2019

News Archive

  • April

    Student conducted a waste audit in January 2019.

    WHY WE COMPOST

    By Genevieve Cloutier '03, Alumnae Relations Coordinator

    About a year ago, I visited Green Action Centre with a group of Youth in Philanthropy students as one of our site visits to explore nonprofit organizations in Winnipeg to which they could direct a grant funded by The Winnipeg Foundation. It was at this meeting that we learned of Compost Winnipeg, which provides residential and commercial composting, and we immediately wanted to implement a program at Balmoral Hall School. And so, the planning began.

    Fast forward a year, and here we are almost a month into our schoolwide composting initiative. Along the way, Ms Caitlin Briggs, Senior School biology teacher and Green Club faculty advisor, joined us to lend her expertise to the project. With the help of fellow colleagues and incredibly passionate students, along with commercial compost expert and Junior School parent Dave Pancoe, a sustainable, full-scale composting program has been embraced by our school community.

    It has been my great pleasure to see adults and children alike making conscious choices to separate their waste into compost, recycling, and garbage. To see faculty bringing their own compost buckets into their classrooms and making the trip to one of our waste stations at the end of each day to do their part. To see students in the dining hall helping each other decide where their lunch waste should be disposed of and encouraging each other to take what they will eat and not waste food. I am very happy to see how much things have changed in just a few weeks!
    Read More
  • April 8, 2019, BH Blazers at Manitoba Legislative Building with Hon. Brian Pallister (Photo by Steph Bisson)

    BLAZERS RECOGNIZED BY LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

    By Jennifer Pawluk, Communications Specialist

    On April 8, Hon. Heather Stefanson (Class of 1988) delivered a speech to Manitoba's Legislative Assembly recognizing the Balmoral Hall Blazers on the 2019 Junior Women's Hockey League (JWHL) Championship.

    Her Member's Statement concluded with a standing ovation from her fellow Members. The pride felt in that moment is second only to that felt when Kennesha Miswaggon scored the game-winning goal in overtime against NAHA on March 11. Certainly, it was a joyous occasion for the Blazers, who also had their photo taken with Hon. Brian Pallister, Premier of Manitoba, on the Legislative Building's grand staircase.

    We are grateful to all who made this possible, including, first and foremost, Hon. Heather Stefanson and her staff, Hon. Cathy Cox, Minister of Sport, Culture and Heritage, Head of School Joanne Kamins, Middle & Senior School Principal Jodi Hafenbrak, Executive Director Tina Alto, and Director of Hockey Sarah Zacharias '08.

    A special thank you to Ms Bonnie Staples-Lyon for coordinating with staff and parents.

    Read More
  • March

    BLAZERS BRING HOME THE CUP

    By Jennifer Pawluk, Communications Specialist

    In Burlington, VT last weekend, the Blazers won their first international championship since joining the highly regarded Junior Women's Hockey League (JWHL) in the Blazers' third season, 2008/09. Behind the bench were Coach Sarah Zacharias, Class of 2008, and Assistant Coach Regan Boulton '09. Winning the championship game in overtime versus North American Hockey Academy (NAHA) on March 10, the Blazers ended the 2018/19 season with a historic victory.

    "All this began more than 200 days ago with an intense week of preseason training," says Zacharias.

    "The night before our season started, I wrote down a list of five goals that I hoped we could accomplish as a team in the months ahead:
    1. Finish the year .500+.
      √  28-20-5
    2. Defeat NAHA (for the first time in five years).
      √  5-2, February 2, 2019
    3. Sweep a JWHL regular season weekend.
      √  February 1-3, 2019, winning four of four games in Rochester, NY
    4. Finish the regular season as one of the top two JWHL teams.
      √  Ranked second overall with 30 points.
    5. Win JWHL Championship in 2019.
      √  Won in overtime, defeating NAHA 3-2, on March 10.
    "By accomplishing all that and more, these 18 student-athletes made their mark on JWHL history, and they leave a legacy for us here at Balmoral Hall," Zacharias shares.

    Read More
  • February

    Cella Rousseau '11 visited the Grade 8 class in January 2019.

    CAREER TALK WITH CELLA ROUSSEAU '11

    By Katie Robinson, Grade 8

    Last month, Cella Rousseau '11 came to Balmoral Hall and spoke with the Grade 8 class about her career and life path. Ms Rousseau is a BH lifer who grew up here and adored activities such as voice and drama. She has always been a storyteller and loves to make people laugh. School helped her embrace those talents and her creativity, which led her to Creative Communications at Red River College, where the groundwork was laid for her career as a writer.

    Ms Rousseau said it was a great program for her, and she majored in journalism. True crime journalism became her passion, and she was able to have a few crime stories published. Then, an exciting journalism opportunity arose for Ms Rousseau with Winnipeg Sun. She loved her job there, but, after a while, she wanted to try something different. Around that time, positions at iMore, a tech journalism company, opened. This sounded interesting to her because it required her to review photography products. She found her job fun and interesting, and she loved playing around with the new "toys." Not long after, she was invited to attend a consumer electronics show to review some of the products there. That ended up being the place where she really figured out what she wanted to do as a career.

