Saint John Arts Centre’s volunteer Board of Directors serve for up to two consecutive terms of three years.
Current Board of Directors
Christine Gilliland, Chairperson
Christine Gilliland is a self-employed communications and fundraising professional supporting both for-profit and non-profit organizations. She’s convinced that a vital arts and culture sector creates vibrancy in neighbourhoods and that together, strong business and creative sectors attract people, advance commerce and culture, build our community, and spur economic development.
Pat Joas, Treasurer
Raised in Toronto with a great love of all the arts, Pat Joas worked as a bookseller for 38 years, most recently as manager of the University Bookstore, UNB Saint John, until her retirement in 2012. Always active within the book community–both regionally and nationally–Pat co-organized the Lorenzo Reading Series in Saint John for 13 years, served on two Canada Council juries, and numerous Atlantic provincial juries for the literary arts. She spent 8 years on the executive of the Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association (4 years as president), and 6 years on the board of the (national) Canadian Booksellers Association, serving as president from 2004-2005. An enthusiastic, lifelong visual arts practitioner, Pat regularly participates in the Arts Centre’s programs, and is eager to contribute in any way she can to the continued success of this innovative and irreplaceable community gem.
Emily Saab, Secretary
Emily Saab is a multi-disciplinary artist, organizer and musician from Saint John, New Brunswick. Emily’s artistic practice revolves around material exploration through sculpture, drawing, video, and playing drums as a member of the local experimental music ensemble, Usse. Her involvement with the Saint John Arts Centre began in 2006 as a recipient of the James Venner Russell Foundation’s scholarship to participate in the Centre’s inaugural Portfolio Development Program. Emily graduated from Mount Allison University in 2011 with a degree in Fine Arts and recently was the Executive Director of Third Space, Saint John’s artist-run centre for contemporary art. She and her business partner KC Wilcox are the proprietors of Visitors Shop + Gallery.
David Emerson has been an employee of the University of New Brunswick since 2001, and currently serves as the Senior Director, Government Relations, in the Office of the President. David is a graduate of Ryerson University’s Urban and Regional Planning program. He is certified at the Fellowship level as an economic development professional, and is a Past President of the Economic Developers Association of Canada. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Saint John Port Authority. David is a former member of the New Brunswick Police Commission, and a former chair of the Saint John Board of Police Commissioners. David is a resident of Saint John, where he resides with his wife Ann and their five children.
Lisa-Ann is a visual artist/art instructor with a degree in early childhood education. She works on her contemporary designs out of her home studio where she also holds adult and youth painting instruction. Lisa-Ann is an active member with the Federation of Canadian Artists.
As a director of the Saint John Arts Centre board, Lisa-Ann is keen to support art and art education opportunity in Saint John and surrounding communities. She strongly believes that a strong arts and culture presence creates a tighter unity among residents.
Leona Laracey is semi-retired after a career with non profit organizations such as the NB Division of the Canadian Red Cross, Laubach Literacy of Canada, Housing Alternatives and the crown corporation CMHC. Her various work experience included public relations, fundraising, financial analysis, property management and development, developing instructional materials and teaching adults. She is a certified instructor in aquatics, group and older adult fitness and teaches at the Canada Games Aquatic Centre, the Saint John YMCA and with the Zoomers’ programme.
Her volunteer involvement spans decades and includes directorships with the Conservation Council of New Brunswick and the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada. She was on the City’s Heritage Development Board for three terms, serving as chair in her final term. In 2016 – 7, Leona was an organizing committee member for Saint John’s successful international choral festival, Fundy Sound. Currently, Leona is president of Housing Alternatives (and its subsidiary Rehabitat), a not for profit housing developer and property management company. She also serves as chair of the board of the Saint John Land Bank. She is a member of the Carleton Choristers and regularly helps with Rocmaura Nursing Home fundraisers.
John Runcie has served in the role of Commercial Services Manager at the Port of Saint John since returning to the community in 2018 from Kelowna BC. He brings a combination of professional experience in both the private, and public sector to the board focusing on Business Development, and Fundraising. John graduated from the University of New Brunswick (UNB) with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in 2012, and a Master in Management (MM) from the University of British Columbia (UBC) in 2019. Outside of the Saint John Art Centre, John also serves as a Member of the Maritime Economic Committee of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA). He is a resident of Rothesay NB, where he resides with his wife, and daughter.