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Vancouver Pavilion opens

2010. 18 May

While Canada's pavilion at the Shanghai Expo draws the crowds, across the river an informative pavilion promotes Vancouver and Canadian timber.

( 2010 Vancouver officially opened its pavilion at Shanghai Expo 2010, with Canada’s Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway in attendance along with British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell. The pavilion is a collaboration between the three levels of government – national, provincial and city.

In accordance with the Expo theme of “Better City, Better Life”, the Vancouver pavilion displays combine a presentation of Vancouver as an attractive city environment in which to live with a comprehensive promotion of Canadian timber as an energy efficient building material.

Vancouver Pavilion at Shanghai Expo 2010

Premier Campbell told the Vancouver Sun’s Andrea Woo on 17 May 2010 that the Vancouver pavilion "showcases the development of the city of Vancouver following Expo 86 and the value of B.C. wood as a construction material." In a Canadian government press release dated 15 May 2010, Minister Stockwell Day said that "The Vancouver Pavilion at Expo 2010 in Shanghai provides an excellent opportunity to showcase Canadian wood products and wood construction techniques to an international audience."

The pavilion’s first floor space describes the development of Vancouver’s northern False Creek area with reference to the positive effects of hosting Expo 86 and the 2010 Winter Olympics. "With over 70 million people expected to visit the Shanghai Expo, we are showcasing Vancouver as a leader in the green economy — from clean technology to green building," Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson said. "Visitors from around the world will see that in Vancouver, going green is good for quality of life, the environment and for business."

Focus on the Canadian Timber Resource

The second floor is devoted to Canadian timber and its merits for sustainability, energy conservation and safety features. The displays aim to build on China’s rapid emergence as one of Canada's most important lumber export markets. Exports in 2009 saw an eleven-fold increase since 2001 - from $32 million to $385 million. By volume, 2009 Canadian lumber exports totalled 2.6 million m³, more than double the previous year.

The third floor provides meeting rooms for business discussions and invitation-only presentations. It is here that Canadian business and government delegations will come to woo their Chinese associates and build the relationships so critical to doing business with China.

It's About Doing Business with China

To the Chinese people the Expo is a public extravaganza, an expression of national pride and a celebration of success. But to participating countries, regions, cities and business enterprises it is all about branding, creating links and ultimately doing business.

The Vancouver pavilion is unlikely to draw the huge crowds seen across the rive. There will not be the long queues as there are already on a daily basis at the more popular national pavilions, Canada included. Despite its attractive and informative displays it is not primarily designed for general public appeal at an event where ‘information overload’ is an understatement. The Vancouver pavilion’s benefit will be in the solid information it imparts to the Chinese and others in the trade, so to speak.

While the national pavilions at Expo 2010 occupy a sprawling space on the Pudong side of the Huangpu River, Vancouver joins many other cities that have their own presence across the river on the Puxi side. When viewing the complimentary Expo map handed out on entry to the site, the vancouver pavilion is located in the top right hand corner in Zone E.

The two Expo sites can be entered through one of 13 gates that are close to subway lines or with river transport access. They are interconnected by convenient courtesy coach or river shuttle.