Expo 67

Written by  //  July 24, 2017  //  Montreal  //  No comments

Expo 67 Mission Impossible banner

Impressions of Expo 67  – NFB’s iconic short film
A treasure chest with links to the CBC archives
ARCHIVES DE RADIO-CANADA
Société du Parc Jean-Drapeau
CBC Archives: Expo 67 — Montreal Welcomes the World
In Search of Expo 67
June 21, 2017 to October 8, 2017
Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal
Liste des articles liés à « dossier Les 50 ans d’Expo 67 »

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A delightful find while trolling archival material
This webpage is dedicated to Colonel Edward Churchill, Expo’s Director of Installations, who wisely implemented the Critical Path Method (CPM). Without using CPM, Expo 67 would never have been built in time. [Which is, of course, the message of Expo 67: Mission Impossible]
REMEMBER ALL THOSE PEOPLE WHO SAID EXPO WOULD NEVER BE READY IN TIME? NOW MEET THE MAN WHO MADE LIARS OUT OF THEM
By Hal Tennant
(Maclean’s magazine, June 1967) IT’S JULY 31, 1965, and one of the islands where Expo will stand is just taking shape. The trucking contractors are doing their damnedest to get that fill hauled down to the riverfront and dumped into the cofferdam. But a little mob of wildcat strikers are doing their damnedest to stop them. As one convoy of trucks tries to get through, the strikers pelt them with sticks of dynamite, which explode like giant firecrackers. When another convoy tries to run the gauntlet, a speeding car zooms past, a .38-caliber automatic points its ugly little snout out of one window toward the trucks and – bang! bang!
Nobody’s hurt, but obviously these wildcatters are playing for keeps, and Gerry Germain, project manager for Walsh Canadian Construction, is just about out of his skull. He’s got to turn in another of those weekly progress reports, but this time, with the news he’s got, those guys in the Expo office are just going to have to face a few realities.
“Please note,” his memo begins, “that construction of our cofferdam, as shown on network No. 0-29-11-500, Nodes 35-36, has now been delayed six days due to current trucking strike…” He tells how they kept the trucks moving for just four hours that Saturday, what with all the violence, and then he tries to be reassuring: “As soon as labor conditions permit, we will resume construction activities on this project.”
But Colonel Edward Churchill, Director of Installations for the Canadian Corporation for the 1967 World Exhibition, is not at all reassured. The Colonel, as he is respectfully known up and down the ranks at Expo, didn’t build 192 airfields all over wartime Europe by listening to excuses. His reaction is pure automatic reflex:

24 July
‘Vive le Québec libre’: What de Gaulle’s famous rallying cry says about politics today
Fifty years later, the French president’s infamous words aren’t the call to revolution sovereigntists had hoped for – but his rough diplomacy is back in style, Robert Everett-Green writes

1 July
Andrew Cohen: Captains of complacency – What if Canada is wasted on Canadians?
(Ottawa Citizen) Amid the groaning banquet of objects and artifacts, a gentle awakening awaits visitors to the new Canadian History Hall in the Canadian Museum of History. It is Expo 67.
An exhibit and film, playing on a loop, trigger a cascade of memory. They recall that moment in Montreal when we staged the most successful world’s fair of the 20th century. It was Canada’s glorious, crowded hour, the centrepiece of a year-long national celebration of our centennial in 1967.
The pavilions. Habitat 67. The Minirail and miniskirts. Against that, the soundtrack of the time: “Hey Friend, Say Friend.” “A Place to Stand, A Place to Grow.” And, of course, Bobby Gimby’s catchy anthem, “Ca-na-da.”
The theme was “Man and His World.” No one apologized. In imagination, the fair was to the world then what London’s Great Exhibition represented in 1851. Indeed, Expo 67 was a sprawling Crystal Palace, set on artificial islands in the St. Lawrence, heralding achievements in science, technology, health, exploration, architecture, the arts and other fields. It was our own theatre of exotica.
Having visited Expo 34 times as a starry-eyed sixth-grader, I was overcome by sentimentality and wistfulness by the display at the museum. Why? Because Expo 67 could not happen in today’s Canada. Because we don’t aspire to much anymore. Because, on our 150th birthday, Canada has many fine qualities but ambition – a coursing, creative ambition – is no longer among them.

29 June
Canada Is Turning 150. Oh, to Be 100 Again
By Ian Austen
(NYT) It didn’t seem very Canadian.
For Expo 67, this usually modest and frugal country spent vast amounts of money to create islands within the St. Lawrence River and build an array of huge buildings, all to show off Canada to the world.
But even if uncharacteristic, the fair was a coming out for a new Canada. And in 1967, it defined the country’s celebration of its 100th birthday (or, more accurately, the centennial of its current political structure) in a way that no single event will mark the 150th on Saturday.
Much like today, 1967 was a time when Canada was reimagining itself. Its now iconic maple leaf flag was only two years old, and a committee was recommending that “O Canada” succeed “God Save the Queen” as the official anthem. …
In popular lore, the summer of 1967 has become the summer of love. For me as an 11-year-old in the sixth grade at Glenwood Public School in Windsor, Ontario, it was the summer of Expo.
I was not the only Canadian kid counting down the days before my family headed to Montreal. At a time when Canada’s population was 20 million, more than 50 million people visited the fair in six months. It seemed as if the entire country had joined the world and made its way to Expo.

