All About That Bass

.. and a love for music

A Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra string sextet visited the school in December. They shared some great music and musical concepts with the students. They were amazed at how much our students knew about string instruments and musical concepts. I wonder if having over 180 violinists in the building made the difference?! Even the youngest of the students were able to navigate the fugue* challenge! The students loved hearing the different instruments, and most agreed that the Double Bass was the coolest! Who knows, maybe some of them will learn to play it in High School, like our SCCS alum, John George, who is currently playing Double Bass with the St. Pauls’ High School Jazz Band – quite an accomplishment for a freshman!


Thank you, Ms. Sham for arranging their visit! Our next encounter with the WSO will be in March when the Grade 5 class will be on stage performing with the symphony. Sounds awesome!

* /fyo͞oɡ/a contrapuntal composition in which a short melody or phrase (the subject) is introduced by one part and successively taken up by others and developed by interweaving the parts.

Rave Reviews

tnMrs. Narynski facilitated the annual MFIS New-to-Teaching Workshop in October. This was her third time offering this workshop. She invited Mr. Vechina to come as a guest speaker. The participants gave them both rave reviews, and this high praise including the following comments:

I enjoyed all the great advice and resources you told us about! I really enjoyed the testimony of Justin at the end!

Favourite part was the second year teacher.

It was great to have lots of collaborative activities and Justin come in to bring in a similar perspective. I picked up a lot of strategies. Thanks!

Thank you to the presenters for making everyone feel comfortable to share.

This was a very informative and helpful workshop – lots of really good information to take back to the classroom with us! Thank you!


November 11

is a day we remember


The annual Remembrance Day Assembly was held on November 9th. It was a moving event, complete with wreath laying, moment of silence, bagpipes and a presentation by an air force officer. This year we were honored to host  a Wing Commander, too. A huge thank you to the military families of SCCS for your dedication.

Stellar Reputation

… job well done!

By the end of November every year, we seek input from the local high schools with regard to our recent graduates. The following was received this year from the high schools that enrolled our graduates:

All of ojbur graduates are well-received by all the high schools.

Students who were on honor roll here, continue to achieve high grades in high school.

The transition from SCCS to the three primary high schools is “seamless”, “a smooth transition” according to the principals.

Our graduates are 50% of the Ambassadors for SPHS high school this year, three of our boys were chosen to represent the grade 9 class at SPHS for the synod session, and Josh Bond is the “student of the month” at Westwood.

Way to go teachers and students on a job well done!

Cantata Post-Script

Thank you to everyone who supported the Cantata. We estimate 800 people were there including the Leader of the House, the Honourable Andrew Micklefield., the mother of the Catholic schools  superintendent from Vernon, BC,  people from all three dioceses, etc. Messages have been flowing in from all over including these:

“We met two days ago at St. Vladimir and Olga Cathedral while I was trying to find the church office to post a caregiver ad for my Mom. Thank you for interrupting your project at the church on that busy day to take me across the street to the office .I did return to the church last night for the Cantata. It was joyful and uplifting. Congratulations to you, your musical director and your students on a wonderful performance. By sheer coincidence, when I returned to my Mom’s in St. James, I encountered a family who had also been at the concert. Their young daughter had sung in the choir and was still very excited by the experience. Your gift as an educator is evident. It was reflected in the lively and inspired faces of your students last night. Thank you again for your kindness in helping me, and for inviting me to attend the concert. It made my evening.”

Then there was the thank you from Sr. Lesley: “What a wonderful evening. Each morning we look at the beautiful bouquet and think of you and of the mustard seed that grew into a tree.”

The man who attended because of his connection with House of Peace: “Congratulations to all involved in bringing to us the wonderful Musical Cantata. It was the most effective real life event I have ever witnessed that captures the reality in story and song and instrumental music across all ages, cultures and faith traditions on how all our relatives (including creation) can come together. Can we do a cantata on creation and let the trees of the forest clap their hands and all creation shout for joy?”

And from a complete stranger who read about it in the newspaper: “It just sounded fantastic. Wish it could be repeated.”

Then there were the kid comments: It was my chance to shine like a star…..I loved the church…the apples were great…the men sounded AWESOME….

it is from the peripheries

that reality may be understood

On November 15, 2016, the students in Grades 4-8 performed a musical cantata in celebration of the Jubilee Year of Mercy.

The project actually started quite simply, with Fr. Geoffrey and a few staff brainstorming about creating a production to celebrate the jubilee year, but in true St. Charles style, it grew quickly. Soon SCCS was reaching out to Sr. Lesley and Imee at House of Peace, Steve Denby and his Bisons Men’s Choir, Msgr. Buyachok, Rector of the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral, the local Archbishops….well, to make a long story short – it was huge!

The project was rife with symbolism. For example:

  • The beautiful arched ceilings of the cathedral symbolized the little bridges that were built from one community with another throughout the project, like one heart string at a time!
  • The script enabled children teach while the Friends from House of Peace, a multi-faith organization, lead the gathering in prayer.
  • A dramatic moment was when the men walked into the Church, and joined the children’s choir, emphasizing leadership by example.


Attended by over 800 people from all three dioceses and beyond, the event was a truly memorable occasion. To see a full length video of the production, please go to:

Excerpt from the Program notes to the Cantata to Celebrate the Jubilee of Mercy:

November 15, 2016

Dear friends,

What a whirlwind this year has been! Last November on this date I was in the Vatican attending an Education Congress together with over 1000 other school leaders. At the conclusion of the congress, His Holiness, Pope Francis, reminded us that Catholic schools are to be Christ-centered communities where students can encounter transcendence and genuine relationships. With that in mind, he shared his hope that our students would get beyond our walls and mingle with people as “it is from the peripheries that reality may be understood”. He ended his talk by imploring those of us working in schools to make the jubilee year really count in our school communities.

And so we did.

Tonight culminates a year of students, K-8, going outside the walls of comfort and interacting with others in a genuine exchange: We stepped outside the boundaries of our Archdiocese, outside of our neighborhood. We joined with people of different generations, different faiths, and different cultures in a meaningful way. We learned diverse music, created holy doors and spent time in this architectural masterpiece. We interacted with the poor and the homeless. And with each new challenge, the students who began the journey as followers, have gradually became the teachers and the leaders.

It is with that foundation of enriched experiences that they, with youthfulness, joy and enthusiasm proclaim the gift of mercy.

God’s mercy can make even the driest land become a garden, can restore life to dry bones (cf. Ez 37:1-14). … Let us be renewed by God’s mercy, let us be loved by Jesus, let us enable the power of his love to transform our lives too; and let us become agents of this mercy, channels through which God can water the earth, protect all creation and make justice and peace flourish.

— Easter Urbi et Orbi message on March 31, 2013

The present is wonderful, and the future looks bright.

Estote Fidelis,

Dr. Anne Penny, Principal

Mission Vision and Values

At the annual SCCS Board of Directors retreat recently held in November, the school Mission, Vision and Values statements were reviewed and revised.

We are excited to share the updated versions: