2018 Cedar Fall Talent Show

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Cedar’s got talent! Every year our ESL and Junior Middle School students lead by Student Development at Cedar Building, put together a show that celebrates talent, diversity and the spirit of the Canadian traditions for Christmas!!!

Since the beginning of November, all the performers put their time and hard work to practice and rehearse. We are all so proud of our students, we had a variety of talents: singers, rappers, dancers, pianists and very talented MCs that made us laugh. We also had 2 special visitors that day. Cicero, the school mascot and Santa Claus came to hand chocolates and wish everybody a wonderful holiday.

Staff and students, one more time, enjoyed the show!

Cedar’s got talent! Every year our ESL and Junior Middle School students lead by Student Development at Cedar Building,…

Posted by Columbia International College on Thursday, December 6, 2018

First-Ever CIC Character Awards

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CIC is devoted to building character in its students by teaching them key values that create responsible global citizens.

On November 28, Columbia International College (CIC), held its first ever ‘Character Awards,’  an award ceremony particularly dedicated to recognizing students who excel not only excel in their academics but also their attitude in and out of the classroom.

In the words of our Vice Principal:

Having  our first ever Character Award’s ceremony to celebrate our student’s commitment to our character attributes was of the utmost importance to Bill Ironside (Principal) and I. We believe it aligns with our Total Care Education approach and that of the Ontario Educational Program. Celebrating all student successes including character attributes as well as academic excellence honours the whole student. What makes CIC the best place in the world to learn and work is our students, staff and our families. We all believe in the importance of  instilling good values in our students, preparing them for their future and celebrating  important character virtues like honesty, perseverance, inclusiveness, optimism, respect, caring integrity and responsibility to name a few. I am beyond very proud to serve this community as your Vice Principal. I genuinely admire our students and their families daily. They have sacrificed a tremendous amount to study abroad and pursue their dreams. They are resilient, strong, kind and a purposeful in their direction. Character is the key to success, and I am confident our students are well on their way to successful futures supported by our outstanding CIC team. At Columbia, we care.

The Characters traits, listed below, are defined by our students and show their commitment to the principles of character.


We demonstrate concern for self and others.
We show kindness towards each other.

These students were described as having great leadership in helping others; engaging in thoughtful discussions with others and being open-minded; helping others and always being kind- never frustrated; being appreciative of anyone that helps them as well; finding ways to bring happiness to others.



Honesty & Integrity:

We are truthful and sincere with ourselves and others.
We admit our mistakes.
Integrity as defined by CIC staff and students
We always try to do what is right even when no one else is around.

We are trustworthy and what we say matches what we do.

These candidates were recognized for actively taking responsibility for their actions and advocating on behalf of others.




We work to build a community where everyone feels included and where differences and diversity are honoured.

These students were described as students who encourage classmates to greater involvement and understanding; finding ways to connect and help others; actively works to make CIC a welcoming community to all; makes all members of their team feel valued and successful




We think, speak and act positively. 
We see challenges as opportunities.
We have hope for the future.

These students were described as being inclusive and optimistic and their attitude emanates throughout the class; having a great attitude and always encouraging others; exuding positive energy; bringing optimism and enthusiasm to the class.




We stick to our goals in spite of difficulties.
We are committed to finishing what we start to the best of our ability.
We are determined to work hard.

These students were described as never giving up; carrying on with determination, humour and optimism despite difficulties; showing dedication to improvement; working hard and being unafraid to ask questions for themselves or others


    JIA WU


We value ourselves, others and our environment.
We treat people the way we want to be treated with courtesy and politeness.

These students were described as filled with passion and respect and pushing for excellence; being respectful of staff and students and helping you before you even know you need help; being polite, courteous and kind to all.




We can be trusted and follow through on all our commitments.

We are accountable for all we say and do.

These students were described as students who are dedicated and seek out constructive feedback to maximize their learning potential; taking on leadership roles and giving all members of their team a sense of purpose; being model students by balancing school and extra-curricular roles; setting a great example


Self Confidence and Self-Advocacy

We believe in ourselves.
We are committed to meeting our goals and seeking help from others when necessary.

