The 12-month intensive, in-house, intercultural, international Jeanne Sauvé Public Leadership Program started off with a reflective, participatory and multi-faceted orientation period. This unique time cemented strong bonds between our Fellows, as individuals and as a collective. Here is an overview of our Fellows’ first month at Sauvé House, which was centered on culture, leadership, community, solidarity, and having a little fun!

For pictures of Orientation 2015, check out the Foundation’s Flickr and Instagram accounts.

Day 1:

Word of Welcome by Simone Hanchet, our Director of Programs.

Day 2: 

A Leadership Encounter with Sauvé Alum Maggie MacDonnell, who shared her experiences working and living with an Innu community in Salluit, Quebec.

Day 3:

McGill University’s Social Equity and Education Diversity Education Office team presentation, which highlighted various community engagement initiatives, volunteering opportunities and cultural awareness activities happening on campus, such as “Indigenous Awareness Week”.

A Leadership Encounter with Sauvé Alum Paul Shore – co-founder of non-profit organization Apathy is Boring – who presented his new improvisational video series The Street Speaks.

Day 4:

An eye-opening culture shock workshop presented by McGill International Student Services.

A welcome soirée with Sauvé House Tenants: Apathy is Boring, Phil Communications, eSimpleIT and Seize Your Future.

Catching the Federal Election Candidates debate with Apathy is Boring.

Day 5:

An insightful visit of Golden Square Mile with activist and city councillor Dida Berku, mother of Sauvé Alum Naomi Kincler.

A Leadership Encounter with Sauvé Alum, Carlos Rueda, who presented a new MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) project – Social Learning for Social Impact – taking off at McGill University this fall.

A relaxing yoga session to calm the mind and body after a very full first week, led by Simone Hanchet.

A delicious cook-off! The Fellows vs. Sauvé Staff & Alumni competition took similar ingredients and turned them into delicious vegetarian fare, which was then reviewed by a dedicated panel of judges. The Fellows won, hands down!


Day 6:

An inspiring presentation by The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at McGill University.

A historical tour of Montreal at the Pointe-à-Callière Montréal Museum of Archaeology and History.

Day 7:

A culinary and historical exploration of the Mile-End neighbourhood, organized by Local Montreal Tours.

Day 8:

A Montreal in 5 Fights walking tour, which examined historical urban conflicts and their impact on the environment.

Day 9-12: Unleashing the Power of Team Work Retreat

The new Program aims to cultivate the skills to address global challenges across differences. That’s why we’ve put a heavy emphasis on learning about – and developing – healthy team dynamics. The Fellows, along with Program Director Simone Hanchet, headed up North to take part in a four-day intensive team retreat. The retreat was facilitated by the Sauvé Development Team, led by globally recognized team dynamics expert Dr. Raye Kass.

Through reflection and action, the Fellows were challenged to examine their behaviour in a team context, and to explore how the cultures, temperaments, and past experiences of a team’s diverse members can limit (when ignored) or enhance (when skillfully used) a team’s effectiveness. This retreat laid the foundation for the Fellows’ learning and action in the year ahead- and beyond.

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Day 14: 

Meeting with McGill University’s Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, Dr. Josephine Nalbantoglu.

A Leadership Encounter with Nancy Wright, former Director of the Sauvé Scholars Foundation and long-time friend of the Foundation.

Day 15:

An Apathy is Boring session on youth engagement and democracy led by Youth Friendly Coordinator Sophie O’Manique.

A Leadership Encounter with Henry Mintzberg, internationally renowned academic and author on business and management, who discussed his evidence vs. experience theory, his latest book Rebalancing Society as well as the new MOOC Social Learning for Social Impact he’s leading at McGill University.

Day 16:

A visit of Mont-Royal with Les Amis de la Montagne.

A unique room naming ceremony, whereby Fellows chose their rooms’ names based on a list of inspiring quotes they submitted before their arrival.

Day 17:

Meeting with Concordia University’s Dean of Graduate Studies and member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, Paula Woods-Adam.

Day 18-19: 

Fellows presented their histories, cultural contexts and singular experiences that brought them to the Program and their hopes for the year ahead!


Day 20: 

A Leadership Encounter with Antonia Maioni, Chair of our Board of Directors and Associate Vice-Principal, Research and International Relations at McGill University.

Day 21: 

A Leadership Encounter with Sauvé Alum Jonathan Sas, Sauvé Alumni representative on the Sauvé Scholars Program Board of Directors and Director of Policy and Research at the Broadbent Institute.

A closing BBQ dinner with the Foundation’s Board of Directors, Fellows, staff and friends. A wonderful beginning to the year to come!

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