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.

Shawnigan has recently rebranded our arts and activities program as 360! This co-curricular program offers opportunities from all around the School – opportunities for students to explore, experience, create, innovate, connect, reflect and discover new things about themselves and the world around them. 360 helps us to see the whole way around. 360 helps us to become well-rounded individuals. 360 helps us to broaden our horizons. What’s your 360? 

Arts Offerings

List of 30 frequently asked questions.

  • 3D Printing

    In 3D Printing, students will learn how to make their imagination a reality! By developing 3D modeling techniques and learning the fundamentals of this emerging technology, students will gain the ability to produce virtually any object they can think of. Whether they 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. 
  • 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; online tutorials and instructor support are available to get you going in this self-guided process.
  • Boatbuilding

    This 360 activity gives students a hands-on approach to working with Shawnigan’s fleet of floating vessels. Students will be introduced to boat repair and maintenance, will take on small individual projects that revolve around nautical themes, and will work on a major group project. Moulds and designs for all projects will be student-driven.

    Students will also have the opportunity to acquire their pleasure craft license and practice small boat operation safety.
  • Clayworks

    Students will have the opportunity to try all sorts of clayworks in this 360, including learning hand-building and sculpture techniques and some use of wheel throwing pottery techniques. More than just making pots and bowls, this 360 will also teach decorating 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

    Cooking for Life will focus on practical kitchen skills, cooking, and enjoying healthy meals the students have prepared. Students will have fun in the kitchen, eat better, be healthier and enjoy the time together. Students will also be introduced to meal planning, budgeting and preparation through this course. Food is life!
  • Dance

    Students will study Jazz and Lyrical in the Dance 360. Traditionally, students in Dance have the opportunity to perform at the Shawnigan Night of Dance and the Fine Art Concert. Classes will include warm-ups, stretching & strengthening, and choreography.
  • Digital Illustration

    This self-directed digital drawing and illustration 360 is a peaceful and creative space for students to develop their drawing skills. This is the perfect place for anyone who wants to create their own illustrations, comic books, greeting cards, or any other idea that involves digital drawing.

    Participants don’t have to be great drawers, they just need to be eager to develop their 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?

    These are the types of questions students in Digital Photography should be asking. We’ll teach students how to use their camera properly, what all the weird buttons do, how to take amazing photos of their friends and how to edit them properly using Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop (because let’s face it, we can do better than Instagram filters). Students will get to go on some fun excursions to practice shooting in different conditions, and at the end of the year they’ll have a brilliant portfolio to show off their 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.
  • Eco-Ninjas

    Students in this 360 can help shape the future of the School. Eco-Ninjas will be bio-fueled by student initiatives and supported by the instructors.

    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; and learning and developing ways to build sustainability on our campus.

    We want student ideas for creating a sustainable future for our campus, our community and our planet. This is a chance for students to be change-makers and to put their 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.
  • 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 them. Beginners will take Introduction to Film and the more experienced students will take Advanced Film Production.

    Introduction to Film: learn fundamental techniques of cinema through 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: A follow-up to Introduction to Film, 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 eligible, enter it into competition.
  • Fly Tying

    Fly Tying beginners will learn the different families of flies, 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 and will fill up their fly box with Western and local flies. There will be opportunities to fish in Shawnigan Lake and other local waterways in the first and third terms.
  • 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 (such as 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, and maybe even take on a few famous movie scores, all 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, students 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. Students may want to create their own graphic novel, or just doodle or begin an illustrated diary or journal. Or they may need to create a poster for a specific class or project or want to design their own unique pack of tarot or greeting cards. From traditional, basic drawing to concept art, from zendoodling to portraiture, this is the place where students can explore it all. All they need is to bring their ideas and enthusiasm!
  • Homework Helpers-On Zoom

    The Homework Helpers are a team of energetic senior students who are passionate about working with local elementary students in an educational setting. Not only do the younger 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-to setting after school, focusing on basic math, reading/writing skills, social studies, science, and languages.

    This year Homework Helpers has shifted from in-person to online. This program will promote partnership that supports the social, emotional, and academic growth of our younger students.

    Homework Helper 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. At our ShawMUN Conference, hosted at the Victoria Conference Centre, we host over a dozen schools (300 students) with over seven 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.

    2020 update: due to the pandemic, trips will be limited and most likely replaced by virtual conferences and activities designed and delivered by experienced students in the program.

    Students that participate in this 360 walk away with many skills, including greater confidence in their public speaking and research skills, a greater ability to build consensus with others on complex issues, and an interest in world affairs.
  • Musical Theatre

    Students involved in Musical Theatre will audition, rehearse and perform in a full Broadway musical. This year’s musical is Mamma Mia!
  • 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.

    We will be 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

    The Recording Arts 360 focuses on production and participation in recording sessions. Students are 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, electronics, and 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! Normally our tournament season runs from November to April, and we host 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

    In 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 focuses 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. Students will also achieve internationally-recognized certification in the following areas:

    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

    In Speakers Unlimited, students will learn how to inform, entertain and inspire through spoken word. This 360 will allow students to strengthen skills in preparing and presenting public presentations in various situations. It will also sharpen their 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.

    “According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.” – Jerry Seinfeld
  • Stage Crew

    This crew will run all of the tech (sound and lights) for the various presentations and performances in the year – including the Founder’s Day Cabaret and Musical Theatre production. They can also assist with set design and construction. Their largest responsibility will be in heading the stage management team for our musical.
  • Stitch Lab

    Students in Stitch Lab 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; and 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; and can persevere through a project until finished.

    No experience is necessary – both beginner and experienced sewers are 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 three to four usable projects for their everyday life such as pencil cases, backpacks, hoodies, face masks, and more!
  • Studio Art

    Studio Art is the self-directed creation of anything 2D using pencil, watercolour, acrylic, chalk, etc. The key word is self-directed: strong motivation is needed to be successful in this 360. Students don’t have to be a “good drawer,” but they need to be excited and motivated to learn and try.
    Focus will be put on idea generation and creativity – not just making a pretty picture, but creating work that is theirs.
  • Watercolor & Sumi-e

    Watercolour and Sumi-e will provide students with a variety of activities to enjoy brush painting. It gives them opportunities to explore their creative capabilities in drawing with the use of colour, express themselves through brushstrokes, and gain confidence in displaying their work publicly. Students will hone their 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

    Students will create projects of their own design in wood. They will learn safety protocols and how to use all shop tools to create their projects.

Fine Arts Department

List of 1 members.

  • Photo of Morgan McLeod

    Morgan McLeod 

    250-743-5516 ext 380

Arts news

List of 2 news stories.

  • Ms. Shannon Tyrrell (Director of Music)

    "I started music very young. I am the youngest of four and all of my siblings played different musical instruments growing up. When I was about 2, the violin teacher that my sister was seeing put a violin in my hands for the first time. I learned by the Suzuki method which is when you learn to play more advanced music pieces through being shown and by ear. Apparently, at age 5 I demanded to switch over to piano because I hated the violin. My mom indulged me and I switched to piano.
    Read More
  • Mamma Mia!

    Shawnigan’s musical theatre program resumes
    Read More
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Shawnigan Lake School is an independent boarding school for Grades 8-12 on Canada's West Coast. Our diverse and innovative programming helps shape the next generation of global leaders.