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Visitor experience

Canada is defined by its diversity, which is manifested in the cultural, regional and economic pluralism that is intrinsic to Canadians’ lived experiences and visions of nationhood. This diversity is what naturally positions Canada as a leader and an innovative collaborator in meeting the global challenges of our time. Visitors to the Canada Pavilion will be invited to discover this perspective of openness and these stories of innovation through an immersive journey of artistic expression.

Outside, visitors’ eyes will be drawn to glowing fossils radiating a beautiful amber glow; eight inhabitable boxes scattered throughout the hall to the pavilion will house these remnants of a possible future. Visitors will be able to explore this powerful art installation evoking a poetic vision of an uncertain future and interact with its elements. This experience will elicit a reflection upon our present, challenging visitors regarding the value of a necessary dialogue between humans and nature.

Inside, the journey continues with a 360-degree theatre experience through Canada’s four seasons that is inspired by the vast Canadian landscape—an artistic expression of Canada’s natural diversity—combining celebration, abundance, reflection, observation, healing, hope and energy, which, together, tell Canada’s story and demonstrate Canadians’ ability to creatively solve problems hand-in-hand with the global community. The journey highlights the links between Canada’s natural beauty and resources, the power of its Indigenous peoples’ traditional knowledge and the diversity and dynamism of Canada’s urban centres, which are engines of creativity, innovation and prosperity.

Virtual experience

The Canada Pavilion will be transformed online into an emotional, poetic and immersive odyssey of the most innovative kind, allowing users from around the world—thanks to cutting-edge technologies—to navigate a site based on the distinctive elements of an in-person visit, creating a unique virtual experience. Visitors to Dubai will also find information online that will enhance their experiences.

In other areas of the virtual pavilion, visitors will have the opportunity to learn more about Canada’s incredible business, investment, education, immigration and tourism opportunities in an entertaining and interactive way. View

20 facts and figures about the Canada Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai

Don’t worry—the elegant structure wrapped in a geometric lattice shown in the picture above isn’t an alien ship visiting from a distant planet (although you could be forgiven for thinking it is).

Rather, it’s the Canada Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai—the focal point of Canada’s presence at this global showcase of creativity, collaboration and innovation.

As Pavilion Director Tchad Joiner—an architect himself—notes, “It draws you in with a quiet grace. Its clean lines, circular shape and intricate latticework screen making it mesmerizing by day and simply spectacular by night—especially when it’s seen from either the end of the long concourse leading to the pavilion or from the adjacent outdoor Jubilee Stage.”

The public presentation at the Canada Pavilion is a pulsed event that runs on a timed schedule; it is therefore a relatively direct experience. In other words, visitors don’t end up walking through the pavilion and wondering if they’ve missed something. This direct approach sees visitors take in elements of an art installation while lining up outside the pavilion, before moving inside for an interactive sound-and-light experience and a short film shown on a screen that is quite unlike the kind you’d see in your local movie theatre. After they leave the pavilion, visitors can explore more of the art installation at their leisure.

Here are some key facts and figures (including details of the short film mentioned above) to get you more familiar with the building and the role it plays in introducing Canada to the world.

The Future In Mind – Canada’s theme for Expo 2020 Dubai. The expression of the theme is found in both the physical and virtual versions of the pavilion.

1,364 – The size of the pavilion in square metres.

6 – The approximate number of pavilions that could fit on a Canadian Football League field.

2,500 – The average number of visitors per day that have visited the pavilion since it opened on October 1.

Sustainability – The name of the Expo 2020 Dubai district in which the pavilion is located.

Solar power – How the pavilion’s water is heated.

Moriyama & Teshima – The Toronto-based architectural firm that designed the Canada Pavilion and which has designed a host of other renowned buildings, including the Etihad Museum in Dubai, the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa and the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto.

Unity – What the circular shape of the pavilion symbolizes.

3 – The number of sections into which the pavilion is divided. These comprise a theatre, a VIP section for business meetings and conferences and an office space for staff members.

Douglas fir – The type of wood used in the geometric lattice that wraps around the building. All of the wood used in the building came from British Columbia.

45,655 – The weight in kilograms of the Douglas fir wood used in the lattice—about 4 times the weight of an anchor on the retired British ocean liner, Queen Elizabeth 2, which is now a floating hotel in (coincidentally!) Dubai.

France – Where the lattice was fabricated and assembled—and then disassembled—before being shipped to Dubai by boat.

Mashrabiya – An exterior wooden screen that is a traditional element of Arabic architecture, and which is 1 of 2 impressions the lattice is meant to evoke.

The Canadian landscape – The other impression the lattice is meant to evoke, thanks to…

The Trans-Canada Highway – The inspiration behind part of the lattice’s seemingly random geometry. Architects mapped the elevation of the famed cross-country route and incorporated its rises, dips and flats into the lattice to create a cross-section of Canada.

TRACES – The name of the pavilion’s art installation, produced by the National Film Board of Canada.

The imminent disappearance of natural landscapes and living species – The idea around which TRACES was developed.

360-degree – The type of screen used in the pavilion’s theatre.

Summer, autumn, winter and spring – The seasons visitors will experience during the 5-minute film called ‘’The Show’’, shown on the screen every 8 minutes.

17 – The number of pieces of contemporary Canadian art inside the pavilion’s VIP areas, including works by Quebec’s Caroline Monnet, Nunavut’s Qavavau Manumie, Ontario’s Rajni Perera and Newfoundland and Labrador’s Christine Koch.