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Media Advisory

Canada’s National Day at Expo 2020 Dubai


  • Governor General of Canada to mark Canada’s National Day at Expo as the head of Canada’s delegation.
  • Enjoy performances by Quebec pop sensation Marie-Mai, alt-pop duo Neon Dreams and Inuit circus troupe
  • Regional premiere of Peace by Chocolate film rounds out Canada’s National Day showcase.


  • Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada
  • The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development


  • MarieMai: Affectionately referred to as Quebec’s Beyoncé, pop sensation Marie Mai is a living musical legend
  • Neon Dreams: Vocalist Frank Kadillac and drummer Adrian Morris will perform their unique sound, blending pop, rock, electronic dance music, hip-hop, reggae and folk
  • Artcirq: based in Igloolik, Nunavut, Canada, Artcirq is a unique Inuit circus and multimedia production collective that aims to give its members space, skills and opportunities to express themselves and celebrate their heritage


Saturday, March 19, to Monday, March 21, 2022


Canada Pavilion, Festival Garden, Jubilee Stage, Al Wasl Plaza and other Expo 2020 Dubai sites


Canada’s National Day acknowledges deepening of relationships made possible by Expo 2020 Dubai

Globally renowned artists Marie Mai, Neon Dreams and the Nunavut-based Artcirq team to headline Canada’s National Day showcase

The Canada Pavilion will mark its Expo National Day on Saturday, March 19, 2020, with a calendar of cultural and trade events recognizing the deepening of economic, cultural and people to people ties between Canada, the UAE and wider Middle East region, strenghthened by Canada’s participation in Expo 2020 Dubai.

The Right Honourable Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada, will lead Canada’s delegation at its Expo National Day and participate in a series of high-level meetings, where she will promote Canadian leadership, innovation and opportunities throughout all sectors of society while highlighting the importance of collaboration between countries and cultures.

She will be joined by the Honourable Mary Ng, Canada’s Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, who will highlight the role Expo 2020 Dubai has played in opening doors for more bilateral trade and investment opportunities for Canada and the United Arab Emirates.

Canada’s cultural showcase is not to be missed, with a week of music, art, movie screening and performances culminating in a National Day concert headlined by Quebec pop sensation Marie Mai. Marie Mai’s drive and energy, heightened by electrifying rhythms, has seen her build a massive fan base and dazzle audiences in Canada, France and the United States. Her music incorporates elements of rock, pop and electro mingled in an intoxicating, dynamic way. Over her nearly 20-year career, she has collaborated with renowned talents, such as Johnny Hallyday, been a brand ambassador, pursued a successful career in film and TV and become one of Canada’s most successful francophone pop stars.

Canadian alt-pop duo Neon Dreams, made up of vocalist Frank Kadillac and drummer Adrian Morris, will perform their unique sound, blending pop, rock, electronic dance music, hip-hop, reggae and folk. The pair have won numerous Canadian awards, including Breakthrough Group of the Year at the 2020 Juno Awards and Best New Group or Solo Artist: Dance/Urban/Rhythmic at the 2017 Canadian Radio Music Awards.

Expect to be mesmerized and inspired by internationally renowned circus troupe Artcirq and its energetic, acrobatic performances. What began as a way to provide youth with a cathartic artistic outlet has become a sought-after artistic phenomenon. Artcirq’s unique performing style blends modern circus techniques with Inuit culture and multimedia production, giving its members the space, skills and opportunities to express themselves and celebrate their heritage.

The Canada Pavilion will also display the eye-opening outdoor photographic exhibition Take Your Seat. The name Take Your Seat comes from the director’s chair creatively placed in each shot as a reminder that the choice to take care of each other, our planet and our best selves is ours to make. In line with Canada’s Future in Mind Expo theme, visitors to the Canada Pavilion will be invited to “take a seat” on the red director’s chair and reflect on the beautiful connections forged during Expo 2020 Dubai.

The Canada Pavilion will also participate in a series of fun events and activities to mark International Francophonie Day on March 20, a day on which more than 300 million francophones on 5 continents celebrate the French language, its diversity and their love of it.

Rounding out Canada’s National Day showcase will be the regional premiere of Peace by Chocolate, a Canadian dramatic film directed by Jonathan Keijser and inspired by the true story of the Hadhad family. This Syrian family moved to Canada as refugees fleeing their country’s civil war. Settling in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, they established the Peace by Chocolate artisanal chocolate shop.


Canada’s National Day program

March 14 Take Your Seat photographic exhibition All day Canada Pavilion
March 16 Artcirq movie documentary Circus Without Borders 1 pm Youth Pavilion
March 16 Neon Dreams performance 8 pm Angola Pavilion
March 17 Artcirq performances 10 am / 11 am Sun Stage / Canada Pavilion
March 17 Neon Dreams performance 9:30 pm Australia Pavilion
March 18 Neon Dreams performance 2 pm Canada Pavilion
March 18 Artcirq performances 3 pm Canada Pavilion
March 19 Marie Mai and Artcirq: Official Ceremony 5 pm Al Wasl Plaza
March 19 Canada National Day headline concert with Neon Dreams, Artcirq and Marie Mai 6 pm Festival Garden
March 20 International Day of la Francophonie: Marie Mai performance 8:50 pm Jubilee Stage
March 21 eace by Chocolate movie screening 7 pm Festival Garden


Click here for Canada’s National Day’s poster and artists’ info

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About Canada at Expo 2020 Dubai
Canada’s Expo 2020 theme, The Future in Mind, serves as a platform to promote opportunities for trade, investment, education, tourism and immigration, from across Canada’s provinces, territories and cities, and throughout all sectors of society. Canada’s participation highlights Canadian leadership in key sectors, including artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, education, digitization, telemedicine, clean technology, agriculture, health sciences, aerospace and more. Canada’s approach to Expo 2020 Dubai is inspired by our core values of diversity, inclusion, human rights and gender equality as the foundation to building a prosperous and inclusive nation capable and intent on offering solutions to global challenges.

About the National Arts Centre
The National Arts Centre is Canada’s bilingual, multi-disciplinary home for the performing arts. The NAC presents, creates, produces, and co-produces performing arts programming in various streams — the NAC Orchestra, Dance, English Theatre in collaboration with Black Theatre Workshop, French Theatre, Indigenous Theatre, and Popular Music and Variety — and nurtures the next generation of audiences and artists from across Canada. The NAC is located in the National Capital Region on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabe. The NAC is partnering with Global Affairs Canada to deliver a cultural programme over the six months of Expo 2020 Dubai, an integral part of Canada’s participation.


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