Arts - 360

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 32 frequently asked questions.

  • 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.
  • Baking

    We will focus on practical kitchen skills, baking and enjoying delicious treats prepared by oneself. We will have fun in the kitchen, work together and learn new skills. The hope is to also introduce meal planning, budgeting and preparation. Food is life!
  • Stage-craft, Construction & Boat Maintenance

    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.
  • Broadcasting

    Broadcast 360 consists of the production and transmission of audio or video programming for a variety of media, including sports, news, and house of worship. The Broadcast 360 afterschool program focuses on developing the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required to produce and transmit videos, newscasts, news stories, and live events. Students will be exposed to hands-on training which they will put into practice in all areas of pre-production, production, and post-production.

    Students will be encouraged to come to class with news stories that we can share in our new programming titled: ‘Shawnigan Today’. The students will rotate through different key roles & responsibilities ranging from the producer, director, news anchor, sports commentator, camera operator, switcher operator, weather commentator, journalist, and audio specialist. No student will be forced to be in front of a camera but it is highly encouraged that you step out of your comfort zone and try something you’ve never done.
  • Cabaret - Broadway choir and Drama

    Students will create a showcase featuring scenes and songs from both classic and modern musicals and plays. This is a performance based 360 for students who want to sing, dance, and/or act. (Previously Broadway choir and Drama)
  • Clayworks

    In a calm and supportive environment students learn a number of 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.

  • Dance

    Dance for all levels
    Everyone is welcome regardless of your previous dance experience. We will move through different styles of dance with the opportunity to perform at the Night of Dance in the spring. 
    ***Those wanting to experience dance from September to February should join the musical!
  • Digital Design

    Self-directed digital drawing/illustration/3D modeling & printing

    A peaceful and creative space for you to develop your drawing skills. If you want to create your own illustrations, comic books, stickers, button pins, T-Shirts or ANY OTHER IDEA that involves digital drawing, this is your place! If you want to explore 3D modeling in Autodesk Fusion 360 or pursue 3D printing then this is co-curricular is for you.

    You don't have to be a "great drawer" or an experienced modeler  but if you want to join us, you need to be eager to develop your creative ideas! 
  • Digital Photography

    Mrs Bartlett will teach you the  skills to competently present a personal and meaningful response, realizing your intentions with confidence and conviction. 

    Mr Brunet will  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 classwork. The occasional Saturday sessions will be devoted to computer editing, tutorials, studio sessions or collaborations with fellow classmates.

    Other Details: 
    All students are required to supply/purchase or rent their own digital DSLR  camera.
    Students who can obtain cameras or SD cards from parents or family should do so. 
    Rental cameras are available from the school for $200 per year.

    Students are also required to pay for their own printing paper. (available in class)
    The approximate cost of extra supplies is $75.
    Rental and supplies are charged to your school account.
    Many students use a Canon Rebel, but any camera brand is acceptable. 
    Extra lenses for Canon cameras are available to borrow free of charge.
  • Drama - Acting for Film

    Details coming in January.
  • Enviro Club

    Enviro Club is for students in grades 8 to 12 to come together and  make a meaningful impact on our local environment! Each day our co-curricular club promises exciting adventures and opportunities to connect with nature and put that newfound knowledge into action. We'll explore local environmental initiatives, such as visiting the Raptors Center to learn about bird conservation; catch Salmon by hand at the Mill Bay Fish Trap to understand aquatic life: and hike through lush Old Growth forests to witness the wonders of our natural world up close.

    In small groups students  have the opportunity to connect with a cause they find meaningful and make a positive difference right here on our campus. Whether it's organizing a school-wide clothing exchange to reduce clothing waste, engaging in a recycling and art project to transform plastic waste into useful items, or helping improve our hatchery; your ideas and dedication will shape a more sustainable future for our school and community. Join us in the Enviro Club and be a part of something extraordinary, where your passion for the environment meets hands-on action and real change!

    Other details: 
    Many of our days will be off campus and may require good outdoor shoes as well as rain gear. If students do not have their own gear, they are welcome to borrow it. Wednesday afternoon will often be the day we leave campus and although most of our adventures will be completed within the 2 hour time slot, some weeks may require additional time.
  • 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

    Dive into movie-making, covering screenplay writing, camera operation, lighting, audio setup, and professional editing. Opportunities for acting in short films may arise.

    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.
  • Grassroots Service - Youth Coaching

    Building future educators and role models by serving youth in the Cowichan community.
    In this 360 activity, students will take an active role in coaching a local youth rugby program for children aged 5-12 years old. This program is designed to inspire youth participation in sports. Students will gain skills in how to engage, coach and referee children. 
  • Growing Green (SPUD)

    Life is plants! Without them, we would have no life – from food to clothing to shelter, plants govern every part of human life and have since the beginning of time. 

    Growing Green gives participants the opportunity to experience both the art and the science of all things green. This innovative, fun and educational opportunity blends all the aspects of horticulture together, including experiencing the magic of growing plants in a variety of environments – under the dome, in grow rooms as well as outdoors – and much, much more! 

    The diversity of the SLS grounds that surround us give us many opportunities to understand the natural interactions within our own environment. Growing Green will enable a deeper understanding of how soils, plants and the world around us interact and naturally will enhance environmental awareness, stewardship and sustainability. 