    After the show, she realized that she had found a new passion for technology, as she loved to review and test gadgets, but she kept thinking of even more ways she could share her creative abilities with the world.

    Read More
  • January

    Isra and Shauna (December 2018)

    CAREER TALK WITH SHAUNA LABMAN '95

    By Isra Elbarouni, Grade 8

    "Does anybody know who Yahya Sumatar is?"

    Back in 2015, Yahya Samatar, a 35-year-old Somalian man who fought for democracy back in his home country, swam through the Red River from North Dakota to Winnipeg. Being a human rights worker back in Somalia, Yahya was captured and tortured by Al-Shabaab, the same militant group that murdered his brother. After paying the ransom, he fled to America, leaving his family behind in August 2014. When he got to America, he was denied refugee status and sent to a detention centre for six months. Walking all the way to the Canadian border in North Dakota, he gazed off into the distance, Manitoba.

    Now that you know the story right up until he swam across the Red River, here’s the catch. According to the Canada—United States Safe Third Country Agreement, people should apply for asylum and refugee status in the first country of their arrival. If they have already applied as a refugee in the U.S. before showing up at a border port in Canada, and have no blood relatives there, they are turned away. But if a person crosses into Canada somewhere else and then applies as a refugee, the case is heard in court. Well, America denied refugee status for Yahya, and Canada seemed like the best second choice. Sensibly afraid of persecution, he took a leap of faith and swam.

    After being welcomed by hospitable Manitobans, Yahya’s case was heard in the Canadian system. The case was indomitable, according to Shauna Labman '95, who teaches immigration and refugee law at University of Manitoba's Robson Hall. Dr. Labman, an alumna of Balmoral Hall School, spoke with Grade 8 students last month.
    Read More

List of 25 news stories.

  • Junior School STEAM Festival 2019

    STEAM FEST SPARKS CREATIVE THINKING

    By Jennifer Pawluk, Communications Specialist

    "All-girls learning environments champion the educational needs of girls as a group currently underrepresented in STEM majors and careers," reports National Coalition of Girls' Schools. Through the arts, students at Balmoral Hall School develop a lifelong love of learning built upon curiosity, creativity, resiliency, and innovation. Such was the experience of Kindergarten to Grade 5 students at a recent exposition of inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking: The STEAM Festival.

    Featuring a variety of stations from hands-on experiments to expert demonstrations, the event has become an annual tradition in Junior School. With the theme, "Rock The World," the 2019 festival highlighted earth science and geology. Thank you to the staff, students, parents, alumnae, and friends who volunteered their time and expertise on a sunny afternoon, June 14. Without support from our school community year after year, this spectacular event would not be possible. The Centre for Arts & Design has been built thanks to that support, as well.

    We simply can't express how excited we are to open the doors this fall!

    Students' passion for science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) will bring this inspiring new facility to life in ways we have yet to imagine.

    Until then, have a wonderful summer break!

    Read More
  • Kendall & Lily at Junior Debate National Championships 2019

    EXPANDING OUR COMFORT ZONES AT JUNIOR DEBATE NATIONALS

    By Lily Rich, Grade 8

    From May 23–26, 2019, Kendall Barnes and I attended Junior National Debate Championships in Montreal.

    It was our first time attending an event like this, and it was truly one of the coolest experiences we have ever had. On the first day, the tournament organizers planned an expedition around Old Montreal. From old churches to cobblestone streets, there is a certain kind of charm to the historic neighbourhood.

    That night, the debating began with the resolution: "This House believes that provincial governments in Canada should have full authority over environmental legislation." It went well with lots of passionate speaking and good critiques. On the second day, we faced four rounds of impromptu debate. The first two rounds were interesting; we could really tell that this was Nationals with how everyone spoke and articulated themselves. The third day was filled with three rounds of finals, and, although we were not in any of the rounds, this is where we saw the true cream of the crop of debate. The finals resolutions were very challenging, such as how to encourage women to complete courses in computer coding, how developed nations should respond to underpopulation, and giving pardons to individuals who have committed cannabis-related crimes prior to its legalization in Canada. It was incredible to see how quickly these debaters developed cohesive arguments.
     
    This national tournament was an incredible experience for Kendall and me. It was an amazing learning experience to debate against the best junior debaters in Canada. We would highly recommend that everyone step out of their comfort zones and try debating because you deserve to have the same phenomenal experience that we had at Junior National Debate Championships!

    Read More
  • The Blazers Middle & Senior School soccer teams both won championships in the 2019 season.

    DOUBLE TROUBLE ON THE SOCCER FIELD

    By Jodi Hafenbrak, Middle & Senior School Principal
    Both Blazers soccer teams had very successful seasons this year!

    On May 22, 2019, our Middle School team played in the MCSAA tournament at the Grant Park fields. We went undefeated in round robin play and met up with St. Maurice School in the finals. It was a challenging game due to cold and windy conditions, but our players stood strong and came out on top with a win and the tournament banner.

