West Point Grey Academy was founded in 1996 by four families who envisioned a progressive coeducational independent day school on Vancouver’s west side. There was no coeducational option in the area at the time, and they wanted all their children, boys and girls, to attend the same school.
In 1995, Andrew Chan of Hong Kong and Dr. Peter Wong of Vancouver met to discuss opening a school, and soon after invited friends Ronald Khoo, Jack Siu, Peter Tsang, Raymond Yue and Dr. Raymond Kwan to consider their proposal. The group looked at three locations before deciding to lease 18 acres on Jericho Hill, overlooking English Bay and the North Shore mountains. (The three school buildings, located beside Jericho Community Centre, were built in 1964; WPGA originally occupied MacDonald Hall.) This group of entrepreneurial families managed building renovations, set up the business office, procured school equipment and designed the first uniform.
In April 1996, Andrew Chan, Dr. Wong, Michael Choi (Hong Kong) and Elsie Sze (Vancouver) established West Point Grey Academy under the name West Point Grey Academy Independent School Society. The Society is registered as a charity with the federal government and as a Group 2 Independent School with the Province of British Columbia.
That June, Clive Austin was hired as Head of School. The initial admission plan was to enroll 150 students, yet word spread and 325 children (junior kindergarten to grade 8) enrolled in the “little school with a big vision” in September 1996. Today, in 2018, the school is at full capacity at 943 students in junior kindergarten to grade 12, employs 174 teachers and staff, and occupies three academic buildings and two gymnasiums on its West 8th Avenue campus.
When Clive Austin retired from WPGA in 2013, Tam Matthews became the school’s second Head of School, bringing over 30 years’ experience in headship and leadership roles at independent schools across Canada. In July 2019, Tam Matthews will retire from WPGA and Stephen Anthony, founding faculty member and longtime Head of Senior School, will become WPGA's third Head of School.
A member of Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS) and Independent Schools Association of British Columbia (ISABC), WPGA proudly sits on unceded Coast Salish territories and honours our First Nations rights holders and their beautiful lands.