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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I really don't know where to put this, so if I did place it in the wrong section, feel free to move it.

I hope you guys will be able to see a glimpse of the BC Canada Pavilion House and see the beauties of our country. The BC Canada Pavilion House is located across Tiananman Square.

BC Canada House Pavillion

Pavilion shows off B.C.
$14.7-million Canada-B.C. pavilion to be used by more than 400 companies in 30 sectors
Jeff Lee, Vancouver Sun
Published: Monday, April 21, 2008

Karyn Holyk apologetically stepped around the bodies of men lying in the corners of almost every room as she showed her guests from the Canadian Paralympic Committee around the skeleton of B.C. and Canada's new Olympic pavilion.

It was break time, and the workers, who have been feverishly working since early March to transform Beijing's Planning Exhibition Hall into a piece of Canada away from home, had rested their heads on their helmets, turned their faces toward the walls, and gone to sleep.

"Don't pay attention to them," Holyk said as she escorted the CPC's Debbie Low, Gaetan Tardif and Eric Chene and a Sun reporter around the first two floors of the new B.C.-Canada Pavilion. "They'll be back at work soon enough."

The nap interlude belied feverish activity that is taking place as a team led by Holyk, a partner in Vancouver-based Orca Creative Group, is working to a short deadline. On Thursday, Holyk, whose company designed the exhibit, expects to finish what many people see as a remarkable presence in Beijing in advance of the 2008 Summer Games.

On Saturday, the province will open the pavilion with a "soft launch" before it is officially opened on May 22 by B.C. and Ottawa officials led by Premier Gordon Campbell and David Emerson, the federal Olympics minister.

Anyone who visited the log cabin-style B.C.-Canada Pavilion in Turin, Italy, will not confuse it with this one. Like China itself, everything here is bigger and flashier, with a grander purpose in mind.

In Turin, the roaring success of the B.C. government-backed pavilion surprised many, including the federal government, which had reluctantly come to the table with limited contributions. More than 100,000 people passed through the first nations-carved doors before, during and after the 2006 Winter Games.

But this time, the federal government is here in spades, and the two governments have created a three-storey, $14.7-million piece of British Columbia and Canada a stone's throw from Tiananmen Square in the heart of China's capital. B.C. is in for $11 million, Ottawa for the rest.

The pavilion will be staffed by 60 volunteers and students and will remain a fixture in Beijing until after the Paralympics end in mid-September. During that time, the main floor will be open to the public six days a week, and the second-floor exhibition area will be available seven days a week to a variety of groups from B.C. and Canada's industry, tourism, technology and education sectors. More than 400 companies involved in 30 sectors will use the facility, according to Bette Sterling, the pavilion's director.

After the Games, B.C. will keep a permanent trade office in Beijing.

The Canadian story starts from the outside with 13 massive wood-clad rings that frame the entrance to the pavilion. The steel is being covered with a B.C. waste wood product called Silva Panel.

A 4.5-tonne jade centrepiece called The Emperor's Sunrise, carved by Vancouver's George Pratt for Syd Belzberg, will be installed inside the rings. Belzberg has loaned the sculpture, made from an 11-tonne gem-quality piece mined from the Polar jade mine in Dease Lake, for the duration of the pavilion's presence.

"We're hoping to have a million hands touch it by the time we return it to its owner," Holyk said.

Inside, the first floor has been turned into a snaking tribute to B.C., themed around five traditional Chinese elements -- metal, wood, water, earth and fire. It starts with metal supplied by Teck Cominco and moves through a fusion of stories themed around the environment, economy and lifestyle that tell of Gold Mountain, as the Chinese call British Columbia. Throughout is the story of a modern and emerging Canada that still pays homage to its first nations ancestry.

Like the pavilion in Turin, which had a cedar tree as a centrepiece, there is a massive "Spirit Tree" in this pavilion, too. It is the barrel of a 225-year-old cedar that once stood at Prospect Point in Stanley Park. Blown down in the winds of December 2006 that damaged much of the park, the tree was donated by Vancouver. Sooke artist Kenny Jones opened it up into a walk-in gallery that will be adorned with 32-inch cedar medallions designed by Andy Everson of Comox and carved by Haida artist Clarence Mills.