    Our Senior School team also had a great season, as we were undefeated in Zone 12 league play. In the semifinals versus Faith Academy, we won by a score of 6-0, taking us to the finals. We were more evenly matched against Linden Christian School in the finals, but, after a well-played game, we brought home the Zone 12 championship banner.

    Congratulations to both teams, and many thanks to our dedicated coaches!

    Read More
  • Grade 12 computer science students, including Mia Battad (second from right), completed a 2019 cyberdefense challenge.

    MIA BATTAD '19 AWARDED LARGEST CANADIAN STEM SCHOLARSHIP

    By Jennifer Pawluk, Communications Specialist

    Congratulations to Mia Battad, Class of 2019, who has been selected to receive an $80,000 Schulich Leader Scholarship to begin studies in Computer Science at University of Manitoba this fall.

    The Alumnae Prefect was nominated by Mrs. Jennifer McDonald, University Guidance Advisor, for her outstanding academic and co-curricular achievements.

    "Mia demonstrates the boundless capabilities of women leading the STEM fields," says Mrs. McDonald. "She has volunteered in Junior School classrooms to assist students as they explore physics and simple machines with confidence. With the Middle & Senior School robotics clubs, she has applied her knowledge and mentored teams as they develop their skills."

    "Mia empowers the younger girls to defy expectations and to feel as confident as she does in pursuing her passions and interests," adds Dr. Patricia Mitchler, who teaches physics.

    Mia, a Balmoral Hall School lifer, is the second Nominee to win a Schulich Leader Scholarship at Balmoral Hall School. Ella Thomson, Class of 2013, received a Schulich Leader Scholarship to study Electrical Engineering at University of Manitoba. Ella recently completed her Master of Science in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, where she continues to pursue her Ph.D. as a third-year doctoral student.

    "Schulich Leader Scholarships are the largest STEM scholarships in Canada. With 50 outstanding students selected in Canada each year it is all but guaranteed that this group represents the best and brightest Canada has to offer. These students will make great contributions to society, both on a national and global scale. With their university expenses covered, they can focus their time on their studies, research projects, extracurriculars, and entrepreneurial ventures. They are the next generation of technology innovators," says program founder Seymour Schulich.

    Read More
  • Megan & Katia, Junior Public Speaking Nationals, May 2019

    JUNIOR PUBLIC SPEAKING NATIONALS MORE THAN JUST A DREAM

    By Megan Burns & Katia Djomo Wongep, Grade 8

    Recently, we had the honour of representing Balmoral Hall School and Manitoba at Junior Public Speaking Nationals in Vancouver.
     
    The road to Nationals was challenging and quite a journey. It began with an in-school audition to become members of the Balmoral Hall team at the provincial public speaking tournament, where Megan went on to place fourth in persuasive speaking, while Katia placed sixth in persuasive speaking. Megan placed 10th overall at Manitoba's Junior Douglas Campbell Public Speaking Competition. Everyone supported one another, achieving personal successes, and it was a great disappointment that more students were unable to move on to the next level of competition, Nationals.

    We, along with eight other students from Manitoba, competed at Nationals in Vancouver from May 9–13, 2019.
     
    There was a wide variety of schools from Manitoba and the other provinces represented, giving us opportunities to create stronger bonds with people from across Canada. At Nationals there are four categories, including interpretive reading (i.e. solo acting), persuasive speaking, impromptu speaking, and debate. With each round of competition, we found ourselves becoming more confident, learning the differences in the types of pieces and styles used by other provinces, while also bonding with the other competitors who were all sharing the same feelings of nervousness.

    However, the whole experience was not only that of competition, as we were able to visit Vancouver Aquarium for a science lesson on sea lions, walruses, penguins, dolphins, and other marine life. We also loved visiting Granville Island, which reminded us of The Forks. Sadly, we did not place among the top students recognized with awards; however, those five days at Nationals were amazing, and we will never forget this challenging competition and the friends we made.
     
    Read More
  • Marina & Emma, Co-Leaders of Rainbow Club, organized Pride, May 2019

    FIRST-EVER PRIDE PARADE CELEBRATED ON CAMPUS

    By Emma Joyal & Marina Levit, Grade 12

    On May 23, 2019, Balmoral Hall School held our first-ever Pride Parade! This event, which was organized by Rainbow Club, celebrates the diversity of LGBTQ* identities and the freedoms the community currently holds. On this day, we honoured the accomplishments and progress the LGBTQ* community has made, as well as recognized what still needs to be done to achieve true equality.

    Just as Middle & Senior School students and staff were dressed in fun rainbow colours, the atrium was also decorated for the occasion. The celebration began with a powerful performance by three Grade 12 students, followed by the parade where each advisory and homeroom walked through the atrium with posters that symbolized the meaning of the colours on the rainbow flag. After the parade, the posters were hung in the atrium to display the wonderful work and spirit of each advisory and homeroom.
     
    It was great to witness the enthusiasm from students and staff throughout the day and the high energy of everyone who participated in the parade! We had hoped that this day would help bring a sense of belonging and acceptance to campus, and the impact exceeded our expectations. Based on the success of our inaugural Pride parade, we hope that Balmoral Hall will continue to make Pride an annual celebration!

