Everyone in North America knew that the Olympics were coming months and years ahead.

We hoped it would be the success it was and that people from all over the world would come to celebrate sport excellence.

We looked forward to thousands of visitors experiencing Canada.

Overshadowed by all this publicity over the past months was the fact that another major event will take place in lon May 1 that will attract many more visitors than any Olympic event could hope to reach.

It is Expo 2010 and it opens tomorrow in Shanghai, China.

For six months millions of people will go through the pavilions, including the one created at a significant investment representing Canada.

With an urban theme of ‘Better City, Better Life’ it will be another opportunity to showcase how it is the emerging economic powerhouse.

For those who think China is a backward country, going to Shanghai is the ultimate trip into a different reality.

It is a city that seems only to want to talk about wealth and the stock market.

It is a city where the most expensive shops in the world have lined the main streets for years.

And it is the city where the bicycle, once the mainstay for personal transportation, is now so far in the background you hardly know they exist, comparatively speaking.

It will be a grand celebrations with countries from all over the world putting the final touches to their pavilions today.

Older Canadians may remember the impact of Expo 67 in Montreal. It helped put Canada on the world map.

Those 20 years younger may remember Expo 86 in Vancouver that put the punctuation mark on that world entrance.

Be sure about this, Expo 2010 will be a huge success, and the image of China as an economic leader will leap forward many steps.