The second floor, set aside for meeting rooms, private functions and a lecture hall, is equipped with two kitchens and what Holyk thinks is the largest bar in Beijing.

The setup was precisely what Low and Tardif were looking for. As the chef and assistant chef de mission for the CPC, they were scouting suitable locations for hosting some events. "This is a spectacular facility," said Low. "I love the Spirit Tree. I'm such a sucker for things like that."

Low said the CPC will likely use the pavilion for some of its functions, and she is especially pleased the facility is fully accessible in a city that has yet to offer cut-down street corners for people using wheelchairs.

While the organizers of the Beijing Olympics have made their venues and facilities fully accessible, stairs still have status in China, Low said.

"This is an old city, and stairs are a cultural status symbol," she said. "The higher the stairs, the higher the status. So it is good to find a place like this where we can hold some functions without difficulty."

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- The Beijing pavilion, at a total cost of $14.7 million, will be bigger than the log cabin and will be open from May to September, twice as long as the log cabin, which cost about $6 million.

- Both the provincial and federal governments are betting it will bring a big payoff for Vancouver’s position as an Olympic host with high-profile exposure at the Summer Games on the doorstep of the biggest market in the world.

- Campbell said he hopes to see up to 400,000 guests stream through the Beijing pavilion, compared with the 100,000 who toured Torino’s rustic log cabin.

- The B.C.-Canada Pavilion is situated between the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square in Beijing.

- The pavilion will feature 13 striking wood arches at its entrance, representing the provinces and territories, and lead into a 21,000-square-foot, three-storey space Campbell characterized as “a museum of a modern province and modern country.”

- The pavilion will include a 200-seat stage, which will be used to feature Canadian cultural performances.

- The first floor will also contain interactive displays about B.C. and Canada, including so-called “spirit tree,” a hollow, fallen log from Stanley Park that visitors can explore.

- Upper floors will include exhibition and meeting spaces that can be used for commercial and promotional endeavours.

- B.C. industry groups ranging from the forest industry and green design to new media and clean-energy sectors will be represented at the pavilion, as well as community-profile efforts for Metro Vancouver, Victoria, the Sea to Sky corridor, Whistler, Kamloops and Prince George.
Source: CanWest/Vancouver Sun

The following pictures thanks to Mr. X:

Exterior of the Pavilion, which is also an outdoor theatre with seating for 200

The thirteen wooden arches which tower above the entry to the Pavilion, each representing the different provinces & territories

A beautiful welcome to British Columbia Canada Pavilion: a 5,000 kg jade sculpture and impressive red cedar arches

"The Emperor's Sunrise": a 5,000 kg jade sculpture, mined in Northern BC and carved by Vancouver's George Pratt. This boulder is the largest piece of gem-quality jade ever mined in North America. Value: $1-million.

The doors of British Columbia Canada Pavilion open to the public on May 6

Wide shot of Pavilion entry with giant maple leaf building wrap

Metal is one of the five elements of Chinese philosophy used to showcase BC , highlighting our mining and mineral industries and sophisticated urban centres.

Water is one of the five elements of Chinese philosophy used to tell the stories of BC inside the Pavilion. Water highlights our coastal life, history and culture, and the importance of our ports and gateway connections.

Some of the first visitors to British Columbia Canada Pavilion.

Welcome to British Columbia Canada Pavilion

The bar on the second floor of the Pavilion features beautiful jade tiles, mined in Northern BC, and provided by Pavilion sponsor, Jade West

The Spirit Tree, carved from an a red cedar from Vancouver's Stanley Park. The ancient tree was blown down by the huge windstorm of 2006.

Embedded in the Spirit Tree are silver medallions depicting BC's unique spirit bears

Visitors examine the Spirit Tree

Stunning wood paneling from BC is featured outside and inside the Pavilion

A Pavilion Ambassador walks visitors through the exhibit


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I hope they market the mascots and sell them there. They are in a similar cute style to the Beijing Games mascots so I'm sure they'll get a good reception.
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