    Read More
  • High School Day, Computer Science, University of Manitoba, May 2019

    COMPUTER SCIENCE DAY, THIRD TIME'S A CHARM

    By Barrett Arbour, Grade 12

    On May 24, 2019, I had the pleasure of attending my third and final High School Day with the Department of Computer Science at University of Manitoba.

    Every year, students from Manitoba high schools are invited to participate in a day of learning and spirited competitions in the form of a Programming Contest and Computer Science Fair. As high school students, we were able to experience a piece of the university's computer science curriculum, ask questions of current students, make connections with future students, and actively learn about the many facets of studying computer science.

    Balmoral Hall School entered both the Junior and Senior levels of competition. Mia Battad, Irina Znamirowski, Una Mayberry, Zoë Zaretzky, Yu "Evelyn" Yan, and I coded our way through challenging problem statements, competing with high school programmers across Winnipeg. Kaylee Nguyen presented her drawing program and Payton Klassen presented her version of a Tamagotchi toy to a panel of judges in the Junior Computer Science Fair. Competing at the Senior level of the Computer Science Fair, Mia Battad presented her Word Clouds program and placed second overall.

    Throughout the course of the day, we interacted with like-minded peers, listening to presentations on artificial intelligence, co-op programs, and more, all the while fostering our shared passion for computer science!

    Read More
  • Hon. Rochelle Squires visits Grade 5 class, April 2019.

    THE ART OF ASKING

    By Lauren Field, Grade 5

    For our Grade 5 Exhibition, my group was studying air pollution. In order to get the most current and in-depth information, I decided to ask Manitoba's Minister of Sustainable Development, Hon. Rochelle Squires. I sent an email asking if my group could ask her some questions.

    After lots of scheduling and corresponding back and forth, we hosted her in our class on April 23, 2019. The Honourable Minister even mentioned her visit to Balmoral Hall School on Twitter. With the help of our teachers, Mrs De Lande and Mrs McComb, we made it happen!

    My motto is if you don't ask, the answer is always no.

    Read More
  • Kindergarten students experiment with a wind tunnel, May 2019

    MRS. THOMSON RECOGNIZED FOR TEACHING EXCELLENCE, PRIME MINISTER'S AWARDS

    By Jennifer Pawluk, Communications Specialist

    Mrs. Arda Thomson, who teaches Kindergarten, has been honoured with the Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence in STEM, Certificate of Achievement, announced online earlier this week:
     
    "Bringing up the next generation of scientists and engineers, (Mrs. Thomson) introduces the scientific method and design process, focusing class work around tinkering and building; very young girls build structures and learn to use tools."
     
    Congratulations, Mrs. Thomson!
     
     
    She told Eva Wasney, Community Journalist for The Metro, "this is for all the people I work with.
     
    "We constantly collaborate."
     
    Mrs. Thomson has been an employee of Balmoral Hall School since September 2004.
     
    A few years ago, she invited me to spend a day in her classroom, inspiring me to write a blog post entitled "What I learned in Kindergarten."
     
     
    On behalf of all of us, adults and children alike, who have collaborated with and learned from you throughout the past 15 years, Mrs. Thomson, thank you!

    Read More
  • Grade 5 students at their Exhibition, May 2019

    GRADE 5 STUDENTS PLANT THE SEEDS FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE

    By Jennifer Pawluk, Communications Specialist

    Grade 5 students at Balmoral Hall School have spent weeks preparing their International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) Exhibition.

    They presented the results of their inquiry to their families as part of their student-led conferences, May 15, 2019. Their theme, "Planting a Sustainable Future," including the study of compost collection at Balmoral Hall, a demonstration in support of Fridays for Future, participation in International Day of Pink, experiential learning at FortWhyte Alive, and much more. They also completed a multimedia art project: "Portraits of Our Great Granddaughters."

    Click here to watch the 5-min. video.

    Read More
  • All five Grade 8 students received medals at Manitoba Schools Science Symposium 2019.

    GRADE 8 STUDENTS SHINE AT SCIENCE SYMPOSIUM

    By Hope Hinchey, Grade 8

    Since the beginning of January, Grade 8 students have been hard at work on our science fair projects. We spent hours researching, experimenting, writing out information, making backboards, and having a little fun here and there. When everything was finished, we presented our projects to judges, the class, families, and, of course, Mr. Zimmerman.

    Five Grade 8 students were chosen to attend Manitoba Schools Science Symposium, April 26–28, 2019. Opening ceremonies were held the morning of the 26th, followed by a day of fun science-related activities like making a bridge out of raw pasta, creating DNA, and designing landers. The next day was spent presenting our projects to judges, with a public viewing on the final day, which concluded with the awards ceremony. All in all, we had lots of fun going to the symposium and exploring University of Manitoba; it was an experience we will forever remember!

