Top hostess heads to Expo
Karen-Lynn Kruger to help run Canadian pavilion

Glen Vienneau
Northern News Services

Yellowknife ( May 12/00) - The opportunity to be part of Expo 2000 was too good to turn down for Yellowknifer Karen-Lynn Kruger.

Kruger, 26, will join a team of 63 Canadians chosen to work as hosts at our country's pavilion at Expo 2000 in Hannover, Germany this June.

She leaves for Ottawa this Saturday for training and will then leave for Hannover on May 16.

"It sounds like a wonderful opportunity and because it's the first Expo to be held in Germany, and organized by Germany, it's a historic event. It's a great feeling being part of that," Kruger said.

The Canada pavilion, with a budget of $35 million, is being funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage.

"I'll be part of the hosting staff which is welcoming people to the pavilion, helping them with any of the exhibits that are there, showing them how to use the interactive computers, answering questions about Canada and questions about the pavilion," she said. Luckily for Kruger, her language skills, along with her past hosting experience, played a big role in her landing the job.

Canadian Heritage recruited staff through the national employment company Kelly Services. More than 2,000 applicants responded.

"They (Canadian Heritage) had to make a decision on the afternoon of the day that I wrote the test. Ten minutes after I wrote the test they (Canadian Heritage) were calling me asking for confirmation that I was accepting the job."

Kruger speaks English, French, German and Spanish. She also credits her success in getting the job to her experience as the producer for the opening and closing ceremonies for the 1995 Nordic World Ski Championships in Thunder Bay, Ont. Touted to be the largest Expo ever, the event involves more than 180 countries and organizations. The Canada pavilion will focus on the country in the millennium.

"The selection of the hosting staff is a key step in preparing Canada's state-of-the-art pavilion, which features exhibits and an extensive program of trade and cultural activities," said a spokesperson for Canadian Heritage.

The Canada pavilion will welcome it visitors by transporting them by a virtual river made possible through the use of hundreds of television screens placed underneath a transparent floor. As they follow the river, and experience the changing seasons, they will enter a multi-sensory theatre to view a multimedia film about Canadian achievements.