Shawnigan Lake School

Shawnigan Lake, British Columbia, CAN view map
Co-Ed, Non-Denominational

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Shawnigan Lake School is a world-class, co-ed boarding school and the largest boarding school in Western America. Located in Canada's warmest region on the west coast of British Columbia, the school's setting is magnificent – an abundant 300 acres, which provides a peaceful, safe environment that boasts sweeping lawns, gorgeous gardens and excellent facilities. Shawnigan provides everything students require to pursue personal excellence. Our teachers inspire you to develop your intellectual passions, our coaches push you to discover your physical resources and our Fine Arts instructors invite you to explore your inherent creativity. Above all, we are known for our caring atmosphere, truly a "home away from home," with traditions like shared meals in the magnificent dining hall and a supportive House(residence) program. We offer a rigorous, supportive academic program, nationally recognized sports, outstanding fine arts, and programs fostering leadership, environmental action and public service.

1975 Renfrew Road, Shawnigan Lake, British Columbia, CAN V0R2W1

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Director of Admission: Mrs. Gaynor Samuel
Admissions Phone:250-743-6207Fax:250-743-6200
Email: Website:

  • Application Deadline: Rolling
  • Application Fee: CAD $200
  • International Application Fee: CAD $
  • Accept TABS Admission Application: Yes
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school news

Sr. Girls Field Hockey Celebrate 2nd Consecutive ISA Title

Posted on September 25, 2013
The Senior Girls Field Hockey Team celebrated its second consecutive ISA Championship title this weekend. Shawnigan found their groove early on and did an excellent job of moving the ball around the field to control the game. Solid teamwork and dynamic attack, driven by newcomer Kira W., helped Tani

1st XV boys rugby team capture their 5th consecutive provincial title!

Posted on June 6, 2013
The drive for five is complete! The 1st XV rugby team defeated St. Georges in the final of the British Columbia Secondary Schools Rugby Union AAA Provincial Championship. Congratulations to the boys and their coaches on a truly momentous achievement!

  • Founded: 1916
  • Campus Size: 300 acres
  • Grades Offered: 8th-12th
  • Accredited by: CAIS/CA
Student Body
Grades 8th-12th
Grades 8th-12th
Girls     162 24 186
Boys     232 38 270
Total     394 62 456

Tuition and Financial Aid
  • 7-Day Boarding: CAD $41,300
  • 5-Day Boarding: N/A
  • Day Tuition Fee: CAD $21,500
  • Payment Plans: Offered
  • Need-Based Aid: Offered
  • Students Receiving Aid: 25.00%
  • Average Awarded: CAD $10,000

Summary: “Shawnigan teachers have so much commitment. You have to love teaching in order to teach here,” declared a Grade 11 student recently. Indeed. Shawnigan teachers are highly qualified, dedicated, and accomplished, and they create a learning environment relevant to the 21st century. They demand commitment and hard work from students. The result is personal excellence, whether that means a full-slate of APs and admission to top universities in North America or abroad, or finally earning an 80% average.

Department Director: Wendy Woolven

Average Class Size: 15

Full Time Teachers: 67

Teachers Holding Advanced Degrees: 30.00%

Student/Teacher Ratio: 8/1

Number of AP Courses Offered: 15

Advanced/Enrichment Programs
  • AP Courses
Support Programs
  • College Counseling
  • Evening Study Assistance
  • Learning Center
  • Peer Tutoring
  • Study Skills Assistance
  • Subject Tutoring
  • Technology Center
  • Writing Center
  • Classics
  • Creative Writing
  • Honors
  • Literature
  • Playwriting
  • Poetry
  • Asian History
  • Classical History
  • European History
  • Medieval History
  • United States History
  • World History
Foreign Languages:
  • Chinese-Mandarin
  • French
  • German
  • Japanese
  • Spanish
  • The Bible
  • Ethics
  • Moral Philosophy
  • Philosophy
  • World Religions
Humanities/Social Sciences:
  • Economics
  • Psychology
  • Anatomy
  • Animal Behavior
  • Astronomy
  • Astrophysics
  • Biology
  • Biotechnology
  • Botany
  • Chemistry
  • Earth Science
  • Ecology
  • Electronics
  • Environmental Science
  • Epidemiology
  • Genetics
  • Geology
  • Health
  • Marine Biology
  • Meteorology
  • Microbiology
  • Oceanography
  • Ornithology
  • Physical Science
  • Physics
  • Sports Medicine
  • Zoology
  • Algebra
  • Calculus
  • Functions
  • Honors Math
  • Geometry
  • Probability
  • Statistics
  • Trigonometry
Computer Studies:
  • Computer Applications
  • Computer Programming
  • Computer Science
  • Multimedia
  • Web Design
  • Band
  • Choral Music
  • Composition
  • Electronic Music
  • History of Music
  • Individual Instructions
  • Music Appreciation
  • Music History
  • Music Theory
  • Orchestra
  • Songwriting
  • Voice
Performing/Visual Arts:
  • 3-D Design
  • Acting
  • Animation
  • Architecture
  • Art
  • Art History
  • Ballet
  • Ceramics
  • Choreography
  • Dance
  • Debate
  • Design
  • Directing
  • Drama
  • Drawing
  • Fashion Design
  • Fiber Arts
  • Film and Video
  • Graphic Design
  • History of Theater
  • Journalism
  • Lighting Design
  • Modern Dance
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Portfolio
  • Pottery
  • Printmaking
  • Production
  • Public Speaking
  • Publications
  • Screen-printing
  • Sculpture
  • Silkscreen
  • Stagecraft
  • Studio Art
  • Textiles
  • Theater Arts
  • Theater Design
  • Weaving
  • Woodworking
  • Musical Theatre
Special Programs:
  • Community Service
  • Internships
  • Leadership
  • Outdoor Education
  • Environment
Distinctive or New Programs:
  • 0 Mile Food
    Fly Tying
    Human Performance

AP Courses Available:
  • Art History
  • Biology
  • Calculus AB
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science A
  • English Language
  • English Literature
  • European History
  • French Language
  • French Literature
  • Human Geography
  • Physics B
  • Physics C
  • Spanish Language
  • Studio Art
  • US History

Summary: During opening week, a Grade 12 student offered this insight to the student body: Here’s a little message, not from someone who’s told to make the school sound good, or someone who can gain anything from it; only someone with a bit of experience here. This school is what you want it to be. You can rant and rave about life here all you want, or you can take advantage of what it has to offer. There is so much opportunity in this place. Things you might never have a chance to experience again are sitting waiting for you to try. These are the years in your life when it’s easy to discover and explore, when you don’t have any set path—so go for it! You could learn how to make a shirt or a table, the rules of squash, or how to schedule voice lessons between graphic design and dinner with your roommates. Some things I’ve learned: How to make a bowl. I figured I’d get tired of pottery after a week, but I made more bowls than you can imagine, and despite what I thought, I loved it. On the athletic side, People that know me can tell you I’m not a born runner, in fact, I am passed by power walkers and children—often. After joining cross country last minute, I surprised myself: I was running, and for some reason, I no longer thought of ways to fake a heart attack so I could stop (I still do that when I erg, though). These are just some things I learned when I branched out of my usual niche: I promise that if you hold back, if you don’t capitalize on all these resources in front of you, you’ll regret it. Don’t think that you’re in this alone, either. You have so many people that will support you if you decide you want to try ballet or if you can’t figure out a math problem. Believe it or not, the people in this room are going to be beside you for this entire year, and some for the years ahead. You will make friends with them—some of the closest you’ve had—and you’ll grow together within these gates. They will be there when you need them, when you don’t need them, probably even when you don’t want them. It’s not going to be hunky dory all the time, it never is, There will be rainy days, fights and bad meals, but I swear to you, when you try to make the best of it, you will live out days and nights that you’ll remember for the rest of your life. Like I said, this isn’t coming from authority or power, it's just coming from a little experience.

Department Director: Barry Welsh

Dorm Life

Number of Dorms: 9

Average Students Per Dorm: 50

No. of Girls Dorms: 4

No. of Boys Dorms: 5

Dorm Amenities:
Game Room
Wireless Internet 

Dress Code: Uniform

Student Life

Summary: Shawnigan prides itself on being the largest boarding school in Canada and Western America with 90% of its students attending the school as boarders. Although mainly comprised of students hailing from Canada and North America (80%), the student body also represents 30 other nationalities from around the world. The diversity of the international student community offers amazing opportunity for discovery, appreciation and growth at the same time it creates unity in the nine distinctive Shawnigan Houses, which are the very centre of every student's life. For boarders and day-student alike, each of the Houses offers a strong sense of identity and a place to call home while on campus. Friendships are cultivated across all grade-levels, fostered by the big-brother, big-sister groups in each house and House spirit is encouraged by house outings and Inter-house Events, which are always a fantastic opportunity to band together.


