Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

January 21, 2008 10:21 ET

The Government of Canada and Cirque du Soleil Work Together to Create Canada Pavilion for Shanghai Expo 2010

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Jan. 21, 2008) - The Honourable Josee Verner, Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages, and Daniel Lamarre, President and CEO of Cirque du Soleil, today announced that Canada and Cirque du Soleil have formed a collaborative arrangement to develop the Canada Pavilion at the World Exposition Shanghai China 2010 (Expo 2010). They also unveiled a preliminary creative design concept for the 6000-square-metre pavilion, to be built at the Expo site near the centre of Shanghai.

"The Government of Canada is proud and excited that we will work with Cirque du Soleil on this Expo. With the Cirque's international reputation we are confident that this collaborative arrangement will result in the Canada Pavilion attracting millions of visitors," said Minister Verner.

"This groundbreaking arrangement leverages Canada's Expo budget and helps us compete in a very demanding environment. And, by working together, we will ensure a greater profile for Canada at Expo 2010 and throughout China."

Expo 2010 will take place from May 1 to October 31, 2010, in Shanghai. The theme of the Expo will be "Better City, Better Life." The theme of Canada's pavilion will be "The Living City: inclusive, sustainable, creative."

Canada's participation at Expo 2010 will also provide opportunities for the provinces and territories to join the federal government in showcasing how Canadians value democratic inclusion, protect the environment, and encourage creativity and innovation.

Together with the Government of Canada, Cirque du Soleil will design the creative concept for the Canada Pavilion, create the public presentation, organize the cultural program, and develop strategic corporate alliances. Canada will contribute $13.5 million to the venture; Cirque du Soleil will use its world-wide reknown and network of contacts to obtain corporate alliances and promote Canada's participation at the Expo.

"Cirque du Soleil has always been a proud ambassador of Quebec and Canada in each city and country we have visited," said Daniel Lamarre, President and CEO of Cirque du Soleil. "We are honoured that the Canadian Government has chosen us to imagine and design the Canada Pavilion for the 2010 International Expo in Shanghai. This trust humbles us and the creative challenge inspires us."

With the goal of having the Canada Pavilion ready by early 2010, a public tendering process is now underway for the architectural services, construction, and technical operations of the Canada Pavilion.

Expo 2010 will enable Canada to advance its foreign and trade-policy goals; strengthen economic, diplomatic, and cultural ties; and shape and strengthen Canada's brand in China. China is now Canada's second-largest trading partner.

The funding for the collaborative arrangement comes from the International Expositions Branch of the Department of Canadian Heritage. The Department, on behalf of the Government of Canada, is responsible for planning, coordinating, and implementing Canada's participation in international expositions sanctioned by the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE) in Paris. For more information about Canada's participation in international expositions, please visit and


- 200 countries and international organizations are expected to participate in the World Exposition Shanghai China 2010 (Expo 2010), with visitor attendance projected at 70 to 90 million, 95 percent coming from China.

- The Canada Pavilion will measure 6000 square metres, with a public-presentation area about the size of two and a half NHL hockey rinks. It is expected to welcome up to 5.5 million people or about 30 000 visitors a day.

- Cirque du Soleil will develop the creative design for the Pavilion. Its preliminary design concept for the Pavilion is based on the public places found in cities. The Pavilion will be anchored by an open public place, surrounded by three large structures. Visitors will enter the pavilion through the public place, which will include a performing area, then circulate through the larger structures that house the public presentation.

Contact Information

  • Canadian Heritage
    Donald Boulanger
    A/Chief, Media Relations
    Cirque du Soleil
    Renee-Claude Menard
    Director, Public Relations
    514-723-7646 ext.7366