Canada pops up in Downtown Pittsburgh with exhibit for tourists, businesses


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Ontario gets a lot of interested Pittsburgh visitors, but it would like even more and is spending time here this week working on it at a show called Pop-Up Canada. Alberta also likes tourists, but it has more interest in partnership here in national gas production and is showing it off in the Pop-Up.

“Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania are important markets for Ontario.” said Monique M. Smith, Ontario’s governmental representative in Washington, D.C on Monday. “About 400,000 travel from here a year to Ontario. We like to grow that market, remind them how close that is. It’s four and a half hours to Niagara Falls and six hours to Toronto from Pittsburgh.”

Ms. Smith added that her nation gets 11 million visitors in a year from the United States, but added: “You’re an important group to us. ... We’d like to see more people.”

Stanley Cup makes appearance at Pop-Up Canada office

Pop-Up Canada has opened an office Downtown. In addition to visiting dignitaries, the Stanley Cup made an appearance. (Video by Andrew Rush; 4/7/2014)

Ontario is showing off attractions for American tourists at Pop-Up Canada, which is in the space formerly occupied by Office Depot and Barnes & Noble on Smithfield Street, Downtown, and which is open through Friday. For example, there are flower-trimmed eating tables where visitors can get some food tastings made by Greg Waters, the “culinary ambassador” at Northern Edge Algonquin. Cave Spring wine also can be tasted to help Ontario show off the province’s wine. That will continue at various times through Wednesday.

While Alberta was showing fewer sights for vacation visitors, David Manning, Alberta’s representative in the United States, noted that it was using photos to show off the Campede Stampede. The Stampede “is the largest outdoor rodeo on earth. But we’re here with Ontario, which has a major tourism display. Ontario has lots to see here at the Pop-Up.”

But Mr. Manning was very proud of Alberta’s activity in the oil and gas industry, which is displayed at the Pop-Up.

“Alberta is a natural partner for this region because we have intense natural gas production,” he said. “The most active oil and gas industry in Canada is in Alberta. ...

“There’s a display here from General Electric, who is the leading technology company in Alberta on water management and their water operation is based in Pennsylvania. So it’s a strong leap between local Pennsylvania industry and Alberta industry.”

The Stanley Cup was brought to be displayed briefly today at the Pop-Up by Phil Pritchard, Hockey Hall of Fame curator and keeper of the cup. It is on display until 5 p.m. and then again from 8 to 10 p.m.

“The Cup is 121 years old; 1893 was its first year. It’s three-feet high, 35 pounds and contains a lifetime of memories,” Mr. Pritchard said. “For a hundred days it stays with the winning team and then different events and promotions around North America.”

If you can’t make that, a Hall of Fame exhibit featuring Penguins memorabilia will be shown from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday.

Other events include Ontario Tourism’s fishing simulator, interactive Niagara Parks putting demonstrations and “spot the mountie.” Members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police will be appearing around the region, and people are invited to take “selfie” photos of themselves with the mountie, then send them in to the show’s website.

Pohla Smith: psmith@post-gazette.com.


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