation and the diversity of its community.

International Week kicked off on Friday with the Opening Ceremony.  After a parade of flags and words of welcome in an array of languages, Headmaster David Robertson spoke about the deliberate celebration of cultures and heritage.  "We as a School subscribe to this whole notion of the world as one big village," he said, adding "International week is our fun little way of challenging that retreat into tribes."

On Friday afternoon, students crisscrossed campus to explore as many of the available workshops as possible. The workshops were specially designed by each team to teach interested participants a culturally specific skill and ranged from learning Scottish Highland dancing and Finnish paper weaving to making South African bead bracelets and Nepalese peace flags. The day finished on an energetic note with international karaoke in the Friesen Centre.

Saturday saw the community gather together in the morning for a special multi-faith Chapel and again in the evening for the Stage Show in the Hugh Wilkinson Theatre. On Sunday, international sporting activities included cheese-rolling, lacrosse, and Gaelic football. Despite drizzly weather on Sunday evening, the School gathered at Kaye's Pond for a solemn but heartwarming peace and lantern ceremony.

Finally, on Monday afternoon, students gathered in their country groups at cooking locations across campus to prepare for what many consider to be one of the highlights of International Week—the Food Fair. Culinary offerings included Indian samosas and curry, Dutch pancakes, Japanese cheese and shrimp balls, German sausage and sauerkraut, Hungarian goulash, Scottish haggis, New Zealand fairy bread and many more besides.

As a heavy snowfall blanketed campus on Tuesday morning, the community gathered once again for the Closing Ceremony and to reflect on the rich and varied cultural representation shared by all at Shawnigan Lake School.

Shawnigan Lake School is an independent boarding school for Grades 8-12 on Canada's West Coast. Our modern, diverse and innovative programming helps shape the next generation of global leaders.