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Canadian Exhibit at Expo 2010 - Rant

2010newbie

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Canada, the U.S., Britain and other Western countries have built extraordinary pavilions "basically designed to market their countries to the Chinese people," the CBC's Anthony Germain reported.

Many exhibits display environmental technologies: Japan's has a lavender covering embedded with solar cells, while Brazil's was finished in recyclable wood strips. Many have roof gardens, in contrast with the huge expanses of asphalt and concrete at the pedestrian level.



Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2010/05/01/china-expo.html#ixzz0mpT9GDJh

I was thouroughly unimpressed with the Canada pavilion. Here were the main issues:

- 6,000 square metres and there was not a single Canadian Flag to be seen

- The Expo theme is "Better City, Better Life" and there wasn't a single mention of any Canadian city name in the entire pavilion, nor were there any pictures except for some abstract street views

- No display of any defining Canadian information (population, country size, history, a map even)

- I waited about 20 minutes in line and there were a dozen flat screen TV's that I assumed would be showing panoramic vistas of the Rockies, rugged east coast shorelines, the praires, Gulf Islands, and maybe even some city projects that would reflect the "Better City, Better Life" theme. I was mistaken, they were showing an abstract cartoon with farm animals.

- The exhibit that focused on the theme "Velocity - A journey through the best Canadian urban practices" consisted of some bicycles in front of a movie screen and when you pedal, the film shows abstract animation of various typical urban initiatives (mass transit, green space development, alternative energies). The problem was that none of them were representative of actual intiatives (unless the government is working on flying subway cars and go-go-gadget helicopter hats).

- There was no mention of any innovative Canadian companies or projects to promote the Canadian economy

- The food court (which is used to showcase cuisine from that country) sold Moosehead beer (great - but they didn't actually have any), Carlsberg beer (Is Denmark part of Canada???), and wines from South Africa

Cirque du Soleil will represent Canada at a world expo in Shanghai in 2010.

The federal government announced Monday it has asked the masters of acrobatic spectacle to design Canada's pavillion for the 2010 Shanghai Exhibition.

The project involves designing a 6,000-square-metre pavilion (the size of 2½ hockey rinks) on the Expo 2010 site, near the centre of Shanghai.

Working with the Cirque to create a Canadian pavilion will "increase the visibility of Canada" at the exhibition, Heritage Minister Josée Verner said in a statement.

Ottawa is supplying $13.5 million in financing and more is to be raised privately.

The Cirque has a mandate to design a building, create presentations to be seen by the public, organize the cultural program and establish alliances with the private sector.
Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/news/story/2008/01/22/cirque-shanghai.html#ixzz0mpcVMqQo

It was obvious that the intent was to be artistic with this pavilion and not "increase the visibility of Canada". I can't comment on how it compared to all of the other pavilions because it would take a couple weeks to get through the whole place, but I did see the Finland, USA, Peru, North Korea ("Democratic" Peoples Republic of Korea), United Nations, Australia, and the Central and South American (Uruguay, PAraguay, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Dominican Repoblic, Bolivia) Pavillions. From an artistic perspective the Canadian Pavillion was okay, but it did nothing to promote the people, economy, and an understanding of what our country is like. Total waste of taxpayer money IMHO... :cdn:
 
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