We will see that all Shawnigan Lake School students are equipped with the tools to ensure that they are able to live happy, healthy lives and are ready for life after Shawnigan.

— Matthew Clinton Baker, Director of Student Life

Student Life

Our approach to education goes beyond the academic, athletic, and fine arts components and extends to preparing our students to live happy, healthy lives. Our progressive, relevant, and vibrant 'Shawnigan Life Curriculum' is a pillar of a Shawnigan education.

We also work with a number of experts as part of our curriculum:

Kerri Isham: Healthy Relationships
Jesse Miller: Digital Literacy/ Cyber Safety
Rob DeClark: Drug and Alcohol Awareness

Shawnigan Lake School has the largest number of full-time boarders of any school in Canada, and boarding life remains the cornerstone of a Shawnigan experience.

While students at a regular school show up for 6-8 hours a day, Shawnigan students are fully immersed, learning and growing 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Living with 50-60 peers teaches compromise and patience. The blend of nationalities teaches tolerance and understanding. The roles assigned to senior students teach teamwork and leadership.

While living away from home is a unique challenge that can test young people's independence and resourcefulness, boarding at Shawnigan includes all the support that our students may need, from involved and caring staff, to modern, well-equipped dorms and facilties, to on-campus health and wellness supports.

About Boarding

List of 7 items.

  • Health services

    Shawnigan's Health Centre is staffed by registered nurses, counselors, and athletic therapists. Our team works together with two local family doctors to support students with their day-to-day medical needs. At least one school nurse is on duty or on call at all times, and doctors clinics are held on campus two or three times per week. The Health Centre staff will also manage off-campus medical appointments for students including dental, orthodontics, physio, counselors etc.
    Note: A nurse is always on call when the Health Centre is closed and can be reached by calling local 208.
  • Student Centre

    Shawnigan’s Friesen Centre (“the Ritz”) is the hub of social activity for the School’s students. Located within the new Learning Commons, the Ritz is a popular place for students to study, socialize, play games and relax.

    The Friesen Centre is the place to come for cookies, tea, coffee, fruit and vegetables. It's also home to school printers, as well as ping pong and pool tables.

    The Ritz is also where, on Tuesday and Friday evenings, the Entrepreneurship 12 class operates the Stag Café — a tremendously-popular restaurant serving paninis, hamburgers, milkshakes and more.
  • School store

    Also located inside the Friesen Centre, the School Store — also known as the Commissary — stocks everything students need for daily life, and then some.

    Open six days a week (closed on sundays) during the school year, the Commissary stocks classroom dress, sports gear, toiletries, school supplies and healthy (as well as a few less healthy) snacks.
  • Family-style dining

    In many ways, Marion Hall is the heart of the Shawnigan campus.

    Built in 2002, our 500-seat dining hall features stunning vaulted ceilings and locally-harvested timber. This grand space serves as the perfect setting for another mainstay of the Shawnigan experience — our family-style dining.

    At Shawnigan, most meals are served on the table, and students and staff sit together to enjoy a refined, traditional dining experience.

    Under the guidance of our executive chef, Dustin Setso, the Shawnigan kitchen staff caters to all special dietary requirements and proudly serves meals that are the envy of school cafeterias everywhere.
  • Chapel

    Chapel plays a major role in the life of Shawnigan Lake School. That statement is bound to make some parents and students nervously ask; is this some sort of religious school?

    The answer to the question is no. And yes.

    One hundred years ago, Shawnigan was founded in the Anglican tradition. We still sing hymns, say prayers and hear parables from the Bible.

    More importantly, however, the Shawnigan Chapel opens conversations about values and character. Under the guidance of the Rev. Jim Holland, chapel services address important topics regarding the search for meaning in the world.

    Shawnigan's chapel also plays a broader role in school life. It's here that we gather as a community to celebrate our successes. It's here that we congregate to share our concerns and discuss the world around us. And it's here where students share their amazing talents — something that makes chapel a treasured part of the Shawnigan experience, for those of any or no faith.
    Chapel services are livestreamed Tuesday and Thursday at 8 a.m. and Saturday at 11:15 a.m. during the academic year.
  • Library

    In the spring of 2016, Shawnigan cut the ribbon on the final phase of the Centennial Capital Project and one of the most exciting developments in the School's history.

    The Jim & Kathryn Shaw Library is a beautiful, modern space that has become the heart of the Learning Commons.

    The library features quiet reading rooms and comfortable study pods where students can wirelessly connect.

    There are about 10,000 books in the collection, as well as a new software operating system that can access all contemporary print and digital material.

    Meanwhile, the teaching areas allow staff to tackle a growing educational emphasis on guided enquiry and the ethical use of research and sources.

    The Jim & Kathryn Shaw Library is a study space that students simply love to use.
  • Clubs


    Each of us has a right to feel safe, included, and accepted as part of the Shawnigan family.

    SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) meets twice a month to engage in discussion about the many topics that our youth face today, and to help create a welcoming home for Shawnigan’s diverse student and staff community.
    Our SOGI gatherings are designed as a peer support network run by students and supported by school staff and are grounded in the principles of promoting:
    • equity for sexual and gender minority students
    • safe, caring, and inclusive spaces for all students
    • healthy, respectful environments and relationships to prevent or eliminate bullying and discrimination.
    Our students come from all corners of the globe, and this group allows for meaningful discussion on how we can create a community where everyone can flourish as individuals, and as a community.

    SOGI gatherings also give our LGBTQ2+ students the tools to overcome feelings of isolation and discrimination that are a result of homophobic and transphobic attitudes in our society and to encourage all students to create a community of belonging at Shawnigan.


List of 2 members.

  • Photo of Matthew Clinton-Baker

    Matthew Clinton-Baker 

    Director of School Life, Social Studies
  • Photo of Katrina Cholack

    Katrina Cholack 


I am Shawnigan

List of 2 news stories.

  • Han S. '22 (Groves')

    Han S. '22 (Groves')

    "There are so many opportunities at Shawnigan and so many things to try. That was definitely a driving factor for me when I decided to come here. Prior to coming, all I would do was figure skate after school each day. But at Shawnigan, I knew I would be able to do so much more and explore so many new things. Also, the campus was so beautiful so it wasn’t hard to want to come here.
    Read More
  • Rowan Z. '21 (Lake's)

    "One way or another, you will find yourself at Shawnigan. I strongly believe that. Through my experiences here, I have found myself. There are so many opportunities available here, such as arts, sports and academics, that you can truly do anything you want.
    Read More
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.