Annual Report 2013/14

During the school year of 2013 – 2014, the Swedish School of Vancouver had 71 students in the fall and 60 students in the spring. 4 teachers were available on Thursdays and 3 on Saturdays, providing our weekly two-hour lessons about the Swedish language, traditions and culture. Our teachers did a great job in planning classes, activities and goals; in generating academic achievement in an encouraging a motivating setting. Throughout the school year, we had 34 lessons on Thursdays and 34 on Saturdays. The students were divided into 7 classes, from pre-school (age 3) level and up. This year we had no students attending Sofia Distansundervisning. We are very proud to offer classes for such a wide range of ages, and that we had students that stayed with us through grade 8 this year.

The school continued to offer affordable education due to an annual grant (approx. CDN$15,500) paid out from the Swedish Department of Education (Skolverket) for our 26 students aged 6 years and older and at least one parent who is a Swedish citizen. As a non-profit organization run on a volunteer basis by our members, and with member families of varied economic status, this contribution is essential to us. We are a relatively small Swedish community in the Greater Vancouver area, and access to peers, role models and cultural experiences are important supporting factors in the transfer of our Swedish heritage to our children.

The large increase in students in the fall (from 51 the previous year) was largely due to opening a local chapter in Squamish. This was done at the request of our members residing there, which previously had been spending from 1.5h in the car after a full school day, to attend our classes in Burnaby. This is a major undertaking with children who are already tired from a long day or week in school, and we are fully supportive of making access to Swedish language and peers as easy as possible. However, the local chapter turned out to be too much work for two Squamish parents, who took on the work of administrating, planning and teaching. They also felt that it was difficult teaching with their own kids in the class, and that the kids who already had friends from their classes in Burnaby missed those friends too much. All-in-all, between securing grants, teachers and facilities as well as the administration and planning required and limited access to library books and DVDs, not to mention the small number of kids that speak Swedish at home, we are hesitant to recommend satellite groups in this fashion, except possibly Cultural School classes (see below).

This year we decided to offer a new set of classes for kids who do not have access to Swedish language at home. Our regular classes follow a curriculum developed by Skolverket, “Kompletterande Svenska”, which is developed for students who speak Swedish on a regular and frequent basis in the household. It is only classes that follow this curriculum that are eligible for the Skolverket grant mentioned above. This curriculum stipulates that teachers should only use Swedish language in the classroom. Students who do not feel confident in their Swedish comprehension and even expressive ability may feel a sense of failure in this Swedish immersion model, and subsequently distance themselves from the language, possibly even their Swedish heritage. Therefore we hired a teacher with experience teaching ESL students for classes that we call “Cultural School”, which we consider an introduction to Swedish language, children’s literature, traditions and customs. These were taught on four Sundays in April and May, 3-5pm. Nine students attended these classes, typically 3-5 students per class. Many students returned and took a series of classes. Even some of our regular students attended with Canadian friends to introduce them to Swedish culture. The classes received a warm welcome and positive feedback, and we aim to continue these classes on a regular basis, perhaps twice per semester.

The Swedish School organized and also participated in activities that were outside the regular classroom lessons. In November, students and families participated in the school’s own Christmas party. In December, many of the students performed at the Cultural Society’s Lucia celebration. At the Christmas Fair, which was organized by the Cultural Society, we had two fundraising tables: a table with raffle tickets for two great Christmas baskets, and a flea market with children’s toys and clothing. In January we had Pub Night at the Centre, which was organized with generous help from the Cultural Society. A big thank you to them, since the pub night raised $2,500 after all expenses were paid. In the fall we applied for an NHL night, granted by the Sedin Corner, and they generously shared their box on a game night in January with eleven of our students accompanied by three parents. In April, the students sang at the Valborgsmässofirande at Ambleside Beach in West Vancouver. In June, many students and their families participated in the Midsummer celebration at the Centre, and the school had a fish pond and some games to entertain and raise money for the Centre.

May 30 – June 1 the school’s annual camp took place at Evan’s Lake, which was very much appreciated by both children and their parents. A total of 88 children, parents and teachers attended. We had a fun camp thanks to wonderful weather, activities such as kayaking, paddle boarding, swimming, campfire, other social activities and of course the experiences of the beautiful nature surrounding the camp. The older-ish kids were also offered to participate in climbing off a cliff that has recently been developed for that purpose. This year the teachers had organized lessons with a Troll theme, including a live story session that the kids could actively take part in themselves. This year we got a CDN$1,000 grant from Riksföreningen Sverigekontakt towards the camp, and a write-up of the camp will be published in their September issue, a print magazine circulated to Swedes living abroad around the world.

The board had 8 meetings throughout the year to discuss and coordinate the school year and support the teachers in their school plan. Some of the issues that were discussed this year beyond the curriculum and administration were parent volunteering engagements, library organization and the possibility of parent-teacher meetings. We have also hosted one teacher development session, and we are evaluating how we can continue to offer teacher development on bilingualism methodology. We also offered one of our students, Saige Danyluck, a test which resulted in a recommendation to be accepted for studies with Sofia Distans in the coming year.

Information to the parents during the school year was delivered by a monthly newsletter via e-mail and by communication through the teachers. Occasionally, we sent out separate e-mails with special information. We continued to communicate with parents in English, to allow our non-Swedish parents to better support their children in their Swedish School activities.

We had two new teachers join us, Linda Stenström and Lina Nilsson, teaching our K-2 class on Saturdays and our 2-4 class on Thursdays, respectively. They have both been a great contribution to the students and the school. Linda has taken on a central role at the school as Head Teacher and with a position on the Board. Lina has unfortunately returned to Sweden and although her time with us was short, her fresh eyes on teaching and Swedish culture was valuable. Through the year we also had the wonderful assistance from Kate Rytter, one of our prior students concurrently attending Grade 10, who assisted on Thursdays.

We would further like to acknowledge and to say thank you to our wonderful teacher Ida Axelsson, who has left the school for other endeavors. Naturally our Squamish Campus teachers, Jeanette Lilja-Fietz and Jannicke Kitchen, are not teaching anymore and we thank them for all their energy and effort to make Swedish lessons available in Squamish.

We would like to use this opportunity to thank all our teachers, substitute teachers, volunteers, the Swedish Cultural Society, Sweden House Society and SWEA. Our gratitude further extends to the Scandinavian Centre for administration around rent and facility, as well as the Danish, Icelandic, Norwegian, and Finnish Houses for sharing their Rooms. It takes a village to raise a child, and we could not run this organization without the help and commitment from our supporters. You all made the school year of 2013-2014 into a successful one!

September, 2014

Mia Logie, chair, on behalf of the Board of the Swedish School of Vancouver

Kallelse till vårt årsmöte! Notice of AGM!

Dear parents and supporters of the Swedish School,

We hope you have had a fantastic summer, and want to welcome you back to a new school year!

Luckily the Swedish School is not affected by the teacher’s strike, and our School Year 2014/15 will start on Thursday September 11th and Saturday September 13th as planned.

For those of you who may not have received our email, this is a notice regarding our Annual General Meeting on September 8 2014, 7pm at the Scandinavian Centre (Swedish room).

Why do we have an AGM? The Swedish School is a non-profit organization, run by a Board of parents. The Board is responsible for everything concerning the school, from securing financing to hiring teachers. At this meeting we will among other things examine school finances, classes and the coming school year (see attached agenda). This is a great opportunity to discuss matters regarding the school that are important to you.

The (current) Board is composed of a President (Mia Logie), Treasurer/ Administrator (Anette Anastacio), Vice President (Karolina Lindberg), Secretary (Linda Stenström), Teacher Representative (Monica Severinsson) and Member-at-Large (Bradley Budden). Anette Anastacio is retiring from the Board after many years of extraordinary and diligent service, Monica Severinsson due to travel arrangements and Bradley Budden as his family are considering a move to Sweden. The school will be needing 2-3 new parents or supporters of the school to join the Board to commence the new school year, in particular someone who likes to write up protocols (Secretary).

Being on the Board is a rewarding experience. We try to keep the meetings fun and light and focused on what is best for the kids. It is an opportunity to give back to our community, and even learn about how to best support bilingual children. We aim to meet once a month, either at the Centre, in someones home or online. Meeting times and locations are agreed upon at the beginning of the school year, depending on everyones schedules.

Please email us if you would like an agenda. Financial and Annual reports will be available shortly before the meeting.

If anyone joining the meeting does not speak Swedish, we will do our best to hold the meeting in English.

Hur väljer man boende i Vancouver?

De flesta av våra familjer på skolan har bott länge i Vancouver och fött sina barn här, men ibland har vi nya familjer som kommer direkt från Sverige eller via utlandsjobb i andra länder. En vanlig fråga för utlandssvenskar som planerar en flytt till Vancouver är hur man väljer ett område att bo i och skola till barnen. Nedan har jag knåpat ihop lite tankar om min älsklingsstad, trots att jag besökt många av världens mest populära städer. Jag hoppas kan ge lite insyn och tips på information man kan använda för att söka vidare och hitta fram i informationsdjungeln.

Ett tips är att välja en skola och sedan område därefter, men det beror också så mycket på vart man kommer att jobba, vad familjen har för fritidsintressen och vilken typ av närmiljö man tycker bäst om. Hur gamla barnen är kan också påverka. Välj närhet antingen till jobbet eller fritidsaktiviteterna, om du inte kan få båda! Den sorts bostad man tänker sig spelar förstås in – Lägenhet eller radhus (townhouse) eller hus och finns det behov av tomt? ”Condo” är bostadsrätter, medans hyresrätter ofta kallas ”suite” – är tanken att hyra eller köpa?

Många som kommer till Vancouver kommer hit för att jobba med datorspel (gaming industry). De flesta av dessa företagen ligger i Burnaby med nära anslutning till HWY1. Endel kommer för att jobba på universitetet UBC, vilket ligger allra längst västerut i Vancouver West Side. Filmindustrin utspridd över hela ”stan”, med majoriteten av filmstudios i Burnaby. Det finns också en liten musikbransch.

Personligen rekommenderar jag North Vancouver/ West Vancouer/ North Shore, men där är jag lite biased :), Snabb tillgång på HWY1, och härligt friluftsliv. Själv gillar jag den nära tillgången på utförsåkning och snowshoeing på vintern; djupa skogar med fantastisk hiking och mountainbiking året om – för diehards iallafall – samt kayaking och båtar på sommaren. En dryg timme till Whistler, dit många åker på helgerna. Tekniskt sett en förort men jag känner mig mer centralt orienterad här än när jag bodde på West Side. Det är ca 15 min med buss till downtown från där jag bor. Mycket barnfamiljer i alla åldrar och ett familjeorienterat samhälle.

Vill man vara nära de fantastiska restaurangerna (yum!) så rekommenderar jag downtown eller East Vancouver (Commercial/Main) eller Kitsilano. Downtown är ovanligt trevligt för att vara en Nordamerikansk stad – promenadstråk tex vid Yaletown och West End. Fina ljusa lägenheter, men knepigt med parkering och kanske inte det mest praktiska med aktiva skolbarn. East Vancouver är ett ungt och hippt område, med mycket cafeer och restauranger. Definitivt det mest populära för singelliv och även en del småbarnsfamiljer. Kitsilano hamnar i samma kategori; snäppet efter i hip-het, men med fördelen att det ligger vid en härlig sandstrand med volleyboll och mycket aktivitet på kvällar och helger. I Kits finns det gott in fina townhouse och lägenheter. Lite längre söderut i Dunbar och Kerrisdale finns det mer hus med tomter. East Van är det övervägande små hus med källarvåningar. Tillgången på stora och eleganta villor är bäst i West Vancouver (North Shore), Shaugnhessy och Point Grey (West Side).

Om det är stränderna som lockar, med vackra solnedgångar men även toppen för de som vindsurfar och seglar, så är det West Side (Kits, Point Grey/ Dunbar, UBC) som har bästa läget – men det kan vara segt att ta sig igenom trafiken till HWY1 om man jobbar längre ut.

Slutligen rekommenderar vi att flytta hit under våren och sommaren, eftersom november- januari kan vara lite gråa och tunga, och har man inte upplevt en sommar här kan det vara svårt att föreställa sig hur underbart det är då! Ett tips för att gilla vintrarna är att bo nära berg och snö, för snön lyser upp och då finns det inget härligare än en kväll på skidor eller snöskor med utsikt ner över ljusyktorna som lyser upp dalen!

Nedan kommer lite länkar som kan vara användbara. Kontakta oss på vår offentliga facebook grupp om du har frågor, så finns det säkert någon på skolan eller någon av skolans supportrar som kan bredda informationen ytterliggare!

Man kan kolla information om skolorna på I vårt hurhåll är det min man som håller koll på vilka skolor som är bra så jag har inte den bästa kollen på utbudet, men våra barn går på en public IB skola.

Svenska Skolan erbjuds på torsdags em 4:15-6:15 eller lördag fm, och den ligger i norra Burnaby, strax öster om Vancouver. Vi har elever som kommer ända från Squamish, White Rock och Abbotsford, med upp till 45-60 minuters resväg dit! Hoppas denna länken fungerar:,+Burnaby,+BC+V5B+4P9/@49.2478791,-122.9680081,11z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x5486770c1006dcd5:0xb476ee1156ad8eb1?hl=en

Tunnelbanan (Skytrain) sträcker sig från Downtown söderut till Richmond, och österut till New West(minster)/ Surrey

Vårt lokala SWEA kapitel har också skrivit om boende och fritidsliv i Vancouver och

Summer Greetings!

