Arts - 360

Education in the 21st century has enjoyed a renewed emphasis on creativity.

It's something we try to instill in all aspects of the school experience, though nowhere is it more direct or prevalent than in the arts.

Whether performing in a play, playing an instrument, carving a table, designing a robot or collaborating on solutions to pressing global issues, Shawnigan's arts and activities program provides almost 30 different options for students to explore their artistic potential.

The passion for the arts is deeply embedded in the Shawnigan culture, meaning painters, singers and filmmakers are treated with the same respect and support as elite athletes and academics.

With a rich and varied arts and activities program, Shawnigan nurtures personal growth and helps cultivate lifelong skills and passions.

Arts Offerings

List of 30 frequently asked questions.

  • 3D Printing

    In 3D Printing, you will learn how to make your imagination a reality! By developing 3D modeling techniques and learning the fundamentals of this emerging technology, you will gain the ability to produce virtually any object you can think of. Whether you are interested in tinkering, robotics, artistic expression, board game development or finding unique solutions to everyday problems, 3D printing has it all! If you can dream it, you can make it.
  • Eco-Ninjas

    Do you want to help shape the future of the school? This club will be bio-fueled by student initiatives and supported by Ms. Robson and Mr. Swannell. Such initiatives may include:
    • Actions that help reduce the school’s carbon footprint
    • Exploring alternative energy sources
    • Improving hiking access on campus
    • Improving local food security
    • Pacific salmon enhancement projects
    • Learning and developing ways to build sustainability on our campus
    We want your ideas for creating a sustainable future for our campus, our community and our planet. This is a chance for you to be a change-maker and put your leadership skills into practice.
  • Electronic Game and App Development (eGAD)

    In this course students will learn the basics of app development and game design and create projects that contribute to a cause they are passionate about. Students will learn user experience and user interface design principles, prototyping, 3D design and programming with Scratch. Students will have the opportunity to present their projects to peers as well as professionals in the design and tech field.
  • Astronomy Imaging & Outreach

    In this 360 activity, students will take an active role in running the observatory and processing image data acquired by our telescopes. The observatory is frequently used for outreach purposes with student groups on campus. With larger groups, it takes a team of knowledgeable individuals to run these sessions.
    Our observatory can be run remotely and is often used to capture images of deep sky objects. Processing these images takes a lot of experience, time and patience. We use a software package called PixInsight. A full version of this software costs about $350 and an individual license is required to do this work. Online tutorials and instructor support are available to get you going in this self-guided process.
  • Boatbuilding

    Hands-on approach to working with Shawnigan’s fleet of floating vessels. Students will be introduced to boat repair and maintenance as well as a major group project of their design.
    Acquire Pleasure craft license and practice small boat operating safety. Small individual projects that revolve around Nautical theme. Moulds and design are student driven.
  • Clayworks

    All sorts of clay works using hand-building and sculpture techniques as well as some use of wheel throwing pottery techniques. More than just making pots and bowls we will be using decoration and altering to make unique visual pieces. Students will learn the vocabulary of the medium and apply skills to make artfully finished pieces.
    Returning students are welcome to set their own direction while assigned projects will be generated for new students.
    Get dirty, play in the mud and experience the excitement of creating.
  • Cooking For Life

    We will focus on practical kitchen skills, cooking and enjoying healthy meals prepared by oneself. We will have fun in the kitchen, eat better, be healthier and enjoy our time together. The hope is to introduce meal planning, budgeting and preperation. Food is life!
  • Dance

    Students will be studying Jazz and Lyrical. They will perform at the Shawnigan Night of Dance and the Fine Art concert. Classes will include warm-ups, stretch & strengthening and choreography.
  • Digital Illustration

    Self-directed digital drawing/illustration.
    A peaceful and creative space for you to develop your drawing skills. If you want to create your own illustrations, comics books, greeting cards, or ANY OTHER IDEA that involves digital drawing, this is your place!
    You don't have to be a "great drawer" but if you want to join us, you need to be eager to develop your creative ideas!
  • Digital Photography

    Do you see beauty in nice things? Do you see beauty in weird things? Do you see weird things in beauty? Do you want to be able to remember all of the above?
    If so, you should probably come and join us in Digital Photography. We’ll teach you how to use your camera properly, what all the weird buttons do, how to take amazing photos of your friends and how to edit them properly using Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop (because let’s face it, we can do better than Instagram filters). You’ll get to go on some fun excursions to practice shooting in different conditions, and at the end you’ll have a brilliant portfolio to show off your skills.
    Digital photography participants get to work at their own level. Beginners are taught the basics. Experienced students work at their own speed and interest level. All photography students can create their own projects in addition to class work.
    Saturday sessions will be devoted to computer editing, studio sessions or collaborations with fellow classmates.
  • Figure Skating

