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Immersive experience

Showcasing local social enterprises and cultural context in Petty Harbour

Student Life

By Jennifer Brenton

A group of international social enterprise and marketing scholars visited Memorial’s St. John’s campus for a conference on social enterprise this summer.

The first day involved a trip to Petty Harbour for an immersive cultural experience with Fishing for Success. Fishing for Success is a local social enterprise dedicated to sharing the traditional fishing heritage of the province through experiential programming and was co-founded by Kimberly Orren and Leo Hearn.

1/ Suiting up

Upon arriving in Petty Harbour, the group convened at Island Rooms, home of Fishing for Success. The crew at Fishing for Success helped everyone into their bright yellow rubber overalls and lifejackets before getting on the water. One by one, everyone climbed over the wharf and settled into the boats.

Photo: Mohammad Farshad Amini

2/ In the bow

While on the water, the group caught cod and saw countless puffins, different species of whales, and an iceberg.

Photo: Jennifer Brenton

3/ Wharf walkabout

Once on land, the group took a walk along the wharf to see the sights of Petty Harbour.

Photo: Jennifer Brenton

4/ Up close at the mini aquarium

While walking through the community, the group stopped at the Petty Harbour Mini Aquarium. The staff shared the mission of the aquarium and explained their catch-and-release model where the animals are released at the end of the season. Members of the group were able to get up close and personal with some of the animals.

Photo: Jennifer Brenton

5/ History at Herbie's

The next stop on the walk was Herbie’s Olde Shoppe. The shop opened as a grocery store in 1933 and today it sells crafts by local artisans. The owners shared the history of the shop while the group explored the shelves and shopped for souvenirs.

Photo: Jennifer Brenton

6/ Hands on learning

Back at Island Rooms, Fishing for Success co-founder Leo Hearn, right, gave a filleting demonstration with one of the fish that the group had caught that morning. As he carved each section of the cod, he simultaneously shared fishing stories and gave an anatomy lesson for each part of the fish. The fresh fillets were promptly placed in a pot of cod stew that fed everyone that evening.

Photo: Jennifer Brenton

7/ Weaving at Watershed

The Petty Harbour excursion concluded at the Watershed Cafe for warm beverages and baked goods. While everyone warmed up, Kimberly, right, gave a lesson on a rope weaving technique traditionally used by fish harvesters in the province.

Photo: Mohammad Farshad Amini

The event was designed to introduce the participants to the cultural context of Newfoundland and Labrador while showcasing local social enterprises.

The conference also created space for each scholar to share stories of social enterprise from their international contexts and helped generate dialogue about social enterprise and community development.

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