17 February 2012

New Brunswick Museum president and board appointments announced


FREDERICTON (CNB) – The New Brunswick Museum today announced the appointment of several new board members and a new president, John K. F. Irving. He assumed the role for a three-year term on Feb. 9.

“I am pleased that John Irving has agreed to take on the challenges associated with the role of president,” said Wellness, Culture and Sport Minister Trevor Holder. “Due to his extensive involvement in heritage-related activities, I am confident that his leadership will prove invaluable.”

Board members are responsible for oversight as it relates to policy, long-term planning and the financial operation of the museum. The newly-appointed and reappointed board members are:

·         Louise Imbeault (Moncton)
·         Robert Landry (Caraquet)
·         Blair Borgerson (Saint John)
·         Herménégilde Chiasson (Grand Barachois)
·         Gwendolyn Davies (Fredericton)
·         Cyril Donahue (Miramichi)
·         Richard Burpee (Saint John)
·         Gordon LaBillois (Eel River Bar)
·         Camille Roy (Saint-Basile)
·         Yves Gagnon (Moncton)

Most board members will serve three-year terms, but a number of those reappointed will serve for shorter terms, allowing for a staggered renewal of the board in the future. This will help ensure an appropriate transfer of knowledge among board members.

A vacancy remains on the board and work is underway to fill it as quickly as possible.

“I am delighted that these individuals have agreed to serve on the board,” said Holder. “They will play an important role in helping to guide and promote our provincial museum.”

The provincial government has invested $1.2 million in the refurbishment of the museum’s Douglas Avenue location in Saint John, and work on a number of projects is on-going.

“I thank out-going president R. Gary Faloon for his hard work over the past five years,” said Holder. “Mr. Faloon was instrumental in making some positive changes and was also a key person involved in securing the required funding to make improvements at the museum's collection facility.”

Biographies of board members:

John K. F. Irving is the president of Commercial Properties Ltd., as well as a number of other companies, and holds several directorships. His community activities include chair of the Saint John Regional Hospital Foundation from 2005 to 2007, and chair of the Atlantic Institute of Market Studies from 2007 to 2010. He has also been involved in a number of other activities including on the Kings Landing and Heritage Canada Foundation boards of directors; is an Honourary Colonel with the 3 Field Regiment, and is involved with several education-focused committees. Irving holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters in Business Administration. He is well-known for his interest in New Brunswick heritage, and has contributed significantly to its preservation and recognition.

Louise Imbeault recently retired as director of the Atlantic region for Radio-Canada. Imbeault is Chair of the Sheila Hugh MacKay Foundation and is active in several cultural organizations. She has served on the board of the Caisse populaire Beauséjour and the Fédération des caisses populaires acadiennes ltée. This is her second term on the museum board.

Robert Landry is a communications professional and former director and fund-raising co-ordinator of the Centre cultural in Caraquet. Landry has also served as the heritage officer for Caraquet. Landry is active in several cultural and community organizations, including as president of the Club Richelieu of Caraquet. This is his second term on the museum board.

Blair Borgerson recently retired as mill general superintendent of the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, NB Division. Borgerson has been active on the board of the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, New Brunswick Branch. He is a former chair of the Moose Jaw National Exhibition Center and Art Museum. He is a member of the Fundy Camera Club and has served as its president on several occasions.

Herménégilde Chiasson is a New Brunswick artist and former Lt.-Gov. of New Brunswick (2003-09). Chiasson holds a doctorate from the Sorbonne, Paris. He has participated in more than 100 exhibitions, including 18 solo exhibitions, produced more than 14 films, and authored several books, plays, texts and other performances. The winner of several international awards, Chiasson has been actively involved in many areas of art and culture in New Brunswick.

Gwendolyn Davies is a professor and Dean Emerita in English and Graduate Studies at the University of New Brunswick. Davies has written or edited five books and more than 70 articles on Maritime history and literature. She is a member of the Fredericton Heritage Trust, president of the Associates of the Provincial Archives, and has participated in various academic, publishing and community organizations.

Cyril Donahue, a former teacher and principal, is  currently a realtor as well as the co-ordinator of the District 16 Heritage Fairs.  He is president of Autism Resources Miramichi Inc., director of the Miramichi Historical Society, chair of the City of Miramichi Heritage Review Board, and has been involved in other heritage and community activities.

Richard Burpee is retired and is a former president and chief executive officer of Saint John Energy. Burpee is chair of the Loch Lomond Villa Foundation and president of the Cedar Hill Greenwood Cemetary. He is a former president of the museum board, a member of the board of  the Canadian Electricity Association, past president of the Canadian Red Cross, NB Division, and has been involved with various community organizations.

Gordon LaBillois is a member of the Mi'kmaq Nation at Eel River Bar. LaBillois is a band councilor and has been involved in various First Nations activities, including the Aboriginal Heritage Garden project at Eel River Bar. He is currently a member of the Province of New Brunswick/First Nations Technical Negotiation Committee, Sub-Committee on Consultation and Accommodation Archaeology, Heritage Resources and Related Legislation.

Camille Roy is a retired businessperson. Roy has worked with seniors and in social development. He has been a member of the board of the Caisse des Trois Rives and the Caisse populaire de Saint Basile. Roy is currently a board member of the foyer de soins Jodin and has been involved in various community organizations.

Yves Gagnon holds the K.C. Irving Chair in Sustainable Development at the Université de Moncton, and is Adjunct Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of New Brunswick and the École de technologie supérieure (Montréal). He is an active researcher and is involved in various economic and community development organizations, including as chair of the Fundy Biosphere Reserve.


Jane Matthews-Clark, communications, Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport, 506-444-4454, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .