Skip To Main Content
Shawnigan Lake School Gardens

Shawnigan Lake School

1975 Renfrew Rd., Shawnigan Lake, British Columbia, V0R 2W1, Canada





Kieran Ward





Total Boarding


Day Grades


Boarding Grades


Boys Boarding Students


Girls Boarding Students


Boys Day Students


Girls Day Students


Average Class Size


Students Who Attend Post-secondary


Average Students per Dorm


Number of Dorms


Student/Teacher Ratio


Student Body


Year Founded


Campus Size

270 Acres
ESL Offered
Learning Support Offered
Dress Code

School Profile

Shawnigan Lake School is one of North America’s premier boarding schools. Situated on a stunning 270-acre campus on beautiful Vancouver Island on Canada’s West Coast, Shawnigan has, over the last 100 years, refined and developed the art of boarding and the science of a complete education. The focus on community is paramount with 460 boarders in a school of 550 students from Grades 8-12 and over 70 staff members living on campus. The rigorous curriculum of university-preparatory academics is complemented by a wide range of very strong sports and fine arts programs. Shawnigan’s whole ethos and approach are designed to imbue the experience of its young people with the moral fibre, the values and the “way of being” that will equip them for successful, productive and happy lives.

Mission & Values

Our Mission

Spark Minds, Kindle Hearts, Forge Futures.

Our Values

Curiosity, Compassion, Community and Courage.

Applications & Fees

Application Deadline:


Application Fee

$260.00 CND

Domestic 7-Day Boarding Tuition:

$64,500.00 CND

International 7-Day Boarding Tuition:

$90,000.00 CND

Day Tuition:

$35,500.00 CND

Semester or Term:


Need-Based Aid:


Merit Scholarships:


Payment Plans:


Photo Gallery

Shawnigan Lake School Front Campus
Shawnigan Lake School Track and Field
Shawnigan Lake School Students
Shawnigan Lake School Science
Shawnigan Lake School Row House
Shawnigan Lake School Girls Rugby

Admission & Entrance Test Requirements

Admission Requirements
  • Online Application
  • Application Fee
  • Final report card from previous school year
  • Most recent report card
  • Passport
  • IELTS or TOEFL scores for international students whose first language is not English 
  • Math teacher recommendation
  • English teacher recommendation 
Entrance Test Requirements
  • None

Video Gallery


School Differentiators

  • Carefully-crafted Grade 8 program that provides a nurturing landing pad for our youngest students and supports their onward journey at Shawnigan; the experience includes two boarding houses just for Grade 8s (one for boys, one for girls).
  • The largest number of full-time boarders of any school in Canada, which leads to a strong focus on community.
  • Centrally-located, state-of-the-art Learning Centre with four dedicated faculty to enhance the educational experience for students with learning differences.
  • English Language Centre offering an intensive, specialized English language program to support our diverse student population.
  • Stunning 270 acre campus featuring lakefront, forest, playing fields and wilderness trails.
  • Outstanding school facilities including a growing dome, observatory, recording studio, robotics lab, salmon hatchery, ice arena, rowing crew house, rugby pavilion and water-based turf.
  • Intentional whole-school gatherings every day through family-style dining and chapel gatherings.


Advanced Placement:

Program Details:

Currently offering 22 Advanced Placement courses:

  • AP Biology
  • AP Calculus
  • AP Chemistry
  • AP Chinese Language and Culture
  • AP Comparative Government and Politics
  • AP Computer Science
  • AP English Language and Composition
  • AP English Literature
  • AP European History
  • AP French Language and Culture
  • AP Human Geography
  • AP Music Theory
  • AP Physics 1, AP Physics 2 and AP Physics C: Mechanics
  • AP Psychology
  • AP Research
  • AP Seminar
  • AP Spanish Language and Culture
  • AP Studio Art: 2-D Art and Design
  • AP Studio Art: 3-D Art and Design
  • AP Studio Art: Drawing

Top Post-secondary Destinations

  • University of British Columbia
  • Queen's University
  • University of Toronto
  • Boston University
  • Arizona State University
  • University of California
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of St. Andrew's
  • King's College London
  • Les Roches International School of Hotel Management in Switzerland


  • Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS)
  • Independent Schools Association of British Columbia (ISABC)
  • The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS)
  • National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
  • Federation of Independent School Associations of BC (FISCA BC)

Community Service & Trips

Shawnigan offers a variety of clubs, trips and events that offer service and engagement. For example:

Community Service

1) A life-changing service trip to rural Costa Rica where our students built two vegetable garden beds and two composting areas. They also learned about chocolate making as well as sugar cane harvesting and now have a greater knowledge and understanding of how labour intensive farming really is. They used some of the money they had fundraised at school to make a donation towards the construction of a new music building; this space will give the young people in the community healthy and creative music opportunities. This trip is part of Shawnigan's multi-year, journey-based EDGE (Engagement, Development, Gratitude, and Experience) program that builds service, cultural awareness, and skills-based learning into all off-campus trips and tours.

2) The Echo club – The students focus on community engagement and design thinking with a view to project development. Community engagement has taken a number of shapes, including tours of the Westholme Tea Farm, the Shawnigan Eco Village, Rugby Canada headquarters, and visits with a First Nations elder. Each of these journeys gave the group a chance to learn from community leaders about how to become capable, connected, confident citizens who build skills through hands-on work experience and community interaction. In terms of project development, the team spent considerable time understanding how to conduct an empathy interview, surveying peers, and proposing plans which include development of parts of the Shawnigan campus. Perhaps the most tangible impact came from the Echo team's engagement with families of Syrian refugees. Every Wednesday, the Shawnigan group joined a club, led by the Cowichan Intercultural Society, which brought Syrian families together to encourage their children to learn English and to mix socially. Echo students built a strong bond with these families, reading to them, playing games, and engaging in activities that drew out creativity and instilled self-confidence. For the final fine arts day of the term, team Echo welcomed these Syrian families to the Shawnigan campus, enjoying a tour, some arts and crafts, games, and a BBQ.

3) The Environment Club meets several times a week and works on a wide range of environmental projects both on and off the Shawnigan campus. A recent off-campus trip saw them donning thick gloves and full rain gear when traveling to beautiful nearby Portland Island for some restoration work in the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve. They continued in the work they had begun last spring – restoring a severely overgrown heritage apple orchard on the island. Students spent the day clearing blackberry bushes and other weeds from around the apple trees, not letting the morning's wet weather slow them down. This restoration project is nearly complete thanks to the efforts of several different school groups and community clubs.

School Trips

1) All school ski trip to Manning Park, BC: For five wonderful days every year, Shawnigan Lake School is transplanted to Manning Park Resort. Each Ski Week is at once unique and yet rich with beloved traditions. Many favourite activities fill our days, such as cross-country skiing lessons, snowshoeing, and downhill skiing and snowboarding during the daytime; and karaoke, broomball, the grade 11 carnival, and the ever-popular Staff Review – a skit put on by Shawnigan staff – in the evenings. Boarding house pride is on full display during numerous Inter-house events, including cross-country skiing, snow sculptures, downhill events, and Reach for the Top. During the trip, brave Search and Rescue students and staff embark on an annual overnight adventure, hiking to a backcountry area near the top of the ski hill and spending the night in tents on the mountain. In between all these events and activities, new friendships and memories are also formed in the calmer times – waiting in line for a steaming hot lunch in the snow, quality conversations on the chairlift, and quiet gatherings for board games and cards. We always return a closer-knit community.

2) Applied Arts Industry Tour to Los Angeles, CA: Three days, 3 studios, 7 mixing stages, 10 students, a ton of smiles, personal connections made, and a few seeds planted. The most recent group also toured three seats of higher learning – the American Film Institute (AFI Conservatory), USC School of Cinematic Arts, and LMU School of Film and Television – and met up with some Shawnigan alumni guides. Shawnigan has now graduated students into four of the Top 10 Schools for the Cinematic Arts.

3) Camino de Santiago trail: A resilient group of students and staff spend their Spring Break walking part of the famed Camino de Santiago trail through Spain and Portugal every year. This network of pilgrim walks is frequented by hikers from around the world – some on a religious pilgrimage, some seeking solitude, some searching for enlightenment, some enjoying being closer to nature and the slower pace of life. These days of walking together as a group always prove to be challenging and life-changing for our Shawnigan delegation.

Summer Programs

Shawnigan's campus is buzzing every summer with a wide range of camps offered.