These recipients were described as setting high goals, seeking help and acting on advice given; striving for excellence



Fall 2018 Award Ceremony

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During Columbia’s Fall Semester Award Ceremony, held on Nov 27th, accomplishments of our students in extracurricular activities were celebrated in a grand way. This is a bi-annual tradition hosted by the Student Development Office to “give credit where credit is due.”

These recipients were honoured since they took upon themselves and achieved tremendous success in respective areas of school life: clubs, sports, residence, community service… they also showed great character and leadership skills.

Columbia thanks all students who have brought joy and vibrancy to the school over the semester. Keep up the good work!

Here are photos from the award ceremony:

Posted by Columbia International College on Wednesday, November 28, 2018

2nd Annual “Arts in Unison” Showcase

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On Friday, November 16th, Columbia presented its second annual “Arts in Unison” showcase, composed of dramas, music performances and digital shorts.

This acclaimed project is a collaboration amongst students from Grade 11 and 12 drama and vocal classes, as well as the school band. All props and backdrops were designed by volunteers from the visual arts class.

The showcase featured:

  • Solo Performances from Mr. Lawlis’ Music Class
  • Adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet by Grade 11 Drama Class
  • “The Scientist” & “California Dreamin’” by Grade 11 Vocal Class
  • “Night Train” by School Band
  • “Threshold”, a silent film by The Six Productions
  • “Tracking Mr. Hand”, a silent film by The Detective Company
  • Adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol by Grade 12 Drama Class

Columbia has long been committed to character building and has also woven positive values into interest development. Arts in Unison not only showcases our students’ talents, but also helps boost their confidence and expand their career opportunities.

We’d thank all those involved in the production process.


The performances will be available on our YouTube channel soon. In the meantime, check out photos from the festivities below!

Posted by Columbia International College on Tuesday, November 20, 2018


JMS Participation in the Rotary Club of Ancaster Spelling Bee Contest

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Congratulations to our Junior-Middle School students who participated in the annual Rotary Club of Ancaster Spelling Bee on November 17th. This event took place at Mohawk College, with our JMS students competing against various public and private schools from Hamilton.

Danielle Beepot Pryce represented CIC in the grade 4-6 division. Damir Khaipov, Meng Xiaoyu, Lebron Beepot Pryce, Woleolu Peters and Adam Abdel Bassit represented CIC in the grade 7-8 division.

Our JMS students were cheered on at the event by their English teacher Ms. Aldea, the Head of JMS Ms. Garell-Teti, and their classmates and houseparents.

Junior Middle School (JMS) Students Participate in Telus’ #AntiBullying Event in Toronto

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On November 12th the JMS class travelled to Toronto to the WE Schools Global Learning Centre to participate in a program on the power of words to end Cyberbullying.

Part of a week-long Anti-bullying event, the students participated in programming with other schools from Toronto and the surrounding area.

They listened to a special performance by Vancouver-based rapper SonReal, participated in a dance-off, and were interviewed on their thoughts to end bullying by members of the WE School team as well as the founder of WE, Craig Kielburger.

Watch a video of the event, please check here!

The 2nd Annual CIC Model United Nations Conference

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This past weekend (November 2-4), we hosted the second annual Columbia International College Model United Nations Conference. We were very honoured to have The United Nations Association in Canada (UNAC) co-organize this conference for the Columbia International College students and for our partner school Columbia International School from Taiwan. Eight students from our partner school in Taiwan came to participate in this event. This conference was an great opportunity for the Model United Nations Team to experience hands on learning and to further develop their situational skills.

The conference was very successful, the UNAC members had only positive words to say about Columbia International College and our students. This conference could have not been so successful if it wasn’t for the hard work of the many departments of the school. I would like to thank Raymond and his team, Maintenance Department, Housekeeping staff, I.T. Department, Campus Security, Procurement, and Chartwells for making it a successful conference.

During the conference the participants were divided into two small committees. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) discussed the The Rohingya Crisis and the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs discussed the legal regime of outer space and global space governance.

