Elmwood’s vision is to be the most innovative girls’ school in Canada and to operate at the forefront of girls’ education globally. Now, more than ever, women are at the centre of the social, political and economic dialogue, acting with courage and integrity in the face of challenge and leading change.
Coat of Arms
The Coat of Arms for Elmwood School was thoughtfully designed by Manon Labelle, Miramichi Herald, Canadian Heraldic Authority, to reflect the history, values and vision of the school. It was unveiled on Thursday, May 7, 2015, as part of Elmwood School’s Centennial celebrations, by Her Excellency Sharon Johnston, C.C.
The school colours are gold and green.
Gold symbolizes excellence and value, and green symbolizes youth and growth. The elm leaves evoke the once abundant majestic Rockcliffe Park neighbourhood elm trees that are the school’s namesake. The leaves also symbolize strength and growth, as well as the recognition of the importance of our environment. As Elmwood School is a girls’ school, the division of the shield alludes to triangles, an ancient female symbol. The four triangles also represent the four houses of the school. The division of the shield is evocative of an hourglass, acknowledging the inevitable passage of time for students, teachers and alumni. The “X” shape alludes to the cardinal directions, which are essential to the structure of knowing where one has been and which new direction to take. The multiple directions represent the multicultural and inclusive nature of the school, as well as the long history of Elmwood graduates traveling to the far corners of the Earth to continue their studies.
The butterfly is a symbol of the soul and the mind, nimble with the ability to travel far, and is a creature that undergoes transformation during its life. After a time of development and growth, butterflies stretch out their wings to fly on their own, a metaphor for the transformative journey of each student as she grows and matures through the years she is at the school. Each spring, Elmwood students release butterflies as part of a beloved tradition in the Junior School. The butterfly rests on a circle of stars, which represent excellence and navigational knowledge, and allude to the school’s motto.
This Latin phrase means “Highest of the High” and was adopted in 1932, after its inclusion in the school song. Elmwood students are encouraged to exemplify this motto by being academically strong, socially adept, confident and resilient young women.
The owls evoke wisdom, intelligence, knowledge and strength. They are also the attribute of Athena, the Greek goddess of the arts, craft and skills. The rocky mount evokes Rockcliffe Park, where the school is located, and the nearby Ottawa River is represented by the waves beneath the mount. The daffodil is the school emblem and it was chosen by Theodora Philpot, the school’s founder. It signifies rebirth and the resilience of nature by heralding the spring every year. Mrs. Philpot was inspired by a poem by William Wordsworth, “I wandered lonely as a cloud,” also known as “The Daffodils." In amongst the daffodils are trilliums, the official flower of Ontario.
Original concept of Manon Labelle, Miramichi Herald, assisted by the heralds of the
Canadian Heraldic Authority.
Painter: Debra MacGarvie
Calligrapher: Shirley Mangione
Public Register of Arms, Flags and Badges of Canada, Volume VI, page 492, 20 March 2015.