Recent programs have included: Shawnigan Summer Camp, Rugby Camp, Ice Hockey Camp, and Squash Camp.

More information can be found here:


  • 3D Design
  • Acting
  • ADD/ADHD Support
  • Algebra
  • Anatomy
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Animation
  • Anthropology
  • AP Biology
  • AP Calculus
  • AP Chemistry
  • AP Chinese Language and Culture; Law
  • AP Computer Science A
  • AP English Language
  • AP English Literature
  • AP European History
  • AP French Language
  • AP French Literature
  • AP Human Geography
  • AP Music Theory
  • AP Physics
  • AP Psychology
  • AP Spanish Language
  • AP Studio Art
  • Art
  • Ballet
  • Band
  • Biology
  • Business
  • Calculus
  • Calculus AB
  • Canadian History
  • Ceramics
  • Chemistry
  • Chinese - Mandarin
  • Choreography
  • College Counselling
  • Community Service
  • Composition
  • Computer Science
  • Computer Science A
  • Creative Writing
  • Current Events
  • Dance
  • Debate
  • Design
  • Directing
  • Drama Club
  • Drawing
  • Duke of Edinburgh
  • Earth Science
  • Ecology
  • Economics
  • Electronic Music
  • English
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Enrichment Centre (for academic support)
  • Environment
  • Environmental Science
  • European History
  • Evening Study Assistance
  • Exchange Programs
  • Extensive Exchange Programs Offered
  • Film and Video
  • Fly Tying
  • French
  • Functions
  • Genetics
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • Geometry
  • Graphic Design
  • Guidance and Career Education
  • Guitar
  • Guitar Ensemble
  • Health
  • History & Citizenship
  • Honors
  • Human Geography
  • Human Performance
  • Law
  • Leadership
  • Learning Centre
  • Learning Differences Support
  • Literature
  • Marine Biology
  • Medieval History
  • Modern Dance
  • Musical Theatre
  • Music for Beginners
  • Outdoor Education
  • Painting
  • Peer Tutoring
  • Philosophy
  • Photography
  • Physical Education
  • Physics
  • Physiology
  • Piano
  • Pottery
  • Principles of Mathematics
  • Psychology
  • Public Speaking
  • Recording
  • Robotics
  • Screenwriting
  • Sculpture
  • Social Studies
  • Songwriting
  • Spanish
  • Strings
  • Studio Art
  • Teacher Advisor
  • Textiles
  • Theatre Arts
  • Theatre Design
  • Visual Arts
  • Vocal Music
  • Woodworking
  • World History
  • Writing Centre
  • Yearbook


  • Astrophotography
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Cross-Country
  • Community Service
  • Dance
  • Digital Illustration
  • Drama Club
  • Duke of Edinburgh
  • Environmental Club
  • Field Hockey
  • Golf
  • Guitar Ensemble
  • Ice Hockey
  • ice Skating
  • Learn to Skate Club
  • Model UN
  • Outdoor Education
  • Photography
  • Piano
  • Rock Band
  • Rowing
  • Rugby
  • Robotics
  • Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Soccer
  • Squash
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Theatre
  • Volleyball
  • Yearbook
  • Weekday and Weekend Planned Activities
  • Woodworking Club


  • Artificial Turf Fields for field hockey and soccer
  • Basketball Courts (indoor and outdoor)
  • Dance Studio
  • Dining Hall
  • Fitness Centre
  • Fitness Facilities
  • Growing Dome and Greenhouse
  • Health Centre
  • Hockey Rink for ice hockey and figure skating
  • Home Theatre
  • Ice Hockey Training Facility
  • Kitchen
  • Laundry Facilities
  • Live-Streaming and Pod Casting
  • Lounge & Coffee Shop with Barista
  • Observatory
  • Outdoor Sportsplex
  • Recording Studio
  • Rowing Crew House
  • Rowing Facility
  • Rugby Pavilion
  • Salmon Hatchery
  • Snack Room (available no charge 24 hours)
  • Soccer and Sports Fields
  • Squash Courts
  • Student Life Centre
  • Student-Run Food Truck and Restaurant
  • Tennis Courts
  • Theatre
  • Vending Machines
  • Volleyball Court(s)
  • Weight Room
  • Wireless Internet