Fusion Saint John is currently seeking strong leaders within our community to become members of our Board of Directors.
Fusion Saint John is operated solely by a volunteer board and relies on the time and talents of young professionals in the Saint John Region.
Members of the Board of Directors include a diverse mix of backgrounds, skills, and experiences appropriate to guide Fusion’s strategy and mission of creating space for networking, collaboration, opportunities, and building social / professional relationships. We work together to promote the Saint John Region as a place to build your life.
General Selection Criteria
Demonstrate strong leadership skills and a desire to contribute to the growth of community
Strong communication skills
Work effectively with others and manage conflict constructively
Have sufficient time to fulfill the responsibilities of a Member of the Board of Directors (approximately 10 hrs. per month)
Desired Skill Sets
We are striving to ensure a well-rounded board with a diversity of skills and expertise. Please complete the form below and select all application fields, along with the submission of a resume and an overview of why you would like to be part of the Fusion Saint John Board of Directors.
June 16, 2023: Nominations deadline
July, 2023: Applications reviewed
July/August, 2023: Interviews with candidates and board vote/approval
September, 2023: New members onboarded and begin term
Fusion Board Members, Dustin and Laura sat down with Eric Scouten to chat about his new bar Ka•ku•tə•ru Lounge, which is now open!
Ka•ku•tə•ru Lounge is the latest addition to Grannan Lane, moving into the old Rouge location. However, as you step inside the space, you see that it has been entirely transformed. Scouten decided to completely reconfigure the area. In the space is a large bar, which has been made from old church pews from Saint John the Baptist. And behind the bar, the organ from Saint John the Baptist has been entirely repurposed as the centerpiece! One of Eric’s objectives was to reuse materials and appliances from other locations in Saint John.
Like many others, Eric’s project for starting his own bar came from the impacts of the pandemic. Eric has been working in the service industry since he was 18.
“It has always been my path,” he explains.
Before the pandemic, Eric had other business plans in the works and was running private tastings. The pandemic enforced a shift when the entire serving industry came to a halt.
Eric was forced to seek employment elsewhere, despite his profession being a bartender. He ended up in a field he was not passionate about, was difficult on his mental health, and most importantly, took him away from his family.
When the space became available on Grannan Lane, he knew he needed to pull the trigger and start his own bar; if it weren’t for the push from the pandemic, he’s not sure if he would have done it!
Operating Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 2 pm to 12 am and Wednesday by reservation. The reservation opportunity on Wednesdays will allow customers to have a personal experience learning about the products. His menu will have limited overhead and focus on a select number of cocktails. He also has other beverages available – in particular, non-alcoholic cocktails!
Find Ka•ku•tə•ru Lounge at the below social media accounts to follow their journey.
You can celebrate Valentine’s Day in all sorts of ways with your partner, family, or your friends. It’s a great occasion to treat yourself or to try something new. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, it’s a prime opportunity to support local Saint John businesses whether you are planning to stay in, try a new activity, or go out for dinner!
If you plan on doing an activity for Valentine’s Day, there are tons of different options indoors and outdoors in Saint John. If you are up for an activity, you can go to the Art Warehouse to give painting a try, throw Axes at Woodchucks (Woodchucks even has a Valentine’s Day special for couples), or head over to DIY Studio on Rothesay Avenue to paint your own pottery. If you feel like spending time outside, give ice skating a try at Lily Lake, or go for a winter walk around the Irving Nature Park.
If dressing up and heading out for dinner or a drink is more your thing, Saint John has many great options. East Coast Bistro is offering a Valentine’s Day Tasting Menu, Gahan is hosting a Hoppy Valentines Day Beer Tasting, and Italian By Night is opening up on Monday night when they are typically closed!
Wherever your plans are for Valentine’s Day, we hope you treat yourself!
Join Fusion Saint John for our first event since…. well let’s just say it’s been a minute!
We’re so excited to host a fun morning of outdoor adventure, and re-connect with awesome folks in our region!
Whether you’re a new Johner, or looking to meet like-minded professionals in your area and build your community – this casual and fun event is for you!
