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Au Courant W E S T I S L A N D C O L L E G E | FA L L 2019


REVIEW 2018 — 2019


Contents Message from Head of School Danielle Lamoureux Natasha Bathgate Academic Excellence at WIC International Studies Institute Programs Fine Arts International Languages Athletics Outdoor Education Grade 9 Celebration Class of 2019 Commencement Valedictorian Speech Class of 2019 – Where Did They Go? Prestigious Alumni Awards Alumni Class Notes The Parent Guild 3

04 06 07 08 10 14 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 33 34 36 38 40

Financial Report




As I look back at my first year as Head of School at West Island College, I feel truly fortunate to be part of such an exceptional school – an outstanding community with remarkable students, alumni, faculty, staff, admin, parents, and Board of Directors who are passionate about WIC and have great pride in the College. We have much to celebrate and be grateful for at WIC. In this issue of Au Courant, Review of 2018-2019, we have recognized the incredible accomplishments of our students, graduates, alumni and the exceptional programs that enrich and prepare our students to be confident, responsible and active citizens who make a difference in the community and beyond.

This fall issue begins by welcoming Danielle Lamoureux, Head of Senior School and Natasha Bathgate, Director of Learning and Innovation to the College. I am confident that they will make a tremendous impact in the lives and education of your children. I encourage you to get to know them. As parents, you play a pivotal role in the education of your children. The support and confidence that you have in the work that we do to educate our students is fundamental. It is important that we continue to work together to prepare our students for post-secondary studies, and to be future leaders, innovators and responsible global citizens who contribute back to society. At WIC, all subject areas and programs are important to ensure a well-rounded education that is focused on values, leadership, character education and developing the whole student through rigorous

academics, unparalleled real-world learning opportunities, athletics and co-curricular programs. As you read through this magazine, you will note that we have highlighted the following programs: International Studies, the Institutes, Fine Arts, French Immersion & International Languages, Outdoor Education and Athletics. We are proud of our excellent academic rigour as evidenced by our Advanced Placement results, our Fraser Institute Rankings and the scholarships and university offers of our 2019 Graduates which we have shared in this issue. This would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of our exceptional teachers who inspire, support and challenge our student to set goals, take risks, reach their potential and be the best that they can be as individuals. Annually, we celebrate two key milestones in a student’s life at the

This past year, the Parent Guild was launched to strengthen the sense of community and to enable parents to be engaged in the life of the College through volunteer opportunities. This issue ends with the annual financial report that outlines the fundraising results for 2017-2018, including revenue sources and expenses. I would like to end by sharing the exciting news about the construction that has been happening this past summer. I am thrilled that we have new and exciting learning spaces that have state-of-the-art technology, resources and new modern furniture that is versatile and appropriate for 21st Century teaching and learning. We have added three new classroom spaces by sub-dividing

rooms 31 and 35, as well as created a new Innovation and Design Lab. We have also added two new collaborative break-out spaces for students with modern and state-ofthe-art technology. I encourage you to come and see these new spaces. We could not achieve this without your trust in us, your generous support through financial contributions, volunteering your time and expertise on committees, and attending and supporting our events throughout the school year. Lastly, I want to assure you that our purpose, promise and commitments continue to guide everything that we do at the College. The future looks bright indeed!


For the past three years, we have been working hard to reconnect with our alumni and re-engage them in the life of the College. They are role models, mentors for our current students and our greatest ambassadors. We are proud that they are flourishing in their university studies and careers and are making a difference in their workplace and in their respective communities. This is why we are so happy to share in this issue the Prestigious Alumni Awards recipients, the new mentoring program, and how WICConnect

will keep alumni connected to one another, and end with class notes.


College, Grade 9 Celebration and Grade 12 Commencement. We are incredibly proud of the Grad Class of 2019 and wish them well as they embark on their new journey. We know that they will remain connected to WIC and to one another as members of the Alumni Association.

Chantal Gionet Head of School & CEO


in Edmonton, I also worked on the revised mathematics program of studies (Grades 10-12) while on secondment with Alberta Education for two years, in addition to completing my Master of Education degree with a focus on pedagogy in senior high Mathematics. My family and I moved to Calgary in 2013, where I began working with Calgary French & International School as the Assistant Principal of the Secondary Division as well as the academic and university counsellor.




I am delighted to be joining the West Island College and building relationships with WIC’s community of faculty, staff, students, parents, and alumni! My family homesteaded in Alberta over a century ago and includes several generations of farmers and teachers who have been proud members of the FrancoAlbertan community. I was raised in a farming family north-east of Edmonton. Following high school, I completed Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Education degrees at the University of Alberta. I then spent the first 8 years of my education career at a francophone high school in Edmonton, École Maurice-Lavallée, teaching senior high Mathematics and Physics. During my time

My experience as a teacher and administrator has led me to understand the importance of building community supports around students that are adaptable to their individual academic, social, and emotional needs, in order to empower them to succeed. I was drawn to WIC because the Purpose, Promise, and Commitments of WIC mirror my values as a professional educator. I believe effective education must provide a solid foundation of knowledge based on conceptual understanding. Students must then be challenged and encouraged to ask questions about what they are learning in order to foster critical thinking skills. The combination of strong conceptual understanding and critical thinking allows students to think beyond the content presented to them, allowing them to develop unique, creative ideas. This effect is compounded in a collaborative classroom environment where students are actively encouraged to share, debate, amend and reinvent their ideas. The ideal classroom is one in which students flourish to become resilient, creative, innovative problem solvers that can actively contribute to our communities and to every sector of the economy.