  • Basketball court(s)
  • Fitness Center
  • Volleyball court(s)
  • Indoor basketball court(s)
  • Indoor climbing wall
  • Squash Court, Rowing Crew House, Rugby Pavilion

Clubs and Organizations

  • Astronomy Club
  • Community Service
  • Computer Club
  • Debate Club
  • Dorm Proctors
  • Drama Club
  • Environmental Club
  • Food Council
  • Gardening
  • Horseback Riding
  • International Clubs
  • Literary Magazine
  • Mock Trial
  • Model UN
  • Outing Club
  • Peer Counseling
  • Peer Tutoring
  • Photography
  • Sailing Club
  • Snowboarding
  • Student Activities
  • Student Government
  • Student Publications
  • Surfing
  • Theater
  • Weightlifting
  • Woodworking Club
  • Yearbook
  • Yoga

Summary: Shawnigan is an opportunity for you to discover yourself not only intellectually but also athletically and creatively. That is why all students are required to take one sport and one fine art elective each term. The philosophy for both disciplines flows out of the School's mission statement to "lead young people in the pursuit of personal excellence." For the serious athlete, Shawnigan has both modern facilities and highly-qualified coaches to develop your skills to the next level - and the next, and the next. Our coaches will push you to discover your physical resources and help set new personal goals each term. Many of our coaching staff have international playing experience and likewise many of our athletes go on to compete in the international arena and at top universities. For the artist, we have the studios and the instruction to help you grow in your craft and explore your inherent creativity. Deepen your sense of artistry in our pottery studio, woodwork shop, photo lab, music hall, graphic workshop or in variety of other artistic disciplines. Shawnigan students go on to develop their craft in leading art schools in North America and abroad.

Arts Department Director: Don Rolston

Athletics Department Director: Mark Hall

  • Art Club
  • Choral Music
  • Dance
  • Drama Club
  • Jazz Ensemble
  • Rock Band
  • Stage Band
  • String Ensemble
  • Tech Crew
  • Theater
Interscholastic Sports
  • Basketball
  • Crew
  • Cross-Country Running
  • Dance
  • Field Hockey
  • Golf
  • Ice Hockey
  • Rugby
  • Soccer
  • Squash
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Rowing
Recreational Sports
  • Aerobics
  • Alpine Ski Racing
  • Alpine Skiing
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Bowling
  • Camping
  • Canoeing
  • Crew
  • Cricket
  • Cross-Country Running
  • Dance
  • Equestrian
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Ice Hockey
  • Ice Skating
  • Kayaking
  • Martial Arts
  • Mountain Biking
  • Nordic Skiing
  • Nordic Ski Racing
  • Outdoor Education
  • Paddle Tennis
  • Power Lifting
  • Rafting
  • Rifle Team
  • Rock Climbing
  • Sailing
  • Snowboarding
  • Soccer
  • Squash
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Table Tennis
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Volleyball
  • Weight Lifting

Summary: Shawnigan has a full service University Guidance Department with four counsellors available for the 125 graduates each year. The theme is "Best Fit", finding the best choices for post secondary study for each individual. There are experts in US College Admissions as well UK, Canada and around the world. Our Guidance Office staff spend time travelling around the world meeting admissions staff, getting to know them and forming relationships with them. In this way, we can reach out to them when we need them and they can do the same with us, and they do! We believe these relationships give us a distinct advantage , but really give our students a distinct advantage when it is their turn to apply to different schools!

Department Director: Jim Kingstone

College Information

Percentage of Graduates Who Attend College: 100.00%

Colleges attended in the past 5 years by our graduates:

Harvard 4 graduates

Middle Percentile of SAT Scores

25th percentile 75th percentile
Critical Reading NA NA
Mathematics NA NA
Writing NA NA

Notable Alumni

Quotes from Alumni

Department Director: Gary Dukelow























Summary: Shawnigan is more than the sum of its core programs. At the center of our education lies a conversation about values, leadership, spirit, friendship, and commitment. We challenge students to set high standards for personal and collective commitment. For students this living conversation comprised of example, support,and trust, makes Shawnigan truly a place to belong. Shawnigan is an opportunity for you to discover yourself intellectually, athletically and creatively. Dedicated students will enjoy the challenge, the fellowship, the laughter, the independence of a Shawnigan education. Come discover yourself at Shawnigan.