Queen's Speech at Expo

'Canada the Creator...

To Be a Land of Dialogue'

The following is the text of the Queen's speech, Monday at luncheon at the Canadian pavilion at Expo '67.

EXPO '67 is a fitting climax to Canada's 100 years of progress and development and Montréal, where the two main streams of Canada's culture meet and mingle, is in every way an appropriate setting for this fantastic creation.

Expo is a great international affair but much of the credit for this remarkable achievement belongs to Canada and to Montréal in particular.  The talents and imagination of all Canada set the pattern and drew the plans but in the end it was the goodwill, the hard work and the real enthusiasm of the people of Montréal which brought plans and ideas into visible shape.

Photo credit: © National Archives of Canada

A very rare colour photo of Queen Elizabeth II at Expo 67

I want to take this opportunity to express for the thousands of men and women who have devoted themselves to the realization of what it must have seemed, at the outset, an almost impossible dream.  The Expo staff and all who have worked for it have achieved a success which is the wonder of the world and a source of pride to all Canada.

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THE splendid buildings, the superb exhibitions, the excitement of novel displays, have all combined to make this one of the great events of our time.  Yet the most significant feature, and the one which should give all Canadians the greatest satisfaction, is that more than 60 countries accepted Canada's invitation to take part in this festival of human endeavor.  Their participation reflects Canada's standing in the eyes of the world; a country with whom all nations can be at peace and on terms of friendship.  In the circumstances of the world today, this is something for which we should all feel deeply thankful.

The wonders of scientific discovery and the remarkable ingenuity of modern technology are here for all to see and admire.  They represent some of mankinds greatest achievements.  Beside them and of equal importance, are creations drawn from the artistic and cultural workshops of the world.  Let us not forget that of all human activities the arts have the greatest unifying and harmonizing influence on the peoples of the world.

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CANADA has made it possible for many men and many nations to create, out of all their differences and contrasts, this harmonious image of Man and his World, a living symbol of what universal neighborhood can achieve.

(Translation from French)

If Man and his World celebrates the Canada of yesterday and today, it also portrays the Canada of tomorrow.  What then will Canada be like?  From our vantage point it appears to us, first of all, to be creative.  Long concerned with surviving, long occupied with building a country in vast uncultivated wilderness, the Canadian people manifest a tremendous desire to live, to work on a world level, to throw itself without reserve into the creative whirlpool.

So it is that everywhere across the country, and especially here in the heart of French Canada, there seethes a life of intensity, a deep will for renewal.  All we see, everywhere in Canada, is the shock of ideas, questions, appeals, demands, projects, a whole vigorous churning which is the very tumult of life itself.  In all the disciplines, in every field, the youth of this country aims at exactness, aims at excellence itself.  So it is, I am convinced, that Canada will be at the peak of progress and of the human ideal.

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CANADA the creator wishes moreover to be a land of dialogue.  At the dawn of their Confederation, Canadians undertook to respect their differences.  They have now come to be proud of them, and rightly so.  They deliberately chose cultural and social diversity.

Concerned as they are, with unity and things modern, they are nonetheless profoundly faithful to their origins.  They intend to continue as witnesses of two great European civilizations, witnesses of all of Europe and American soil.  The legacy of each group is the enriching of all.  In the fruitful dialogue between its national cultures, Canada sees an essential mark of its own identity, a condition of its survival.

The experiment that has been conducted for 100 years in this country, with some failures, of course, but also with increasing hopefulness, cannot leave our torn era indifferent.  Today so many nations, and the whole world of the international society, seek to create a cohesiveness which both respects and units the multiplicity of their internal divergences.  This transformation is something painful.  Canadians have discovered how much of generosity and political imagination it requires.  They have learned that the greatness of any country or group is to be found in what it gives the world.  It seems to me that it is in that direction that Canada will be great; not by its power, but by giving, by its radiance, by its example.

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FOR Canada will continue to assume its international vocation in all modesty, but with a growing self-confidence.  Scientists, soldiers, educators, technicians, a whole generation of Canadians has been taught the hard way, throughout the world, what "service" means.  They are secretly and intensely proud of their country.  Having learned how to make fraternity work amongst themselves, Canadians of all origins will know how to meet its great common tasks that await them in a new era, that of man and his world. (End of translation.)

Expo marks the climax of a century of struggle, a century of enterprise by discoverers and explorers, missionaries and settlers, builders and statesmen.  It is because of their struggles and enterprise that Canada was made one nation out of the rich material of diversity and that it stands today ready for the challenges ahead.  For the struggle goes on, there is no finality in human existence, the vision and ambition of compassionate men will go on disclosing new horizons and the promise of a better world and a richer life for all mankind.

- End of article. Copyright by The Ottawa Journal, July 4, 1967. All rights reserved.