Innovation in Partnerships

Memorial University’s Centre for Social Enterprise may be a fairly new entity but it is already making a difference.

Recently, we had the privilege of hosting three students at our Stella’s Circle for an 8-week placement. The students came from social work (Justin), music (Kristian) and business (Sarah) and worked on our concert Stella’s Circle Sings for Canada, our Canada150 event which featured the premiere of a song our Inclusion Choir wrote with Amelia Curran and a screening of a film by Roger Maunder about the process.

The student placement was such a success by all accounts. We loved hosting the students and their ideas, eagerness to learn and enthusiasm.  And the students loved working with each other and learning from each other.

Today, the students presented on their learnings. They spoke about the power of the songwriting process and how participants see the song as “our song”. For music student Kristian, it allowed her to focus on how music can have an impact on social situations and impact lives. For her, the focus was on not getting the job done but the enjoyment. Justin (social work) commented on the fact that as soon as choir members walked out on stage, they stood taller. He saw singing as a mindfulness act; it focused the mind on the act of singing. Sarah (business) saw how the work she learned in human resources could be put into

2017 Body Quest Junior Invitational Swim Meet

Justin Mahon, Social Work, and Kristian Butt, Music, led the choir for one of the songs and worked with the choir in sectionals. Photo: David Hiscock

action, in terms of diversity and she enjoyed how everyone collaborated together. From Stella’s Circle perspective, we saw three students embrace something new, fit right in and add value to what we were doing. What a great experience for all!


2017 Body Quest Junior Invitational Swim Meet

Sarah Dormondy, Business, played flute for the choir, and also assisted with some of the business side of the concert. Photo: David Hiscock

Our next activity with the Centre for Social Enterprise is the Innovation Challenge May 12 and 13 where people will have an opportunity to pitch a new concept and win cash and other prizes. Stella’s Circle is a sponsor of the St. John’s event.