All the participants displayed great passion while trying to resolve these two important global issues. Among the students there were a number of students from each committee that stood out and were awarded for their contribution to resolution of the topics.

United Nations Security Council
Best Delegate – Yi-Shu Tseng (Vicky)
Most Outstanding Delegate – Mariano Garcia Duenas Carrion
Honorable Mention – Anton Kudriashov

United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs
Best Delegate – Dameli Mambetalinova (Emily)
Most Outstanding Delegate – Chi-Chun Lin (from Columbia International School from Tiawan student)
Honourable Mention – Nazarii Shershun
Honourable Mention – Ilya Zaets

Additionally to these awards the all the participants had to write a short position paper about their country’s views on the topics. The top papers got awarded.

Best Position Paper – Si Yan Meng (Sophia)
Most Outstanding Position Paper – Nguyen Gia Hien Tu (Hein)
Honourable Mention – Carmen Li

Another highlight of the conference was the Saturday Night Social/Networking Event where we had 21 Model United Nations Alumni come back to the school to share their experience and wisdom with the current team. Alumni came from all over Southern Ontario and one even flew in from Amsterdam for this event.

This conference was a very valuable experience for the Model United Nations Team in their preparation for the Change the World Model U.N. Conference that is being held in March at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.

Furthermore, this is a excited step on making this conference a global conference. We are hoping the continued growth of this conference will help our students understand the global issues of the world and develop many skills and attributes for them to be successful in life.

This was another exciting step in the developing a strong relationship between Columbia International College and The United Nations Association of Canada.


On November 2nd through November 4, we hosted the second annual Columbia International College Model United Nations…

Posted by Columbia International College on Tuesday, November 6, 2018


Fashion Show – A Celebration of Cultural Diversity

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Welcome to the Spirit Week at Columbia International College, the most diverse private school in Canada! It’s one of the many events celebrating multiculturalism and diversity at Columbia.

At the annual Fashion Show held on Sep 28, Students and staff of all different races walked down the runway and showed off colorful outfits representing their countries of origin and unique identity.

The Cedar Building Student Garden Blossoms

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This year students at Cedar building, with the lead of Ms. Keylin (Student Development ESL coordinator) and the help of teachers and staff, planted, maintained and harvested vegetables and herbs that were not only used for various class activities and lunch time activities but also to support our community.

Ms. Keylin contacted Wellwood Home, a neighboring charity organization, and offered to donate the produce collected from the garden beds.

Students not only learned in class about Wellwood Home and their various programs to support Cancer patients and their families but also were given a fun and interactive tour by Tsehay Said (Manager of Volunteers), who expressed their gratitude to all the students and staff from Cedar Building.

We are all so proud of the work of all the classes and the staff members involved in the process. From preparing the garden bed in the spring to harvesting, everyone played an important role and they should be proud of themselves as well.


2018 JMS End of Year Award Ceremony

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Today (June 21), the annual Junior Middle School (JMS) ‘End of Year Award Ceremony’ was held @ The Grill located in the Ainsliewood Building of Columbia International College.

The ceremony, which began promptly at 10:00am, kicked off in style with the beautiful melodies of Mr. Lawlis’ soon-to-be graduating Vocal Music Class’ rendition of the Canadian Anthem, ‘O Canada.’

Shortly after, Mrs. Denice Garell-Teti, Head of CIC’s Junior Middle School program took the stage to deliver the opening remarks.

With the ceremony in full swing, the Principal of Columbia International College, Mr. Bill Ironside, gave the Keynote address to a very pleased, very entertained audience.

During his address, Mr. Ironside shared with the audience his dreams whilst in middle school. Then referred to as Billy, he dreamt of becoming a tennis player, just like Serena Williams.

Facing the JMS students, he asked ‘What are YOUR plans?’ As, the future, he said, “was in their hands.” Mr. Ironside then proceeded to surveying the JMS students, asking which of them would become a doctor, an engineer, or get into the arts. For every question, at least one JMS student stood proudly, as the crowd showed them love by clapping.

