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Prime Minister Harper visits Canada Pavilion

CANADIAN Prime Minister Stephen Harper inspected the construction site of the Canada Pavilion at the World Expo Shanghai grounds this morning and thanked workers for their hard work to make the construction one of the fastest at the Expo site.

Harper shook hands with construction workers and posed with them in front of the C-shaped pavilion. He also unveiled the national flag of Canada and a nameplate for the pavilion with Hua Junduo, commissioner general of China at the 2010 event.

He made no official speech during his visit.

A "virtual waterfall" that changes its pictures when people touch it will be a highlight of the pavilion, Mark Rowswell, Canada's commissioner general for the Expo told media today. The waterfall will also show the sceneries of future cities in the imaginations of many Canadian children.

The installation symbolizes every resident's contribution to a city's development, he said.

The pavilion will be finished by the end of the year, and it is expected to be the first finished self-built pavilion at the Expo, he added. Outfitting will be completed in March before a trial operation of the Expo site scheduled in April.

Rowswell, better known as "Da Shan" (Big Mountain) in China as a performer and TV host, said he didn't rule out the possibility of performing "xiangsheng," the Chinese-style comedian talks, at the 6,000-square-meter pavilion.

The pavilion will touch upon the vitality of cities under the theme "The Living City: Inclusive, Sustainable, Creative."

Rowswell said the presentation aims to "give a brand-new impression of Canada" to Chinese visitors, replacing stereotypes of cold and vast tracts of land.

The cooperation between the pavilion and Cirque du Soleil, one of Canada's most famous cultural exports, is featured. The troupe made its debut on the Chinese mainland last summer, bringing the Quidam show to Shanghai, its only stop in China.

It is responsible for designing the pavilion's creative concept, public presentation and cultural programs, as well as developing strategic corporate alliances. The pavilion will be the hub of a wide array of special events and activities.

The pavilion is expected to attract at least 30,000 visitors daily, Rowswell said.


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