I hope you are enjoying some sun, a few relaxing books and many good laughs with your children! We are spending our summer by a long stretch of white sand along Lake Huron in southwestern Ontario to catch up with our Canadian relatives, and finishing off with a short visit in Sweden. It is lovely, but I miss our friends and mountains and lovely summers in Vancouver! In spite of enjoying Canadian beaches, I am determined to post a few things on our blog to compensate for getting behind during this busy past year. With little kids dominating the household, time by the computer is almost like “free time” – an intellectual pursuit that helps to keep me sane. Thanks to this I noticed a request about information on how to choose an area to live in Vancouver, and I will be posting a response to this on the blog.

If you didn’t notice already this blog has a mix of blogs in both Swedish and English, even though our classes are taught in a Swedish-immersion fashion. This approach is a reflection of the backgrounds of the parents whose children compose our classes. Some parents only speak English, and we want to accommodate those parents who do so that when they are the one planning and organizing the kids’ activities, Swedish School remains an option. Therefor we try to make sure all vital information is in English, while leaving such information more directed towards the Swedish speaking parent in Swedish. I am hoping to post a more through explanation of this soon, but for now I will leave it at that. This has received some controversy in the SMUL community around the globe (, and we are happy to take comments on how you as a parent feel about this, if it matters to you!

SWEDISH SOCIAL! (previously pubnight)


The Swedish School of Vancouver is having our largest annual fundraiser on Friday January 24th at the Scandinavian Centre. This is a fun event with people from all different Swedish organizations in town, and a great opportunity to introduce your Canadian friends to our Swedish party tricks!

Pubquiz • Toonie Toss • 50:50 Draw • Silent Auction • Swedish Pop & Rock Music • Dancing !!!

Menu: Pulled Pork, Baked Potatoes, Salad, Bread. Coffee, Candy Cane Brownies & Whipped Cream.

Bar open for purchasing of beer, wine and drinks.

FOLLOW THE BUZZ ON FACEBOOK, and participate in our Swedish song competition! Post as many songs as you wish. The person who posted the song with the most likes by Sunday January 12th *at midnight* will get a $20 Urban Fare gift card in the mail (I will PM for the address). GOOD LUCK!!!

1. Pick your favourite song with an obvious Swedish connection (eg. in Swedish or produced by a Swede)

2. Find your song on the web (eg. youtube)

3. Paste the youtube link into a new post below

4. Encourage your friends to like the page…

Advance tickets $20 until January 21st so we can plan. Buy them at the Centre (bring exact change), or by sending your payment by cheque issued to The Swedish School #17-222 East 5th Street, North Vancovuer, BC V7L1L7 Canada, or email to mia.logie at Please include your address so we can send your tickets by mail.

Tickets will be available at the door, but if you want to be assured there is food for you, please buy a ticket in advance.

CHILDMINDING is available BY REQUEST. PLease let us know by January 21st to be guaranteed a spot. The kids will have Fredagsmys! upstairs with an adult supervisor, a movie and goodies.

If you have any items to donate for the fundraising events, please contact Lena Normen-Younger at 604-838-5362 eller lnormen at You can bring the items with you directly to the evening, but we need to be aware of your donation ahead of time to apply for lottery licenses and print silent auction sheets.

Please don’t drink and drive! Designate a driver, get a cab or use a service like A Safe Alternative Ride, that will drive you, your guests and vehicle home for just a little bit more than a one-way cab ride (book ahead!).

The doors open at 6:30 pm, hope to see you then!

Svenska Kulturella Skolan — Swedish Cultural School

Svenska Skolan i Vancouver planerar att lägga till en ny serie med lektioner till sitt ordinarie utbud. Inför varje terminsstart får vi samtal från föräldrar som inte har möjlighet att lära sina barn svenska, som ber oss att erbjuda deras barn någon form av tillgång till svenskt språk och svensk kultur. Det finns alltså en stor efterfrågan på detta. Nedan följer lite information om hur dessa nya klasser kommer att se ut, för dig vars barn eller barnbarn kanske kan vara intresserade! Vi beskriver också kort skolans ordinarie verksamhet för att ge en bättre bild av hur dessa klasserna skiljer sig.