It is only in an environment where students feel supported, permitted to explore, test their ideas, and even fail without fear, that they can develop their creativity and resilience. Our community of faculty, staff, parents, and students all have important roles to play in fostering a learning environment of confidence, creativity, and connection WIC is committed to. My commitment to parents includes recognizing their role as partners and advocates of their child’s education and to cultivate a strong relationship between the College and each family in order to support every student. My commitment to staff is to recognize and support teachers as creative professionals who are constantly innovating to improve their practice and better meet their students’ needs. Parents, staff, and WIC as an institution share a primary goal: enabling our students to succeed. Given my background, I am particularly excited to work with WIC’s thriving French Immersion program and to help it grow further. For optimal language acquisition, it is important for immersion students to continue classes in French throughout high school. This fosters the acquisition of advanced vocabulary and the use of more complex sentence structures, allowing students to function seamlessly in bilingual working environments. I am delighted to be joining WIC’s community. I look forward to meeting staff, parents, and students; hearing your ideas, and building upon WIC’s success together!

Danielle Lamoureux Head of Senior School

NATASHA BATHGATE Director of Learning and Innovation

“I LOOK FORWARD TO GETTING TO KNOW ALL PARENTS, STUDENTS, AND TEACHERS OF WEST ISLAND COLLEGE” When I first stepped foot through the main entrance of West Island College on a snowy November day, I knew I had entered somewhere innovative and quite unlike many other schools. The fact that I was visiting WIC in the first place was a random and serendipitous experience. For the past 10 years, I’ve been an art teacher and curriculum leader at Crofton House School (CHS), an independent school in Vancouver. In addition to my career at CHS, I have been working for the Independent Schools Association of British Columbia (ISABC) coordinating and facilitating a team leadership development training program for curriculum leaders from eight independent schools. Seeking to expand my knowledge of independent schools beyond British Columbia, I took it upon myself to attend the Association of Independent Schools and Colleges in Alberta (AISCA) Leadership Conference in Calgary in November 2018. This, by chance, led me to a tour of WIC. Four significant experiences that day were to generate a desire for me to make WIC my next career move.

2. Next up on my tour was a meeting with Mr. Bennett who explained how the WIC Institutes are carefully designed to prepare students for post-secondary success. This was another innovative and surprising discovery. I’m sure that all schools’ aim to prepare students for life beyond secondary school, but for a school to have such intentional design in programming and experiential learning with the end-goal of preparing them to pursue a passion, is pretty special and no mean feat. I couldn’t wait to share this with my colleagues in Vancouver.

3. As someone who has travelled extensively, I appreciate the benefits of experiencing and learning about other ways of living and being. These personal connections and experiences give us a deeper understanding of other people and cultures as well as ourselves. When I saw the eye-catching displays of global artefacts and learned about the incredible International Studies program led by Ms. Law, I was further excited by WIC.

4. Through research of educational literature and visits to schools across Canada, it is evident that students need more opportunities to think creatively and critically, and how to understand others (empathy). Intentional incorporation of the Design Thinking process (which is rooted in understanding your end-user), not only requires these modes of thinking, but can also result in innovative ways of learning and deeper understanding of concepts. So, in my 4th significant experience, I saw how WIC, in partnership

with STEM Learning Lab, provides WIC students with opportunities to develop creative and critical thinking, through the weaving of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. This resonated with me greatly and added fuel to the WIC fire that was growing in my heart and my head. I want my children to grow up having the courage to step out of their comfort zone, to be excited about new experiences, and to appreciate more of this beautiful country we call home. Moving from B.C. to Alberta is a big part of achieving these aspirations. As I write (two days after moving here), we are feeling disoriented and excited in equal amounts. I know that the people of WIC will help us to settle in and feel at home in Calgary. I look forward to getting to know all parents, students, and teachers of West Island College this year and I am very happy to be here. Nothing functions well or sustainably without good design; education is no exception. Good design can only result from employing a continuous cycle of getting to know your end-user, researching, designing, testing, and modifying. As with anything else, educational experiences have to be designed; this is what teachers work tirelessly to do every waking (and often sleeping!) hour of the day. The question we all need to grapple with is, who are we designing learning experiences for? Is it the future work-force, teachers, parents, university admissions staff, students of today, or something else? Let’s not forget, within each of these groups are unique situations and individual needs. I wonder, to what extent does the current educational system in Alberta meet the needs of all stakeholders? Can and should we design for all of the above? What do you think?


I could see students at work through a floor-to-ceiling glass wall. Of course, we expect to see students’ learning in a school, but you may be surprised to know that often it takes a fair amount of walking down hallways and tentative opening of doors to see learning in action. This excited me greatly and was just the beginning.


1. Immediately upon entering the building,

Natasha Bathgate Director of Learning and Innovation


ADVANCED PLACEMENT The Advanced Placement (AP) program provides opportunities for motivated and academically focused students to experience college-level courses while still attending high school. AP courses focus on critical inquiry, synthesis and research skills. A majority of Canadian and American Universities will grant first-year credit for courses where students have excelled on the corresponding AP examinations.

WIC 5-year AP Score Summary



WIC 5-year participation rate and score summary 2015





Total AP Students






Number of Exams






AP Students with Scores 3+











% of Total AP Students with Scores 3+

Comparison of Results to Canada and Globally: WIC students consistently achieve at a level far greater than the provincial or global levels. One example of this is provided by the data for the 2019 AP Biology Exam scores.

WIC’s AP Biology student scores of 3 or higher compared to Canada and Global results

WIC’s AP Biology student mean scores compared to Canada and Global results





In 2019, 88 students wrote 131 exams. Average score = 4.1/5.

Fraser Institute Rankings Once again, this year, WIC is ranked as top 5 in the Fraser Report Ranking for High Schools throughout Alberta. The report assures parents and potential families of the College’s overall academic rank in Alberta for 2017-2018. We are happy to report that our results have been consistent in the past 5 years.

9.2 9.8 9.7 9.3 9.3 2015







Exams included: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Calculus, Psychology, English Language and Composition, English Literature and Composition, Environmental Science, European History, French Language and Culture, Macro Economics, Micro Economics, Music Theory, US Government and Politics, European History, US History.

