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RBC Letter

January 1967 — VOL. 48, No. 1 —
The Universal and International Exhibition of 1967

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Canada will be the cultural, entertainment and business-building capital of the world for six months in 1967.

The occasion will be the Universal and International Exhibition, a highlight of hundreds of events in which Canada celebrates her Centenary of Confederation. The place is Montreal. The dates are: April 28 to October 27, 1967.

Called for short "EXPO 67" in the publicity-writer's language, it is not merely a "World's Fair". The International Exhibitions Bureau defines a "Fair" as a market where producers offer samples of their goods. An altogether different idea is involved in an "Exhibition". Under the umbrella of a Theme selected by international agreement are assembled representative products of many countries, not with the idea of making sales on the spot but rather of demonstrating value and usefulness to man through originality of presentation. This is the first official "First Category" World Exhibition ever to be held in the Western hemisphere.

The symbol of this year's Exhibition represents Man and His World. Basically, it is the ancient and world-wide symbol for worshipping man — a vertical line with elevated arms. These motifs are joined together in pairs, the appropriate representation of friendship. The pairs are arranged in a circle which connotes the interdependence of man throughout the world.

The scene is set

If Samuel de Champlain — who explored Canada as far west as Lake Huron and penetrated deep into what is now New York State — were to sail his ship up the St. Lawrence today he would be surprised to find a new island he did not mark on his chart when he came this way in 1611. Millions of tons of rock and soil have been dredged from the river-bed and carted from the shore to build it, and to extend the island he named for his wife, Hélène, providing an exhibition site containing a thousand acres.

The islands and the adjoining mainland have been landscaped. Fourteen thousand trees add their tapestry of green to the gay scene. There are a million flowers of the annual variety and a half million bulbs. There are roses from all around the world in a 100-bed garden.

The architects and designers of this World Exhibition have given free rein to their imagination. What they have done is assemble a hundred specimens of what architects believe to be best in contemporary trends in building and decoration in all countries, so that for the first time it can be seen together in one piece.

That is the physical setting. What about the participants? There is nothing exclusive about a World Exhibition. The Government of Canada invited, through diplomatic channels, some 150 countries and international organizations to participate. Some seventy nations are represented, making this the most international exhibition in history. The previous record was at Brussels in 1958, with 45 countries represented.

The Federal Government of Canada, the Province of Quebec, and the City of Montreal have co-operated to make this Exhibition not only the event of the year but the wonder of the century. In addition there has been creative co-operation of all the arts, the sciences, industry, social organizations, and many voluntary bodies.

Pavilions of the nations

The United Nations pavilion, sponsored by eight Canadian companies, is surrounded by the flags of the 117 member nations. It houses a restaurant of all nations, a theatre, and an exhibit area.

When he unfurled the United Nations flag over the site, U Thant said that the pavilion is designed "to reflect the desire and determination of ordinary people to see their governments use the UN to help bring order, justice, peace and decency into the affairs of mankind."

Across the channel, on St. Helen's Island, is an open air amphitheatre, called the Place des Nations, where the national days of the nations are observed with appropriate ceremonies and festivities.

The national pavilions carry the Exhibition Theme into their displays. Canada tells the story of man in the environment of Canada. The United States shows the creative efforts of man based on life in a prosperous and automated society. The Netherlands has built its story around "Man and the Ocean". Israel discusses man's struggle against the desert. France will present in a sculptured pavilion the theme "Tradition and Invention", dedicated to modern France and its contribution to the world.

The giant Union of Soviet Socialist Republics pavilion has as its theme: "Everything in the name of man, for the good of man". It provides a simulated trip to the stars, and has a room where visitors may experience weightlessness.

The United States of America pavilion consists of a geodesic bubble of plastics and glass, twenty storeys high, reflecting the colours of nature by day and glowing with man-made light by night. It contains displays ranging from folk art to fine art; through historic treasures to technology. It has a lunar landscape supporting lunar vehicles. The British pavilion, an exciting group of buildings on several levels, is intended to reflect the maturity, strength and aspirations of the British nation and her contribution to history.

