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Canada to Wow Expo 2010 Visitors

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Since Canada announced its participation in the upcoming World Expo in Shanghai, the country's preparations have gone smoothly, and now its pavilion is expected to wow crowds at the Expo.

Jean Heon, spokesperson from Canadian Heritage, which is responsible for coordinating Canada's participation in this Expo, told Xinhua in a written interview that during the Expo, Canada will show the world its advanced sustainable technology.

Some ecological techniques were used in the construction of the Canada Pavilion, which cost 28 million Canadian dollars (about US$28.04 million). Moreover, the whole design of the pavilion and its materials reflect this Expo's theme of "Better City, Better Life."

The pavilion, shaped like the English letter "C," represents Canada, Community and Creativity. The public square at the heart of this architectural novelty is a place for community events, gatherings and festivals.

Heon said the openness of the square and its lively atmosphere could evoke the feeling of inclusiveness in visitors, and human beings' involvement makes the square truly come alive.

This design, with its internal courtyard, represents creative solutions to urban development, and is consistent with Canada's theme "The Living City: inclusive, sustainable, creative."

Red Canadian cedar, arranged in crystalline forms, is used on the pavilion's surface to represent the precious character of Canada's natural resources, and also as louvers to reduce thermal gain. The pavilion also uses a white membrane in the roof area to reduce urban heat islands.

Another innovative feature of the pavilion is the green wall, which is covered with evergreen tree seedlings. The green walls are used as a bio air filter, a natural water retention system and a sound barrier, and help keep the environment and the building cool.

Since the evergreen tree is synonymous with renewal, it is an excellent illustration of sustainability.

Heon said in order to build the pavilion using a low environmental impact, Canada "sourced materials locally" by both purchasing and renting to decrease its carbon footprint.

"Furthermore, a lot of material choices made for the pavilion are environmentally friendly. After the pavilion is dismantled, these materials will be recycled or reused to minimize construction waste," he said.

To keep visitors in suspense, Heon didn't unveil the details of the public presentation in the Canada Pavilion. But he said the public presentation, which he believed would bring visitors "colorful, festive, and feature unique experiences," would include short films, art work, and interactive elements. Also, Cirque du Soleil artists would be entertaining visitors while they wait to enter the pavilion.

Apart from the public show in the Canada Pavilion, Montreal and Vancouver were also selected to exhibit as cities in the Urban Best Practices Area (UBPA) of the Expo 2010 site.

"Montreal's exhibit, Saint-Michel Environmental Complex, will show how the city turned an area once used as a quarry and landfill site into an environmental complex and the city's largest park," Heon said.

"Vancouver's exhibit, entitled 'Livability and Sustainability: from World Fair 1986 to 2010 Olympics,' will showcase the urban best practices involved in transforming the Expo 86 site and the 2010 Winter Olympics Athletes' Village in False Creek into leading models of sustainability in North America," he added.

Canada has also prepared rich and colorful cultural programs. More than 150 emerging and established artists in the disciplines of music, dance, theater, literature, visual and media arts will perform at the Canada Pavilion and at several different venues on the Expo 2010 site.

In the meantime, Canada is planning five large-scale celebration performances for major events, including the official opening of Canada's cultural program on May 8, Canada Day on July 1 and the closing celebrations on Oct. 8.

Heon told Xinhua that the Canadian government will send approximately 100 staff members, comprised of program, technical, administrative and security people, as well as 30 young hosts who can speak Mandarin.

Heon said the commissioner general for Canada at the Expo, Mark Rowswell, also known as "Dashan" in Chinese, was the figurative head of the mission, and was supported by staff from the International Expositions Program, Department of Canadian Heritage.

Also, six young Canadian culinary school graduates have been selected to work with Wayne Murphy, executive chef at the Canada Pavilion. It will be their responsibility to cater for special events at the Canada Pavilion during the Expo and introduce visitors to Canadian products and cuisine.

"All of our Canadian staff will be in place a week before the Expo opening. Commissioner General Mark Rowswell and other dignitaries will attend the opening of the Expo," Heon said.

(Xinhua News Agency April 21, 2010)

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