WIC STUDENTS AS GLOBAL CITIZENS TARA LAW Director of International Studies



The 2019 International Studies program did not disappoint. With a grand total of 143 student and staff travellers, in 6 groups (a record number), this year’s program to Japan, Brazil, Tanzania, and Vietnam opened many eyes to the realities of the world and offered some perspective on our lives in Canada.

Our two youngest groups to Japan (one of which was the first-ever all males group: “Japan B for Boys”) enjoyed cultural immersion activities such as traditional tea ceremonies, karaoke, and Japanese cuisine, such as ramen and sushi. The Japan A group dressed in kimonos and the boys’ group participated in a sumo workshop with real sumo wrestlers!



Our senior high travellers to Brazil worked hard in the Amazon Rainforest, at Tupana Village, a municipality that WIC has worked with in the past, building the foundation for a new home for twelve local people. Not only did the group leave a lasting impact in the remote Amazonian village, but I have no doubt that our travellers will never forget their experiences there.



As for the two Tanzania groups, the wildlife and safaris on the “endless plains” will undoubtedly be etched in their minds for years to come. The groups worked with the Village of Hope Mwanza, which provides children in need with quality education, shelter, healthcare, and nutrition. The Village of Hope’s ultimate goal is to find safe homes for children while continuing to offer them education to help reintegrate them back into society. I sincerely hope that our travellers will carry the benevolence and kindness witnessed there with them throughout their lives.


In sum, with open minds, adventurousness, courage, and humility, our students travelled abroad in 2019. Through sightseeing, intercultural contact, and service-learning projects, they made new friends, indelible memories, and lasting impacts on the places they visited. I look forward to seeing their studies of the world grow!


Our group in Vietnam embraced their experience by commissioning custom soccer jerseys and matching shorts. They worked hard on their service work project, levelling a soccer field, and were exposed to the natural beauty of Halong Bay and war remnants at several powerful museums. Having personally travelled to Vietnam several times, I have no doubt that this group was treated with friendliness and cordiality, which are both traits that I hope they emulate going forward.

REAL-WORLD LEARNING IN REVIEW SCOTT BENNETT Chief Innovation Officer & Head of Strategic Planning & Initiatives

It has been another incredible year offering unparalleled real-world learning experiences at West Island College. Through our Institute Program, students were provided a wide range of enrichment opportunities in Business, Health Sciences, Engineering, Liberal Arts and Fine Arts.



The Business Institute saw 32 students travel to the New York Financial District where they toured around the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange as well as visited JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs. Throughout the year, Business Institute students had the opportunity to hone their skills in the stock market through the Investment Club. They also participated in 5 Case Competitions, a record number for WIC students. We also added an Entrepreneurial Thinking Series where Craig Elias, Bow Valley College’s Entrepreneur in Residence offered a number of workshops such as 10 Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs, 10 Steps to Turn an Idea Into a Business, and Nailing Your Pitch on the First Try. Site visits to ATB Financial, Peters & Co, WestJet, DIRTT, Critical Mass, and Hunter Hub rounded out this year’s experiences for our Business Institute students.


Students also had to opportunity to visit Dr. Mitha’s radiology research lab at the University of Calgary and Dr. Gooi’s ophthalmology clinic Cloudbreak Eyecare. Additional offsite experiences included Youreka Canada, the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Operation Medical School as well as visits to TotalCardiology, STARS Air Ambulance, the Tom Baker Cancer Centre and the Regional Fertility Clinic.


WIC visited TELUS Spark Science Centre on two separate occasions. The first visit, students watched a total knee replacement in real-time while interacting with Dr. Werle,

Head of Joint Reconstruction with AHS Calgary Zone and Clinical Associate Professor with the U of C, along with the surgical team. On the second visit, students viewed a Kidney surgery (partial nephrectomy) with Dr. Kawakami. Both surgeries were broadcast live from Rockyview General Hospital.


The Health Science Institute students participated in a multitude of trips and activities including visits to the eSIM emergency practice readiness centre at Peter Lougheed Hospital and the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Rockyview Hospital. At the eSIM visit, students participated in simulations including delivering a baby and practicing CPR with manikins. At the ICU, students practiced placing a breathing tube in manikins with the help of respiratory therapists. They also had the opportunity to tour the intensive care unit, learning about the care and support offered by all health care professionals.

The Engineering Institute offered a wide range of activities for students. At the APEGA Science Olympics, a problem-solving challenge competition that allows students to see first-hand how the fields of engineering and geoscience impact our everyday lives, WIC’s team of five students, Devon Hendrie, Ana Quintero Garcia, Kushal Patel, Tom Stucken and Mitchell Dawson, won silver. The WIC team, consisting of Charlise Bruchet, Charlotte Hawboldt, Erica Chow, also placed second in the University of Calgary Technovation Challenge where they had to design an app of their choice.



WIC’s Senior Engineering Competition again welcomed alumni engineers and senior lecturers from the University of Calgary to judge this event held at WIC. In addition to these experiences, students took part in the SET Challenge, Women in Engineering Day at the University of Calgary, and the EXPLORE STEM ScieEng Challenge. Students were also afforded the opportunity to work with our 3D printer and various software such as MATLAB, Fusion, and SOLIDWORKS. The Grade 7s were fortunate at the beginning of second semester to have STEM Learning Lab’s expertise to guide them through an interdisciplinary math/science Scratch coding project that challenged students to use both creative and analytical thinking skills. The end of the year hailed a new event for the College - The Sustainability Showcase, a project in which students were tasked to design a more sustainable WIC, by researching sustainability in water conservation, wildlife habitat, growing food, renewable energy, waste management, soil health and air quality. Our partnership with the educational team at Journey 2050 at the Calgary Stampede grounds is making learning relevant and engaging to encourage this generation

of learners to become globally and socially minded citizens of tomorrow. STEM’s creation of a Virtual Marketplace to provide exemplars to students created a transformational learning experience, and to facilitate public speaking skills. One of the biggest highlights for the Liberal Arts Institute was the mock trial at the Calgary Courthouse. Working with renowned Calgary defense lawyers Balfour Der, Lisa Burgis Der, James MacLeod, and David Roper, students participated in a team trials advocacy competition where they assumed the roles of attorneys and witnesses and engaged in trial simulation competitions. For the more journalistically inclined students, site tours of the Calgary Herald and Global TV were provided. At Global TV, the students were able to sit on the set at the news anchor desk and view a live recording of the Global News at noon. After the news, the students toured the studio where they saw the area where journalists research stories, as well as view the room where advertisements are slotted into programming. At the Calgary Herald, students learned about the changing role of news sources (from print to digital), met with the Deputy Editor of the Sun and Herald, and learned all about how journalists check sources.