    Figure skating offers opportunities for skaters to develop fundamental skating skills in the areas of ice dance, skating skills, free skate and interpretive skating. Interested skaters may also choose to pursue synchronized skating or pairs skating.
  • Film Production

    For students who are interested in making movies; comedy, drama, music videos, vlogs, YouTubes… whatever inspires you.
    Introduction-to-Film (half or full) 3:45 Learn fundamental techniques of cinema by shooting exercises, producing short films and participating in various productions. Finished films will often be posted, broadcast or appear in school screenings.
    Advanced Film Production (full year) 5:00 & Sat mornings A follow-up to Intro, Advanced Film Production is designed for students who are trained and want to go the next step, who can pitch an idea of their own, produce a movie and, if eligable, enter it into competition.
  • Fly Tying

    Beginners will learn the different families of flies, they will learn how to tie them using all kinds of material and eventually they will discover the basic casting techniques. Advanced students will tie more advanced patterns, they will fill up their fly box with Western and local flies. Fishing in Shawnigan Lake and other local waterways will happen during the third term and maybe during first term as well.
  • Instrumental Music Ensemble

    The Instrumental Music Ensemble is open to students of any skill level, who share a passion for music, and who have previous music experience and/or experience on an instrument. Expert playing is not required, and students may even try learning a new instrument if they are up for the challenge. The only knowledge needed is a basic understanding of music (ie. note names, staffs, basic terminology) and there is no audition process. In Instrumental Music we will explore the world of classical, contemporary and modern band pieces, (maybe even take on a few famous movie scores) while strengthening music literacy and developing proper playing techniques. Our goal will be to take advantage of various performing opportunities on campus to showcase our talents, work together as a team and have some fun along the way.
  • Illustration

    In this course, you will have the opportunity to focus on the many facets of illustration using paper with pencil crayons, markers, graphite pencils or watercolour.
    Illustration is a visual explanation of a text, concept or process designed for interpretation. Maybe you want to create your own graphic novel, or just doodle or begin an illustrated diary or journal. Or maybe you need to create a poster for a specific class or project or you want to design your own unique pack of tarot or greeting cards! From traditional, basic drawing to concept art, from zendoodling to portraiture, this is the place where you can explore it all. All you need is to bring your ideas and your enthusiasm!
  • Homework Helpers-On Zoom

    Are you interested in working with children? Do you want to build your online teaching skills? The SLS Homework Helpers program is the perfect solution for you! The Homework Helpers are a team of energetic senior students who are passionate for working with local elementary students in an educational setting. Not only do the little students develop skills while doing their homework or practicing music, they also look up to our tutors as role models. Tutoring is pursued in a one-to-one setting after school, focusing on basic math, reading/writing skills, social studies, science, and languages. Due to Covid-19, this year Homework Helpers is shifting from in-person to online. This program will promote partnership that supports the social, emotional, and academic growth of our younger students. Homework Helpers hours also count towards volunteer hours for University.
  • Model UN

    Model United Nations provides students with the opportunity to discover, debate and analyze global issues with other students. Apart from attending Model UN conferences internationally, nationally and locally, our student leaders work as committee chairs and overall organizers of the grade 10 Global Goals Conference, SHOC and ShawMUN. Our ShawMUN conference, hosted at the Victoria Conference Centre, we host over a dozen schools (300 students) with over 7 different committees to choose from. Although most of the program is focused on preparing for Model UN conferences, some introductory activities to debating are integrated into the first term. Students must commit to at least two off-campus conferences throughout the year and also participate in ShawMUN.
  • Musical Theatre

    Students involved in Musical Theatre will audition, rehearse, and perform in a full, Broadway musical. This year’s production will have 6 performances from Feb 25 - March 6, 2021 in the Hugh Wilkinson Theatre. More details to come!
  • Pod & Radio Casting

    This program is designed around the delivery and production of speech arts. As this is an evolving and dynamic 360, the exact nature of the content will be determined through collaboration between instructors and students. Broadcasting, Podcasting, Speech Writing and Debate, among many other disciplines, will be considered. Students interested in any of these areas should consider taking this option.
    Learning the intricacies of speech arts with the goal of producing a self-directed podcast or a radio broadcast (maybe even a live broadcast!).
  • Recording Arts

    Production and participation in recording sessions. Be one of the first to be fully trained on Shawnigan’s new, state of the art, world class recording studio and take an in-depth look at the industry standard “Pro-Tools” software!
  • Robotics

    Robotics is a discipline that incorporates mechanics and electronics, along with computer science. This course will have students involved with science, technology, engineering, math, (STEM) and design skills in an interdisciplinary manner. Many creative approaches can be applied to the entire problem solving process.
    Initially, students will deconstruct a complex robotic system in order to better understand it, and move on to design, program and build a VEX-based robot to complete a specific task. Students will design and build increasingly more complex robotic systems, and have the opportunity to enter local and international competitions throughout the course of the year.
    In our first three years, our teams have qualified for both Provincial and World Championships! Our tournament season runs from November to April and we will be hosting our own tournament at Shawnigan in November. Although students are encouraged to prepare for tournaments, all levels of participation and engagement are welcome.
  • Rock Band

    Students will learn the essentials of performing with a group of musicians. This course will cover song structure, melody, rhythm, and dynamics. Alongside these technical aspects, students will also practice their on-stage presence and communication. Finally, students will have an opportunity to write and/or record their own original music with their band.
  • Search and Rescue

    The year will be broken into two halves, with different rescue focus’ being prominent (but not exclusive) at different times throughout the year. All students will learn advanced rescue techniques involving rope rescues (rappelling and retrieving), swiftwater rescues, and wilderness first aid. Throughout each term, students will lead full rescue scenarios incorporating the learned skills. As well, students will be able to achieve internationally recognized certification in the following:

    TERM 1
    1. Advanced wilderness survival
    2. Swiftwater Rescue Technician level 1 (Rescue Canada)
    3. Wilderness First Aid w/ CPR “C” and AED (Red Cross)
    4. Winter Survival (Rescue Canada)
    TERM 2
    1. Swiftwater Rescue Technician level 1 and/or 2 (Rescue Canada)
    2. High Angle Rope Rescue Technician level 1 (ROCO Rescue)
  • Service

    Shawnigan Service provides various hands-on service opportunities. As the year begins, with all of the limitations imposed by the current situation, we will look forward to new ways to serve closer to home. Students will be encouraged to participate in creating a program that will provide service and leadership skill-building activities and events. What might seem like limitations actually create new and exciting opportunities. This is a program for anyone with a kind heart and the desire to connect with others by doing.
  • Speakers Unlimited

    Do you want to learn speaking skills? In Speakers Unlimited, you will learn how to inform, entertain, and inspire through spoken word. This 360 will allow you to strengthen skills in preparing and presenting public presentations in various situations. It will also sharpen your skills in critical listening. We will explore storytelling, slam poetry, informative and persuasive speeches, and many other media. Some would say the speaking is… unlimited.
  • Stage Crew

    This Crew will run all of the tech for the various presentations and performances in the year - running sound and lights. Their largest responsibility will be in heading the stage management team for our musical.
  • Stitch Lab

    Students will:
    • Understand sewing pattern symbols and instructions
    • Gain skill in selecting patterns and appropriate fabric
    • Learn how to operate a sewing machine and serger
    • Learn how to use other sewing equipment and tools
    • Become familiar with basic sewing terms and techniques
    Students who enjoy this activity the most (and have the most success):
    • are patient and precise
    • have good manual dexterity
    • can follow oral and written instructions
    • can persevere through a project until finished
    No experience necessary; both beginners and experienced sewers welcome! Beginners start on an easy project. All projects will be group planned projects for an optimized learning experience. Each student will come away with 3-4 usable projects for their everyday life while staying on campus. Pencil cases, backpacks, hoodies, face masks, and more!!
  • Studio Art

    Self-directed creation of anything 2D - Pencil, watercolour, acrylic, chalk, etc. The key word is self-directed: strong motivation is needed to be successful in this 360. You don't have to be a "good drawer" ... But you need to be excited and motivated to learn and try.
    A sketchbook or folder for ideas is a great idea to have. Focus will be put on idea generation and creativity - not just making a pretty picture, but creating work that is yours.
  • Watercolor & Sumi-e

    If you are interested in playing with brushes and color, please come and join us. Watercolor and Sumi-e will provide you with a variety of activities to enjoy brush painting. It gives you opportunities to explore your creative capabilities in drawing with the use of color, express yourself through brushstrokes, and gain confidence in displaying your work publicly. Feel welcome to join us and hone your skills using different media and techniques, including:
    • Watercolour painting
    • Sumi-e painting/Chinese brush painting
    • Calligraphy
    • Name stamp making (your signature of your work)
  • Woodwork

    Working with wood, you will create projects of your own design using all shop tools.

Fine Arts Department

List of 1 members.

  • Photo of Morgan McLeod

    Morgan McLeod 

    Director of Fine Arts & Activities, Head of Performing Arts, Fine Art - Theatre & Drama
    250-743-5516 ext 380

Arts news

List of 2 news stories.

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.