Join us at Elmhurst Outdoors on Sunday, February 13 at 10 AM. Please note there are limited rentals available – we encourage you to let us know if you plan to attend beforehand so there is enough equipment. Price details are below:
Equipment Rental and Trail Fee: $23 Trail Fee Only (if you have gear): $11.50
I love to take my daughter and meeting up with friends and family there. We have a ritual of making the rounds to all the vendors after grabbing a coffee. Once we’ve done a lap or two, we can grab some food and camp out on the grass. Its such a perfect way to relax on a Sunday morning, enjoying some delicious grub and a piece of sunshine, while my daughter sprints around and screams at birds (she’s a toddler).
It’s such a perfect way to connect with some uptown businesses, spend some time outside with family, and really enjoy this oasis in the middle of the city. Once we finish up, if we’re not still reeling from the self-induced food coma, it’s so easy to hop down to one of the restaurants and enjoy a nice patio brew. So… favourite summer activity in Saint John for me has to be QSFM days!
Jen’s favourite summer activity is boating on the Belleisle Bay with my fiancé, Danny and pupper, Bentley!
Getting outdoors to hike on a local trail followed by a patio. We picked up the Hiking Trails of NB book and are slowly trying to check off each trail.
Hiking the trails at Rockwood Park, followed by apps and a drink at Lily’s Café or Britt’s Rockwood
Grabbing a coffee and treat from Garden Grove café to enjoy at the top of Spyglass hill
Enjoying an easy stroll along the Harbour Passage then grabbing a table on the Boardwalk
If you’re up for a bit more of a drive, there is the Split Rock Trail in Lepreau and Myrtle’s in Maces Bay is a hidden gem with delicious pizza and donairs.
Next on our list is William’s Trail at the Cape Spencer Lighthouse
One of Laura’s favourite activities in Saint John during the summer is a visit TimberTop Adventures in Dominion park! TimberTop Adventures is a treetop aerial adventure park that has 12 different courses and over 115 ziplines and challenges. There are courses for everyone, from easier obstacles to tricky courses, that require more strength and determination! The courses are all provided a rating, so you are aware what challenge you are getting yourself into. The courses range from more simple yellow squares, to a triple black diamond (I personally have yet to get past the “Oh Deer” black diamond course). But regardless of the course you choose, the park is so much fun. A neat fact about Timber Tops is that it is a part of Stonehammer, the first UNESCO Geopark in North America!
TimberTop Adventures is located at 730 Dominion Park Road, and is open for the season.
There are so many things Nicole enjoys about summer in greater Saint John. One activity that has become a regular weekend occurrence are walks to Moosehead Small Batch along Harbour Passage from Uptown.
It’s 5 kilometres each way so you work up your thirst and get to enjoy a cold brew at the destination.
You can find Nicole, her pup, Frankie and partner, Geoff enjoying this stroll on a Saturday in the city.
Finding a gap and having a passion to fill it is where many great business ventures begin.
In 2014, Christine Eruokwu arrived in Saint John in pursuit of receiving her MBA from UNBSJ. She majored in Entrepreneurship and Technology and after completing the program was convinced the only way to test her business knowledge and make her new degree relevant was to start her own business.
“I spotted a gap in the African fashion space and decided to launch Kaima Designs, an afro-centric brand to cater to the needs of a growing African community and ethnic enthusiasts in the city,” she explains.
Christine sees beauty as being bold, unique, and adventurous – which are all characteristics she pours into Kaima Designs.
She expresses how beauty comes in all colours, shapes, and sizes. So why shouldn’t fashion?
“Based on my personal experiences growing up in Africa, I was convinced that a business that will harness the transformative power of fashion towards solving social problems was the right choice.”
One of the main objectives of Kaima Designs is to promote African culture and lifestyle through fashion. As a brand, Kaima Designs is investing in the education of young girls in West Africa and women-focused Canadian charities. Fashion Power, an annual charity fashion show was initiated to further this objective, while fundraising for a good cause.
“Fashion Power 2019, which was held in partnership with the YMCA of Greater Saint John was our most successful achievement to date,” Christine says. “This event was a testament to the value of collaboration, with progressive partners such as Port City Productions, Elegance by Bridget décor and Lmodels Canada (previously NWH Modelling)”.
