Expo 67: 40th Anniversary Celebrations Edition (part 8)

News release                                                                                                                            For immediate use

Restoration of world’s oldest galloping carousel
going full speed ahead at La Ronde!

Montreal, April 26, 2007 – La Ronde today announced that restoration of the world’s oldest galloping carousel is going full speed ahead and that no efforts are being spared so that the famous ride is once again operational on opening day of the park’s 2007 season Saturday, May 19.

As part of its 40th anniversary, La Ronde, together with the head office of Six Flags, is giving new life to the celebrated antique carousel. Phase one work has been done early this spring. The carousel will be installed on a system of rails attached to a concrete foundation. A roof has also been built to protect the ride from inclement weather and preserve it in all its splendour.

Reconditioned by the firm Magic Carousel, world renowned for excellence in restoring carousels, the ride’s various parts will arrive at La Ronde in the next few days. Assembly work will then begin with the erecting of the mechanical components, to which will be added the architectural parts, including the horses and gondolas, and, lastly, the decorative pieces such as the cornice, frieze and ceiling.

Festivities surrounding the return of the famed galloping carousel will take place at La Ronde May 19 to May 21 to the great delight of park president Marc Tremblay, who invites people to regularly visit La Ronde’s web site at www.laronde.com to learn more about the ride’s restoration and view the various photos of the work in progress.

About Six Flags: Six Flags Inc. is the world’s largest regional amusement park company. Owner of La Ronde, Six Flags Inc. is a publicly traded company (NYSE: SIX) based in New York.


Nadia Goyer
Manager of Public relations
La Ronde – A member of the Six Flags family
Tel.: (514) 397-2001, ext. 2703

Also on this date, the Montreal Gazette publishes a heartwarming story about the Expo Passport: A rose bursts into full bloom written by Lynn Elizabeth Moore.

And the Globe and Mail filed this report: Expo 67 saw the world come to us, in joyous fashion written by Tu Thanh Ha.


April 25/07 -  CBC radio in Vancouver to interview special guests about Expo 67

Rick Rake, editor for the Abbotsford News, reports the following: "CBC called me today at my office to go over some preamble about my posting on your website. They want me to be one of the people they interview on their special Expo 67 40th anniversary program in Vancouver on Friday at 12:30 noon." The CBC radio program is called the B.C. Almanac, hosted by Mark Forsythe and airs weekdays from 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. (Pacific Daylight Time).

The Montréal Gazette publishes an article entitled: 'Greatest exhibition earth has ever known' by Bill Bantey. 

The article is available on-line at the Gazette website for only a short period of time. Please click here to read their excellent report. And their coming Saturday edition will have feature articles on Expo 67.

Also on this date:

The Suburban, Quebec's largest weekly English newspaper publishes: Montreal's 'Summer of Love': Expo '67 by Bob Wilkins

Click here to read: Montreal's 'Summer of Love': Expo '67


Attention News Editors:

Montréal celebrates 40th anniversary of Expo 67: Montréal, world of the future!

MONTREAL, April 25 /CNW Telbec/ - A wealth of activities are planned to mark the 40th anniversary of Expo 67, reprising the original exhibition's season, from April 27 to October 29. The varied program will provide Montrealers and visitors alike with an opportunity to rediscover the island site of the fair, now parc Jean-Drapeau, as well as to revive the spirit of Man and His World. Montréal Mayor and honorary chairman of the celebrations, Gérald Tremblay, joined by the two co-chairs, Isabelle Hudon, president and administrative director of the Chambre de commerce du Montréal métropolitain and Philippe de Gaspé Beaubien, co-chair of the Fondation des familles en affaires, invite Montrealers to remember Expo 67 and join in its 40th-anniversary party, under the theme, "Montréal, world of the future!"

"Expo 67 resulted in an unprecedented wave of urban development and the city took advantage of that momentum to create a modern metropolis, expanding its international scope and opening up to the world. This project, which owed much to the dreams and vision of its builders, is an extraordinary legacy for the city. Expo 67 is a source of pride for all Montrealers and a source of inspiration as well. This 40th anniversary is not only an occasion to commemorate an important moment in the history of the metropolis, but also an invitation to expand our horizons and dream great dreams," Mayor Tremblay said.

"Thanks to the celebrations planned over the next several months, Montrealers will have ample opportunity to recall the city's many success stories, inspiring us to reach even greater heights today! This 40th anniversary will revive the spirit of Expo 67, when everything was possible and we were, justifiably, the best. That said, Montréal has all the potential it needs to stand out: it is a strong metropolis where diversity, innovation and openness to the world serve as the leitmotif. Let us now celebrate the incredible élan that Expo 67 instilled in us and most of all, enjoy the immense feeling of pride we have for our metropolis," added Mme. Hudon.