26 June
Terry Glavin: Canada 150 unhappiness? Blame 1967.
It was a ‘giddy, insane’ year. And the events it set off are at the centre of the national debate unfolding today.
(Maclean’s) In his just-published book, The Year Canadians Lost their Minds and Found their Country: The Centennial of 1967, author Tom Hawthorn makes the case that 1967 is the year we should be thinking about: “The Canada of 2017 owes more to decisions made in the wake of 1967 than to the negotiations conducted in 1867.”
Until that “happy, giddy, insane year,” Canadians only rarely managed to muster much of an opinion about their country at all. And then, suddenly, we could barely contain ourselves. Hawthorn’s opening essay recalls his Montreal childhood, and his enchantment with the spectacle of Expo 67, the World’s Fair Canada hosted in Montreal that year.
But official spectacles alone didn’t make 1967 the year it became. “For all the public works, all the construction and the flash of Expo 67,” Hawthorn writes,” it was the spirit of ordinary Canadians that best expressed the joy of living in the peaceable kingdom.”
After a long stretch of boredom and public indifference, something seemed to just bubble up in the weeks before Jan. 1, 1967. Much credit is due to the grand-gesture efforts encouraged by the irrepressible Judy LaMarsh, the secretary of state for Canada at the time, but it was the spontaneity of ordinary Canadians that turned things around….
Put all that together with Gordon Lightfoot’s Canadian Railroad Trilogy, CBC extravaganzas, the Confederation Train that crossed the country with a rolling museum that ended up hosting 2.7 million visitors—three times as many as anticipated—and the mood changes. The next thing you know there’s the maple leaf on backpacks in Europe. There’s Trudeaumania, bilingualism and multiculturalism, and a persistent national anxiety about the crippling poverty and alienation suffered by so many Indigenous communities.
Everything we celebrated and fussed about and laughed at in 1967 went into building the national stage where we play out the self-loathing, the earnest self-criticism, the hilarious self-deprecation and the striving, passive-aggressive boastfulness that defines Canadian “patriotism” today.

24 June

A very personal rant

I was delighted to meet up last Tuesday, 20 June,  with an old friend, Mark London, at the City of Westmount reception farewell  reception for Peter Trent. Mark,  an architect and planner, headed the Westmount Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) for some years.
But, much more relevant, from 1988 to 1993, he coordinated the city of Montreal’s planning effort for redeveloping the Expo 67 site and was part of the team that designed the southwestern end of Île Ste-Hélène.
Mark, who now lives in Massachusetts, had spent the previous days visiting every Expo-related exhibit in Montreal. Without any prodding, he said that “Mission Impossible” had been far and away the most impressive of everything he had seen!
He loved the film and loved the fact that its focus was on the builders and challenges of operations rather than on the crowds and dignitaries.
Deploring the current plans for the islands,  and enraged by the cutting down of 1,100 mature trees, Mark pointed me to his opinion piece in The Gazette of 19 June 2015, in which he reminds us of the key role that Jean Doré and Pierre Bourque played in restoring and preserving the island. I suspect that following his recent visit, there will be another well-argued piece that sadly, will not be listened to by Montreal City Hall.
Opinion: The future of Île Ste-Hélène
“In 1988, Doré decided to revive the fragmented and partly abandoned Expo site. He mandated a steering committee to come up with a plan. Bourque, then head of the Parks Department, was a member, and for a while head, of that committee. Bourque succeeded in getting the committee to propose making the site a park, albeit one with several major public facilities (La Ronde, Casino) and able to host major public events (Grand Prix, Fête des neiges).
A key part of the proposal was to landscape the southwestern part of Île Ste-Hélène — then a grim wasteland of concrete slabs, vestiges of the Expo pavilions demolished after Man and His World closed — into a welcoming blue and green space, an extension of the historic park in the central part of the island.
At the heart of this new park space was a large oval lawn and newly created hill, designed for quiet leisure and also able to host summer music festivals and the Fête des neiges, offering magnificent views of the Montreal skyline. A curved tree-lined walkway linked Île Notre-Dame, the Biosphere, the métro station, a playful fountain, two visitor-services pavilions and a long pond, and ended at Alexander Calder’s relocated majestic sculpture Man astride a lookout with a panoramic view of the river and downtown. The project included the partial restoration of Place des Nations, the creation of riverfront walkways, and a variety of other natural spaces.
Doré loved the plan. He convinced Prime Minister Brian Mulroney to finance both the greening of the southern end of Île Ste-Hélène and the transformation of the Biosphere into an environmental museum, as the government of Canada’s $40 million “gift” for the city’s 350th birthday. So in 1992, the whole site became Parc des Îles, now Parc Jean-Drapeau, Montreal’s largest park. Thanks to the métro, this waterfront green space is highly accessible from central neighbourhoods, a natural oasis in the city.
Since then, the trees have grown and, for many years, the southwestern end of the island was maintained as a natural green space for the people of the city and visitors, while also successfully hosting a range of music festivals and the Fête des neiges.
But in the past few years, the Société Parc Jean-Drapeau covered the great lawn with gravel and cluttered up the main walkway with tacky trailers. They let the vegetation get overgrown or die, allowed the pond to fill with weeds and fenced off Place des Nations, using it for parking and storage.”
If only Denis Coderre had half the vision and taste of the two former mayors …

8 May
Diana Nicholson: The Westmount Face Behind the Making of Expo 67
By Marilynn Vanderstaay
(Around Westmount) On Saturday evening, April 29, over 300 Westmount residents crowded into Victoria Hall to screen the film and learn about the real history behind the creation of Expo 67, truly as the title says, a Mission Impossible. And to reflect with the community 50 years later that special pocket of time those of us are old enough and fortunate enough to remember, [and] lived that summer. The plot of the documentary thriller took the audience on a virtual white knuckle roller coaster ride with up and downs of deadlines, skeptics, fears and joys.
The film that detailed Expo’s inception in 1962 through its building and the event until its closing day six months later in September [October], featured an impressive cast of players, not the least of which was Westmount’s own Diana Nicholson, known to many for her Wednesday Night persona in the city.
Diana was one of the first 100 men and women to start working in the elaborate project that unbeknownst to them would become such a huge undertaking that would consume their lives for just beyond the next five [four] years.
Montreal is still living the dream of Expo 67
Most of the pavilions are long gone, but the legacy of the World’s Fair is felt – sometimes in ways that run counter to its very spirit
By Robert Everett-Green
(Globe & Mail) Perhaps the defining impact of Expo for Montreal was to get the city hooked on large spectacles. Montreal has been a festival town ever since, with a notable taste for street extravaganzas in all seasons. There has also been a drive to concentrate the hubbub geographically, as it was when Expo’s pavilions were packed onto three small islands in the St. Lawrence. The current downtown equivalent is the Quartier des spectacles, a long-term effort by public and private players to establish a central locus for arts and entertainment.
Not everyone is thrilled about that part of the Expo legacy, which has led to confrontations about how much control private presenters should have over public spaces. This week, protesters gathered at the old Expo grounds – now called Parc Jean-Drapeau – to vent their anger over the city’s decision to close an aquatic centre and cycle path for the entire summer, while a publicly funded amphitheatre is being built for concerts staged by Evenko, producer of the Osheaga Music and Arts festival.
That’s a perverse trade-off to be happening on the site of the city’s most inclusive spectacle yet. Expo was a world’s fair, open to everyone and relatively inexpensive to visit. Sixty-two countries and 50 million visitors took up the invitation. Curbing public access on the Expo site for the sake of splashy concerts with high ticket prices runs counter to that welcoming spirit. Expo 67, meet Man and His Hustle.

29 April
Expo 67: Mission Impossible
The English premiere of the docu-thriller coming to Victoria Hall – not to be missed!
By Wanda Potrykus
In addition to this year being Canada’s 150th and Montreal’s 375th, 2017 is also the 50th anniversary of Montreal’s record breaking Expo 67 World’s Fair and Westmount is marking the occasion (almost to the day as Expo 67 opened to the public on April 28, 1967) with the English language première of a brand new documentary film entitled Expo 67: Mission Impossible.
Conceived as a thriller, the documentary features an unlikely cast of characters, who can be indubitably referred to in so many ways as the Mad Men of Montreal. They had only 1,628 days to add another island to the Hochelaga Archipelago in the St. Lawrence river (and reshape two more), construct 90 pavilions (847 buildings in total), as well as a futuristic housing complex, a boat pier, a metro tunnel and station, three bridges and trains capable of transporting tens of millions of visitors along with canals, lakes and oh yes… a children’s play garden and an amusement park.
It seemed such an impossible dream, so much so that even a computer modeling team at the Stanford Research Institute in the US predicted failure. Many members of the first organizing committee resigned (although that was probably more a case of the changing of the guard at the federal level); nevertheless the media coverage was negative, speculators got edgy and Ottawa and Quebec City were reluctant to fork over the cash for a temporary one-time event that would be more expensive to build than the St. Lawrence Seaway and all the bridges of Montreal had been in their time. Meanwhile the rest of Canada looked on and shook their heads in wonder and amazement at those crazy Montréalais and their ‘pie in the sky’ dream-big schemes.
Expo 67 : quand le Québec a rayé le mot « impossible » de son vocabulaire
Si l’importance d’Expo 67 dans l’histoire du Québec et du Canada est reconnue, qu’en est-il des hommes et des femmes, francophones et anglophones, qui, dans l’ombre, ont réussi cet exploit? C’est leur histoire qu’Éric Ruel, Guylaine Maroist et Michel Barbeau ont voulu raconter.
« Les directeurs d’Expo 67 ont rayé le mot “impossible” du vocabulaire québécois. À partir de ce moment-là, on a été capable de tout faire et on s’est ouvert sur le monde. Ce que je trouve pertinent à notre époque où l’on érige des murs, c’est que ces hommes ont décidé de faire des ponts entre les peuples. »
Guylaine Maroist
Seuls deux des douze directeurs d’Expo 67 sont toujours en vie aujourd’hui, Philippe de Gaspé Beaubien et Yves Jasmin, respectivement chef de l’exploitation et directeur de la publicité de l’événement. Grâce à leurs témoignages et à celui de Diana Nicholson, une membre importante de l’organisation, les cinéastes nous font découvrir l’histoire moins connue de ce grand événement.

27 April
Expo 67’s strange remains still exude magic across Canada’s landscape
Montreal’s famous exposition launched 50 years ago today, but its architectural legacy makes 2017 seem old
(CBC) Expo 67 may have opened a half century ago today, but it’s 2017 that seems kind of old by comparison.
The art and architectural legacy of Montreal’s 1967 International and Universal Exhibition — few, but impressive — litter Canada’s landscape like the ruins of a fantastical future to which we somehow, somewhere lost the thread.
Found as far away as Newfoundland, Expo 67’s remnants continue to exude some of the weird, wondrous magic of that Summer of Love in Montreal, when anything and everything seemed possible. …
The Yugoslavian Pavilion from Expo 67 is now the Provincial Seamen’s Museum in Grand Bank, Nfld. The building was purchased for $1 after Expo 67 and its seven triangle-shaped modules are now re-imagined as the “sails of a schooner,” according to the the museum’s website. …
Mario Armengol’s sculpture The Family of Man was moved to Calgary, Alta., after playing a prominent role at the British Pavilion during Expo 67. The sculpture now stands on the grounds of the Calgary Board of Education.

23 April
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Expo 67 comme si vous y étiez
(Tout le monde en parle) 2017 marque les 50 ans d’Expo 67. Selon Philippe de Gaspé Beaubien et Yves Jasmin, respectivement chef de l’exploitation et directeur de la publicité de l’événement, il fallait être un peu fou pour mener à terme ce projet colossal, qui a bien failli dérailler durant la phase de planification. Les deux complices se remémorent leurs bons et moins bons coups avec une nostalgie palpable et surtout, un grand sentiment de fierté. Malgré les coûts exorbitants du projet, on en parle aujourd’hui comme d’un incroyable legs qui a littéralement mis Montréal sur la carte.
Le documentaire Expo 67 – Mission impossible sera présenté en première ce mardi 25 avril, au théâtre Maisonneuve de la Place des Arts lors de la soirée célébrant le 50e anniversaire d’Expo 67

