Why Swim at the Y?

The YMCA Swim Program is a values-based, water-activity program for children ages 6 months up to and including adults. At the Y, we focus on helping people develop. Each swimmer is challenged to grow and improve while the levels are a tool to help parents understand progress on different items. Children are challenged and not limited to completing a level before being introduced to new skills.

What are Continuous Swim Lessons?
Continuous swim lessons provide Classic and Premium members the convenience to register once in a time slot that fits their schedule.  This one time registration is made in the program, not level, that meets both your child’s age and ability. Continuous swim lessons are on-going as long as your child’s membership remains active.  Your registration will only end if you choose to move to a different time slot, cancel or put your membership on hold or miss 3 classes in a row without informing the Y.
Age Limitations and Exceptions
Children must be of the correct age for a swim lesson program at the time of registration.  Exceptions to ages will not be made.  If your child is not of the correct age you may register them on or after they have their birthday.
How to Register
Registration in Continuous Swim Lessons is limited to Classic and Premium Y members only.  Basic members may upgrade their membership in person prior to registering for swim lessons.  Non-members must purchase a Y Classic or Premium membership by visiting the Y in person before registering for swim lessons.

Participation in Lil Dipper 1, Teen and Adult Lessons does not require registration but is limited to Classic and Premium Y members only.

Registration is on-going.  Registration will be taken over the phone by calling 250-386-7511 or in person.

Please note: Swimming Lesson registration is closed for three weeks at the end of every season to accommodate aquatics staff completing end of season tasks and making preparations for the upcoming season. Registrations will be closed at the end of the Winter season from March 9th – 29th, 2020. During this time frame members will be unable to register/withdraw/transfer (they are still able to be waitlisted) from lessons. 

Missed Swim Lessons - Members' Responsibility to Inform

At the Y we understand that families are busy, children get sick and lessons will be missed. Members are responsible for communicating absences by using our NEW Online Form or by contacting Member Services ahead of time if your child will miss three, or more, classes in a row. We do not require notification of absences for single lessons. If you do not inform the Y your child will be withdrawn from their continuous swim lesson.

Submit a Missed Swim Lesson Notification

My Child's Progress and Progress Cards
All levels within a program are offered within each time slot.  Once your child has completed all of the skills in a level they can start to work on the skills in the next level right away.  A mid-season check-in/meet the swim lesson instructor will also occur.

All swim lesson progress cards are available online. Progress cards will be posted in the evening on the day of your child’s swim lesson at the end of each season.   To view your child’s swim lesson progress card you will need their customer number.  To retrieve their customer number please call 250-386-7511 or visit the Membership Services desk.   To view your child’s swim lesson progress card click here.

Swim Lesson Seasons, Breaks and Holidays
Swimming lessons will continue to run throughout each season of the year with the following breaks: end of school year, end of summer break, mid-fall, Christmas holidays and March/Spring break (specific dates will be posted prior to each break). Lessons continue through the summer following the same schedules.  Swim lessons will run on the weekend of statutory holidays but are cancelled on the statutory holiday (typically Monday).

Please note the Winter Season of swim lessons is currently running until March 15th, 2020.  There is a program break from March 16th – April 5th, 2020; lessons will resume with the Spring Season on Monday April 6th, 2020. 

Swim Lesson Programs

Currently in Red Cross swim lessons; please review the Red Cross and YMCA Conversion Chart

Lil Dipper 1

The Lil Dipper 1 program is for children ages 6 months – 5 years.  This non-registered parent participation program includes Splasher and Bubbler levels.

Lil Dipper 2  NEW - Register Online

The Lil Dipper 2 program is for children ages 3 – 5 years.  This registered program includes Bobber, Floater, Glider, Diver, Surfer and Dipper levels.  Lil Dipper 2 programs do not require parent participation.  Should your child need support from a parent please participate in Lil Dipper 1 until they are comfortable without a parent.

Lil Dipper 2 Program Overview

Learn to Swim and Star 1-4  NEW - Register Online

The Learn To Swim & Star 1-4 programs are for children ages 6 -12 years.  The Learn to Swim program includes Otter, Seal, Dolphin and Swimmer.  The Star Program includes Star 1, Star 2, Star 3 and Star 4.

Learn to Swim Program Overview

Star 1-4 Program Overview

Star Leadership  NEW - Register Online

The Star Leadership program begins after completion of Star 4.  The Star Leadership Program includes Star 5, Star 6 and Star 7.

Star Leadership Program Overview


Teen Learn to Swim Program

The non-registered Teen Learn to Swim program is for teens ages 13-18 years to gain confidence in the pool while learning basic swimming skills.

Advanced Aquatics Programs

They Y offers Bronze Star, Bronze Medallion and Bronze Cross programs.

Check Online for Upcoming Courses or Register Now


Private and Semi-Private Swim Lessons

These lessons are for current Classic and Premium members and start the 1st week of each continuous swim lesson season.

  • Private and Semi-Private lessons are registered, are continuous for the duration of the season, and are non-refundable.
  • Payment is required at time of registration.
  • Make up lessons are not provided and classes cannot be re-scheduled.
  • Members are responsible for ensuring there is a 2nd member present for semi-private lessons and both members must be within the same swimming ability.

Registration for each private/semi private lesson season opens Wednesday at 8 a.m. the week before the regular swim lesson season starts.  Registration can occur once the season has started – fees will be pro-rated.

Spring Season:

  • Registration starts Wednesday April 1st, 2020 8 a.m.
  • Season runs April 6th-June 14th , 2020

Check Online for Upcoming Workshops or Register Now

Swim to Survive – School Program

Acquisition of basic swimming ability is a fundamental requirement in any meaningful attempt to eliminate drowning in Canada. All Canadian children deserve the chance to learn basic swimming skills.  The Swim to Survive Standard is:

  • Roll Into Deep Water – to orientate oneself at the surface after an unexpected entry
  • Tread Water for 1 Minute – to support oneself at the surface to locate nearest point of safety
  • Swim 50 Metres – to be able to swim to the closest point of safety

The Vancouver Island Y was able to offer Swim to Survive to over 100 Grade 3 children.  This Program is made possible with funding from the Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities.

Further information regarding Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities can be found at http://jumpstart.canadiantire.ca/en.html

Further information regarding Swim to Survive can be found at http://www.lifesaving.bc.ca/level/swim-survive


Click here to view Aquatic Admission Criteria

Lane Swim

Lanes available for swimming for ages 10+.


Join us for lane swimming, leisure time and games.


Bring your entire family to the pool for a swim. An excellent way to spend an afternoon. Main pool space can be limited during peak swim lesson times.


An introduction to swimming skills through activities, games and songs. Caregiver participation required, aged 16+.