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This Coquitlam arts hub just got a new board president

Barb Hobson stepped down as president of Place des Arts after 11 years at the helm.

Place des Arts has a new leader in its 50th year.

This week, the Coquitlam arts hub announced that Barb Hobson will step down as board president after 11 years at the helm.

She will be replaced by Matthew Sebastiani, who joined the board of directors in 2019 and served as treasurer.

Hobson, who will stay on as treasurer, retired last year as a long-time trustee with School District 43.

After joining the Place des Arts board in 1998 — two years after being elected to the board of education — Hobson was the facility’s secretary/treasurer, vice-president and vice-president of operations before being named president in 2012.

Meanwhile, Sebastiani has a background in government, financial services and biotech. He has a bachelor’s degree in economics from SFU, as well as a master’s degree in business administration from the UBC Sauder School of Business.

Like Hobson, he has a lengthy list of volunteerism in the community: He has been the president of the Vancouver chapter of Crohn’s and Colitis Canada since 2018. He is currently a member of Coquitlam’s Economic Development Advisory Committee and formerly served on the city’s Universal Accessibility Advisory Committee.

“I’m honoured to step in and serve as board president of Place des Arts, a pillar of the arts in our local community,” he said in a news release.

“We are thankful for Barb’s dedicated leadership in her role as president over the last decade and her continued service on the board. After celebrating a milestone 50-year anniversary at Place des Arts this past season, I look forward to working with board and staff as we look forward to guiding the organization into the next 50 years, and beyond, fulfilling our mission to inspire the artist in everyone.”

Located at 1120 Brunette Ave., Coquitlam, Place des Arts is a not-for-profit arts education centre that offers programs in visual arts, music, drama, dance and movement at its Maillardville centre, as well as at the Evergreen Cultural Centre.