Just a Couple Penguins Fiddlin’ on the Roof!

This past Saturday saw the grand finale of Fiddler on the Roof, a SMUS production at the MacPherson Theatre that took several months, countless rehearsals and a ridiculous amount of behind-the-scenes work to pull off. The seats were packed, and the crowd were treated to 4 amazing shows filled with singing, dancing, acting and amazing special effects. From Bolton House, we had two representatives take up important roles in the show: Peter showcased his guitar/ mandolin skills in the pit orchestra, and Savo got into character as a solider who shows no mercy in raiding a happy wedding between two lovebirds living in the innocent village of Anatevka. Savo and Peter were both amazing, and even though they were extremely tired from striking the set and moving props late into Saturday night, they agreed to sit down on Sunday afternoon for an exclusive interview reflecting on their musical experience.

On a scale of 1-10, how tired are you after last night’s final show?

Peter: 10.

Savo: 9 – We went straight from the end of Closing Night to cleaning up the set and bringing everything back to the school, so we didn’t get back to the boarding house until almost 1 o’clock in the morning..!

What made you want to get involved with Fiddler on the Roof?

Savo: Partly, it was the fact that my friend Hugo told me to join and I said yes. At the same time, Mr. Collett needed a few rugby players who could play the Russian soldier parts and also look intimidating. It was a relatively small role, but it was a huge commitment.

Peter: I was in the pit orchestra for last year’s show, SMUS Revue, and I enjoyed that experience so I decided to get involved again this year. This year’s show was also interesting in that I had the chance to play both the guitar and the mandolin.

What was your main highlight from the show?

Peter: For the last show on Saturday night, my guitar decided to stop working so I had to play the mandolin for every single piece. It was super stressful, but it also allowed me to get creative and even do a little bit of improvisation which was pretty exciting.

Savo: Definitely getting to (fake) beat the wedding guest to the ground and (fake) kicking him while he was down.

If anyone is on the fence about getting involved with the musical next year, what advice would you give them?

Savo: I had a pretty different idea of what the musical was like before I actually got involved. After having tried it, it’s safe to say that it is actually pretty fun. It was tiring at times, but I would definitely give it a go.

Peter: Like Savo said, it is definitely a lot of work, but the shows sound really amazing at the end. It is hours of work coming together, and you definitely feel a huge sense of pride in your collective achievement. Also, they give you lots of pizza.

Lastly, what was your favourite scene from the show?

Peter: The Bar Scene with Tevye and Lazar – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EMlwLk_h-M

Savo: If I Was a Rich Man – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBHZFYpQ6nc

Hope you enjoyed that conversation with our Bolton stars. You can also find a link to the SMUS Photo Gallery, which contains lots of great shots from the dress rehearsal. Here are a few sneak peeks!

Although the musical took centre stage this past week, there were also lots of other activities going on around campus.

Inaki joined Mr. Bell for an intense (but fun!) spin class on Saturday morning…

… while a big group of Bolton students took part in the first few rugby exhibition games of the season.

On Friday, we had a group of 40 students hop on a ferry to watch the Vancouver 7s tournament at BC Place Stadium…

… and we were also treated to an amazing Chapel performance by a day student, Juliet.

We now look ahead to the homestretch of school before we finally get to enjoy Spring Break! We will leave you with two pieces of art created by our very own Bolton Penguins, Nokia and Lucas, that were displayed at the MacPherson Theatre during musical week.

Musical Moments and Peak Performances

This year’s school musical, Fiddler On the Roof, starts this weekend at McPherson Theatre. It is a highly anticipated performance, and the school was treated to a sneak peek at this week’s chapel.

Max was with the robotics team at another competition and they performed well enough to win.

The Senior Boys Basketball team hosted Lambrick Park in a game for City Championships. What a performance indeed as they cruised to a win in front of a very boisterous home crowd. Below, Leupold speeds past his defender on the way to a layup.

The grade 9 boys basketball team were also competing in the Island Championships and after three tight games the Blue Jags came out victorious and will be heading to the Provincial Championships next week. Declan was named Player of the Game for the first game!

Continuing with the theme of achievements, Peter and his team were named top team in the city at this weekend’s Math Challengers competition. Peter was also award an individual top 3 finish in the city!

Saturday Activities are part of the weekend routine for our junior students and this weekend had several fun options such as a spin class, a hike up nearby Mt. Tolmie, a beach walk, and a fun swim at the local pool.

Ernest was awarded the Bolton Pin for his consistent leadership and growth in the house! Well done Ernest!

🌴 Summer Vibes! (In February…) 🌴

This week, the Bolton Penguins turned back the clock to the warmer months when it was still socially (and physically!) acceptable to wear Hawaiian shirts and khaki shorts. We were treated to an impressive buffet dinner by the Graves Hall staff, and we were entertained by awesome trivia that Josh and Emily had prepared for us.

On Saturday, Mr. Bell and a huge Bolton-Timmis crew headed to the local rink to don their skates and get a few laps in on the ice. Our resident skating expert, Kenneth, continued to impress us with his silky-smooth skills and Theo took time to give Tommy a (literal) helping hand.

Our food expert Ian C recently started up a SMUS Food Club. As you can see from the photos, the members are flocking over to see what the hype is about! This past week, everyone (including a few houseparents as well!) was treated to a delicious stew in the common room.

This week was a special one for room cleans, with the return of the famous Timmis Trophy checks! There were some valiant efforts on each of the days, but in the end, the winners were: Mujtaba/ Ryan, Lucas/ Rentaro and Marc/ Harun!

On Sunday, we had the return of a classic house games lineup: floor hockey and Charades/ Pictionary! The Penguins battled hard and gained some valuable points for the House Cup race.

Lucas’ whiteboard art has to be among the finest in all of boarding…

Students gathered in the common room to watch the Chiefs sneak out a 3-point win over the Eagles in Sunday’s Superbowl match-up. Sources say that Rihanna’s half-time show was a solid 11 out of 10.

Here is a link to the amazing Large Ensembles Concert on February 8th that featured several Bolton Penguins…

… and a link to an article highlighting Max’s robotic team’s accomplishments at the recent competition at St. Margaret’s School!


The Celebrations Continue

Lunar New Year celebrations continued throughout the week. Students practiced their calligraphy skills while spreading traditional messages around the house. Dumplings were on offer in the school quad and by all accounts they exceeded expectations! Finally, Josh and Leupold visited the Junior School campus to share their knowledge and experiences – a link to an article is included below.


Local legend, Farmer Jim, operates an organic farm on the Saanich Peninsula, and it’s a hotspot for service work during Saturday Activities. This weekend, five intrepid workers braved a massive pile of manure and helped spread the nutrient-rich material around the farm to keep the soil healthy. Every trip to Farmer Jim’s is a mix of hard work and education, and the day always wraps up with a glass or two of Jim’s famous homemade apple juice.

There was a robotics competition held at St. Margaret’s School this weekend with 18 schools in attendance. Max participated for a SMUS team who finished an impressive third overall!

The Royal British Columbia Museum hosts an annual wildlife photography exhibit which is always a hit for staff and students alike. This year lived up to the hype and by all reports, everyone was thoroughly impressed by the products on display.

Baking is always a popular Saturday Activity knowing that the “fruits of labour” can be enjoyed at the end. Cookies were crafted this weekend and fully approved by the bakers.

Savo organized a board game night in the common room and after a slow start, the common room was a beehive of activity. The most popular games were Monopoly and Chess, with Chess seeing quite a resurgence within the house recently. Frequently, when homework is all wrapped up during prep, students have been studying chess moves to help prepare for matches that evening.

Happy Lunar New Year!

Happy Lunar New Year to all of you around the world! In Bolton House, today marks the first day of the new year celebrations. Throughout the last week and heading into this week, there will be many events organized by students at our school and we can’t wait to participate in some more festive food, hear musical performances, and have conversations with each other about our different cultures and families back home.

Yesterday, some Bolton students joined Mr. Young for Dim Sum at Chinatown’s Golden City Restaurant. It looked like a great time was had by all!

Marcus played a beautiful song on his Erhu in Chapel last week! Check out the video of his performance below.

Marcus Playing his Erhu in Chapel

Of course, nothing is more important than spending time with each other on special days of the year. A big group of Bolton students went down to the arcade in Downtown Victoria and it looked like they had a blast playing all of the vintage games!

Mr. Anderson (Director of the Senior School) stopped into Bolton this week while the Bolton House Parents had a boarding meeting. It was awesome to have him step into the house parent role for a few hours (as a past house parent himself he was up to the job!). He gave some support during prep and even handed out a few room clean awards called the “Anderson Accolades” for the cleanest room. Guillermo and Ian were thrilled to be awarded the grand prize.

Lucas and Kenneth have both been studying hard and are in the process of getting their “L” Drivers License here in British Columbia. Pretty awesome to now have them as drivers on the road once the paperwork becomes official! Congrats to both of them!

Speaking of outside-of-school commitments, Seb and Harun should be commended for playing soccer in the community each weekend for Bays United. They lost their game this morning 2-1, but were still smiles when coming back to Bolton House!

Stay tuned for some more Lunar New Years photos in the blog next week! Until then, we hope you have a wonderful week.

Hello 2023!

Bolton house was filled with energy as the Penguins transitioned back into their school routines after a long winter break. The first week back was a busy one filled with assessments, sports, house games, chapel and more!

The Sr. Boys Basketball team played in the Vic Police Tournament hosted here at SMUS.

