Gray Academy Photographers

The St. George’s team poses for a photo as the competition begins

On Wednesday October 25, three St. George’s students along with teachers Ms. Warner and Ms. Holmen, boarded a plane to Winnipeg for IISPSC 2017. The International Independent Schools Public Speaking Competition, otherwise known as IISPSC brings 180 students from private schools around the world to a host city for a 4- day tournament. St. Georges students Brandon Zang, Andrew Campbell and Samir Dattani attended the competition along with many others schools across the nation to represent the Canadian contingent at the competition.


The first day of IISPSC 2017 was wrought with nerves and excitement as the annual competition began once again after being held at Collingwood School the year before. Gray Academy of Jewish Education and Balmoral Hall School co-hosted IISPSC 2017 in Winnipeg. The first day began at Gray Academy, with the opening ceremonies and the first two rounds of speaking. After a long first day at many of the competitors first competition of the school year, the majority of the participants were eager to get back to the hotel rooms and get a restful sleep.

With the feeling of the cold Winnipeg air settling into their bones, the competitors and coaches quickly boarded the busses to drive to Gray Academy for the second day of IISPSC 2017. The judges were being briefed on the upcoming events and categories, while the competitors were given light snacks, waiting for the rounds to begin. Once the two rounds were over, the competitors headed off to the National Museum of Human Rights. It is the only National Museum to exist outside of Ottawa. This museum was one that left a mark on the competitors as many felt that if was an experience that they will never forget. The rest of the night was left to the competitors to do as they please. With the snow subsiding, many of the teams decided to go out for dinner or watch a movie. This was a night of fun, but many of the competitors were eager for the next day to begin.


The third day of the competition was held at Balmoral Hall. This was a long day at the school with over 5 rounds occurring throughout the day. While waiting for you round to occur, you could see many competitors reciting a persuasive speech or monologue to themselves or to a group of their friends, always wanting to improve. The most grueling day yet concluded with a fun social for the competitors. This gave the participants a chance to create memories and friendships that would last longer than the four days of the competition.



The final day of the competition gave the competitors a chance to sleep in, with the busses departing the hotel at 12:30. This was the most stressful day of the competition yet, with the competitors finding out if they made it to the finals of this high level competition. Once the finalists were announced there were cries of joy and tears of sadness, but after the emotions had subsided all of the competitors were excited to watch and participate in the last day of IISPSC 2017. The final rounds of any competition are extremely high-level and it was an exciting experience to watch the best speakers of the competition compete for the crown in their respective categories. The day concluded with awards and dinner at the Shaarey Zedek Synagogue. Many competitors felt elated leaving the event with their hard work paying off.


In an interview with the Creed, Ms. Alexa Warner was interviewed about the competition. When asked about the how the competition was run she responded saying, “The event was run fantastically. Both host schools put in a great deal of effort to make us feel welcome.” Ms. Warner being the head of Public Speaking at St. George’s, also gave her perspective as to why it is important that the St. George’s students continue to attend this competition, telling the Creed “Exposing the boys to an extremely high-level competition provides them with the opportunity to take that experience and apply it to other local competitions.” With public speaking provincials coming up later this month, the boys attending this competition can apply the skills they have acquired and strive for success.