Little Flower Academy

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Little Flower Academy
LFA sisters of st. ann.JPG
4195 Alexandra Street
Vancouver, British Columbia, V6J 4C6
School type Independent Catholic Secondary school
Motto "Ad Lucem"
(To The Light)
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver
Founded 1927
School board CISVA (Catholic Independent Schools of the Vancouver Archdiocese)
Principal Mrs. Dianne Little
Grades 8-12 (girls only)
Enrollment 481 (2013~2014)
Language English
Area Shaughnessy
Colour(s) Maroon and White (maroon, grey or white for sports)         
Mascot Angel
Team name Angels

Little Flower Academy (LFA) is an independent Catholic girls' day school located in the Shaughnessy neighbourhood of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Established in 1927, by the visionary Sisters of Saint Ann, Little Flower Academy continues to educating young women within an intercultural Catholic faith community to realize their full potential: spiritually, intellectually, physically, socially and emotionally.[1]


Old section of the school

In 1858, five women of the Québec-based order of the Sisters of St. Ann travelled by sea to the Isthmus of Panama and up the west coast to Victoria. They set down in a small log cabin in Beacon Hill Park, and began the process of establishing Victoria's St. Ann's Academy.

The Sisters' first presence in Vancouver came in 1888 (two years after the city was established) with a school on Dunsmuir, next to a cathedral and, according to an article researched by the late Sister Eileen Kelly (the last St. Ann order principal of LFA), "on the edge of a forest clearing."

The Sisters wanted to expand with a boarding school to accommodate young women who lived too remotely to access existing educational facilities. The building (now replaced) known as "The Convent" was built in Shaughnessy in 1910 for this purpose. By 1918, the Vancouver diocese sold 6 acres (24,000 m2) to the municipality of Point Grey, who desired a portion of the site to erect their own public school, Prince of Wales High School – which became today's Shaughnessy Elementary in 1961. The ownership of the remaining property at the time reverted to the Sisters of Saint Ann, who were able to meet the payments and whose chosen school name "Little Flower Academy" began appearing in the published Vancouver Directory books.

Little Flower Academy was so named apparently because the prayers of one of the Sisters had been answered in acquiring the property. The prayers had been made to Saint Thérèse de Lisieux, who had the nickname "The Little Flower of Jesus."

In 2010, Lisa Riemer, a temporary contract Music teacher, was embroiled in a contract dispute and instructed to work from home, for a few weeks, until the end of her contract after she requested paid maternal leave to be with her expectant partner.[2]


School logo - To the light.

The school motto is "Ad Lucem" which means "to the light."


The school offers a challenging university preparatory program for girls in grades 8 through 12. Little Flower Academy is ranked, tied with York House School, as the number one Secondary Schools in the province of British Columbia,[3] and has consistently maintained a top three standing in the Fraser Institute provincial rankings.[4] It has a long-established 100% graduation rate, and more than 90% of graduates achieve provincial honours designation. For the classes of 2009 through 2016, 100% of graduates were accepted to post secondary institutions.[5]


There are two gymnasiums, the larger of which can accommodate more than five hundred spectators and is used regularly to host volleyball, basketball and badminton tournaments. The athletic department also houses a fitness centre. Outdoor athletic facilities include a large grass field and tennis courts.

The LFA Angels (sports teams) have an angel for a mascot, although there is no official physical mascot. LFA is, simply, the "Home of the Angels."

The School's athletic teams include:

  • Fall Season Sports: Cross-Country Running, Field Hockey, Swimming and Volleyball
  • Winter Season Sports: Basketball
  • Spring Season Sports: Badminton, Soccer, Tennis, Track & Field, and Ultimate Frisbee
  • Badminton: BC Provincial Silver Medalist (2012);[6] 7th at BC Provincial Championships (joint team with Vancouver College) in 2016;
  • Basketball: BC Provincial AAA Silver Medalist (2015);[7] 2nd at Grade 8 Provincial Championships in 2015
  • Cross-Country Running: BC Provincial Junior Gold Medalist (2014); 10th at Senior BC Championships (2014); 6th at BC Championships (2012)
  • Field Hockey: 6th at BC AA Championships in 2014; 5th in 2013; 5th in 2012
  • Tennis: 5th at BC Provincial Championships (joint team with Vancouver College) in 2016
  • Track & Field: BC Provincial Gold medalists in junior 4x400 and 4x100 (2016).[8] Team Provincial Champions (2013)
  • Ultimate: 3rd at BC Provincial Championships (joint team with Vancouver College) in 2013
  • Volleyball: 3rd at BC AAA Provincial Championships (2014); Provincial Champions (2012).[9]

Service and clubs[edit]

All students are encouraged to fully participate in the life of the school and community through service projects and clubs. There are over 35 school clubs including: Chamber Choir; Concert Choir; Debating; Drama; Duke of Edinburgh; Environment; Liturgical; Liturgy Band; Math; Model UN; Newspaper; Public Speaking; Peer Mediators; Philanthropy; Right to Life; Reverence for Life (Care for the Elderly); STEM;[10] Social Justice; Tutors; Visual Arts and Photography; and Yearbook.