The Institute Program at WIC allows students to explore their passions through experiential opportunities and gives them an insight into how these passions can be applied to career paths.


The Fine Arts Institute students were exposed to a number of different professional and practicing artists, both as guest artists that came in to work with the students in classrooms here at WIC and, as students visited galleries, studios, and performances off campus. Of note in the drama department, were Jessie Paynter (lighting and design), Brianna Johnston (fight direction and stage combat), Alixandra Cowman (sound), Graham Percy (masks), Aaron Coates (clowns), Christian Goutsis (radio play and voice over). Visual arts students worked with practicing artists during a mentorship program during the 2019 Calgary Stampede. Specifically, Billie Rae Busby, Erin Conn, and Michael Markowsky. Music students were exposed to a variety of professional musicians through clinics and guest sessions that were offered on campus.


Students also participated in multiple debate and speech competitions including the Regional Debate Tournament at the University of Calgary where WIC students, Dylan Burton & Kate Burton, won gold.





The 2018-2019 theatre season brought together WIC audiences to take-in Shakespeare and a contemporary Canadian play by Calgarian playwright Morris Panych. The over-arching theme for the theatre season was “family” and both Romeo and Juliet and Girl in the Goldfish Bowl portrayed the complexities and gradation of family relationships. The 2018-2019 year also had the inaugural Drama 30 Directing Showcase, featuring the work of Jack Lavorato, Sarah-Michelle Lang,

Makenna Osis, and Abby Longworth. Artists in Drama 9 worked with guest artist Christian Goutsis to create and record their own radio drama entitled “Saltiness Comes from the Heart”, and in Drama 10/20 students devised a performance entitled “The Codfather”. The Second Annual Fine Arts Cabaret had our amazing interdisciplinary artists working together to perform poetry, ‘bot scripts’, songs, dance and showcased beautiful visual artworks. The Fine Arts Council said goodbye

to our wonderful Grade 12 Presidents: Abby Longworth, Sarah-Michelle Lang and Makenna Osis, and welcomed our incoming executive: Presidents McKenzie House, Dani Cole, Ainsley MacFarlane and Vice President Megan Haig. I am looking forward to working with a new batch of artists in 20192020 and am excited to present our fall production of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town.

In the quieter realm of the WIC Fine Arts department, visual artists were hard at work creating, in any way possible, to support the Drama and Music Departments. Of note, was a giant pop-up book that was entirely built by hand for the production of Romeo and Juliet. Senior art students Abby Longworth and Shivonne Morrison married engineering with artistry to build and present this book during the opening monologue of Romeo and Juliet. It lives at the school and can be viewed in person at any time. As mentioned previously, many pieces were built and displayed for the second Annual Fine Arts Cabaret. All art students from Grades 7 through 12 had work displayed in the foyer of the Arts wing here at WIC. This is an art show that has set itself up to be an annual show that runs during the Fine Arts Cabaret.


Music gives us connections to the memories of our life. Our 100 beginner band students will forever remember the sounds they first made in September, the sounds when they performed together for the first time and the feelings they had when they achieved a Gold rating this year at the festival with Ms. Cooper. The 60+ students involved in the various WIC jazz bands will remember the moments when the groove was set, and the notes flowed effortlessly in concert, cabaret or performance for the community. The 65 Grade 8 students will remember the joy of learning advanced musical skills under the direction of Mr. Uzick this semester. This year’s 100 senior Band students will remember with pride, the feeling of what dedication, trust and perseverance sound like on the Jack Singer Concert stage. The 19 band graduates will forever capture that final moment of the last note they played as a student musician. Our final highlight of the year was the celebration of Ms. Sue Snow and her dedication, and inspiration to the Band Program. Her teaching has created musical memories for thousands of students over time; especially for this year’s 265 band students at WIC. May music continue to bring joy and create memories in our life!


Senior Visual Arts students attended art shows at the Glenbow Museum and were also exposed to new art techniques previously not done in the art room. One of the highlights, Printmaking, was so popular that we now have a designated Printmaking station in the WIC art room. Another highlight of the year was the collaboration between Chemistry students and the senior Visual Arts students in Raku firing. A raku kiln was built, and glazes were made to illustrate the crosscurricular connections between chemistry and ancient art forms.

AUDERE EST FACERE TO DARE IS TO DO SANDRINE BEREZOWSKI Director of International Languages and Culture

Looking back to that first day of September 2018, when the French Immersion & International Languages Department embarked on our transformation of thinking more globally, doing and daring more, we had no idea where this motto was going to take us, and we learned four very simple lessons:


Invest and take risk

In 2018-2019, we launched a new concept of presenting the French Immersion Department during the Open House in October and the French Immersion Open House in February by creating a Salon Culturel. Using magazines, books, posters, and food, students encouraged visitors to sit with them and to talk about the International Languages & Culture Program. In August, we added a Costa Rica Spanish Immersion trip to our curriculum, and we partnered with a Spanish Language School in Coronado called Academica Tica.



