West Island College
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West Island College
West Island College
old logo of west island college
Old Logo of WIC
School typePrivate preparatory school
MottoPraestatantiam consectemur
(The pursuit of excellence)
FounderTerry D. Davies

West Island College (WIC) is a system of three Canadian private schools: West Island College Montreal, founded in 1974, West Island College Calgary, founded in 1982; and Class Afloat-West Island College International, founded in 1984.[1][2][3]

While the schools historically shared varying levels of affiliation, each school now operates independently. A West Island College school was opened briefly in Ottawa, Ontario, but is no longer in operation.[4][additional citation(s) needed]

West Island College (Montreal)

West Island College Montreal
West Island College Montreal Logo.png
851 Tecumseh, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Québec
Team nameVoyagers
School fees$4,392 + $200 Contract Signing

West Island College Montreal was the first West Island school to open and was founded in 1974 to provide an academic program dedicated to preparing students for post secondary education. It was first established in Pointe-Claire, Quebec, on Montreal's West Island, an area at the western end of the island of Montreal. The school moved to its present location in Dollard-des-Ormeaux in 1978 in order to accommodate a growing student body.[] Today West Island College in Montreal has an annual enrolment of 400 students,[5] and includes both a French school and an English school housed within the same facility.

West Island College (Calgary)

West Island College Calgary was opened in 1982 to provide an academic program dedicated to preparing students for post secondary education.[2] The original campus was located in Riverbend and opened with 40 students. They then moved to the Fairview campus on Fife road. The school moved to its present location at 7410 Blackfoot Trail S.E., Calgary in 1994 in order to accommodate a growing student body. The college has expanded to a second building adjacent to the original site. Today West Island College in Calgary has an annual enrolment of 550+ students,[5] and includes both a French immersion track and an English track housed within the same facility.

Class Afloat--West Island College International

In 1984 the United Nations, under the banner of "International Youth Year", invited schools and agencies worldwide to interpret the themes of "participation, development, and peace". Founder of West Island College, Terry Davies, interpreted those themes by taking a group of students and teachers on an extended field trip aboard the chartered sailing vessel Pogoria to visit other students in countries around the world.

In 1992 the school commissioned the building of their own ship, the S/V Concordia.

Old logo of Class Afloat.
West Island College Calgary
West Island College Calgary Logo.png
7410 Blackfoot Trail S.E. Calgary, Alberta
PrincipalDanielle Lamoureux (Senior School) Dave Horn (Junior School)
Head of schoolChantal Gionet
HousesDavies, Bedard, Goodall, Grant
Team nameWolves
School fees$16,120 CDN for Alberta Residents

During the 2008/2009 year, the school operated a second vessel named the SY Fryderyk Chopin in addition to the S/V Concordia. Students enrolled in the high school program were placed upon the Concordia, while students in the gap year program were placed on the Fryderyk Chopin.

Class Afloat--West Island College International
Class Afloat--West Island College International Logo.png
School typeSailing; Experiential Education
MottoLearn. Sail. Discover.

On February 17, 2010, The Concordia was knocked down in a squall and subsequently sank, about 550 km from the coast of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. All the passengers and the crew were rescued without serious injuries by two merchant ships after being located by the Brazilian Navy.[6][7] In the aftermath WIC Calgary severed its ties with the program and no longer sponsors it. However, WIC Calgary students are still allowed to partake in the voyage.[]

Class Afloat continues to be a co-educational sailing program that provides high school credit to students while living aboard a tall ship. Since 2014 Class Afloat has chartered the Dutch Flag ship Gulden Leeuw; for four years before that, that the SS Sørlandet, a fully rigged Norwegian vessel, built in 1927.[8]

The ship operates with a full complement of professional crew, administration, teachers and students. It sailed a different route every year and it circumnavigated the globe many times.

The S/V Concordia alongside the SS Sørlandet.
The S/V Concordia alongside the program's current vessel SS Sørlandet.

Students enrolled can sail for one or two semesters during which time they learn seamanship and work as crew members while earning high school or university credit with help from their on board teachers. Port programs in the cities visited provide the students with an opportunity to meet and interact with other cultures, giving them an international perspective on their education. Since the first voyage, more than 1,700 students have attended and the voyages combined have sailed more than 700,000 nautical miles to over 250 ports of call worldwide. Any student from grades 11, 12, university or gap year may take part in Class Afloat so long as they pass the application process.[9]

Notable Attendees

Heads of School

West Island College Calgary[13][14]
Year Name
1982-2009 Jack A. Grant
2009-2018 Carol Grant-Watt
2018-Current Chantal Gionet


  1. ^ "WIC Story | West Island College Montreal - High School". West Island College Montreal - High School. Retrieved .
  2. ^ a b "Discover WIC - West Island College". www.westislandcollege.ab.ca. Retrieved .
  3. ^ "About the Program". Class Afloat. Retrieved .
  4. ^ "Best Private Schools in Calgary". Ross Pavl & Associates. Retrieved 2017.
  5. ^ a b ourkids.net. "West Island College (Montreal) - Montreal (DDO) Private School". www.ourkids.net. Retrieved .
  6. ^ Marine Investigation Report by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada
  7. ^ "Students safe after capsizing of N.S.-based ship". CBC News. Nova Scotia. Associated Press. 19 February 2010. Archived from the original on 9 April 2012.
  8. ^ Class Afloat home page.
  9. ^ "About Class Afloat". Class Afloat. West Island College. Retrieved 2015.
  10. ^ "Marc-Édouard Vlasic". IMDb. Retrieved .
  11. ^ "Manjit Minhas | LinkedIn". ca.linkedin.com. Retrieved .
  12. ^ @WICAlumni (March 13, 2019). "Alumni Josh Teves '13 sign one year contract with the @Canucks - congratulations!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  13. ^ "Appointment Head of School of West Island College" (PDF).
  14. ^ Parker, David (13 February 2007). "Headmaster keeps college a class act after 25 years". Calgary Herald.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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