Notable alumnae[edit]

  • Sister Josephine Carney (SSA, PHD) '38 - Teacher, Evangelist and Religious Educator[11]
  • Dr. Patricia Marsden-Dole ’63 -Canada's First Female Trade Commissioner[12]
  • Frances Wasserlein '64 -Social Justice Activist and prominent feminist- who successfully lobbied to add domestic sexual assault to the Criminal Code.[13]
  • Jeannie Kanakos '77? - Councillor Corporation of Delta[14]
  • Danielle Kettlewell 2010 - Synchronized Swimmer at the Rio Olympics 2016 representing Australia.[15]

Building architecture[edit]

LFA's newly constructed wing & signage

Until 2005, when portions of the school were de-constructed to make room for new additions,[16] the school's convent (a 1910 mansion) held a Guinness World Record for the most exterior windows arranged at different levels.

The 1931 library-cafeteria-art building, which was deconstructed during the 2005-2007 renovations, was once the original schoolhouse with boarding rooms in the attic. The schoolhouse ("Foundress Hall") was one of the few remaining examples of the architectural work of Sister Mary Osithe,[17] an artist and pioneering female architect in BC who also designed the Bulkley Valley Hospital in Smithers, BC. (Details may be found in Donald Luxton's Building the West: The Early Architects of British Columbia (Talon Books, 2003).)

On September 14, 2007, the school celebrated the opening of the new wing and its 80th anniversary. The new wing includes several new classrooms, a boardroom, a new chapel, a gymnasium appropriate for a high school, reception, offices, art room and cafeteria. Many of the features of the old buildings were salvaged during the careful deconstruction and integrated into the new wing. Most of the stained glass windows can be found on display in the new building (many arranged artistically in the lobby); old posts are in the new gym as decoration; the hardwood floors throughout the new wing are from the old buildings; bricks from the chimneys have been used to in the new grotto; fireplaces, which have been reconditioned and made electric, are now in the library and board room; the telephone booth is in the staff room; an original door is in the lobby; and furniture can be found in both the chapel and library.



  1. ^ "Little Flower Academy | Vision, Mission and Core Values". Retrieved 2016-06-20. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Fraser Institute Little Flower Academy report card". Retrieved 2016-07-10.  External link in |website= (help)
  4. ^ "West Vancouver, Revelstoke ranked top public school districts in B.C.". Retrieved 2016-06-19. 
  5. ^ Murphy, Bernard. "The B.C. Catholic Paper - Little Flower Academy gaining prestige". Retrieved 2016-06-19. 
  6. ^ Writer, Staff. "B.C.'s badminton champions - Surrey Leader". Surrey Leader. Retrieved 2016-06-19. 
  7. ^ Stewart, Megan. "Basketball: Vancouver's Little Flower Academy makes gutsy grab for BC crown". Vancouver Courier. Retrieved 2016-06-19. 
  8. ^ Stewart, Megan. "Athletics: Big medal hauls for two Vancouver track stars". Vancouver Courier. Retrieved 2016-06-19. 
  9. ^ Stewart, Megan. "Little Flower wins AAA B.C. volleyball title". Vancouver Courier. Retrieved 2016-06-19. 
  10. ^ "Onshape in the Classroom: Vancouver Teacher Starts STEM Program From Scratch". Retrieved 2016-06-19. 
  11. ^ Murphy, Bernard. "The B.C. Catholic Paper - Sister Jo remembered as ideal example of consecrated life". Retrieved 2016-06-19. 
  12. ^ "2016 Distinguished Alumnae Announcement". Little Flower Academy. 2016-05-03. Retrieved 2016-06-19. 
  13. ^ "B.C. activist Frances Wasserlein refused to be silenced". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2016-06-19. 
  14. ^ Husband, Doug. "Interest in public affairs began early for councillor Kanakos". Delta Optimist. Retrieved 2016-06-19. 
  15. ^ "Danielle Kettlewell". Retrieved 2016-07-24. 
  16. ^ "Little Flower Academy Convent". vancouvertraces. Retrieved 2016-06-20. 
  17. ^ Amos, Robert. "Robert Amos: Sisters of St. Ann's art offers a glimpse into Victoria's past". Times Colonist. Retrieved 2016-06-19. 
  18. ^ St. Ann's Academy (Victoria) - History - Sister Osithe

External links[edit]