In the coldest months of January and February, twenty Grades 7-8 students in French Immersion had the unique opportunity of visiting Québec City, embracing all of its culture and history for five days! Our department welcomed two new positions: a Director of Languages and Culture to combine the energy between the French Immersion team and the International Languages team and a new French Language Arts full-time teacher to fully achieve WIC’s purpose, to unleash the potential of passionate and creative problem solvers, ready to contribute to a better world.


Invest in brainpower and talent

Working collaboratively is key to ensuring excellent and innovative programs. We have a fantastic team in the International Languages & Culture Department. Teachers and students work together in preparation for the AP French Language Culture exam, Bilingual Diploma, International Language & Culture Certificate, DELE, DELF, and PAT exams. This ensures that our students are well-equipped to take on these challenging exams with excellent results In the fall, our 2019 graduating class will head to a variety of post-secondary programs such as Engineering, Interactive Systems Design, Neuroscience, Psychology, Computer Science, and more at universities all across Canada. An unbreakable bond has been formed between the graduates of the Class of 2019 in the French Immersion and International Languages stream, and we are excited to watch them flourish in their post-secondary studies and beyond. Bonne chance! Buena Suerte! Good Luck!


Invest in diversity

Last year, we also adopted a more entrepreneurial, “can do” attitude to further encourage students to be curious, explore, and embrace new ideas and perspectives. Looking back at our adventures, we have to commend our students’ openness to embrace diversity with such curiosity and positivity! Here are a few of our highlights:

• Pencil vs Camera – drawing vs photography with Francophone artists Nicole Tremblay from Saskatchewan, Patricia Lortie from Québec & Ben Heine from Belgium.

• Dining with the Chef Program – we worked with Chefs Dominique and Jean-Philippe from Suzette Bistro, Tres Marías Mexican Food Market, Sirine Berrached from 8cakes, A taste of Québec and Yum Patisserie from the Farmer’s Market.

• Les FrancoWicies - we welcomed the Francophone Rock Band “Les Marionnettes” from December 6-7.


• 170 students participated in Mandarin, Hindi, Portuguese, Japanese and American Sign Language workshops.

• Bilingual conferences and webinars with Campus Saint-Jean, University of Calgary, University of Ottawa and Paul Bourassa, Barrister and Solicitor (Mr. Bourassa is a subject matter legal expert with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime).

We are delighted and proud to see that 20 students have been selected to participate in a variety of programs such as the Page Program, Forum for Young Canadians, Yale Young Global Scholars, The Summer Science Program in Biochemistry at Purdue University, the SHAD program, Explore, Les Voix de la Poésie /Poetry In Voice,

as well as Forum national des ambassadeurs (FNJA). These students travelled all across North America from September 2018 to August 2019 to enrich their language learning and appreciation while they met multilingual & multicultural students.

We are doing all this with the vigour and confidence in our program, knowing that we strive to provide the best French Immersion Program in Calgary.


heritage by raising its first FrancoAlbertan flag during assembly on March 18. Dr. Fanny Macé was our special guest, she spoke to our students about the diversity and plurality of the Francophonie across Canada. Dr. Fanny Macé currently works in the Division of French and Francophone Studies of the School of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures and Cultures (SLLLC) at the University of Calgary. A few students later had the opportunity to speak on the Radio-Canada program “La croisée” where they explained how they live their Francophone culture at West Island College.

Nous vous remercions tous pour votre appui et votre confiance.


• WIC celebrated its “Francophonie”

Invest our time in supporting programs that will enrich cultural and active citizenship experiences


TODD LARSEN Head of Athletics and Experiential Learning



The 2018 -2019 year has had many highlights and was an exceptional year for athletics at WIC. This year our Athletic program has had much to celebrate and it has been a recordsetting year for athletic participation. We offered more teams and registered more student-athletes this year than any previous year. The sports seasons started quickly in September and within a few weeks, we were already celebrating the accomplishments of our golf teams who found success at zone competitions. By the end of November, we were finishing the volleyball season

and the Senior Boys Volleyball team had finished first in the city and second in the Provincial Tournament. This accomplished group of volleyball players made their third consecutive trip to provincials, setting the bar high for future teams. WIC’s inaugural Junior Varsity Girls Volleyball team had an exceptional year seeing success in both the league and tournament play. The Jr. Varsity Boys basketball team finished the season in first place and proudly got to capture the city championships on home court for the second consecutive season. WIC’s tradition of badminton dominance continued with both our Junior and Senior teams confidently winning the

league championship and bringing home new banners to hang in our gym. With the arrival of spring, our student-athletes were able to enjoy the fresh air and green grass as the soccer, field hockey, track and field and rugby seasons began. The Senior and JV Girls field hockey team continued the momentum of the previous season and proudly won several games against some of the strongest teams in the city. The track and field team was able to register a massive roster that exceeded 110 students and once again battled to become the number one school in our league. To close off an exceptional year of athletics, the Senior Boys rugby team captured the zone championship and finished second in the provincial competition.

As much as we take great pride in the many victories of our teams, it is the passion for participation that makes us proudest. We look forward to the 2019-2020 school year and the opportunity to get as many students physically active as possible. Todd Larsen — Head of Athletics and Experiential Learning



LEADING THE WAY IN OUTDOOR EDUCATION TODD LARSEN Head of Athletics and Experiential Learning

West Island College’s Outdoor Education Program is nationally unique. We commit to providing all students in Grades 7-12 with the opportunity to participate in outdoor learning experiences each year. In September, our Grade 11 and 12 students had the opportunity to select from a variety of trips. This year’s experiences were certainly diverse with students walking across glaciers, biking through Kananaskis County, paddling down the Bow River, sailing across the Glenmore Reservoir, hiking into the mountains and breathing underwater during scuba certification. For our Grade 10 students, we have strategically partnered with Camp Chief Hector to allow them to participate in a variety of activities as a full group. The teamwork and relationship building during this trip provides our newest high school students with an excellent start to the year. Our only winter program occurred in February and involved our Grade 9 students travelling to the beautiful Kananaskis Valley. While there, students took part in cross country skiing and learned about managing the winter environment.