‘It was an amazing period’ — Montreal to mark 50 years since Expo 67
To mark the 50th anniversary of Expo 67 this week, the city of Montreal is offering a free passport that grants residents and tourists access to 14 continuing or coming events celebrating the exposition throughout the city.
As of Wednesday, the Stewart Museum on Île-Ste-Hélène will be hosting Expo 67 — A World of Dreams, an exhibition looking back at the “big dreams and innovative spirit” of Expo 67.
From April 22 to May 6, city hall is hosting an exhibit of photos showing how the city looked in the 1960s — including during Expo 67— and on Thursday, the Biosphere will launch an exhibit showcasing the environmental legacy of Expo 67.
A dozen other commemorative events are slated to start as of May and last through the fall. The full list of events can be found on the city of Montreal’s 375th anniversary website, www.375mtl.com . A commemorative paper edition of the passports will be available in participating businesses as of April 28. An electronic version can be found on the city’s 375 MTL app

Canada Unveils Stamp of Habitat 67 to Celebrate Its 50th Anniversary
The Canadian government is honoring Moshe Safdie for his now-iconic urban housing complex, which debuted at Expo 67
(Architectural Digest) It’s been 50 years since Moshe Safdie left his indelible mark on the world of architecture. On April 27, 1967, Safdie’s urban housing complex, dubbed Habitat 67, was unveiled at Expo 67, the world’s fair that was taking place in Montreal at the time. The architect had a bold vision for revolutionizing the urbanization of housing: By interlocking the many forms that made up the structure, Safdie created connected walkways and landscaped terraces that successfully achieved a private and natural environment within the confines of a dense urban space. The architectural feat was a massive success and cemented Safdie’s name as a rising star in the field. In fact, a half century later, the Canadian government is recognizing the significance of Safdie’s design by unveiling a commemorative stamp depicting the architect’s pioneering innovation.

22 April
Expo 67: vendre Montréal au reste du monde
(Le Devoir) Yves Jasmin est l’une des rares mémoires vivantes d’Expo 67. L’ancien directeur des relations publiques, des communications et de l’information de cet événement d’une envergure sans précédent explique comment il a « vendu » Montréal au monde.
Âgé de 95 ans aujourd’hui, Yves Jasmin a l’esprit vif, la répartie intacte et les souvenirs frais. Depuis son modeste chez-lui aux allures de musée — des affiches, des caricatures, une plaque de voiture et d’autres artéfacts sur le thème de Terre des hommes ornent les murs et jonchent le sol —, il explique, grâce à sa mémoire chirurgicale des événements, comment il a convaincu le monde entier de s’intéresser à l’Exposition universelle de Montréal en 1967.

Not exactly the spirit of Expo!
Cyclists, pedestrians kicked off Gilles-Villeneuve racetrack to accommodate promoter
Circuit, aquatic centre shut down to accommodate Evenko summer festivals
The Société du Parc Jean-Drapeau (SPJD) — the group that runs the park on Île Sainte-Hélène — is undertaking several large-scale projects there, including a 65,000-seat amphitheatre being built at request of event promoter Evenko.
The SPJD also runs the racetrack on Île Notre-Dame. It announced Friday that it would let Evenko use the racetrack for its events while construction on Île Sainte-Hélène is underway.

31 March
Plan to cut down 1,000 trees for Parc Jean-Drapeau amphitheatre a ‘tree massacre,’ says city opposition
Construction on new amphitheatre expected to continue into 2018
(CBC) Parc Jean-Drapeau is losing some green space to make room for a 65,000-seat amphitheatre — something the official opposition at city hall is calling a “tree massacre.”
The project is on Île Sainte-Hélène’s south sector and will let event promoters welcome more people to their large festivals such as the Osheaga music and arts festival which previously had an attendance capacity of 40,000.
To build the ampitheatre 1,061 trees are being cut down.
“It’s a massacre,” said Projet Montréal leader Valérie Plante.
“We have decided to cut 1,000 trees. Healthy trees, mature trees. And we are cutting them to make room for a concrete amphitheatre that will essentially be used by a few private promoters.”

5 March
expo-67-hostess-uniformsExpo 67 hostesses Deirdre McIlwraith, Danièle Touchette and Sonia Saumier in the uniform designed by Montreal’s Michel Robichaud. (Library and Archives Canada)

Expo 67 fashion exhibit recalls groovier times in Montreal
Miniskirt politics and a dress named ‘Vietnam’ just a few of the fashion highlights at McCord Museum exhibit
(CBC) Montreal was never groovier than in 1967, and a new exhibition at the McCord Museum is about to remind us why.
Fashioning Expo 67, which opens March 17, features more than 60 outfits worn at Montreal’s now legendary international and universal exposition.
INTERACTIVE: Roots of Montreal
Space-age uniforms worn by Expo 67 hostesses and haute couture dresses by Montreal designers of the day like Michel Robichaud, Marielle Fleury and Jacques de Montjoye are just a few of the exhibition’s highlights.

15 January
Expo 67, Take 2: Is Montreal ready to host another world’s fair?
Ready for Expo 67: The Sequel?
Montreal enthralled the world 50 years ago at Expo 67, and now there is talk of hosting another world’s fair in 2025, thanks to an initiative put forth by two city councillors who would like to see Montreal rekindle some of the magic and promise of 1967.
City councillors Marvin Rotrand and Justine McIntyre will pitch the idea at a press conference Monday at Montreal city hall. They will formally propose a motion for the city council agenda on Jan. 23.
“It recommends that Montreal takes advantage of the fact that Toronto has decided not to bid,” explained Rotrand, “and it asks the executive committee to examine the feasibility study of a bid for 2025.
“And if that proves that it’s too short . . . because the bid has to be in by June 22, or that if it’s not feasible, we ask them to look at a possibility of 2027 or 2028, specialized Expos (which are ) much smaller, kind of like Expo 86 in Vancouver.”

2016

29 December
Centennial to Canada 150 (audio)
(Rewind with Michael Enright) We anticipate Canada’s 150th birthday by looking back to the 100th.
It was 1967, Canada’s Centennial year, and there were celebrations across the country. It started on New Year’s Eve and culminated in the summer-long world’s fair called Expo 67. Its theme was Man and His World and there were 90 pavilions that showcased countries from around the world, as well as Canadian provinces.
CBC produced a variety of programs about Centennial: Canada 100, The Long Hundred, Expo This Week, Centennial Diary and Expodition, which painted a daily portrait of the people, events and news at Expo 67 in Montreal.
The inaugural episode of Centennial Diary aired just after New Year in 1967. It reviewed not only the excitement in the country on New Year’s Eve, but also some of the many hundreds of Centennial projects. It was presented by Alan Maitland.

14 December
parc-jean-drapeau redev plan
Parc Jean-Drapeau redevelopment plans tap ‘spirit of Expo 67’
Project features natural amphitheatre that will accommodate up to 65,000 people
Redevelopment plans for Parc Jean-Drapeau hope to tap the spirit of Expo 67, but not in time for the 50th anniversary of Montreal’s famous international exposition next year.
The final plans for the $73.4-million project were unveiled Wednesday, and the project is scheduled for completion in 2019.
The centrepiece of the makeover is a natural amphitheatre at the southern tip of Île Sainte-Hélène that will accommodate up to 65,000 people.
Parc Jean-Drapeau: new amphitheatre will hold bigger crowds
Officials say the amphitheatre’s design and sound system will cut the amount of noise from music festivals and concerts that’s become the summertime bane of residents across the water in Saint-Lambert.
Other aspects of the redevelopment include:

  • An avenue linking Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome and Alexander Calder’s L’Homme sculpture.
  • A riverside promenade looking out at the Montreal skyline.
  • An “events’ village” with water park, rest areas and concession stands.

2015

17 December
Le MBAM créera une expo en plein air avec le musée McCord
(La Presse) Dans le cadre du 375e anniversaire de la métropole, le Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal (MBAM) et le musée McCord organiseront ensemble, durant l’été 2017, une grande exposition linéaire rue Sherbrooke, entre la rue Bishop et la rue Université, qui célébrera le 50e anniversaire d’Expo 67.
Durant les célébrations du 375e anniversaire de Montréal, qui coïncideront avec le 150e anniversaire de la Confédération canadienne, les artères et les voies publiques de la métropole seront exceptionnellement animées. Comme la rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest sera en travaux entre les rues de Bleury et Mansfield, la rue Sherbrooke jouira d’une attention particulière.
«Du coup, il y aura un axe de musée en plein air entre le secteur comprenant l’Université McGill et le musée McCord et le secteur de l’Université Concordia et du Musée des beaux-arts, avec notamment notre pavillon de la Paix qui sera inauguré l’an prochain, a dit à La Presse Nathalie Bondil, directrice générale du MBAM. La rue Sherbrooke deviendra ainsi un sentier de la paix.»
Destination 1967
Financé par la Société des célébrations du 375e anniversaire de Montréal, ce déploiement artistique linéaire célébrera le 50e anniversaire d’Expo 67. Le musée McCord mettra sur pied une exposition historique sur cet événement qui a marqué la province de Québec.
Apport de l’étranger
Les deux musées vont travailler avec les consulats de plusieurs pays qui ont participé à l’Expo 67 afin de diversifier les oeuvres qui seront exposées dans ce musée gratuit en plein air.
« Dans un an, on saura un peu mieux comment on pourra célébrer cette Terre des hommes qui a marqué une époque avec des artistes locaux, mais aussi issus de l’immigration et venant de l’extérieur », affirme Nathalie Bondil, du MBAM.
Un comité scientifique se penchera sur les oeuvres qui pourraient être prêtées par des pays afin d’être exposées dans la rue Sherbrooke.

14 December
Montreal, 1967 from British Pathé’s – First Impressions
Evokes wonderful memories of Expo 67, the magical high point of Montreal’s and -for many- Canadian history. Amidst all the celebrations planned for 2017, there is a lamentable absence of anything to mark the 50th anniversary of the incredibly successful international exhibition that put Canada on the map. In hopes that Équipe Denis Coderre pour Montréal , the Quebec government and above all, the new Liberal government in Ottawa will rectify the oversight.

Without doubt the very best I have seen!
Expo 67 comme si vous y étiez
British Pathé a remis au goût du jour un impressionnant tour guidé de huit minutes au cœur de Terre des Hommes, l’Exposition universelle de Montréal de 1967. Une vidéo fascinante, dit Gary Lawrence.
Décidément, les vidéos que British Pathé remet au goût du jour, sur YouTube, ont l’art de nous faire voyager dans le temps.
Après l‘Irak des années 1950, dont nous vous parlions ici il y a quelques semaines, voici un impressionnant tour guidé de 8 minutes au cœur de Terre des Hommes, l’Exposition universelle de Montréal de 1967, alias «The greatest show on Earth».
Non seulement y a-t-on droit à des images du centre-ville et du site de l’Expo, mais encore peut-on y sentir l’ambiance qui prévalait à l’époque, autour et à l’intérieur de plusieurs des 90 pavillons, y compris ceux d’États qui n’existent plus (comme le Ceylan ou l’URSS).
Parmi les pavillons des 62 pays présents, le narrateur (britannique) s’attarde évidemment à ceux de certains pays du Commonwealth : Trinité-et-Tobago, la Jamaïque et, bien sûr, le Canada, après avoir souligné que les pavillons de Grande-Bretagne et de France «sont ironiquement voisins».
Plusieurs scènes ont été tournées à bord du minirail automatisé qui sillonnait alors le site, et qui traversait notamment le dôme géodésique de Buckminster Fuller (le pavillon des États-Unis, ou l’actuelle Biosphère).
Mais cette fascinante incursion nous permet également d’avoir une idée de l’allure des pavillons de l’Éthiopie, de la Thaïlande ou… de l’industrie des pâtes et papiers, représentée par une belle forêt intacte.
Elle nous apprend enfin que l’atmosphère de Montréal, la «capitale du Québec», est «indubitablement française», et qu’un «réel parfum parisien en émane»…

23 October
parc-jean-drapeau-festival-amphiteatre
Parc Jean-Drapeau: new amphitheatre will hold bigger crowds
$70-million project aims to lure more mega-events to Montreal, includes noise mitigation for Saint-Lambert
Montreal will redevelop its festival space on Parc Jean-Drapeau to increase capacity from 45,000 to 65,000, but it won’t be done in time for the city’s 375th-anniversary celebrations, as planned.
The $70.4-million project envisions the construction of a natural amphitheatre on what is now just a large gravel terrain and a wider promenade leading from the Jean-Drapeau metro station to the Trois Disques sculpture at the southwestern edge of Île Sainte-Hélène.
Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, Quebec Transport Minister Robert Poëti and the president of the board of the Société du parc Jean-Drapeau (SPJD), Danièle Henkel, announced the details of the project Friday morning.

23 March
Coderre loses confidence in head of Société du parc Jean-Drapeau
Montreal’s mayor says the city will examine the possibility of cancelling four contracts linked to the renovation of Jean-Drapeau Park following a scathing report tabled on Monday by the municipal inspector general.
In addition to the scuttling of those contracts, Mayor Denis Coderre said it may be time for the city to re-examine its relationship with the Société du parc Jean-Drapeau, the para-municipal agency funded by taxpayers that now finds itself at the centre of significant controversy.
“I’m totally scandalized by this report,” Coderre said following the tabling of the document in council chambers. “The head of the Société du parc Jean-Drapeau no longer has my confidence.”
Réfection du parc Jean-Drapeau: des «irrégularités majeures»
La réfection du parc Jean-Drapeau en temps pour les célébrations du 375e anniversaire de Montréal en 2017 est-elle compromise? Dans un rapport accablant rendu public cet après-midi, le Bureau de l’inspecteur général (BIG) a relevé des « irrégularités majeures » dans 12 contrats octroyés depuis 2013 pour préparer ce projet de legs.
Montreal corruption watchdog finds “serious irregularities” in Parc Jean-Drapeau contracts
Inspector-General Denis Gallant identified 4 contracts that broke law, 8 others with “serious problems”
Montreal’s inspector-general Denis Gallant has uncovered serious problems with several contracts awarded in connection with a project to spruce up Parc Jean-Drapeau for Montreal’s 375th anniversary in 2017.
The contracts were awarded for a project called Horizon 2017, which includes plans to build a central plaza near the metro station in Parc Jean-Drapeau, a riverside promenade and a natural amphitheatre.
In a report issued Monday, Denis Gallant said the Société du Parc Jean-Drapeau — the publicly funded body that runs the park — ignored or incorrectly applied rules for awarding several contracts over the last two years.
Gallant said four contracts were awarded in a process “contrary to the rules of law”, and he identified eight other contracts with “serious irregularities.”

2014

3 July
Île Ste-Hélène to get facelift — Mayor Coderre expresses some reservationsariel shot of Parc Jean Drapeau
Details of a $55-million plan to revitalize the western end of popular but age-worn Île Ste-Hélène and turn it into an “urban and tourism destination of international calibre” were released Wednesday.
Some elements of the reconstruction plan were met with reservations by Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, however, who recalled the paramunicipal organization overseeing the island had run into cost overruns in the past.
The proposed renovations include a waterfront promenade giving vistas over downtown Montreal across the St. Lawrence River ($22.5 million), a central promenade connecting the Jean Drapeau métro station to the waterfront ($18.4 million), restoring the once grand Place des Nations from its current parking lot status ($12.5 million) and laying grass to improve the natural amphitheatre used to host mud-plagued events like the Osheaga music festival that drew 135,000 fans last summer ($1.6 million).
The changes are scheduled to be completed by Montreal’s 375th birthday in 2017, which is also the 50th anniversary of Expo 67, held on Île Ste-Hélène and adjoining Île Notre-Dame, both of which fall under the banner of Parc Jean-Drapeau.
Wednesday, 17 May 1967 — Montreal’s Special Day
The City of Montreal, host of the Exhibition, celebrates its 325th anniversary and has its Special Day at Expo, where a two-part ceremony marks the occasion. The now established Place des Nations program sees Mr. Dupuy officially welcoming Montreal Mayor Jean Drapeau.
(Fondation Expo 67) … at a brief ceremony on nearby International Nickel Plaza, the City is the proud recipient of what must surely be one of the biggest and weightiest birthday presents on record: Alexander Calder’s 46-ton, seven-storey stainless steel stabile, Man. A time capsule filled with various memorabilia is buried under the sculpture, to be opened 100 years from now by the then Mayor of Montreal.
12 May
projet-transformation-parc-jean-drapeau«Célébrer l’Expo 67 en 2017, un devoir de mémoire»
Lettre intéressante de Michel Dumas, professeur au département de communication sociale et publique de l’UQAM, et président de la Fondation Expo 67. Je la publie intégralement en vous invitant à y réagir
8 May
Graham Steele: What went wrong with the Bluenose II?
The government is not in the wooden shipbuilding business, Steele argues
The Bluenose II was built by Oland Brewery in 1963 as a promotional vehicle. After Oland’s was taken over by another brewery in 1971, the ship was gifted to the province.
The ship sailed on under provincial ownership until 1994, when the Liberal government declined to pay for an estimated $1 million in repairs and announced the ship would be decommissioned. A citizens’ group, led by Willie Moore, stepped in to raise money. The Bluenose II lived to sail another day.
4 May
François Cardinal: 375e: trop tard pour bien faire?
(La Presse) Il est minuit moins une, donc, et rien n’est encore prévu. Certains pourraient dire qu’il est minuit et quart, en fait, et qu’il est trop tard.
Or il existe sur les planches à dessin un projet d’envergure, porteur de sens, pensé en fonction du 375e. Un projet conçu par deux firmes respectées, Daoust Lestage et Claude Cormier + Associés. Un projet qui pourrait voir le jour à temps pour les célébrations, gardé confidentiel, auquel j’ai eu accès.
Ne manque que l’imprimatur du maire Coderre…
Il s’agit d’une transformation complète du parc Jean-Drapeau qui va bien au-delà des projets annoncés ces derniers mois au coût de 55 millions. Une transformation qui vise à ramener les îles Sainte-Hélène et Notre-Dame à leurs origines d’Expo 67.
Si on réalisait le projet, un débarcadère rappelant celui d’il y a 50 ans serait aménagé sur le pont de la Concorde pour accueillir des navettes quotidiennes. La place des Nations serait réhabilitée pour présenter des spectacles en plein air. Et le lac des Cygnes retrouverait sa forme carrée, une fontaine illuminée en son centre, et une promenade serait creusée en son sein, comme le pont Moses aux Pays-Bas.
Plus loin, le parterre de l’île Sainte-Hélène, qui accueille notamment Osheaga, aurait droit à une végétalisation. On installerait non loin les lettres «EXPO 67» hautes de 20 pieds, actuellement entreposées, commandées par Jean Drapeau.
Les environs auraient droit à un mobilier urbain rappelant les années 1960, à une végétation noble et épurée, à des parcours d’art public. Des aménagements sportifs seraient prévus sur le circuit Gilles-Villeneuve pour accueillir vélos de performance l’été et ski de fond l’hiver.
Une promenade riveraine de trois kilomètres serait aménagée autour des deux îles afin de rapprocher les visiteurs de l’eau dans laquelle ils pourraient plonger les pieds. Une navette fluviale la connecterait au Vieux-Port et à la Rive-Sud, laquelle servirait de moyen de transport aux navetteurs de l’heure de pointe.
Le mail central liant L’Homme de Calder et la Biosphère serait redressé afin de mettre en valeur ces deux icônes. Des fontaines ponctueraient le parcours ainsi que des commerces, restaurants et terrasses. Au bout, un éperon conduirait les visiteurs au-dessus du fleuve …
27 April

