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Western Fair Association Honours McRae

Published: January 13, 2010 10:32 am ET

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Gary McRae, who capably guided Western Fair Association for many years, most recently as Chief Executive Officer, was honoured with a retirement party at the London, Ontario facility last weekend. A capacity crowd packed into the Carousel Room to pay tribute to the man who led the association through an era of tremendous change and growth.

A native of Glencoe, Ontario, McRae worked his way through the ranks at Western Fair Association, starting out as Mutuel Manager at the racetrack. He then progressed to Midway Manager and in 1991 was promoted to General Manager. He took over as CEO in 2005 and his retirement was announced last year.

During his tenure at the helm of the multi-faceted organization, McRae oversaw multi-million dollars in upgrades, renovations and expansions at Western Fair Entertainment Centre including the IMAX theatre, slots lounge and subsequent expansion, Agriplex, the race paddock, Sports Centre and safety upgrades to racetrack including improved lighting and removal of hubrail

A former president of Racetracks Canada and the Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions, McRae was elected the Chair of the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) in 2006, one of the only Canadians to attain that lofty position.

“In our journey through life, each of us comes across a select few individuals who have touched our lives in a positive and profound way,” said Hugh Mitchell, who took over from McRae as the CEO at Western Fair last year, during the retirement presentations.

“Gary McRae has been one of those special individuals for me and for a good many of his friends, peers and colleagues. Gary, in his calm and unassuming way has been an inspiration and role model to a good many people who have had the pleasure of knowing him and working with him.”

(Western Fair)

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