    Editor's note: Bronze medals were presented to Katia Djomo Wongep and Hope Hinchey. Silver medals were presented to Ryann Hafenbrak, Isra Elbarouni, and Inez Mayberry. Congratulations to all!

    Read More
  • Grade 2 Assembly, May 2, 2019

    WHEN GRADE 2 STUDENTS TAKE CENTRE STAGE, CONFIDENCE ROARS

    By Jennifer Pawluk, Communications Specialist

    Earlier this week, I had asked Ms Hanson's Grade 2 students why they enjoy performing:

    Exclaimed one, "I like having all eyes on me!"

    For many, in the spotlight is an uncomfortable place to be.

    Not so at Balmoral Hall School.

    Recently, Ms Hanson's and Ms Borodkin's Grade 2 classes entered the spotlight not once, not twice, not thrice, but on four occasions over a period of two weeks from late April to early May.

    First, they welcomed their parents to an intimate talent show, held in Dr. Doerksen's music classroom, on April 26. Joining them, I was awed by their powerful stage presence. Imagine a seven-year-old belting out Katy Perry's "Roar" from her seat behind the piano. Someone else performed "Reflection," from the Disney musical Mulan, unaccompanied. Others demonstrated their skills in dance, gymnastics, fencing, archery, and martial arts. Lego and playdough and paint, oh my!

    Most remarkable, however, was the excitement that they shared in learning more about each other.

    "Some of the talents, we didn't know that some of our friends actually had (those)," shared another Grade 2 student.

    Collaboration strengthened their highly anticipated assembly on May 2, presented to their Junior School peers, as well as Grade 2 families, in Sifton Family Theatre.

    "In an adaptation of Peter Reynold's The North Star, we explored the idea that we each have our own paths to discover and follow in life," explained Ms Hanson, "and so public speaking, movement, and drama all played a part in our assembly."

    Added Ms Borodkin: "Confidence and understanding the importance of practice resulted in a wonderful performance."

    Next, Grade 2 students performed for a full house on Grandparents' Day, May 3, both with the Mozart-Shield-winning grades 1 to 3 choir and later on their own as a dance troupe.

    Finally, they reprised their show-stopping performance of "The Pink Panther Theme" for the Junior School dance recital, May 10.

    "As classroom teachers, it is gratifying to see them shine in areas that we do not always observe in class," Ms Borodkin said.

    Concluded Ms Hanson: "In their learning, Grade 2 students demonstrate the ability to be risk takers and remain open-minded as they celebrate their strengths and discover new things."

    Read More
  • Tyler Wagar, Celina, and Olivia Lunny (April 25, 2019)

    A SURPRISE VISITOR FROM THE LAUNCH

    By Jennifer Pawluk, Communications Specialist

    We had a special guest visit us April 23, all thanks to Celina, a Grade 3 student at Balmoral Hall School.

    Earlier this spring, Celina wrote a letter to Olivia Lunny, a Winnipeg musician and songwriter who successfully competed on the television show The Launch recently. Ms Lunny received Celina's letter, and she was so moved that she reached out to us about arranging a surprise visit. Well, that happened last week!

    The grades 3 to 5 classes gathered in the music room last Thursday morning, not knowing what (or who) to expect. As soon as I started talking about a letter sent to a special guest who was here to visit us, out of the corner of my eye I saw Celina's eyes light up, and, when I introduced Ms Lunny, she happily stepped down from the risers to join her by the piano. Ms Lunny then told the students about her personal and professional journey as a musician, leading into a performance of "I Got You" accompanied by Tyler Wagar. Many students recognized the song from hearing it played by local radio stations.

    Students had the opportunity to ask her questions afterwards, as well. Ms Lunny spoke honestly about her love of music, the hard work that led to her success, and making mistakes and learning from them. She also credited others, her family, friends, and fellow artists, for supporting and inspiring her. Most importantly, Ms Lunny encouraged them to dream big and never stop trying to do what they love.

    We are grateful to Ms Lunny for taking the time to arrange such a wonderful school visit.

    On behalf of Celina, her peers, and her teachers, thank you!

    Read More
  • Lindsay & Mrs. Balcaen at World's 2019

    ALL THE WORLD'S A STAGE

    By Lindsay Cogan, Grade 11

    It has been a dream of mine for several years to compete at World's Independent Debate & Public Speaking Championships under the Canadian flag. Being able to do so in my home country was a very special experience. I represented Canada from April 11–17 at World's in Toronto.

    Selection for this challenging competition requires participants from Canada to compete in several qualifying tournaments. In my case, I attended and successfully competed in four different competitions to claim my delegation as a competitor from Canada. There were 106 participants from 11 countries, all with a common goal and an immeasurable support system of friends, families, loving parents, and dedicated coaches like Mrs. Balcaen.