50th Anniversary of Expo 67 — noted by the The Society for the Celebration of Montréal’s 375th Anniversary
2017 will also mark the 50th anniversary of Expo 67! Galvanized by the overarching theme Man and His World, this universal exhibition left an indelible mark on our collective consciousness by symbolizing the exuberance of the sixties, an openness to the world, and a focus on design in the planning of major development projects. Read more

Expo 67 overview of Ile Notre Dame Thursday, April 27 1967 Expo 67 Inauguration Day
On the site of Habitat 67, workmen roll out the last sections of sod to cover the mire surrounding the $22 million housing complex. Maintenance crews rush about the site, picking up the last bits of debris from three years of construction. By 3:30 PM, however, a stillness sets in. The last trucks rumble away. It’s that close. But Expo 67 is ready to be unveiled.
A bright sun shines on the 7,000 guests from the 62 participating countries, the premiers of the 10 provinces of Canada and the Northwest Territories, senior executives from the participating industries, companies and the Expo corporation, hostesses from all the pavilions, Scouts and hundreds of journalists, photographers and cameramen – all assembled at the Place des Nations, the site of the ceremonial opening of the 1967 World Exhibition. Commissioner General Pierre Dupuy also presented one very special guest, the widow of Antoine de St –Exupéry, the author from whose writings the overall theme of the Exhibition, La Terre des Hommes [Man and His World], was derived.
One by one, the flags of the participating nations are unfurled to whip in the brisk wind that sweeps across the exhibition isles in the middle of the St. Lawrence at Montreal. The river is a deep sparkling blue.
In an Olympian ritual, the Flame of Expo, a symbolic light kept alive during the hectic days of construction, is brought into the square by a team of military cadets; the same cadets that had carried the torch from Parliament Hill in Ottawa exactly two years prior.
Jeudi, 27 avril 1967 : journée de l’inauguration de l’Expo

13 April
The architecture of Moshe Safdie: A man of the world
(CBS) Legos are more than a toy for the world-famous architect Moshe Safdie. They were the inspiration for one of his most famous works. Martha Teichner has the portrait of an artist on top of the world.
11 January

Place des Nations
Photo by Julie Bélanger
October 2011

La Place des Nations fera peau neuve
Site mythique d’Expo67, la Place des Nations a été laissée à l’abandon durant plusieurs années. La Société du Parc Jean-Drapeau veut restaurer les lieux à temps pour les célébrations du 375e anniversaire de Montréal en 2017.
(La Presse) La Place des Nations renaîtra au coût de 12,5 millions. Laissé à l’abandon depuis des années, au grand désespoir des défenseurs du patrimoine moderne, ce site symbolique d’Expo 67 fera peau neuve d’ici 2017, dans le cadre du vaste projet de 55 millions de remise en valeur du parc Jean-Drapeau, annoncé plus tôt en 2013. La Société du Parc Jean-Drapeau a dévoilé sur son site internet les grandes lignes de ces investissements qui coïncideront avec le 375e anniversaire de la fondation de Montréal.
Espace de prestige pendant Expo 67, Place des Nations a vu passer bien des groupes de musique et bien des chefs d’État. Son état est aujourd’hui si lamentable que l’organisme Héritage Montréal l’a classé parmi ses 10 lieux patrimoniaux en danger.

2013

8 November
Andrew G. Kniewasser R.I.P.
Andy, with Jacqueline at his side, began his career in the Foreign Service after his graduation. His postings would take him and his family to Athens, Beirut, Cairo, and Caracas and then four years in Paris as Canada’s Commercial Counsellor. In 1963, Andy returned to Canada as General Manager of Expo 67 The World’s Fair in Montreal. The management group for Expo became known as Les Durs – the tough guys – in charge of creating, building and managing Expo. Andy had a reputation as a straight shooter. He remained in the public service after Expo and worked in Ottawa where he was named Assistant Deputy Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce, then Senior Deputy Minister. In 1972 Andy left the public service to become the President and CEO of the Investment Dealers Association of Canada where he remained for 20 years. During his tenure with the Investment Dealers Association Andy advocated for the securities industry and provided expert advice to numerous governments on securities and regulatory markets. –
Whether working for Canada abroad or at home, Andy was a passionate Canadian who felt a great gratitude and responsibility towards his country.