"Expo 67 was a watershed event for Montréal. We were inventive, embarking on an adventure and laying the foundations for the future. We looked for inspiration to the St. Lawrence, the wellspring from which Montréal draws its strength, and created the Expo island site. We tunnelled beneath the river and city, building the metro subway system, and above ground we put up Place Ville-Marie and Place des Arts. The face of Montréal was transformed forever.

The considerable success of Expo 67 is proof that when we have the will, we can do extraordinary things with the enthusiasm of people of good faith. What a wonderful lesson for the future!" Mr. de Gaspé Beaubien concluded.

Rediscover the Expo site, parc Jean-Drapeau

Many special activities will be held at parc Jean-Drapeau, site of the events that marked the course of Montréal history. To relive the great moments that involved the planning and realization of this grandiose project, the exhibition "Expo 67, passport to the world", staged by the museum, Centre d'histoire de Montréal, with the support of the Québec department of municipal and regional affairs, ministère des Affaires municipales et des Régions, will be presented June 23 to September 3 at the swimming complex on île Sainte-Hélène. Featured will be photo montages, artefacts, information capsules and videos.

In addition, the miniature train, "Balade of the 40th" will take visitors on guided tours of the site, July 4 to August 31. Various animated activities will be staged along the route, all designed to revive the spirit of Expo 67.

An "open-air gallery" will showcase works of art created for Expo 67, such as Alexander Calder's stabile, "Man". The Montreal Symphony Orchestra (MSO) will honour the city with a performance on the île Sainte-Hélène parterre, July 28 at 8 p.m., as part of the "MSO in the Parks" series. This concert highlights two major historic events in the annals of Montréal, the 350th anniversary of the arrival of the Sulpician order of priests and the 40th of Expo.

The 1967 fair also inspired Montrealers to embrace the world. Today cultures from around the globe are part of everyday life in the city and people from all backgrounds participate in its development. "Les Rencontres montréalaises de la diversité", meetings to be held May 28 and 29, will bring together various community leaders to take stock of the path the city has followed since Expo and lay the groundwork for a truly diverse city.

Moreover, parc Jean-Drapeau will host two events, the "Week-ends du monde" and "Fête des enfants", which moves to the park for the first time this summer. Both festivals will feature themes highlighting Expo's 40th anniversary.

Expo 67 by the numbers

The Universal and International Exhibition of Montréal ran from April 27 to October 29. More than 50 million visitors took in Expo 67 and were charmed by its atmosphere of amity, peace and fraternity. On average, 271,900 people flocked to the site every day. Nearly 72,000 visitors* gathered at Place des Nations for an inaugural event attended by the general commissioners of 62 participating countries. The theme "Man and His World" was borrowed from the writings of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
For further information or to view a detailed program of activities, please log on to ville.montreal.qc.ca/expo67.

* The CNW Telbec figure of 72,0000 visitors is grossly inflated. 

In two e-mail correspondences from Yves Jasmin, Director of Public Relations, Marketing and Communications for Expo 67 to the proprietor of this Expo 67 in Montreal website, Yves states the following: 

"I asked that the opening ceremony be held at 5 pm on April 27 and it was agreed.

"We were asked that only a few hundred guests be present. But when you open one strata of guests, it very quickly accumulates and the hundreds become thousands. Invitations went out by the bushel.

"I remember that day...In my own recollection I estimate the crowd to be some 7,000." 

"I'm positive that we did NOT invite 72,000 people and admission was very strictly controlled. An overflow of 65,000 bodies would have been noticed!"

Yves Jasmin then found some additional information which supports his recollections which came in a second e-mail:

"Found another source for the 7,000 figure -- There was a daily journal kept by someone in my department and published under the title Expo 67 Day by Day.

"Speaking of the pre-opening inauguration, it is said: "some 6,000 guests assembled at the Place des Nations..."

Yves Jasmin
Montréal (Québec)
May 2/07


May 1 to November 1

"Rendezvous at Man and His World"

The museum of the environment features an exhibition of 30 large-scale photos tracing the creation of the islands for Expo 67 and showing their impact on the environment. The museum is housed in the Biosphere, the geodesic dome Buckminster Fuller designed for the United States pavilion at Expo 67.

Place: Biosphere on île Sainte-Hélène, parc
Metro: Jean-Drapeau
Information: 514 283-5000, www.biosphere.ec.gc.ca


May 8

Conference "Expo 67, 40 ans plus tard, revivez la grande aventure"

Political scientist, Claude Latour, will revive memories of the great adventure that was Expo 67, from its beginnings to its realization with his talk and audio-visual presentation organized by the alumni society of the Université de Montréal.

