Complete: The Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba is looking for someone to take over the reins of the organization.
After 10 years as the face of the Provincial Ex, CEO Karen Oliver will be stepping down this coming spring.
"It was a hard decision because I still love my job," Oliver said. "You have this huge sense of investment in it — the people and the events and so on."
Oliver went on to say that after a decade in the same role, "you’ve given it what you’ve got in terms of new ideas and new initiatives, and then it’s just time for somebody else to … look at it through a different set of eyes and take it to the next level."
The general manager leads the team in the Provincial Ex’s four annual events — the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair, Manitoba Summer Fair, Manitoba Livestock Expo and President’s Dinner.
The organization was established in 1882, with the purpose of showcasing agriculture as well as linking urban and rural communities through education and awareness while providing entertainment, community pride and economic enhancement of the region.
Oliver said she will leave her post after the Winter Fair in March 2014.
"Hopefully we’ll have somebody in place in January that can sort of work through the lead-up to Winter Fair along with me," she said. "If they have three months to work up to Winter Fair, they would see the most intense period."
Oliver will sit in on interviews as they search for a "strong mentor and leader" to take over the position.
"It’s a great organization and I have felt so proud to be a part of it," Oliver said. "It’s going to be a bit of a letdown I’m sure when I’m not in the driver’s seat."
Oliver says she likely will stick around to help with the capital campaign for the Dome Building.
"I’m not ready to retire yet," she said. "I may stay on to finish the Dome building … or I might just do something different. Who knows?"