Mr. Ironside offered some words of advice to the graduating JMS class. Here are the five little habits / choices he shared:

  1. Heart – Have a big heart
  2. Effort – Always make the big effort. “Just do it,” like the Nike Brand. Take it a bit further and “Just do it well.”
  3. Attitude – Maintain a positive attitude. “I can is better than IQ.
  4. Relationships – Establish strong relationships.
  5. Time Time is precious, live in the moment. Enjoy the moment that you’re in.

Mr. Ironside ended his address thanking the parents in attendance (and those who couldn’t make it), as well as the teachers who have and continue to guide and educate the students. To the teachers, he said: “Thank you so much for not just standing in front of the class and lecturing, because you’re knowledgable.” he said. Adding, “Thank you for believing in the students and doing a great job with student-centered teaching.”

Mr. Ironside’s address was followed by an address by an alumni of the JMS Program. This year, the JMS alumni selected for the address was Miss. Elizaveta G.  Originally from Russia, Miss Elizaveta began her CIC journey in 2013. Two years after arrival, she concluded her run as a JMS student, moving on to high school in CIC.

It is now 2018 and Miss Elizaveta is on her way to university, having maintained an average of over 95, garnering over 400 community service hours, admission offers from some of Canada’s Top Universities (Rotman Commerce, McMaster University, etc.) and being awarded $77,000 in University Entrance Scholarships.

During her address, Miss Elizaveta used her own experiences as a CIC student to encourage her former peers! “I was not a stranger to the school,” she said. To the graduating Grade 8 students, she gave amazing advice having had to transition from JMS to High School. “I want you to dream and I want you to dare.” She continued: “I want you to try new things everywhere. Whether it is to sit with new people at lunch or go skydiving. I want you to make mistakes and not be frightened by them because I know you will stand up and keep going, just like everyone else. Beautifully ending her address, she told the students to live their lives to the fullest and be the “card dealer” in their lives.

At this junction of the ceremony, several awards were given to the students for their endless months of hardwork through the semester.  Some students walked away from the ceremony having received over five (5) awards, whether it be academic or residence awards.

Anchored by the Vocal Music Class, The JMS Band, led by Mr. Lawlis, showcased their ukulele skills, playing several notes as the Vocal Music Class sang the classic ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow.’ The performance, thereafter, was followed by a little goodbye song by a JMS student to his fellow students.

Though there were many memorable moments during the ceremony, a video of the Bridging program (Grade 5 – 6), put together by Ms. Jennifer Oraham was definitely the most memorable. Needless to say, here is a video of the JMS Bridging Program that will make your day:

With the ceremony coming to an end, Miss Assol B. (one of the graduating Grade 8 students) took the mic for the Vote of Thanks. While on stage, an emotional Miss Assol thanked everyone who so much as said hello to her while she was a JMS student here at CIC.

She thanked the residence staff for looking after her. She also thanked her “astonishing” teachers for helping her out whenever she needed help, thus made her succeed through her journey as a JMS student. Notable, Miss Britiviva spoke about the small classes here at CIC, referring to them “convenient” as being in small class helped her and her fellow peers build a much closer relationship with their teachers. 

Mrs. Denice Garrell-Teti, the Head of the JMS program also got a shoutout during the vote of thanks. Looking towards Mrs. Garrell-Teti, Miss Assol said: “She is a great leader and an even better listener. She has always listened to any problem I had and tried her best to solve them.”

After thanking her parents (and wishing her Dad a Happy Birthday), she thanked her “lovely” friends and fellow JMS students for always making her days better and changing her as a person. “Overall my experience at CIC was a rewarding journey that I would never forget.” Here, I learned to be more independent, respectful, responsible, and strong.” She continued: “I also learned that it is important to make my voice heard and share all of my opinions, even those I thought I should never [share].”  A very bold and intelligent Miss Assol concluded her speech by thanking CIC for opening a “new path to a bright future”  and providing her with exactly what she needed to step into the next season of her life. “Goodluck and congratulations,” she said, as she walked off the stage.

Ending the ceremony on a high note, Mr. Lawlis’ Vocal Music Class belted out their rendition of Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten.”

Rewatch the entire award ceremony below!