Place : NFB Cinémathèque
1564, rue Saint-Denis
Metro: Berri-UQAM
Reservations: 514 343-6230


May 19, 20 and 21

"Montréal Days" at La Ronde

La Ronde amusement park was created for Expo 67. This year, as the city celebrates the 40th anniversary of Expo, the season opening will be devoted to Montréal. Special activities and entertainment will be featured throughout the weekend. Montrealers may benefit from preferential admission fees if they buy tickets in their boroughs.

Place: La Ronde
Metro: Jean-Drapeau
Information: 514 397-2000, www.laronde.com


May 28 and 29

"Multicultural Montréal Meetings"

A family gathering to celebrate 40 years of life together, May 28 at the Monument national. A legacy for a future to build together, an overview and perspectives in partnership with Concordia University, May 29. Organized by Vision Diversité.

By invitation: 514 733-9500


June 23 to September 3

"Expo 67. Passport to the World"

The Ville de Montréal, with support from the ministère des Affaires municipales et des Régions, presents a retrospective exhibition, by the Centre d'histoire de Montréal, re-creating the atmosphere and spirit of Man and His World.

Place: Complexe aquatique, parc Jean-Drapeau
(Aquatic complex)
Metro: Jean-Drapeau
Information: 514 872-3207

"Open-air art gallery"

Rediscover the magnificent public art works ornamenting parc Jean-Drapeau, the majority of which were created for Expo 67. The impressive Totem, carved by aboriginal artists from British Columbia, will be restored over the course of the summer.

Place: parc Jean-Drapeau
Metro: Jean-Drapeau
Information: www.parcjeandrapeau.com

514 872-6210


June 29 to September 3

"Artefact Montréal 2007 - Urban Sculptures"

A sculpture exhibition on île Sainte-Hélène features works recalling the various theme and national pavilions at Expo 67. The Centre d'art public de Montréal is responsible for this exhibition.

Place: île Sainte-Hélène, parc Jean-Drapeau
Metro: Jean-Drapeau
Information: www.parcjeandrapeau.com

514 872-6210


July 4 to August 31

"Balade of the 40th"

Hop on the miniature train, the Balade, and take a trip through time to rediscover Expo 67 and tour parc Jean-Drapeau. Various activities animate the route, reviving the spirit of Expo 67.

Place: Complexe aquatique, parc Jean-Drapeau
(Aquatic complex)
Metro: Jean-Drapeau
Information: www.parcjeandrapeau.com

514 872-6210


Weekends: "Week-ends du Monde au parc Jean-Drapeau"

July 6 to 8; July 13 to 15; July 20 to 22; August 23 to 25

Experience the spirit of Expo 67 all over again and discover cultures from around the world, at a and series of festivals presented in Montréal: entertainment, shows, dancing, gastronomy, etc.

Place: île Sainte-Hélène, parc Jean-Drapeau
Métro: Jean-Drapeau
Information: www.parcjeandrapeau.com

514 872-6210


July 18

"Concert by the Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal"

Under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal pays tribute to the 40th anniversary of Expo 67 with a special program. This concert is presented as part of the Pop Concert series.

Place: Centre Pierre-Charbonneau
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Information: www.orguesetcouleurs.com

514 899-0644


July 28

"Concert by the Montreal Symphony Orchestra (MSO)"

As part of "MSO in the parks", sponsored by Loto-Québec, the orchestra honours Montréal with a performance on the Parterre of Ile Sainte-Hélène. The MSO marks two events that each had their own particular effect on the history of Montréal: the 350th anniversary of the arrival of the Sulpician order of priests, which resolutely took over the guidance of the fledgling colony, and the 40th anniversary of Expo 67, which literally thrust the city into the ranks of major international metropolises.

Place: île Sainte-Hélène, Parterre, parc
Time: 8 p.m.
Metro: Jean-Drapeau
Information: www.osm.ca

"Montreal International Dragon Boat Festival, Cup for the 40th"

A friendly race among teams representative of the Montréal mix as well as from various city and Québec institutions, all vying for the "Cup for the 40th" to commemorate Expo 67.

Place: Olympic basin, île Notre-Dame, parc
Metro: Jean-Drapeau
Information: 514 866-7001


August 17 to 19

"La Fête des enfants de Montréal"

La Fête des enfants has moved to parc Jean-Drapeau. In the same spirit of discovery, openness to the world and delight that prevailed at Expo 67, Montréal families are invited to celebrate together.

Place: île Sainte-Hélène, parc Jean-Drapeau
Metro: Jean-Drapeau
Information: www.parcjeandrapeau.com

514 872-6120

For further information: Stéphanie Jecrois, Media relations, (514) 872-4641; Source: Cabinet du maire et du comité exécutif.  Official news release date, April 25, 2007.


April 22/07- On this date, the Toronto Star presents several feature articles about Expo 67

1. Expo 67: We were fab by Christopher Hume

2. Opening day, through the eyes of an 11-year-old by Jeffrey Holden

3. Forty years on, a song retains its standing by Leslie Scrivener who covers the film and music to "A Place To Stand."

4. Suddenly, a citizen of the world by Pier Giorgio Di Cicco (print edition only).

Also on this date, CTV reports that there was a tree-planting ceremony honoring Earth Day and the 40th Anniversary of Expo 67. People planted 40 white spruce trees on St. Helen's island.



Drapeau's right. Let's try to preserve Expo

LONDON HAD the Crystal Palace as a legacy of the Great Fair of 1851, and still has Royal Festival Hall from the Festival of Britain a century later. Paris had the Eiffel Tower, a structure whose remarkable ugliness has been mellowed by time and fame into a kind of beauty. With such world-renowned landmarks left by the receding tides of previous international exhibitions, it does seem a pity that the glories of Expo 67 must vanish in October like the snows of yesteryear, leaving only La Ronde and Habitat to remind posterity what Expo must of have been like.

This is not, of course, a matter for Canada to decide, or the decision would already have been taken. Mayor Jean Drapeau of Montréal, the father of the fair, has made an earnest plea for a stay of execution. Prime Minister Pearson has undertaken to "do what he can" to back up the international exhibitions, and decree who shall be permitted to what thereat. Presumably they are thinking already of Expo 70 in Osaka, Japan, and making sure that no competitive relics survive to make people remember there once was another Expo that was also, in its day, the wonder of the world.

There is also the question of originality. If it is true, as a Russian official scornfully suggested, that "we saw the United States exhibit in Sokolniki Park in 1959," and if it is equally true that the Soviet parade of its achievements in space is almost as heavy-footed as it was in Brussels, or that the Thai pagoda is shipped from one world's fair to the next with little attempt at variety, then perhaps it may be the exhibitors and not the authorities who insist that each new exhibition shall start with a clean slate and no leftovers for invidious comparison.

But all these arguments are based on the pettiest kind of narrow expediency. Expo 67 is a beautiful sight, and heaven knows the world of '67 has little enough that is beautiful. Surely there must be some way to prevent the destruction of this exploit in co-operative creation.

© Maclean's Magazine, June 1967 edition. All rights reserved.

Photograph © the National Archives of Canada

A visitor gets Mayor Jean Drapeau's autograph at Expo 67



Bruno Paul Stenson to speak about Expo 67 on April 27

Bruno Paul Stenson, who did his Master of Arts on Expo 67, will be speaking about the fair at the John A. Simms Community Centre, Montréal, on April 27, 2007. People who are interested in this event should call for the start-up time by contacting the "50 + Travel Club" at the John A. Simms Community Centre: (514) 484-6186.


Photo sourced from Flickr.com

Approval pending: "Habitat 67" to become classified as a Heritage landmark in Montréal

April 16/07 - On this date, the Montréal Gazette reported that Habitat 67 is "to get a municipal heritage designation." And there will be "a public information meeting next month" about the proposal said the Gazette.

The proposal was made last week by the City of Montréal's executive committee that will also include four other buildings the city wants to protect as heritage landmarks: The Thomas Brunet House; Jacque Richer dit Louveteau House; Mary Dorothy Molson (MacDougall) House; and Bleau House.

But Habitat 67 is perhaps the biggest surprise of all, a building of enormous size where the municipal classification will make the City of Montréal responsible for conservation of the grounds and its exterior structure.

Habitat 67 was the "brainchild of Montréal architect Moshe Safdie," wrote Robert Fulford in his book, Remember Expo. "Habitat is a 12-story complex of 158 one-to-four bedroom homes built of prefabricated 85-ton boxes hoisted into place by cranes; they support one another like blocks in a child's higgledy-piggledly pyramid. There's a pedestrian skywalk on the 10th floor level, children's playgrounds, mini-parks, and private patio gardens for each unit. When Expo ended, Habitat remains as an example of what one critic called "a visionary solution to the problem of urban renewal." 

In 1964, Safdie's promotion of Habitat 67 was held in downtown Montréal. Through the use of drawings and dozens of cardboard boxes on a table, his presentation at the time might well have been beyond the mind's eye for the average person to grasp. However, Safdie envisioned Habitat 67 in a much different way...

"It's the attitude of this fair," he said, "and that's the way it should be. World's fairs are really catalysts that accelerate the development of their time -- and the more of a catalyst a fair is, the more successful it is as a fair. I think modern fairs have departed from this function of being a catalyst, but I think Expo is going to back it."