Oscar representing SMUS at the tournament.

On Saturday, all of the Penguins went down to Cadboro Bay for a cold plunge in the Pacific. It was a perfect sunny day for a swim! After our dip, we all enjoyed some pizza and hot chocolate to warm up. Congratulations to Guillermo who braved the cold the longest!

Sunday marked our first house games of the year. Students participated in badminton and a variety of teamwork challenges, showing great house spirit and achieving awesome results for Bolton. Way to go Penguins!

We finished off the evening with the first chapel of the year. Peter performed a beautiful song in honor of Jeff Beck, and Mr. Fryer played Sweet Caroline on the piano.

It was an overall great first week back!

And That’s a Wrap on 2022 (Almost)

Well…we are almost at the end of 2022 and this is our final blog post of the year! There are only 4 more school days left and some of the Bolton Penguins have already departed for their holidays.

2022 has been a year to remember. Considering COVID restrictions on gatherings were still in place in BC at the beginning of the year, we have come a long way. September started with the arrival of new students from all around the World to Bolton House to join our already awesome house – and it has been such a great few months welcoming everybody to this corner of Canada.

This week, we had the chance to sit down and share a meal together for one last time before the holidays. The turkey was fantastic, but the company was even better.

After dinner, we all headed to the Sun Centre Commons to participate in a Secret Santa gift exchange with all of the Timmis students. It was a great time to hang out, have hot chocolate and laugh at a few of the gifts that were received. Check out the video below of Marcus who thought someone bought him an iPad, but then it was just…well…you’ll have to watch the video!

Marcus’ Christmas Surprise!

For some of our German/Swiss students, the Sinterklaas tradition continued. Theo, Marc, and Max all woke up to find a few goodies and new pair of socks in their shoes!

Of course, the ongoing Bolton tradition of ‘Sweeping the Sheds’ took the form of another heated competition on room cleans this week. Here are some photos of the winners:

Last week was also the first week of Term 3, so students have returned to some of their academics from the beginning of the year. At our weekly house meetings, we spoke about the importance of starting out the term with strength and always asking teachers for help if they are stuck. Here are a few shots from around campus during the school day:

Of course, all of our day-to-day activities and life here at SMUS would not be possible without the support of so many people in so many different areas. To end the week, Bolton and Timmis students jointly signed cards for all the various people at the school that played a part in making their first few months of the school year a success.

Saying thank you during this time of year is important, so thank YOU for taking the time to follow the Bolton Blog every week over the last few months. We hope you and your families have a wonderful winter break and enjoy celebrating in whatever way is meaningful to you. Our blog will be back in action after the first week back to school in January – so stay tuned for more Bolton action!

Until then, Happy Holidays from all your Bolton House Parents, and wishing you all the best for 2023!

Do Not Fear, December Is Here! ❄️

Earlier this week, several students in Bolton and Timmis put the finishing touches on the 6 Noble Promises! These are guidelines that we all strive to live by, in order to make our building as welcoming and inclusive as possible.

In recognition for his contributions to the Food Committee and for his willingness to always go the extra step to be a friendly, smiling face around the house, Ian C received a well-deserved Bolton Pin at the last house meeting!

Josh won a raffle prize during Assembly that was organized by the Athletics Council…

… while Nokia, Declan and Marcus were both part of this week’s SMUS Got Talent! Nokia did a great job hosting the event, while Marcus and Declan took part in the soccer challenge. It couldn’t have been easy taking those shots with full #1 uniform, but they both represented Bolton proudly!

Oscar and the Senior Boys Basketball team kicked off their season with a preseason friendly match against Cowichan High. In the end, SMUS won comfortably while giving everyone plenty of game time! Oscar, as you would expect, was a superstar on the court.

With the World Cup in full swing, a few of the Bolton students decided to represent their own favourite countries in a FIFA 23 World Cup tournament in the common room.

This past week also saw the annual Band Concert take place in the single gym! Hayes, on the saxophone, and Peter, on the electric guitar, represented Bolton and showcased their musical talents!

Sunday was an exciting day with the arrival of our newest Bolton Penguin, Sasha! He comes to us from Vladivostok, Russia and will be in Grade 10. As you can see in the pictures, there was a sizeable welcoming committee prepared to help him feel part of our community!

This year’s rendition of the Bolton Tree showcases paper penguins that represent each of the members of our house, drawn by their roommates! You can definitely tell that the holidays are nearing..!

We now look forward to two weeks of Term 3 before we break for the winter! Stay tuned for updates…

World Cup Fever Sets In

There is nothing quite like a science lab to bolster learning. And with ex-Bolton HP Mr. Shaw leading the way, it is sure to be a good time!

Josh and Nokia received their Arts Colours pins for commendable work and contribution in the Arts.