When the warm weather arrived in the spring, we took our Grade 8 students on their annual camping trip to Kananaskis Country. Students went on hikes and learned the fundamentals of outdoor rock climbing with the spectacular backdrop of the Rocky Mountains.

During the first week in June, our high energy Grade 7 students put their muscle power into their first outdoor trip as they learned about paddling dragon boats. After students mastered the paddling techniques, they were able to test their newfound skills in a race against their classmates.

We believe that these experiences build our students’ confidence in the outdoors and promote their passion for outdoor activities in the future.

– Mark Twain


“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”


At WIC, our experiences have taught us that for many of our students, some of the most powerful memories and lessons come in the hallways, on a field trip, or standing on top of a mountain. We firmly believe that these relevant and diverse opportunities both build character and reveal it. It takes a comprehensive team approach to achieve this and we extend our gratitude to the West Island College staff and parents who help us facilitate such unique experiences for our students.












Good evening parents, students, friends, teachers and faculty. I am Farah Ali and I am truly privileged to speak before you tonight. I would like to take a moment to thank everyone who has helped us along this journey. To the teachers at WIC, thank you for not only keeping us on top of our studies but mentoring us through these years full of growth and accomplishment. We would not be here without your wisdom and guidance. I would especially like to thank my fellow graduates, who have been by my side unwaveringly and believed in me when I could not find confidence within myself. Thank you for the countless memes we’ve shared. Thank you for our unforgettable memories together. Thank you for being like my second family. To my sister Mariam, I would like to thank you for making me laugh until I cry. I can always count on you to distract me from the harsh reality of the world. You are capable of greatness and I am tremendously excited that I won the lottery of having you as a sister. 0.45% chance to be exact. I would like to thank my parents, who have always supported me and showed me what hard work and success look like. Their continual support has been a source of encouragement to take advantage of every opportunity available, knowing I would always have a strong foundation supporting me through my endeavours. I would like to thank my loving mother, for always laughing at my jokes and being there for me during the many sleepless nights. To the exceptional class of 2019, it is an honour to speak before such a group of talented and exceptional individuals. By any measure, the road to graduation

has been fraught with many challenges, which we have overcome, and we have made it. Yes, we have made it. I would like to thank you all, my fellow graduates, for the best, most memorable six years of my life, years filled with adventure and excitement. We have studied together, travelled together, fretted together, and laughed together. This evening is one of celebration of the achievements of each and every one of these amazing students. Graduation is a momentous occasion, a rite of passage, signifying our transition into mature young adults, although you would agree perhaps that some of us, all of us(?), still have a way to go. Thank you collectively to our parents, siblings, teachers, coaches, and everyone for their support, encouragement and guidance throughout this process. I have no doubt that the class of 2019 will excel - we are bold, we are brave, we are ready. We may be many families gathered here tonight, however; I see it as one united family coming together to celebrate the past six years. I know it sounds cliché but it’s true. The challenges that we endured along the journey only strengthened our bond. Tonight is not only about celebrating the fact that after years of hard work we have finally earned our diploma, but it is also about looking forward to the future and all the places that life will take us after graduation. I would like to share a story that has resonated with me as I began to count the days to graduation. One night as I was struggling with a physics problem, I asked my dad for some help. Patiently, as always, he explained to me the objective of the question, and

even after heeding his advice AND spending at least ten minutes on the question, I could not solve it. Frustrated, I quit. I gave up. I got up from my desk and uttered a sigh of anguish. Kindly, my father looked at me and asked me “Do you agree that the universe is an isolated system, where energy is conserved?” “Yes,” I replied. “Well, work is a form of energy isn’t it?” “Well yes.” “Then, think of the effort that you put into anything, sports, studies, art, relationships, as a form of work; as such, it can never be lost or wasted, and cannot be destroyed.” I didn’t think much of this story at the time but looking back on it, that insight has taught me that struggle is a part of life and that, in the end, after persevering through it and not losing sight of your efforts, you will reach your desired outcome. It has also taught me that the struggle itself has meaning and cannot be considered as a mere waste of time. Throughout the past year, I have attributed my success to that mentality. The insight gained is not only relevant to success in high school but well beyond post-secondary and life in general; little can be achieved without a degree of discomfort. It is easy to give up and walk away from an opportunity that seems far out of reach, but we must strive to transcend adversity. I know it may sometimes seem as if your efforts are pointless and believe me, I know how tempting it can be to give up, but if I have learned anything, it is that hard work and endurance bear positive results; WE are PROOF of this essential truth. We sow the seeds of passion and perseverance and we reap their returns upon nurturing them.

Many people use the analogy of the end of a chapter in our lives to describe the departure from high school. I’d like to take that analogy further. Even though we are turning to a blank new page to be filled with what the future holds for us, our past experiences remain. The wisdom and insights that we have acquired will continue to shape us long into the future. The relationships and connections that we have established will forever enrich and enhance us. We must approach the future with the same level of diligence and ambition. Commitment, dedication, and having faith in our capacities will guide us towards making our dreams a reality. Cherish and nurture your personal dreams and aspirations.


Thank You Farah Ali 2019 Class Valedictorian


This is a moment of change. A time of loss and a time of gain. Loss as we inevitably, part ways, and gain as we embark on the journey ahead. The memories that we have shared will be cherished, and the bonds of friendship that we have forged will endure. With our graduation comes a promise of new beginnings and the fulfillment of our aspirations and vision. Our journey is just beginning, and I am confident that we are poised and ready.


If anyone was wondering, yes, I did end up solving the physics problem, learning a great deal more in the process than I ever thought possible. It is such learning that shapes destiny.



WIC’S GRADUATING CLASS OF 2019 Accepted offers into the following programs of choice: Business/Economics




Health sciences


Arts/Social sciences


Fine Arts




Gap year




University of Victoria

University of Toronto

University of British Columbia Vancouver


University of British Columbia Okanagan

University of Ottawa

University of Alberta

Carleton University

Mount Royal University

McGill University

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

Dalhousie University

University of Saskatchewan

St. Francis Xavier University


Western University


Attending the following schools:

Earned scholarships worth: $200,000


From Left: Brent Martin, Sophie Virji, Phil Shaer, Lauren Alston

PHIL SHAER ‘91 Business Award Phil Shaer, graduating class of 1991, received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature, with a minor in French, from Laval University in Quebec City. He went on to the University of Windsor where he graduated from law school in 2000. This is where he met his wife, Caroline Dube, and they now have two daughters named Kaelin, 12, and Ryann, 10, who both take great pleasure in correcting his French and Caroline’s English.



Phil now works for Canopy Growth Corporation which is the world’s largest publicly-traded cannabis company. Phil joined canopy in 2016 after nearly a

decade of working as the general counsel at Conversant Intellectual Property Management Inc. where he spent quite a bit of time travelling to places like China, Germany, Japan, San Francisco, South Korea and Taiwan, just to name a few. As Canopy’s Chief Legal Officer, Phil now leads a team of lawyers who are responsible for Canopy’s reporting obligations as a publicly traded company as well as all its other legal needs. He also leads Canopy’s human resources department, which has been involved in hiring approximately 800 people in the last 18 months with 1,000+ jobs still to be filled, and is intimately involved in business

development, having closed many dozens of multi-million dollar deals in the two years since he joined Canopy, during which time its market cap has increased from $500M to approximately $6B. In 2017, Phil was named Dealmaker of the Year at the Canadian Lawyer InHouse Innovatio Awards. Phil also received the Ottawa Business Journal’s Top 40 under 40 Award in 2008 and was a finalist in Lexpert’s Rising Stars—Leading Lawyers Under 40, in 2011. Most recently, Phil has been announced as a finalist for the 2018 Osler Purdy Crawford Deal Making Award.

WICConnect An all-inclusive Alumni Relations platform providing exclusive access to WIC alumni, staff and current students. This platform allows alumni to reconnect with classmates, see and register for upcoming events, follow current WIC Social media posts, find or post-employment opportunities, seek volunteering initiatives and provide an opportunity to engage in the live information feed. This platform can be accessed through the Alumni link on the WIC Website.

SOPHIE VIRJI ‘01 Philanthropy Award Sophie Virji is a Senior Associate in the Tax Group at Bennett Jones LLP in Calgary. Sophie not only excels in her day job as a lawyer, but she is passionate about using her skills to give back - and the girl has grit - she spent 1.5 years with the Aga Khan Development Network in Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan, respectively.

As a Consultant with the Aga Khan Development Network in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Sophie collaborated with the government to design and execute a business and financial literacy curriculum for 300 rural Kyrgyz female entrepreneurs as part of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Development Project.

As a Policy Analyst in the Aga Khan Development Network’s Diplomatic Office in Kabul, Afghanistan from January to June 2016, Sophie collaborated with UN Agencies and other international NGOs to discuss human rights and conflict issues and make recommendations to the government on strategic planning and foreign aid.

BRENT MARTIN ‘02 Arts Award Brent then went on to graduate from the American Film Institute Conservatory, and shortly after, in 2011, received a Student Emmy Award for his thesis film, Clear Blue. Clear Blue screened at over 20 film festivals around the world and earned several awards along the way. Brent founded Canova Media in 2012. Since Canova Media’s creation, Brent has lead content campaigns for some of the world’s most influential brands, some of

which include Microsoft, Pepsi, Virgin Mobile, Goodlife Fitness, Movember, Tim Hortons, Air Miles and AOL. For one of Canova Media’s most impactful projects, Brent produced the short documentary “Canadian Tire Ice Truck”, which followed the brand’s journey to build the world’s first drivable truck made of ice. This story received global attention, with coverage on over 150 international media outlets, including CNN and the New York Times, and was also honoured with numerous awards.

LAUREN ALSTON ‘06 Personal Achievement Award For three years Lauren served as the Provincial Gay-Straight Alliance Coordinator for Alberta. Lauren’s role was to provide schools with training and support during the development of peer support clubs for students of various gender identities, expressions, and sexual orientations. The school clubs, commonly known as Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs), provide resources and social supports to students and staff in Alberta’s

Kindergarten to Grade 12 schools. Drawing on her experience with GSAs and her academic background, Lauren is currently working within the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Alberta on a research project investigating the impact of these GSAs on student mental health in Alberta. Lauren has also been the Co-Director of Hollaback Alberta since 2011. This is

an organization that addresses street harassment and gender-based violence in public spaces. Her research and reports for Hollaback have been used in training sessions for the City of Edmonton, Edmonton Transit System, the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton, and have been presented at local conferences. Lauren has been interviewed and featured in several media outlets for her work with Hollaback and GSAs. She is a bit of a local celebrity in this space!


national broadcaster, CBC.


Brent graduated from WIC in 2002, and after leaving WIC he became involved in the film and television industry. Brent worked in development under the late Vancouver-based producer William Vince. In this position, Brent gained foundational experience in both the art and business of storytelling. Moving into a producer role himself in the years following, Brent helmed several award-winning films which have screened at festivals such as the Toronto International Film Festival, Palm Springs Shortfest, AFI Fest, and on Canada’s



WIC Alumni Mentoring Program CONNECTING WIC WOLVES ACROSS CLASSES The WIC Journey doesn’t stop at graduation, WIC Alumni are part of a global network of professionals contributing to a better world.



Have you heard about our WIC Alumni Mentoring Program where alumni support alumni? This program strengthens the WIC community across all classes by creating opportunities for alumni with established careers to share their knowledge, experiences, and provide support for younger alumni. To find out more about this exciting initiative, visit the WIC website and click on the Alumni tab.

Class of 2008

Sean has just completed his fellowship in Critical Care Medicine at the University of Calgary. He will be moving to Lethbridge in August to assume the role of staff Intensivist at Chinook Regional Hospital and help lead the transition to a specialist-run unit. He will also begin pursuing a Master’s degree in Healthcare Quality at Queen’s University in late July. He will be joined (and supported!) by his wife Hilary and their Boston Terrier, Stella.

KATIE BRISCOE Class of 2010

After completing her Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering at Queen’s University, Kate moved back to Calgary in 2015 and began working in the Construction Industry. She was recruited as one of the first team members for a startup Development Management Firm, M3 Development Management, who provide project management consulting services. She has been working with the team for 2.5 years. Through this role Kate has been involved in many projects and new developments throughout the city and loves calling Calgary home. In her spare time Kate continues to travel and explore new destinations around the world.


Jennifer is currently on the west coast in Victoria devoted to raising her three children. Her passion for sports continues as she is the current President of the Vancouver Island Women’s Volleyball Association and runs the Victoria women’s volleyball league.

BRUCE GRAHAM Class of 2002

Bruce lives in Calgary with his wife, Kaela, and their new baby boy, Colby. Bruce practices Employment Law at a large international law firm. Outside of work, he loves to spend time with his family, run, golf, and enjoy Calgary’s craft beer scene. His current favourite is Duotang Dry-Hopped Sour by Eighty-Eighty Brewing.

ALY REMTULLA Class of 2003

Class of 2013

Katie, graduate of WIC 2013, has been living and working full time in Calgary for the past year. Graduating from the University of Alberta in 2018, Katie moved back home to Calgary to start full-time with a local tech company, Showpass, as a Client Operations Specialist. Showpass is a ticketing and event management company that was started in Calgary and our head office is located in Inglewood. Look forward to WIC events being hosted through Showpass in the near future! In her spare time, Katie can be found playing in various sports leagues and golfing as much as possible!




Aly is a successful Realtor in Calgary. He is very passionate about his work, and cherishes all of the relationships that it brings. He lives at his house in Marda Loop, and enjoys closing deals, golfing, travelling, and spending time with his family and friends.

What is the West Island College “Guild”? The West Island College (WIC) Parent Guild represents the volunteer interests of students, parents, alumni, the board of directors, faculty, staff and other community members with demonstrated interest in the school. The WIC Parent Guild originated with the Parent Advisory Council (PAC) when the school was first created.



How do I become a member of the WIC Parent Guild? As the parent of a WIC student, you automatically are a member of the WIC Parent Guild when you register your child. Each year the WIC Parent Guild hosts a Volunteer Fair where members of the WIC community, especially parents, can register with the Guild as a WIC volunteer. As the need arises throughout the school year for parent volunteers for anything from special events to participation in Focus Friday initiatives to the school’s speaking series, the WIC Parent Guild will access the volunteer database to match the skills and desires of volunteers to the specific needs of the school.

It was refocused in 2019 in order to serve as the volunteer hub that supports the strategic direction of WIC. The WIC Parent Guild will work to enrich the lives of WIC students by providing unique elements that will enhance their physical, social, and general well-being.

What does the WIC Parent Guild do for me and my child?


You will become an active, and contributing, member of the WIC community.


You will have an information network for resources and knowledge.


You will keep informed of the many events in your child’s WIC life.


You will meet WIC parents and other members of the WIC community.


You will enhance your WIC experience through volunteering, which will translate into a more enriching experience for your child.

If you have a special skill or area of expertise, the WIC Parent Guild would suggest that you consider volunteering your time in one of the following ways:

As we progress the development of the WIC Guild, watch for announcements in the WIC Weekly, the College’s weekly eNewsletter for more information. As well, the WIC Parent Guild will be presented at various WIC parent events throughout the year.

1. 2. 3.

Focus Friday Program

Speaker Series

After School Continuing Education Series

If you would like to be actively involved in the WIC Parent Guild, please sign up online. If you would like to contact the WIC Parent Guild, please email parentguild@mywic.ca. On behalf of the WIC students, staff, and Board of Directors, thank you for your time and energy towards making WIC the community it is today. With your continued dedication towards your child’s education, we will continue to develop future citizens of the world.


How do I find out more about the WIC Guild?


What are some examples WIC Guild volunteer opportunities?

FINANCIAL REPORT How much do student fees contribute to WIC’s operating budget? Just under 60 percent of WIC’s revenues are generated by tuition. The other revenues come from government grants, facility rentals, and philanthropic gifts. These revenues must cover operating expenses and offset investments in capital infrastructure. We provide our students with outstanding teaching and learning opportunities which is reflected in our largest operating expense – our people. We offer unparalleled real-world learning experiences which is best achieved with a low student-to-teacher ratio in the classroom and exceptional faculty.

Revenue Sources Tuition and student fees Donations and advancement


58.4% 1.5%

Government grants


Other income




Why Does WIC Need Philanthropic Support?



Providing an exceptional education for our students requires outstanding faculty, innovative programs, state-of-the-art facilities, equipment, resources and technology. We always strive to remain ahead of the curve in teaching and learning, in order to offer students, the best education possible – one that enables them to be successful now and in the future. Without the generous support

% raised in 2017/18

of our community, we would not be able to achieve our aspirations. We are grateful for your generous contributions and support to the College. On behalf of the College’s administration, faculty, staff and students thank you for helping us fulfill our mission as we continue to strive to be the best school for your children. Your gifts bring WIC to life and make everything we do possible.


Annual appeal


Salaries and benefits




School operations


Restricted donations


Long-term debt and leases


Total raised















Profile for West Island College

Au Courant: A Year in Review 2018-2019  

Au Courant: A Year in Review 2018-2019  


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