20 August 2013
Let us not forget that Mayor Nathan Philips had refused Expo 67 when Prime Minister Diefenbaker called in 1960. Toronto had other priorities, said Philips. “Give it to Drapeau, he’ll go broke with it”.
Mayor Rob Ford takes Toronto World Expo plea to the PM
Canada is set to withdraw from the Bureau International des Expositions, the governing body that oversees the selection of host countries for the Expo, by the end of this year. Citing cost concerns, the federal government gave its one-year notice to withdraw from the BIE last December – six months after city council voted 30-4 to produce a feasibility report to assess Toronto’s ability to bid for the Expo in 2025. Withdrawal from the BIE would essentially put the kibosh on Toronto’s chances of hosting the world fair. (20 August 2013)
Ottawa nixes Toronto’s bid for 2025 World Expo (23 October 2012)
Councillor wants Expo 2025 in Toronto (20 May 2012)

30 May 2013
Biosphere May 2013City’s Biosphere is endangered, coalition warnsThis is beyond sad
Presented to the city of Montreal as a 350th birthday gift, the Biosphere environment museum will be nothing but a shell by September, says a coalition of groups trying to keep the museum open.
Hit by federal government cuts last summer, only a handful of employees are still working at the museum housed in architect Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome on Île Ste-Hélène, Pascal Lauzon, president of the Montreal local of the Union of Environment Workers, Public Service Alliance of Canada, said Wednesday.
Conferences and video conferences offered across North America have been halted, he said. Researchers, technicians and other museum employees have been let go or relocated elsewhere within Environment Canada, which runs the museum.
Le musée de la Biosphère à l’agonie
(Le Devoir) À moins d’un revirement de dernière minute, le seul musée de l’environnement en Amérique du Nord, qui est situé à la Biosphère, ne sera plus qu’un souvenir en septembre prochain. Le gouvernement fédéral a aboli la majorité des postes assignés à la muséologie et au volet éducatif du musée et il prévoit d’y installer des spécialistes de la prévision météorologique.

 

I moved to Montreal in December 1963 from Washington, D.C. because I had been offered a job with the public relations team of the Canadian Corporation for the 1967 World Exhibition (CCWE), the official title of the organization responsible for the concept, development and operation of Expo 67.
At the 1963 Christmas party – on the not-yet-finished 23rd floor of Place Ville-Marie – we were some 100 employees. During the summer of 1967, the Operations Department, headed by Mayor of the Fair, Philippe de Gaspé Beaubien, counted some 10,000 employees.

Marking the 46th anniversary of the opening of Expo 67 the Fondation Expo 67 Foundation publishes the Day-by-day account of Expo 67
These journals were written by the Information Services of Expo and constitute somewhat personal accounts of each of the 185 days of the event, including Day 0, the Inauguration Day, April 27, created to accommodate officialdom without denying any access to our first paying visitors.
I had the honour of collaborating with Yves Jasmin to polish the English versions of these accounts before they were submitted for publication on the Expo Foundation website.

Expo logo Links
Fondation Expo67 Foundation
Presentation of Day by Day and Au jour le jour
An Expo 67 daily journal
D. Morency’s Expo 67 photo album (slide show)
Bill Dutfield’s fabulous photos
from  construction  through to operations. (slide show)
Expo 40th anniversary
Tabloid Expo A very different take on media coverage
Expo in 3-D (glasses required) and other excellent day-to-night photos
Expo 67 Facebook Open group


Shlomo Schwartzberg: When Canada Outdid Herself: Memories of Expo 67

I was only 7 years old when the fair officially opened on April 28, 1967 (various V.I.P.s toured it a day earlier) – I turned eight on June 27, about a third of the way through Expo’s six month run – and, according to my Expo passport that my mother dug up in Montreal, the stamps indicate that I went to about 75-76 pavilions, which was most of them. (1 July 2012)

The Best Place to Be

Thursday, May 2 2013 at 12:30 pm
For the Atwater Library Lunchtime Series, award-winning journalist John Lownsbrough looks back at the glory that was Expo 67, drawing on his highly-praised book The Best Place To Be, part of Penguin’s History of Canada series.

Building Expo 67

003 - Sign for Expo 67 in Giant Concrete Letters

16 December 2012
Hélène de Champlain
in response to Yves Jasmin’s eulogy for Hélène de Champlain
In the tradition of bilingualism as practiced at Expo 67, I write in English in response to my friend Yves Jasmin’s eloquent eulogy for Hélène de Champlain.
Unlike Yves, I was far down the hierarchy and never attended one of the official receptions in 1967, however the doyenne of the Pavillon d’honneur, Krystyne Romer, was (and is) my dear friend and I treasure a profile of her in the Montreal Star, accompanied by a photo showing her adding droplets of water to the fresh roses (not dyed!) in one of the flower arrangements that graced the dining table.
I do not remember when I first went there, but have dozens of memories of personal and semi-official occasions at the ‘Mayor’s restaurant’ over the years leading up to 1967.

30 April 2007
A summer job they all remember
It’s said that if you remember the 1960s, you weren’t there. But that line does not apply to the folks who worked at Expo 67.
(Montreal Gazette) People who held jobs at the Montreal world’s fair during that golden summer continue to have vivid memories 40 years later of both their jobs and the parties after hours. Some say the skills they acquired helped them in their later careers.
Here are some of the recollections of four people who spent the summer of 1967 working at Expo.
Diana Bruno: Ticket Clerk and hostess …

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