Decades have passed and Habitat 67 looks as new and futuristic as it did back then. Could it be that Safdie's prediction was more than just a fleeting comment? With today's announcement, City of Montréal executive committee member Andre Lavallee thinks otherwise. He declared Habitat 67 as an important symbol of Expo that helped to put Montréal on the world map.

"How appropriate for the 40th Anniversary of Expo 67," said Lavallee. The proposal to designate the building as a heritage landmark was also applauded by Dinu Bumbaru, program director at Heritage Montréal.

Related links: Click here for some amazing on-line examples of Moshe Safdie's own drawings and architectural plans for Habitat 67. The display is sourced from the Canadian Architecture Collection, McGill University.

Also: Views and photographs from the same site.

Photo sourced from Flickr.com

Habitat 67 under construction. Total cost to build: $22,195,920


1966: "Colour TV came to Canada when the CBC was authorized to spend an initial $15-million to convert its facilities, equipment and transmitters to the specifications for colour TV," writes the Canadian Communications Foundation. The "Butterfly" logo was designed by CBC annimator/producer, Hubert Tison.

The CBC and their "Expo '67 Report"

Did you know that a year prior to the opening of the fair, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) presented a weekly television public-affairs program called the "Expo '67 Report." It offered "sneak previews of the fairs expositions, along with interviews and updates on the construction progress," writes Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide. "The program was produced by the CBC's Montréal facilities and aired on Tuesday evenings," Erickson went on to say. "Expo 67 Report" was seen from July 5 to September 6, 1966 and was hosted by Bob MacGregory and Norman Kiehl. Producers for the series were Frank Williams and David Bloomberg.

Interestingly, the CBC's popular TV program, "Take Thirty" with Paul Soles, gave glimpses of Expo's "nerve centre" before the fair had opened.

The CBC was delegated the role as host broadcaster for Expo 67. For on April 27, 1967, live inaugural ceremonies from Place des Nations at Expo were broadcasted to the world by the CBC. During the broadcast, host announcer Lloyd Robertson described just how far the CBC signal was being received from around the world: "Now Canada welcomes 20 countries who have just joined us in Europe by Atlantic satellite. The network now extends to Western Europe and Eastern Europe, as far as Moscow in the U.S.S.R. and through the United States and westward on Pacific satellite to Japan," he said.

Thirteen young men from the military college of Saint-Jean Québec herald in the Expo flame. It would eventually be received by Expo 67 Commissioner-General Pierre Dupuy, then it was passed next to Montréal Mayor Jean Drapeau, and then finally received by Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson. "The big moment for Canada, is near at hand," said Robertson. After the names of flags from every participating nation was announced by Commissioner-General Dupuy, over 650,000,000 viewers waited in anticipation for Prime Minister Pearson to ignite the official Expo 67 flame which was to burn until the closing of Expo..."And there it is!" said a gleeful Robertson as the flame rose up towards the sunny Montréal skies at Place des Nations, "The Expo flame now lights the world."

During Expo 67 the CBC presented a weekly half-hour program called "This Week At Expo 67." The series ran for 25 weeks giving the Canadian viewer the most important and exciting events that took place at Expo. Meanwhile, their competitor, CTV, was airing through their "W5" Sunday program, 10 hourly shows dedicated to the fair which was called "W5 At Expo."

The CBC also decided to have some of their other popular TV programs make the trek to the Expo 67: "Front Page Challenge"; "Reach for the Top" (a quiz show involving students from different high schools); and "Gardening with Earl Cox."

CBC gears up for a busy year in '67. The original artwork has the washed-out effect. The advertisement appeared in Toronto Life, March 1967. 

The CBC and Musical Performances at Expo 67

Expo 67 had about 6000 free musical concerts that were presented by professional and amateur performers.  The music was eclectic: amateur choirs, folksingers, chamber music, jazz, musical comedy, organ recitals, operetta, cabaret and pop music, all could be heard at the fair.

Most of the Canadian performances were held at Katimavik with the federal government providing about $800,000 for the cost of the entertainment. Katimavik was ideal: a 500-seat theatre and a 1200-seat open-air bandshell with 58 shows per week that provided the CBC with a window of opportunity to get involved. "Many of these concerts were recorded by the CBC for subsequent broadcast," writes The Canadian Encyclopedia, "and transcription discs in a 'CBC Expo' series were made of over 40 of them."

If Expo 67 wasn't enough to keep the CBC organization busy, in July of that same year they were host broadcaster for the Pan-American Games, held over a two-week period in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Report filed by John Whelan, April 15, 2007.


Expo 67 "Monument to Man"
A short video on Expo 67's Inaugural Ceremonies


The short video covers the official live ceremonies of Expo 67 that were held on April 27, 1967. There were 7,000 VIPs and media people only.

Expo 67 was opened to the general public on April 28, 1967.

