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The Commissioner General for Canada at Expo 2010 in Shanghai, Mr. Mark H. Rowswell, CM

The Commissioner General for Canada at Expo 2010 in Shanghai, Mr. Mark H. Rowswell, CM

Mark H. Rowswell, whose stage name is Dashan, has been called the most famous foreigner in China. He has become a regular fixture on Chinese television and a cultural icon across the nation. If you ask in China: almost everyone will be able to tell you who Dashan is.

Born and raised in Canada, Mr. Rowswell began studying Chinese in the mid 1980s, first at the University of Toronto and later at Beijing University. While in Beijing, Mr. Rowswell became interested in traditional Chinese performing arts, particularly xiangsheng, a popular form of comic dialogue. A chance opportunity to perform on television soon followed. What Mr. Rowswell did not realize was that this program would be broadcast nationally to an audience of 800 million television viewers, and that Dashan would become a household name literally overnight.

Almost 20 years later, Dashan is still going strong. Having diversified and developed into a multi-faceted performer, language educator, and television host, Mr. Rowswell is now considered a cultural ambassador between China and the West, having found a common ground between the two cultures. To many Chinese, Mr. Rowswell is an international role model and a prominent symbol of "East meets West."

Today, Mr. Rowswell is involved in a wide variety of activities, from hosting television programs and live events, to dramatic acting, public speaking, publishing, education, and celebrity endorsement. When he is not working in China, Mr. Rowswell lives relatively anonymously with his wife and two children in a rural setting north of Toronto.

For more information about Dashan, visit www.dashan.com.

Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages James Moore, and the Commissioner General for Canada at Expo 2010 in Shanghai, Mr. Mark H. Rowswell, CM Mark H. Rowswell ''connected'' with the world Mark H. Rowswell in downtown Toronto Mark H. Rowswell stops to take a picture in Toronto