    Although many of us came from different continents and had never met each other prior to the championships, the understanding of the work ethic it takes to qualify for World's is universal. Due to this common understanding of one another, we all developed strong friendships by the end of the week of intense competition. Interacting with my peers from around the world provided me with the kind of cultural exposure that one tries to achieve in school, but is not always successful in learning in a classroom.
    Read More
  • Campus Guide Anika and Saije at CMU, April 2019

    OUR LECTURE EXPLORATION AT CMU

    By Natasha Hofer & Saije Catcheway, Grade 11

    Grade 11 students ventured off on a tour of Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) last week. On Wednesday, April 17, we had the opportunity to experience what a lecture is like at CMU. The university is very small, with less than 600 students, providing students with the opportunity to actively participate in discussion-based lectures. We were given the opportunity to experience what it was like to sit in on a class lecture with professors explaining what that specific class had to offer, their major focal points, and how they teach. We split into two groups depending on which course we were more interested in.
    • Journalism: Does it make peace or war?
    • Sound & Screen: The Dynamic Between Seeing and Hearing
    Editor's note: Both chose one lecture over the other – Natasha, Journalism; Saije, Sound & Screen – and so we are sharing their thoughtful reflections at the end of this post — continue reading.
     
    We believe most of our peers felt very comfortable with the small class size and learning environment at CMU, as the student–professor ratio is so similar to ours at Balmoral Hall. It truly allows for a one-on-one, engaging, and hands-on learning experience for students. Later, after the sit-in, we were taken on a tour of the CMU campus where we were able to walk the halls and get a feel for university life. Also, we were able to see the CMU auditorium, where multiple events and music performances take place, and, following the auditorium tour, we were taken to the CMU athletic centre where we learned that CMU participates in the Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference (MCAC), playing against teams like Brandon University and Providence University. After a refreshing walk across to the library, we were able to see the wonderfully modern architecture and a multitude of students studying for exams, concluding the tour. We were also treated with a quick gelati treat from Folio Café.

    Overall, we truly feel that CMU has such a rich and welcoming learning environment and is definitely a great place to study for students looking for a small, close-to-home university with strong hands-on learning and a great student–professor ratio. We would like to thank Mrs. McDonald for organizing this tour for the Grade 11s, who truly appreciated the experience, as well as Ms Boonstra and Ms O'Brien-Klewchuk for attending with us.
    Read More
  • Student conducted a waste audit in January 2019.

    WHY WE COMPOST

    By Genevieve Cloutier '03, Alumnae Relations Coordinator

    About a year ago, I visited Green Action Centre with a group of Youth in Philanthropy students as one of our site visits to explore nonprofit organizations in Winnipeg to which they could direct a grant funded by The Winnipeg Foundation. It was at this meeting that we learned of Compost Winnipeg, which provides residential and commercial composting, and we immediately wanted to implement a program at Balmoral Hall School. And so, the planning began.

    Fast forward a year, and here we are almost a month into our schoolwide composting initiative. Along the way, Ms Caitlin Briggs, Senior School biology teacher and Green Club faculty advisor, joined us to lend her expertise to the project. With the help of fellow colleagues and incredibly passionate students, along with commercial compost expert and Junior School parent Dave Pancoe, a sustainable, full-scale composting program has been embraced by our school community.

    It has been my great pleasure to see adults and children alike making conscious choices to separate their waste into compost, recycling, and garbage. To see faculty bringing their own compost buckets into their classrooms and making the trip to one of our waste stations at the end of each day to do their part. To see students in the dining hall helping each other decide where their lunch waste should be disposed of and encouraging each other to take what they will eat and not waste food. I am very happy to see how much things have changed in just a few weeks!
    Read More
  • At Notre Dame Cathedral, March 2019

    ONE MONTH AGO, WE VISITED NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL

    By Chenyi (Alice) Xu, Grade 11

    "I wanted to see you again, touch you, know who you were, see if I would find you identical with the ideal image of you …" —Victor Hugo, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

    I will never forget the feeling of looking out from the top of Notre Dame Cathedral and the incredible design of its intricate stained glass windows.

    One thing I will never regret in my life is travelling to Paris to appreciate all the artwork and historical monuments that our ancestors left for us.

    April 16, 2019 was a sad day. Notre Dame Cathedral, a building nearly 850 years old, a building that symbolized France, was destroyed in a massive fire, which is not only a tragedy for all French people but for all humankind.

    Exactly 30 days ago, on a school trip to London and Paris during spring break, I was lucky enough to be one of the last few people to go to the top of Notre Dame Cathedral. It was a fantastic experience for all of us who were there because we created so many amazing memories that we will never forget. The total climb was 387 steps. Climbing stairs has never been my favourite thing, but I will never regret climbing those stairs to see one of the most marvellous objects I have ever seen — Emmanuel, the largest bell in Notre Dame. I hope one day in the future it will ring again.

    Read More
  • Simone Penner, Director of BH Beginnings, with Arpna Kansara, 2019 MCCA Exceptional Caregiver

    MS KANSARA TO RECEIVE EXCEPTIONAL CAREGIVER AWARD

    By Simone Penner, Director of BH Beginnings

    Arpna Kansara, Child Care Assistant at BH Beginnings, is the 2019 recipient of Manitoba Child Care Association’s Exceptional Caregiver Award, which recognizes an individual who has demonstrated outstanding ability in the work environment thorough professionalism, team spirit, and pursuit of excellence in the child care field.