This video stream is originating directly from VideoJug.  Copyright to this video now belongs to the public domain*. 

Running time: 1:41 (click on the button to activate the video.)

External links were posted here on April 13, 2007.

* "Universal City Studios gifted Universal Newsreel to the American people, put the newsreels into the public domain, and gave film materials to the National Archives in 1976. Surviving materials from the entire collection are available at the National Archives and Records Administration in College Park, Maryland." -- Source: Internet Archive


April 11/07 - The Beaver CANADA'S HISTORY MAGAZINE to feature "Souvenir of Expo" in their June/July edition!

A feature article on Expo 67 written by Christopher Moore, will appear in The Beaver CANADA'S HISTORY MAGAZINE.

Details: The Beaver's "Extra! Extra!" bulletin at their official website


April 10/07 - Centre d'histoire de Montréal to present "Expo 67 Passport to the World"

The Centre d'histoire de Montréal will present "an exhibition that brings Expo 67 back to life for all to explore and enjoy; an evocation of the past that can help us to see more clearly what Montréal has become over the past 40 years. A gesture of openness to the world that continues today." - source: Tourisme Montréal.

Location and time: The Aquatic Complex (the pools) of Île Sainte-Hélène from June 22 to September 3, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.. It will be free admission.

It's supposed to have other events around Expo 67: 

1.  La Ronde to feature a free day for people who still have their passports;

2.  La Fête des enfants ("Children's Festival") will be at Parc Jean-Drapeau. The thematic title will be "Terre des enfants";

3.  There will be a geocache and a special tour around the islands.

For further information, please call Stéphanie Mondor, Centre d'histoire de Montréal at: (514) 872-3213.


"A Place To Stand" film producer, Christopher Chapman, celebrates his 80th birthday!

Christopher Chapman blows out the candles on his birthday cake, during the presentation of his Oscar winning film "A Place to Stand", at the Roxy Theatres of Uxbridge 10th Anniversary celebrations. Laurin Christoff, Cathy Christoff, and Caitlin Christoff assist Christopher with the cake.   Photo credit: © Stuart Blower, News and Views from Uxbridge's Arts Community edition "Arts Bridge." Used with permission. Caption written by Barbara Glen Chapman.

The year 2007 will be best remembered as the year that triggered many celebrations across Canada. This year will mark 40th anniversary when the film "A Place to Stand" was first shown at the Ontario Pavilion at Expo 67, a film that made use of multiple moving images on a single movie screen. It was produced and directed by Christopher Chapman that earned him an Oscar for Best Live Action Short Subject category.

The year also marked when the producer himself, Chapman, turned 80 this past January. It also marked the 10th anniversary of the Roxy Theatres in Uxbridge, Ontario (a very small town about an hour northeast of Toronto.)

These milestones led to a wonderful idea hosted by Cathy Christoff, co-owner of the Roxy Theatres: Not only did the owners want to embrace Roxy's 10th anniversary, but they also wanted to throw a surprise birthday bash for Chapman along with a presentation of his 18-minute film of "A Place to Stand" in their movie theatre.

"Christopher and his wife Glen have been very good friends of ours for over 10 years, since we opened the Roxy Theatres in Uxbridge," said Cathy in an e-mail correspondence to "Expo 67 in Montréal" website proprietor John Whelan. "We were approaching our 10 year anniversary date of opening the theatre and knew it was Christopher's 80th birthday so we decided to surprise him with a birthday celebration...he thought he was coming to celebrate our anniversary and talk about his film after the screening. We had a cake and the packed audience singing "Happy Birthday" to this wonderful man."

"The date was Wednesday January 17th, 2007 and there were approximately 140 people there that night," wrote Cathy. "The film was shown in its entirety (provided by Christopher) and his actual birthday was January 25th."

Those in attendance witnessed a rare occasion to watch Chapman's historical movie about the lovely landscapes and central themes that highlighted the Province of Ontario. With such a good turnout at the Roxy Theatres, perhaps one day Heritage Canada might want to bring this film back into select movie houses and university auditoriums across Canada. Chapman's "A Place to Stand" clearly demonstrated to us how a part of the Canadian culture can be done really well through the eyes of a skillful film producer/director.

Belated "Happy Birthday Wishes" to Chapman and congratulations on the 40th anniversary of "A Place to Stand."  Also, congratulations are in order for Roxy Theatres 10th anniversary. May your patrons continue to munch away on buttered popcorn and watch great movies!

- John Whelan, Proprietor for the Expo 67 in Montréal website, April 9, 2007.

Related Link: "A Place to Stand" - a short essay on the making of the film by George C. Konder, Dec. 6, 2004.


