8 Canadians more famous abroad than here

Ever heard of a guy called Dashan? He’s a household name—in China.
Mark Rowswell, known as Dashan in China, is a Toronto-resident, and probably the most popular foreigner in China. Rowswell, known in Beijing as Dashan, or Big Mountain, is a bona fide celebrity in China where he is a longtime television sensation beamed directly into millions of Chinese households. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO
Dashan, a.k.a. Mark Roswell, is a celebrity in China (HO)

1. Jack Cowin: Known as the father of fast food in Australia, the Windsor, Ont.-born businessman is one of the richest men Down Under. After moving there in 1969, he rolled out Australia’s first Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant and today controls a food service and manufacturing empire employing 17,000 people.

2. Mark Rowswell
: Born in Ottawa, Rowswell is the most popular Westerner in China, where he is known as Dashan, thanks to his fluency in Mandarin and understanding of the culture. In 2012, Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed Rowswell as Canada’s goodwill ambassador to China.

3. Kathleen Reiter: The Montreal-born woman had only lived in Israel for a few days in the fall of 2011 when she auditioned for that country’s version of The Voice, a TV song competition. In April 2012 she walked away as the winner and is now swarmed whenever she’s on the streets in Tel Aviv.

4. David Altmejd: He grew up in Montreal but moved to New York in 1999 where he’s gained fame for his fantastical sculptures.

5. Rob Stewart
: Born in Toronto, Stewart starred as investigator Nick Slaughter in the Canadian TV show Sweating Bullets, which aired in the early 1990s. Though little known in Canada, Stewart and his alter ego Slaughter are cult heroes in Serbia, where the show is called Tropical Heat.

6. Mozhdah Jamalzadah
: The Vancouver-raised actress was the “Oprah of Afghanistan.” Her show The Mozhdah Show explored women’s issues usually not talked about on TV, if at all. She was often mobbed on the streets of Kabul.

7. Joe Ruelle: Born in Terrace, B.C., Ruelle is an author and blogger who writes in Vietnamese. His mastery of the Vietnamese language
has vaulted him into the world of celebrity. Also known as Dâu Tây, which translates to “Berry from the West,” he has parlayed his blog
into a career in television, film and publishing.

8. Andrew Bonar Law
: He’s long since gone, but after being born in New Brunswick in 1858, Law went to live with Scottish relatives at the age of 12. He entered politics in 1900 and would eventually become prime minister, the only one born outside the British Isles. (Okay, many Brits might not remember him either—he only held the office for 209 days in 1922-23 before resigning due to ill health.)

Sources: University of Western Ontario; news sources; No. 10 Downing Street

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