Ten Profiles for Fusion’s 10th Year: #3 – Peter Moorhouse, Founding Chair
Peter Moorhouse, the founding Chair of Fusion Halifax, says he “would never have believed, never have projected, that Fusion Halifax would become as active, vital, well-respected, or sought out as a voice in this city as it has.”
Fusion Halifax was both a personal and professional passion of Moorhouse’s. He first arrived in Halifax in 2003 having moved from Toronto to be in a city he truly loved. What he encountered though, is something that many young professionals in Halifax still face from time-to-time today, the feeling of “not being in the circle” – not knowing who to connect with, how to network, and seek out the atypical opportunities across the city. While Peter was successful in obtaining a position with the Halifax Partnership around that time, he held on to that feeling and used it as an emotional driver in the development of Fusion Halifax.
While Moorhouse was working at the Halifax Partnership, the organization had brought in Rebecca Ryan from Next Generation Consulting to help with the attraction and retention of young professionals, ages 20-40. He remembers, very distinctly, one of the first questions Ryan asked the group and that was “is there an organization in Halifax that’s broad-based, diverse, and dedicated to young professionals ages 20-40?” After Ryan laid out a blueprint for what this type of organization could look like, Moorhouse decided to connect with people who he knew would be “interested and motivated” to create Fusion.
Since those initial days, he says he is continually “blown away every time he sees what Fusion is up to.” He now sees Fusion as the open door to that circle and believes the organization has developed a “really effective and welcoming way for people to connect with others across the city and grow the circle of people they know – both in the professional and social sense.” Ten years ago, Peter found it hard to see a youth voice in any public discussion around major events or urban development, but now, Fusion provides an “effective platform for the next generation to have their voice heard in a meaningful way across the city.”
Moorhouse says he sees Fusion’s impact in its first 10 years as transformative and truly believes that “Halifax is a different and much better city today” than it would be without “Fusion’s existence and the incredible volunteer steam behind the organization.” Successes in development and integration of new Canadians cannot be successes without the vocal support of the city’s future leaders and Fusion Halifax is the vehicle for feedback, input and tangible support.
After speaking with Moorhouse for a few minutes, it becomes very clear how impressed he is by the organization’s development over the past 10 years and how optimistic he is for Fusion’s future. He encourages Fusion to continue doing “more of the same” and play a “vocal and active role” as Halifax continues to develop and mature as a city. “Fusion has a vital role to play,” and “a lot of that is just being part of the discussion,” he says.
Moorhouse’s advice to young professionals starting their careers in Halifax and perhaps feeling a bit out of the circle is “join Fusion!” Not just join Fusion, but get engaged and involved. “Fusion has had this excellent and really healthy churn of leadership” he says, and the organization allows those with little or no leadership experience to move from “a volunteer on an action team, to chair of an action team and member of the Board of Directors, to Board Chair.” In that light, he encourages anyone who has the time, ability and desire to “jump in with two feet!”