Montréal Diversity Conference to open with a tribute to Expo 67

Date and Location: May 28, 29 at the Conseil des Arts de Montréal
3450, rue Saint-Urbain, Montréal (Québec)

"The Journées de la diversité will be held next May 28 and 29, and will open with a celebration on the 40th anniversary of Expo 67. These two days will provide an opportunity to assess the progress of ethnocultural diversity within Montréal's cultural, and the city's ability to turn this diversity into a major asset." -- sourced from Conseil des Arts de Montréal, spring edition 2007, Vol. 4, no 1.

For further information, please call: (514) 280-3580 or visit: Conseil des Arts de Montréal


April 8/07- FOUNDATION EXPO '88 - Australia at World Exhibitions website salutes Expo 67

With a special focus on the Australian pavilion through the use of rare photographs and news reports before, during and after the fair, Foundation Expo '88 website salutes the 40th Anniversary of Expo 67.

Links: Click here to go directly to the photographs and news reports and then click on the images for larger views; Main index page: FOUNDATION EXPO '88


Historical flashback: "Man & His World" by Time Magazine

Read what "Time Magazine" wrote on May 5, 1967 concerning Expo 67. For their excellent report, please click on the following link: "Man & His World".


"Man and Whose Worlds? Transnationalism and the Architecture of Expo 67"

Date and location: June 15, 2007, Design Exchange (former Toronto Stock Exchange Building), 234 Bay Street, Toronto, Ontario.

"Man and Whose Worlds? Transnationalism and the Architecture of Expo 67 is the focus of Annmarie Adams’ Buchanan Memorial Lecture on Friday, June 15," writes the Canadian Architect. "Adams, professor at the McGill University School of Architecture, will present a stunning illustrated lecture that explores the architecture of Expo 67 in Montreal as a transnational moment in the history of design. Adams examines “Americanness” at the Universal and International Exhibition of 1967, and how it was actually made in Canada. The lecture takes place over dinner at the DX. Tickets to this lecture are included with Premium Conference Registration or can be purchased separately."

Professor Adams is but one of several presenters to speak at the DX National Design Conference. The conferences main theme is "OURTOPIAS: Ideal cities and the roles of design in remaking urban space" and runs from June 14-16. The three-day symposium will examine the varied and future states of cities. Conference streams will include mass media; sustainability; transportation and movement; technology; infrastructure; policy and social responsibility.

Related links: Canadian Architect - OURTOPIAS: DX National Design Conference (official announcement)

For ticket packages: DX National Design Conference - OURTOPIAS: Ideal cities and the roles of design in remaking urban space


Artefact Montréal 2007 - Urban Sculptures
June 27 to September 30, 2007 - Île Sainte-Hélène

Theme: "Small Pavilions and Other Follies"

Artefact Montréal - Urban Sculptures, known for its triennial presentations of ephemeral public sculptures and installations, have invited 20 artists from 5 different continents to help celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Expo 67.

From June 27 to September 30, these artists will be located on Île Sainte-Hélène and will create ephemeral works based on "the concept of a "pavilion", responding to the thematic and national pavilions erected at the time" writes the Artefact Montréal - Urban Sculptures website. "Because the works will be produced by visual artists, the term "pavilion" here does not refer to a true architectural construction, but rather suggests the "follies" that were built in bygone days in a park or garden."  The organizers hope that the presentation will evoke the many elements of human emotion -- from "vanity, pride, passion, obsession, confusion, sorrow and pleasure" -- all of which that will serve as a reminder to the visitor of the cultural importance of Expo 67.

Accessibility to the public sculptures and installations will be easy for visitors: Start your visit at Île Sainte-Hélène Metro station and walk on the pathway for 90-minutes. The time can be shortened if you use a bicycle.

For historical annotation purposes of this website, here is the list of the 20 artists:

Mathieu Beauséjour
Jacques Bilodeau (in collaboration with Jacques Perron)
Catherine Bolduc
Diane Borsato
Marie-Claude Bouthillier
Alexandre David
Robbin Deyo
Aganetha Dyck
Marion Galut (France)
Trevor Gould
Peter Hasdell (Australia)
Caroline Hayeur
Mireille Lavoie
Mathieu Lefèvre
Samuel Roy-Bois
Henri Sagna (Sénégal, West Africa)
Stephen Schofield
Chih–Chien Wang (Taiwan)

Note: Their work will be dismantled at the end of the event.

Official Website with additional information:  Artefact Montréal 2007 - Urban Sculptures  


"Expo 67: 40th Anniversary Conference" to be held on May 8th

Date, time and location: Tuesday, May 8, 2007 at 7:30 p.m. in the large room of the cinema club of the O.N.F., located at 1564 Saint-Denis, in Montréal (Berri-UQAM subway).

