Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

April 30, 2010 17:37 ET

Minister Moore Highlights Opening of Canada Pavilion at Expo 2010 in Shanghai

OTTAWA, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - April 30, 2010) - The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, today highlighted the official opening of the Canada Pavilion at Expo 2010 in Shanghai.

Canada's Commissioner General Mark Rowswell, or "Dashan" as he is known in China, will open the Canada Pavilion in Shanghai. Guests are eager to see the unique and innovative presentation on Canada.

"The Canada Pavilion is one of the most highly anticipated national pavilions at the Expo," said Minister Moore. "Our guests are very excited; we feel strongly that during the six-month Expo, the Canada Pavilion will give our Chinese and international visitors a favourable, lasting impression of Canada as a democratic, culturally diverse, technologically advanced, environmentally aware, bilingual, multicultural country."

The Canada Pavilion has already received excellent reviews for its beautiful exterior built of sustainably harvested red Canadian cedar, arranged in crystalline forms to evoke the precious character of our natural resources. It also has a living "green wall" and many sustainable elements.

The Pavilion, imagined and designed by Cirque du Soleil and constructed by SNC-Lavalin, is meant to interpret Canada's theme "The Living City: inclusive, sustainable, creative."

The public presentation inside the Pavilion was developed by Cirque du Soleil. Visitors will see short films, art work, and other interactive elements. All visitors to the Canada Pavilion will be greeted by young hosts, Canadians who speak Mandarin and either English or French. Cirque du Soleil artists will entertain visitors as they wait to enter the Pavilion.

Opening the Pavilion is only the start of Canada's participation at this Expo. An outstanding group of more than 165 talented Canadian artists from the performing, media, literary, and visual arts will perform at the Canada Pavilion and at several different venues during the six-month Expo.

"Our first big cultural celebration will be on May 8. It features Canadian pianist Alain Lefèvre, who will perform with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Quebec conductor Jean-Philippe Tremblay. Also performing will be Acadian singer Marie-Jo Thério and Red Sky Performance, a contemporary Aboriginal dance group from Ontario," said Minister Moore.

Expo 2010 is expected to be the biggest exposition ever, with 242 countries and organizations participating. The Government of Canada expects to welcome between 5 and 5.5 million visitors to the Canada Pavilion: 30 000 per day. It runs from May 1 to October 31, 2010.

Expo 2010 will allow Canada to advance its foreign and trade policy goals, strengthen economic, diplomatic, and cultural ties with China, and shape and strengthen Canada's brand in China.

Canada's International Expositions Program, part of the Department of Canadian Heritage, is responsible for planning, coordinating, and implementing Canada's participation in international expositions sanctioned by the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE). For more information on Canada's participation in international expositions, visit and

(This news release is available on the Internet at under Media Room.)


The Canada Pavilion

The Canada Pavilion is built on 6000 m2 of space in Zone C of the Expo, along the Huangpu River in the Pudong District. The floor area of the Pavilion is 4800 m2, which makes it one of the largest national pavilions.

The Canada Pavilion has been purpose-built, rather than "fitting up" an existing modular structure. There are only about 45 other participants who built an original pavilion.

The Pavilion is shaped like a looped ribbon or a large letter "C," which could stand for "Canada" and also "creativity." The pavilion building wraps itself around an open-air public square to convey the idea that it is the people that make Canadian cities great, as well as the architecture.

Cirque du Soleil is responsible for the creative concept, the architecture, and the public presentation for the Canada Pavilion. Johnny Boivin of Cirque du Soleil is the Creative Director. He developed the concept and worked in cooperation with Saia, Barbarese and Topouzanov Architects Ltd. on the architecture.

World-renowned Canadian engineering firm SNC-Lavalin built the pavilion structure and is responsible for its technical operation during Expo.

The majority of the Pavilion consists of the public presentation. On the second and third floors, there are areas for hosting conferences and VIP functions, as well as for administration. There is also a boutique and a restaurant.

Inside the Canada Pavilion

Visitors will walk through themed-areas that evoke and reflect Canadian values.

Founding Memories: As visitors enter the Canada Pavilion, they will be greeted by metal walls carved with words in English, French, and Chinese, expressing Canada's most important ideals and founding values.

The Urban Heart represents the hub of the city. It is a towering multi-faceted structure presenting the different faces of Canadian cities with unifying moments in culture, diversity, inclusiveness, and social harmony.

Aqua Magika pays tribute to Canada's imaginative youth who will generate our cities for the future. As visitors interact with the water basin, images and sounds appear on a cloud-like structure.

Velocity is an interactive video installation that gives visitors the opportunity to experience some of Canada's urban best practices through animation. Visitors are able to control the speed of sound and video by pedaling a stationary bicycle.

A scenic tree, designed to represent the common link between city and nature, serves to unite all of these themes.

Before exiting the public presentation, visitors will be immersed in a unique cinematic experience by Jean-François Pouliot on a 150-degree screen. The film, Glimpses: A Human View of the Living City, will project a custom-made panorama of images, taking audiences on an incredible journey of Canadian moments.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
    and Official Languages
    Matthew Deacon - Press Secretary
    Canadian Heritage
    Media Relations