    In November 2014, Ms Kansara began her work with BH Beginnings child care program for girls ages 2 and 3 as an Inclusion Specialist. It quickly became clear how passionate Arpna was about children. She went above and beyond, ensuring that all the children in her care were safe, happy, and given opportunities to grow and develop. What was originally intended as a term became a full-time employment opportunity, and she has been offering her incredible care, empathy, and dedication ever since.

    Arpna is an enthusiastic, efficient, hardworking, and proactive educator with strong interpersonal skills who decided (after completing a Bachelor of Commerce) that her lifelong passion is to work with children.

    "I love being surrounded by them, and I get immense pleasure in nurturing their abilities," she says. "As a Child Care Assistant, my goal is to promote the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development of each child under my care."

    Arpna is a valued employee of Balmoral Hall School, and we are thrilled that she has been recognized for her outstanding dedication to being her very best self as an educator.

    She will receive her award at a special MCCA event in late May.

    Read More
  • Rainbow Club members with their guests for International Day of Pink 2019.

    WHY WE CELEBRATE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PINK

    By Emma Joyal, Grade 12

    On April 10, 2019, Balmoral Hall School was filled with people wearing pink shirts to celebrate International Day of Pink! This day, which is all about fighting to end homophobia, transphobia, transmisogyny, and all forms of bullying, is an important initiative that allows students and staff to learn about and discuss these various issues. This year, Rainbow Club invited two speakers, Marcus Matheson and Hailey Primrose, to address Middle and Senior School students.

    Marcus, who spoke to grades 6 and 7 students, shared his experiences as a trans man and how those experiences have influenced his life. He touched on the importance of feeling comfortable in your own skin and how sometimes this can be difficult in the society we live in. Students were able to ask Marcus many questions at the end of his presentation, which made for a great conversation about finding one's own identity and supporting those around you.

    In the Senior School and Grade 8 presentation, Hailey spoke about her own personal journey being both Métis and a part of the LGBTQ+ community. She emphasized the power of self-confidence but also touched on how insecurities will arise at various points in one's life. It was interesting to hear about her perspective on the transition between adolescence and adulthood as well as how her own experiences have influenced the person she is today.

    It was extremely inspiring to hear from both of these incredible individuals on International Day of Pink 2019.

    The themes of both presentations were a great reminder that fighting to end homophobia, transphobia, transmisogyny, and all forms of bullying should be something we strive to do every day!

    Read More
  • April 8, 2019, BH Blazers at Manitoba Legislative Building with Hon. Brian Pallister (Photo by Steph Bisson)

    BLAZERS RECOGNIZED BY LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

    By Jennifer Pawluk, Communications Specialist

    On April 8, Hon. Heather Stefanson (Class of 1988) delivered a speech to Manitoba's Legislative Assembly recognizing the Balmoral Hall Blazers on the 2019 Junior Women's Hockey League (JWHL) Championship.

    Her Member's Statement concluded with a standing ovation from her fellow Members. The pride felt in that moment is second only to that felt when Kennesha Miswaggon scored the game-winning goal in overtime against NAHA on March 11. Certainly, it was a joyous occasion for the Blazers, who also had their photo taken with Hon. Brian Pallister, Premier of Manitoba, on the Legislative Building's grand staircase.

    We are grateful to all who made this possible, including, first and foremost, Hon. Heather Stefanson and her staff, Hon. Cathy Cox, Minister of Sport, Culture and Heritage, Head of School Joanne Kamins, Middle & Senior School Principal Jodi Hafenbrak, Executive Director Tina Alto, and Director of Hockey Sarah Zacharias '08.

    A special thank you to Ms Bonnie Staples-Lyon for coordinating with staff and parents.

    Read More
  • Head of School

    INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT OUR BOARD?

    Balmoral Hall School's Board Governance and Nominating Committee is responsible for finding volunteers to serve on our Board of Governors and its various committees.

    We are always interested to hear from current or past parents, alumnae, or even individuals without direct connection to the school, who have a passion for the school and who might be interested to volunteer now or in the future.

    If you would like to hear more about the volunteer opportunities, including becoming a Board of Governors member, please email or contact us at:

    Balmoral Hall School
    Board Governance and Nominating Committee
    c/o Board Chair
    630 Westminster Ave.
    Winnipeg MB R3C 3S1

    Note: The deadline is Friday, April 19, 2019.
    Read More
  • BLAZERS BRING HOME THE CUP

    By Jennifer Pawluk, Communications Specialist

    In Burlington, VT last weekend, the Blazers won their first international championship since joining the highly regarded Junior Women's Hockey League (JWHL) in the Blazers' third season, 2008/09. Behind the bench were Coach Sarah Zacharias, Class of 2008, and Assistant Coach Regan Boulton '09. Winning the championship game in overtime versus North American Hockey Academy (NAHA) on March 10, the Blazers ended the 2018/19 season with a historic victory.

    "All this began more than 200 days ago with an intense week of preseason training," says Zacharias.

