Out of 800 applicants, 39 of us were chosen as Hosting Staff, 3 of those being receptionists:14 males and 25 females, the average age being 26. Everyone could speak Japanese and about half of us could speak Japanese, English and French. We were broken into 3 teams and worked 6 days of either morning or evening shifts and then had 3 days off. It was a great schedule that allowed us to enjoy living in Japan. This group of dynamic people, along with the culinary staff and the other staff that worked at the Pavilion, became very good friends that I hope I will be in contact with for the rest of my life. Thank you so much everyone! I miss you all very much!!
22 049 544 people visited Expo and over 3 300 000 of them pass through the welcoming doors of the Canada Pavilion! On some of the busier days nearly 350 000 visitors would be on site enjoying the diverse sights and sounds from all over the world. A truely massive event!
The theme of the Expo was Nature's Wisdom. The official mascots were the very cute(?) Morizo (Grandfather Forest) and Kiccoro (Grandchild Forest), as seen above. They were everywhere and you couldn't but grow to love them as they seemed to become more real as the Expo went on! Below right is the remains of the 18,000 year old Yukagir Mammoth excavated from the Siberian permafrost in 2003. It was a major draw at Expo and millions of visitors viewed the well preserved head and left front leg from a conveyor belt that wisked them by the refrigerated lab.
The Canada Pavilion was a two part state-of-the-art multimedia show that showcased the diversity of Canada through the eyes of 6 Canadians. In the first part, or the Gio Bio Sphere, the visitors were actually inside of the presentation, although they didn't know it until they continued into the second theatre, the Ethnosphere, only to realise that they could see into the first portion!!! It was an all encompassing environment with images and lights from the floor to ceiling and amazing music that surrounded the audience. As Louis, one of the guides at the pavilion used to say, it was like dream travel across the country. In a separate part of the pavilion was the Cyber Salon where one could take a virtual tour of 6 cities in Canada.
The global loop was a 2.6 km long 21m wide skywalk that circled in the Nagakute Area. Visitors could access all of the six Global Commons as well as the Japan Zone, Central Zone and the Corporate Pavilion Zone. Each Global Common had countries from a certain area of the world. For example, Global Common 2 was North, South and Central America and was were the Canada Pavilion was located. There were also various international organizations represented like the UN and Red Cross.
One of the best parts about working at the Canada Pavilion was meeting staff from the other pavilions. After the Expo site was closed to the general public staff parties were held regularly. Sometimes pavilions would host them and other times whole Global Commons would! At our first Global Common 2 Party we had over 1500 people attend!! It was so much fun and I met so many fantastic people. Thank you to all of my new friends from around the world and I hope that I can meet as many of you as possible in the years to come!!
There were also many Corporate Pavilions. Toyota had a robot band and futuristic i-unit personal mobility vehicle. Hitachi's pavilion had a waterfall through it and an amazing 3D safari ride. Above you can see my friend Yoko getting her faced scaned at the Mitsu-Toshiba Pavilion. In the animated movie your face actually appears as one of the characters in the movie!!! Very cool!!!
One of the highlights of visiting the Canada Pavilion was meeting a Teku-jin. Teku-jin means technology person and they were the cyber guides. We wore a backpack with an LCD screen attached to it above our heads. Visitors could interact with the program that introduced the 6 Canadians seen in the multimedia show inside the pavilion via a remote control mouse. We also had a small web cam and could take pictures of visitors and upload them directly to the Canada Pavilion web page. It was very fun and for me one the most enjoyable parts of working at the Pavilion! Below are a couple of the thousands of pictures that we took over the course of Expo!!
Thank you for the Memories!