Feature: Vancouver's Pacific National Exhibition returns with something for everyone

Source: Xinhua| 2018-08-20 07:01:50|Editor: Liangyu
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A visitor looks at an exhibit at the "POPnology" exhibition at the Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver, Canada, Aug. 19, 2018. "POPnology" is a touring showcase that features ideas like artificial intelligence, 3-D printers and virtual reality, and how those things evolved from science fiction to science fact. (Xinhua/Liang Sen)

By: Evan Duggan

VANCOUVER, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- Inside a large exhibit hall at the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) grounds there is a cabinet that displays the various types of mobile phones over the last 30 years.

The oldest one is also the largest. It' s the size of a brick with a large antenna. It looks like a military-grade walkie-talkie.

Visitor Jamie Lee pulls her own cell phone out of her purse. It matches the Nokia 3310 that' s also in the case. The small nearly-unbreakable mobile with soft buttons and a small green-toned screen was everywhere circa year 2000.

"It still works," she says, while looking around the cabinet full of old Blackberries, Motorola flip phones and early generation IPhones.

"I've had it more than nine years, I suppose," she says, adding that she only uses her mobile for text and talk, because that's all it does.

"That's all I need it for," she says. "I would like a smart phone, but I do all that stuff on the computer."

This is POPnology. It' s a touring showcase that features other ideas like artificial intelligence, 3-D printers and virtual reality - and how those things evolved from science fiction to science fact.

The show spans most of the 20th century depicting various elements of video games, sci-fi films, tools and other forms of technology, says the show' s organizer Kevin Magnus.

The show explores via exhibits and demonstrations just how technologies like phones can be transported from the imagination into the real world. "Someone says, that' s a really cool idea. I want to make that a reality so that's it," he tells Xinhua. "It's the relationship between pop culture and technology."

POPnology is just one of countless things to check out at the two-week exhibition and fair that takes place every summer in East Vancouver.

The PNE, as it' s known here, has become Vancouver' s top event to cap-off the season, welcoming thousands of families from around Western Canada and around the world.

Now in its 108th year, the PNE attracts more than 700,000 visitors on average over the two-week event, making it B.C.'s largest gathering of people looking to have a good time.

"The PNE has been the place where British Columbia comes to celebrate," says PNE spokeswoman, Laura Ballance. "We are the place where we gather as British Columbians and guests from around the world."

The PNE features agricultural shows, musical performances, amusement park rides and - of course - more carnival food than anyone could eat in their lifetime.

Ballance says the PNE launched more than a century ago to showcase the industries of Vancouver, which at that time, was more of a wild backwater on the fringe of Canada than the multicultural metropolis that it has become.

"When we opened in 1910, we were the second largest fair and exhibition behind the New York State Fair and it was really designed to be an agricultural and industrial showcase of British Columbia's building trades and resources," she says.

Those things are still present at the fair, but now you can also enjoy a corn-dog while riding a roller-coaster after learning about the history of the cellphone.

The Fair at the PNE continues through until September 3 here in East Vancouver.

KEY WORDS: Exhibition