Claude Latour, political science graduate from the University of Montréal, will be presenting audio and visual  extracts about the great adventure of Expo 67.  The presentation will be done in French language only. Those wishing to attend this conference should book their tickets ahead of time: Expo 67 - 40e anniversaire


"Once upon a Time, at Île Sainte-Hélène"
Family Archives of Micheline Boyer

Date and location: May 1, 2007 - April 30, 2008, at the Stewart Museum located on Île Sainte-Hélène 

"In celebration of the 40th anniversary of Expo 67 and Jean Drapeau Park, this intimate exhibition features the historical documents of Île Sainte-Hélène seen through a family's private heritage. A special family collection of Micheline Boyer offers a direct link to the more recent history of the island - various documents, photographs and family souvenirs of the family that held important appointments on the island during the second half of the 19th century and the early 20th century." -- quoted directly from the Stewart Museum website.

For the museums hours of operation and directions on how to get there, please visit their website: Stewart Museum


Galloping Carousel used at Expo 67 returns to La Ronde

March 15/07 - First reported on the internet by CNW Telbec and then only a few hours later by the Montréal Gazette, the world's oldest galloping carousel returns to La Ronde on May 19 as a feature attraction for the 40th Anniversary of Expo 67.

Built in 1885, in Liège, Belgium, it was later bought and restored by Jacques and Mélanie Bairolle in 1932. Moving forward in the chronology of the carousel's history, it was purchased "by an American group in 1964 to embellish the recreated Belgian village at the New York World's Fair," writes CNW Telbec. "In 1966 the Montréal World Exposition corporation acquired the carousel in order to install it at Expo '67's Carrefour international (international crossroads)...next to the Bavarian restaurant."

The ride moved two more times at the fair site after 1967. The carousel's next location occurred in 1968 at Le Monde des petits (children's world) and in 1984 it was moved to La Petite Ronde. There it stayed until it was removed in 2002, damaged by the elements.  The merry-go-round was "put into storage by Six Flags Inc., the U.S. corporation that bought the site six years ago," writes the Gazette.

Final location plans - Carousel Antique Plan "B" at La Ronde.
Click on the the above map for a larger view. © Courtesy of Six Flags Incorporated, used with permission.

While kept in storage both Heritage Montréal and Six Flags Inc. began talks to determine restoration costs of the antique carousel.  No doubt restoring the carousel would be an expensive one but the project was approved.  Both the Montréal Gazette* and CNW Telbec* were quick to report restoration costs in their reports, however, Six Flags Inc. has yet to make an official announcement regarding the total restoration cost to the carousel.

"Regarding the cost of the actual restoration, we didn't specify the amount yet," said Nadia Goyer in an e-mail correspondence to Expo 67 in Montréal website proprietor, John Whelan, dated March 20, 2007. It will be interesting to see what the final tally is when the carousel opens once again in its glorious splendor to the general public.

"The fact this type of carousel is unique reinforced our decision to repair it and put it back into the spotlight," said La Ronde president Marc Tremblay in a report filed by the Gazette.

"We're landscaping an area and a wooded garden so the carousel can be shown off to its best advantage in an oasis of its own."

Dinu Bumbaru, who has been a member of the Heritage Montréal preservation group since 1982 and who co-authored "A Handbook for Montréal's Heritage", described the carousel as an "architectural jewel" and restored just in time for "Montréalers for Expo 67's 40th anniversary celebrations," he told the Gazette.

"It's of great value, and contributes significantly to the city's precious heritage."  

Editor's Footnote, With updates March 20, 21/07:

* The Montréal Gazette reported an "estimated" restoration cost of more than $1.5 million while the CNW Telbec report reads like the carousel's restoration had cost $75 million. The CNW Telbec figure, according to Nadia Goyer, should have actually referred to investments made to the park over a 5-year period. Nadia also stated that the correct date for the removal of the carousel was in 2002 and not 2003 as reported in the Montréal Gazette.

- John Whelan

Related link (courtesy of Nadia Goyer):

1964-65 New York World's Fair Carousel


"The world's oldest galloping carousel returns to La Ronde!"
Published, March 15, 2007, CNW Telbec
Contact person: Nadia Goyer, Public Relations Manager, La Ronde - Member of the Six Flags family
(514) 397-2001, ext. 2703. ngoyer [at] laronde.com

"19th-century carousel returning to La Ronde" 
Published March 15, 2007, The Montréal Gazette

Reported by Alan Hustak, The Montréal Gazette

"Dinu Bumbaru"
Published by Wikipedia encyclopedia

Photos: "Restoration process of world's oldest galloping carousel"
Courtesy of Nadia Goyer, Public Relations Manager, La Ronde - Member of Six Flags family. Copyright © Six Flags family, used with permission with our sincere thanks.