    Last, but definitely not least, is how our experiences in Growing Green will demonstrate the wonder of how horticulture is therapeutic and it is proven that, if utilized appropriately, horticulture does improve the quality of life physically, mentally, socially and spiritually.
  • Homework Helpers

    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.

    Homework Helper hours also count towards volunteer hours for university.
  • Improv

    Improv is a Theater technique that allows actors to learn to react and respond to unexpected situations while gaining confidence and creative abilities. We will use games, exercises and activities to explore character, setting, story, style  and themes  in a safe and fun environment. The future goal of this class will be to compete as a team in the Canadian Improv Games ( Covid dependent). All abilities and experience levels are welcome!
  • Mixed Media Art

    Get creative and try your hand at mixed media art. While you do not have to be “good at art”, you have to be willing to try new things, engage with different materials and let loose! You will have the choice to experiment with the following: alcohol inks, watercolour, oil and acrylic paints, art journals, block printing on fabric, digital photography, collage and even Suminagashi, the Japanese art of paper marbling, dating back to the 12th Century! It’s extremely meditative. Use pencil crayons, markers, graphite pencils, inks or paint to explore subject matter of personal interest. 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? Tea towels with your own designs? We can do that, too! From still life drawing to portraiture, from zendoodling to collage, this is the place where you can explore it all. 
    All you need are ideas, focus and enthusiasm! Note: Meditative, background music will be part of this class to encourage relaxation.
  • 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 7 different committees to choose from.  Although most of the program is focused on preparing for Model UN conferences, some introductory activities to debating and public speaking are integrated into the weekly schedule.  Students must commit to at least two off-campus conferences throughout the year and also participate in ShawMUN. 

    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 to take an interest in world affairs.  

    Other Details:  
    • Past Conferences have included:
  • Musical Theatre

    Students involved in Musical Theatre will audition, rehearse, and perform in a full, Broadway musical.

    Other Details: 
    • Auditions will be held in the first week
    • Jr’s and Sr’s are called to all rehearsals from 3:45-6:00 on Monday and Wednesday
    • Extra rehearsals (often for leads/small groups) will occur Saturday mornings
    • 2-3 students will be needed to head up the production team, including a Stage Manager and Assistant Stage Manager (see Stage Crew)
  • Peer Counseling

    Shawnigan's Student Wellbeing Support Program is a transformative initiative designed to empower students with the skills needed to cultivate a supportive and empathetic peer community. This program centers around teaching participants how to actively listen, providing a safe space for their peers to express themselves, and offering meaningful support. Through comprehensive training, students learn to lend a compassionate ear to their peers, fostering genuine connections and promoting mental well-being. Additionally, the program equips participants with the knowledge to identify appropriate community resources, ensuring that those in need receive timely and relevant assistance. Overall, Shawnigan's student wellbeing support program nurtures a healthier and more trustworthy peer environment, enhancing the overall sense of belonging and unity within the student body. 
  • 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 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 & Modern Music

    In RockBand & Modern Music, 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, communication and leadership. Expert playing is not required, only a positive attitude and the passion to learn. Our goal is to have you learn more about your instruments, work with others and have fun performing for your peers throughout the year. 

    Description: 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, staff, 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.
  • Search, Rescue and Outdoor Skills

    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. Rope Rescue
    2. First Aid Skills
    3. Winter Skills
    4. Advanced Navigation
    5. Incident Management
    TERM 2
    1. Swiftwater Rescue
    2. Rope Rescue
    3. Search Principles
    4. Outdoor Skills
  • 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.
  • 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 & Jewelry Making

    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 (hopefully not), 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

     If you are interested in playing with brushes and colour, please come and join us. Watercolour 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 colour, 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

    In Woodwork 360, students will have the opportunity to explore a wide range of designing and making along with skills acquisition. Projects will be developed in a supportive environment that is both fun and challenging. Students will be expected to design plans to expand their independent approach and project management. You will get to understand this natural material with all its beauty and challenge. Create the perfect gift or essential furnishings. This is an excellent course, cut and dried.

Fine Arts Department

List of 1 members.

  • Photo of Declan Bartlett

    Declan Bartlett 

    Head of Fine Arts

Arts news

List of 2 news stories.

  • Growing Green Has Campus in Bloom

    As always, visitors to the Shawnigan campus this spring and summer will be greeted with blooms of every colour in gardens and hanging baskets.
    There is a twist this year, however, as many of the flowers were grown here at the School by our students. All of the annuals in the gardens and baskets were grown in the Growing Dome, about 3,500 from plugs and 2,500 from seed. Although students have grown vegetables and herbs in the past – and continue to do so – this is the first time they have grown flowers as well, an initiative of Environmental Lead and Horticulturalist Ms. Patricia Hanbidge.
    Read More
  • Roboteers Make History!

    It was a historic weekend for Shawnigan at the 2024 VEX Robotics World Championships in Dallas, Texas on April 25-27.
    The team of Colton B., Martin H., Dave P. and Zach P. achieved the School’s best-ever result at the world championships, placing eighth out of 82 teams in their division and making it through the first round of elimination before bowing out in the quarter-finals. It was also the best result for a school from Vancouver Island in the past decade.
    With more than 800 teams of four divided into 10 divisions, all packed into Dallas’s Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, it would have been easy for the Shawnigan students to get caught up in the hectic atmosphere, but they remained focused and professional.
    Read More
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.