She shares how today many Canadians and other non-Africans are more receptive to afro-centric fashion pieces.
“This brings so much joy to my heart knowing that Kaima Designs is instrumental to this heightened cultural appreciation. ”
The journey of building Kaima Designs to where it is today has not been easy. When Christine began the journey back in 2017, there was no access to government resources due to her immigration status. Resources were only open to permanent residents and Canadian citizens, but that didn’t stop her from following her dreams and putting her new MBA into practice.
“Armed with sheer determination and social capital, I plunged into deep waters and hoped for a life-line,” she says.
“Normand Hector of Normand Hector Global Modelling Management (NHGMM) was at the centre of that social capital. Additionally, the absence of existing local African fashion businesses added some levels of complexities to my market research.”
Though there have been many challenges and hurdles that Christine has had to face, she has also experienced positives, including some Maritime hospitality.
“Having supportive friends who are always there feels very empowering especially on days when everything chooses to go south,” she said.
Above all, being able to work with her kids and husband on some major projects has made Christine’s entrepreneurial journey the most rewarding.
“My heart wells with pride every time I watch my youngest daughter sew her scrunchies on the sewing machine. That’s something I couldn’t do at her age (11).”
Christine’s advice to other entrepreneurs is to not rely solely on your passion and to test your ideas and explore available resources before you launch your business.
“Passion is great, but it is not enough,” she says. “If you are eligible, access government resources. Start a business with a purpose far greater than monetary reward. Purpose is the driving force that sustains momentum when passion wanes and money seems elusive.”
She encourages woman considering starting their own business to attend entrepreneurship programs such as Enterprising Women organized by the Saint John Loan Fund and/or Women in Business, NB. These free programs provide great toolkits to help kickstart your business venture.
The Cheta Hoodie Project Gives Back to Local and Global Community.
Like most businesses, Kaima Designs was impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, by reinventing the business model to adapt to the changing needs of their clients, the Cheta hoodie was launched in January of 2021.
And this isn’t your regular hoodie. The Cheta hoodie and its symbolic ethnic designs, represent love for humanity and the environment (where packaging is 100% compostable). With every purchase of the hoodie, clients support the employment of Canadians living with disabilities while ensuring that a young girl in West Africa receives a school uniform.
“The feedback from clients has been very encouraging,” Christine says.
“Every time, I spot the hoodie on social media, I am reminded that I am not alone on this quest and this prompts me to intensify my efforts to appeal to more campaign supporters and brand ambassadors to help us attain the 1,000 uniform goal faster. With JCK Media & Design, our digital media partner driving this campaign, I am confident that we are on track.”
When Yamama and Zein Al abdin arrived in Saint John from Egypt in the winter of 2016, they didn’t have plans to start a business, but after attending a local event their journey as entrepreneurs began.
“We attended an event in Samuel-de-Champlain school and we presented Syrian Food,” they explained. “People loved our food and they asked us to have a full-time restaurant.”
The Al abdin’s started small and attended local markets such as the Saint John Night Market and Sunday favourite, Queen Square Farmer’s Market.
As with many entrepreneurs the Al adbin’s experienced many challenges along the way but being newcomers to Canada – they have had to overcome even more obstacles.
“Everything was challenging but the most challenging was introducing ourselves to financial institutes as business owners,” they said. “The banks counted us as refugees with no skills. As immigrants you come as refugees with nothing, we built ourselves up from scratch.”
In five short years, the Al abdins have certainly displayed their investment in the Saint John community, with their most recent business Mashawa Zein opening on Germain Street and offering a wide selection of Syrian Food.
“The rewarding thing is the feeling of independence, more than staying home and wait for a cheque,” they said.
Beyond the feeling of accomplishment and offering a service to the community, the Al abdins explained how they love learning and combining their culture with new cultures in Canada.
Whether you’re in the mood for a strong coffee or a Syrian Speciality Feast, check out this unique spot in Uptown Saint John the next time you are looking to support local.