Ordinarie undervisning i Kompletterande Svenska

Svenska Skolan undervisar svenska för barn i åldrarna 3-15 år, med fokus på att utveckla ett redan befintligt språk. Svenska Skolverket finansierar cirka en tredjedel av våra omkostnader; resten kommer från termins- och lägeravgifter samt ca $4,000 per år via fundraising. Skolverkets krav för att stödja vår verksamhet är att svenska ska vara ett levande språk i barnens hem innan de kommer till skolan (s.k. ”kompletterande svenska”). Våra lärare använder bara svenska i undervisningen, och klasserna erbjuder på så vis ett s.k. svenskt språkbad (Swedish immersion). Från 6 års ålder följer undervisningen den svenska kursplanen för kompletterande svenska, inklusive läs- och skrivträning, medans förskolan är ett lekbaserat språkbad som förbereder för grundskoleklasserna. Vår rekommendation till föräldrar är att barnen bör förstå men inte nödvändigtvis kunna prata svenska för att hänga med på lektionerna. På vår hemsida finns mer information om hur man kan stimulera och uppmuntra barn till flerspråkighet (mejla oss om du vill att vi skickar en PDF).

Svenska Kulturella Skolan

Den nya Kulturella Skolan som vi nu introducerar erbjuder ett bättre alternativ för de barn som inte känner sig bekväma i den ordinarie undervisningen. Barn som inte får tillräckligt med svenska i hemmet kan påverkas negativt av språkbadsklasser, om de tolkar deras bristande svenska som ett misslyckande. Detta kan leda till ett försämrat självförtroende eller en negativ syn på Sverige och svensk kultur. Vi är övertygade att det är väldigt viktigt för barn med en svensk bakgrund att ha en möljlighet att få inblick i svensk kultur och utveckla sin kulturella identitet, oavsett om de har möjlighet att lära sig det svenska språket. Alla barn som är nyfikna på svensk kultur är välkomna, även de utan direkt svensk anknytning.

Undervisningen kommer att ske på engelska, med inslag av svensk kultur, litteratur och språk. Den språkliga delen är lättsam, med mycket upprepning av enkla ord och fraser. Barnen får således en chans att bekanta sig med  svenska ord såväl som t.ex. Pippi Långstrump och fastlagsbullar. Lärare under våren kommer att vara Mona Neufeld, utbildad ESL lärare.

Lektionerna kommer att hållas i Svenska Rummet på SCC varannan söndag kl 15-17, under februari och mars 2014. Programmets kostnad kommer att bli ca $80 per barn, eller mindre om vi får många barn som deltar. Än så länge har vi inte satt någon begränsning på ålder, utan skulle gärna vilja se vilka åldrar som är intresserade innan vi avgör vilka klasser som behövs. Detta format kommer att provas under våren 2014, och fortsätta under kommande år om det får ett positivt genomslag och går runt rent ekonomiskt. Vissa volontärinsatser av föräldrarna kommer att behövas, såsom t.ex. att baka någon gång eller sopa undan.

Vänligen mejla svenskaskolanvancouver at för att anmäla ert intresse. Anmälan är i nuläget inte bindande, men vi kan heller inte garantera plats. Om du har frågor ring Mia Logie på tel 604-725-8431. Under januari månad 2014 kommer vi att ta upp bindande anmälan. Mejla oss nu om du vill få kommande information direkt i brevlådan!

Classes may be over but 2013 is not over yet!

It was a busy fall! In many ways I cannot even fathom why it turned out so busy, beyond having a family member starting kindergarten and another off to preschool. You would think that would free up some time, but it is also a major adjustment for the family. As a result we have not seen so many updates on the Swedish School blog. Do not fret: There have been a lot of things happening!

Apart from running our regular week-to-week activities we are planning a few other things. Following will be a series of postings that will address some of these things.

  • We attended the Nätverkskonferens in Washington this past October, and learned a lot about how other North American Swedish Schools run their activities. We met a bunch of new people who are just as excited and committed as us about raising bilingual kids. Much new energy and ideas that will grow into our activities in the year(s) to come.
  •  We got 14 tickets some of our children to attend a Canucks game, Thank You Sedin Corner! An excited account on how the evening went will follow 2014. This creates a platform on which to bring some added excitement into our classrooms, by reading and writing about hockey this winter.
  • This spring we will be introducing a new set of classes called the cultural school, for children with little or no prior exposure to the Swedish language.
  • On January 24th we will be hosting one of our major fundraisers, the Pubnight.
  • We had a successful fundraiser at the Swedish Julmarknad, as well as the currently ongoing hockey pool.
  • We received a $1K grant from the Riksföreningen Sverigekontakt, in support of our annual weekend camp coming up at the end of May 2014. Sverigekontakt also sent us a bag with children’s books, which is a very welcome refreshment of our library.
  • We are also looking into other grants and funding that we can apply for.