Our interview with Yves Jasmin, Director of Information, Publicity and Public Relations for Expo 67

Yves Jasmin, O.C. and Jason Stockl

On the eve of the 40 anniversary of Expo 67, I thought it would be appropriate to interview Yves Jasmin, O.C., Director of Informaton, Publicity and Public Relations for Expo 67.  Therefore, on October 14, 2006, on a Saturday afternoon, Yves Jasmin shared his fond memories and historical perspectives on Expo 67 with Montréal resident Jason Stockl.  The interview went an unexpected 2 hours.

The questions were developed in the early part of the summer by several people including the owner of this website: Dave and Lucy Garvin; Professor Susan Schuppli, University of Western Ontario; Jason Stockl; Eric Watson and John Whelan. 

I would like to thank all those who participated on this project, in particular Yves Jasmin for his personal recollections on Expo 67 and to Jason Stockl for conducting the interview.

 John Whelan
 Proprietor for the Expo 67 in Montréal web site.
 (2006-10-30)

Yves Jasmin, circa October 24, 2005, at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), was a lecturer on the subject of "Large Builders of Modern Québec."

About Yves Jasmin:

Yves Jasmin worked all his life in the field of the communications. Initially a scenario writer with the National Film Board of Canada, then journalist, he subsequently occupied various positions within prestigious companies like Air Canada, Molson breweries, Ford Canada and with the Canadian company of Expo 67 where he was a director general of information, publicity and public relations. He was then a president of de Desroches, Jasmin and his Associates later took part in some cabinet-councils in public relations. On April 26, 1968, he was made an "Officer of the Order of Canada" for his contribution to Expo 67.  In 1997, Yves Jasmin published a book called: "La Petite Histoire d'Expo 67" (see bottom of this page for details). In 2004, he made several noteworthy appearances on the CBC television production of "Expo 67: Back to the Future" from the creators of "Canada - A People's History."

 

Image from WorldsFairPhotos.com, the Bill Cotter collection, with our sincere thanks.

Suggested media playback:

Click the "On Air" image to listen

Interview Index:


Part 1

The early years: public opinion and a rather lukewarm reception towards the idea of an Expo 67 • Building Expo 67 in record time • Montréal's "Metro" subway plays an important role • Contingency plans?


Part 2

Unexpected volume of visitors creates problems for Expo 67 management • Examining the important contribution that "La Ronde" made to the overall success of Expo 67 •  Music at Expo • Stéphan Venne's composition of "Hey Friend, Say Friend"  •  Moshef Safdie's "Habitat"


Part 3

Yves Jasmin's favorite pavilion • Movies -- multiple screen images and IMAX technology at Expo 67  •  Futuristic technologies at Expo • The "Expo Passport"


Part 4

Favorite Expo 67 memorabilia • Vietnam War protests and Expo 


Part 5

Ottawa's influence over the fair re: French President Charles de Gaulle remarks •  Peacenik demonstrations • City of Montréal transit strike • The Minirail


Part 6
New pedestrian paths at Expo 67 • Budget and marketing strategy to promote Expo 

Part 7
Comments on Pierre Dupuy, Commissioner for Expo 67 and Robert Shaw, Deputy Commissioner-General • Comments on Toronto's aspirations to host Expo 2015 • Expo 67: now and then

Part 8
Preserving our Expo heritage: what can be done? • Expo and the Bureau of International Expositions

Part 9

Yves Jasmin and projects after Expo 67 •  Yves Jasmin awarded Officer of Canada • Closing comments on Expo 67

"La Petite Histoire d'Expo 67" - a book by Yves Jasmin, O.C.

• An anthology of astonishing anecdotes that examines the history of Expo 67.

• A book that will please all the nostalgic ones who lived in the 1960s.

• The portrait of an unequalled adventure that marked the whole Québec.

• A book that is event-driven that coincides with the 30 years of Expo 67.

• Preface written by former Montréal Mayor, Jean Drapeau, who spearheaded the  campaign in bringing Expo 67 to Montréal.

"La Petite Histoire d'Expo 67" brings you back to this memorable event: the universal and international exposition of Montréal. The book explores the origins of the project beginning in 1958, its painful gestation, its perils, its setbacks, its fight and eventually its triumph, you will discover the multiples facets of this big adventure.

"La Petite Histoire d'Expo 67" examines the principal craftsmen behind the fair and the logistical plans to receive millions of visitors at Expo 67.

Yves Jasmin's book is a narrative chock-filled with memories and anecdotes that transports us to the heart of Expo. Thirty years later, he delivers us a true report on the preparation and the realization of this event.

"La Petite Histoire d'Expo 67" is an excellent book to read and discover or to remember the event as if you were there.

Details:
  • Paperback: 461 pages
  • Publisher: Québec Amérique Literature (April 21, 1997)
  • Language: French
  • ISBN: 2890379027
  • Website: Québec Amérique

"Expo 67: Back to the Future" by the creators of "Canada - A People's History"

The bright shining sixties’ version of the future came to Canada in 1967, the country’s one-hundredth birthday--a time when everything seemed possible. The Canadian Experience explores the exhilarating experience of Expo 67, which had a lasting personal impact on a generation of Canadians, and launched Canada as an enthusiastic participant in the global village.

We meet Expo's Director of Publicity, Yves Jasmin, who tells the story of exploiting Cold War culture to win the all-important US market with ads like "Look what the Russians are building some 40 miles from the USA.  As an American you should look into it." Thousands of people looked into Expo, and for some, it was a life-changing experience. A German tourist came to Expo and decided to emigrate to Canada.  Well-known Canadian photographer Courtney Milne visited Expo and launched a career change.

Along with the full roster of sixties celebrities such as Jackie Kennedy, Ed Sullivan, and Princess Grace, 50 million visitors came to the magic world of Expo.  The tickets were sold as passports, and those passports came to symbolize an opening to a larger world.

Behind it all, the beat of the sixties is the bass line to EXPO 67: Back to the Future. That beat, that summer, was full of confidence, energy and a belief in the possibility of a better world.  Man didn't land on the moon until 1969, but one image dominated Expo: The picture of earth from space -- fragile and vulnerable...just another plant...the home of the global human family.

EXPO 67: Back to the future is a stirring reminder of an exciting and optimistic time.  Some parties change people's lives, Expo 67 changed this country.
 

Details:
  • Format: DVD
  • Publisher: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Home Video (February 19, 2004)  
  • Bonus Feature: Highlights from CBC-TV’s coverage of the Expo 67 Opening Ceremonies
  • Language: English
  • Product ID: ETDOC00092
  • Website: CBC Shop Online

With notes from Québec Amérique Literature and the CBC Home Video collection.
Top photograph: © by Stephanie Stockl, 2006
Individual photograph of Yves Jasmin: © by Attic News, 2005