    "The night before our season started, I wrote down a list of five goals that I hoped we could accomplish as a team in the months ahead:
    1. Finish the year .500+.
      √  28-20-5
    2. Defeat NAHA (for the first time in five years).
      √  5-2, February 2, 2019
    3. Sweep a JWHL regular season weekend.
      √  February 1-3, 2019, winning four of four games in Rochester, NY
    4. Finish the regular season as one of the top two JWHL teams.
      √  Ranked second overall with 30 points.
    5. Win JWHL Championship in 2019.
      √  Won in overtime, defeating NAHA 3-2, on March 10.
    "By accomplishing all that and more, these 18 student-athletes made their mark on JWHL history, and they leave a legacy for us here at Balmoral Hall," Zacharias shares.

    Read More
  • Junior Provincial Debating Championships 2019

    JUNIOR PROVINCIAL DEBATING CHAMPIONSHIPS (HOSTED BY US)

    By Carissa (Nikkel) Balcaen '02

    On March 10, 2019, Balmoral Hall School hosted Junior Provincial Debating Championship for Manitoba students in grades 8 and 9. Six very bold debaters representing Balmoral Hall were Kendall Barnes, Megan Burns, Katia Djomo Wongep, Lucy MacDougall, Safiya Ratana, and Lily Rich. These very knowledgeable individuals committed to practices in preparation for this challenging event, as well as maintaining a specialized knowledge in current events at a local, national, and international level.

    This year, the topics explored in three rounds of impromptu debate included:
    • implementing a universal income
    • regretting the creation of awards shows
    • creating mandatory composting programs
    • eliminating loot bags at children's birthday parties
    • requiring all airline passengers to undergo full-body scans using X-ray technology, and
    • requiring university students to take a mandatory course in gender and culture diversity studies.
    Congratulations to all the girls on their fine performances. Kendall and Lily qualified to compete at Junior National Championships in Montreal from May 23–26. We are very proud of you! 

    A tournament of this magnitude, with over 68 competitors, 60 judges, 24 speakers and timers, and six tournament organizers is successful only with the support of many people. We know how precious Sundays are and thank you for spending this one with us.

    Read More
  • Grade 9 students perform spoken word poetry, International Women's Day, March 8, 2019. (Photo by Olivia Wilde '19)

    INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY

    By Marina Levit, Global Issues Prefect

    Note: The following is a transcript of Marina's opening remarks for Balmoral Hall School's 2019 International Women's Day Assembly, coordinated by the students of Girls for the World.

    Why is it that there have been so many male Prime Ministers, but only one woman?

    Why is it that girls just as hardworking and intelligent as we, are not getting equal opportunities?

    Why is it that women of colour are often excluded from the conversation?

    Why is it that transgender women are also excluded from the conversation?

    Why is it that so many people are hesitant to identify as feminist?

    Why is it that strong-minded women expressing themselves are "unlikable" or "bossy"?

    The answers are not so clear cut, neither are the solutions. However, these types of questions, the hardest ones to answer, are the questions that have motivated changemakers for centuries. Hard questions were asked in the late 19th and early 20th century when the suffragette women fought for equal voting rights. Hard questions were asked in the 1950s when Margaret Sanger and her supporters fought for women's rights over their bodies and the right to birth control. Hard questions were asked in 2016 when women, including many of us, took to the streets in cities around the world to fight for equal rights, justice, and political representation and continued to do that every year since.    

    With each hard question, a group of passionate, determined, radical, inspiring individuals of all genders and identities have worked to respond with purposeful action.
    Read More
  • BH at Ivey (March 2019)

    EXPERIENCING AN IVEY BUSINESS EDUCATION

    By Lauren Burns, Grade 11

    On March 1, 2019, Davina, Alyssa, Carol, and I had the amazing opportunity to travel to London, Ont. to compete in Ivey's High School Case Competition. As soon as we arrived, we took a campus tour of Western University led by a Western student. We saw examples of lecture halls, the recreation building, and Western's largest library, in addition to learning more about life at Western and the many opportunities offered there.
    The highlight of our trip, however, was the Ivey case competition that ran all day Saturday.

    The day began with an interactive lecture based on how to analyze a business case. We were then separated into teams with five other students from different schools across Canada and given a real-life business dilemma. With three hours to work, we analyzed the case considering aspects such as financials, consumers, and competitors with the help of an Ivey student and then presented our decisions to a panel of judges.

    Davina's team competed in the finals and placed 3rd overall with their case!

    This was an incredible opportunity as we explored the case method of studying business, which gave us the hands-on approach to learning for which Ivey is famous. We were pushed to confidently express our ideas in an unfamiliar yet supportive setting, giving us an authentic perspective of what an education (and then a career) in business would entail.

    After learning a great deal from the Ivey case competition this year, my desire to consider pursuing business in the future is even stronger.
    Read More
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Balmoral Hall School

Our mission at Balmoral Hall School is to inspire girls' imagination and the courage to excel, to reach, to lead, to care.

We are an independent day and boarding school, offering an exceptional all-girls education from child care, starting at age 2, to Grade 12.