A roof in the form of a sail is the dominant feature of the Italian pavilion, while inside the building are displayed some of Italy's famous art treasures. Korea presents a building combining a wealth of tradition with modern architecture, wood being the only material used. Its theme is "Man and His Hands".

The Japanese pavilion combines ultra-modern materials with ancient architecture, pre-stressed concrete being used instead of wood and paper. Burma discloses many treasures under the theme "Man and Friendship".

Greece does not seek to awe the visitor with its ancient splendour, but rather to show Greek preoccupation with that freedom of the human spirit that is indispensable for the flowering of man's creative genius.

All Canadian provinces are participating, of course. Ontario and Quebec have their own pavilions. Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan are combined in the Western Provinces pavilion, while New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island are united in the Atlantic Provinces pavilion.

"Habitat 67" is a complex in which the roof of one dwelling provides a garden for the one above. This structure, roughly pyramidic in shape, contains 158 houses with fifteen varieties of layout.

International Trade Centre

It is believed that sixty thousand leading business men from all over the world will visit the World Exhibition. The Business Development Bureau has been established to welcome them and help them, the first time in World Exhibition history that such a full-time office has been set up.

The pavilion, sponsored by the eight Canadian chartered banks, houses a Club for visiting business men, small dining salons, a library, conference rooms and a theatre for the projection of trade films. It will provide interpreters and secretarial help.

Within this one building, visiting business men will be able to obtain the latest information about all aspects of the economy, primary and secondary, and the most up-to-date financial and commercial records.

About a hundred Canadian industrial and business firms have erected a number of pavilions in which they display their individual plans for the future.

Man and his spirit

In a unprecedented move, the eight major Christian Churches in Canada are co-operating in a unique Christian pavilion. What is being demonstrated here is not ecclesiasticism but religion in our way of life.

The participating churches, listed according to number of adherents, are: Roman Catholic, United, Anglican, Presbyterian, Baptist, Greek-Orthodox, Ukrainian-Orthodox and Lutheran. Their presentation is not in the form of a chapel or a museum of religious art, but is a portrayal of man's life and times and an appeal to his free conscience.

Sponsors of the pavilion say: "The Christian Pavilion offers no pat answers or liturgical clich6s. The presentation is intended to be challenging, questioning; but when he leaves the pavilion the thoughtful visitor should realize that Christ is offered as the hope of the world."

There is also a pavilion called "Sermons from Science", sponsored mainly by conservative evangelical church members. It will include films and demonstrations to present through science the obvious presence of God.

The Canadian Jewish community has a pavilion whose main objective is to present Judaism as a world faith and culture. The theme is "Judaism Universal — Judaism Eternal", developed in such a way as to present the image of the Jewish people as a worldwide religious and cultural community who have survived intact from ancient times to the present.

The World Festival

The World Exhibition has gathered together the greatest programme of cultural entertainment ever presented on one location over a six-month period.

With few exceptions this entertainment will be seen in centres outside the Exhibition grounds, so that visitors do not have to pay admission to the grounds in order to attend.

The World Exhibition has rented Place des Arts for six months, with its three theatres: the 3,000-seat Salle Wilfrid Pelletier, the 1,300-seat Théâtre Maisonneuve, and the 800-seat Théâtre Port Royal. The 2,000-seat Expo Theatre on the exhibition site is the centre for film festivals, light popular entertainment, several theatrical troupes, and various special shows. The Art Gallery houses some 200 of the world's foremost paintings, chosen by an international jury to reflect aspects of the sub-theme "Man the Creator". There is an outdoor exhibit of fifty major works in contemporary sculpture selected by an international jury as representing the most significant masters in this field.

Only a sampling of the great programme can be given. Full information including dates, may be obtained upon application to The World Festival Publicity Department, Expo 67, Cité du Havre, Montreal. The groups marked * are making their North American première appearance.

May. "Pop Goes Australia" variety show; *Ballet du Vingtième Siècle (Belgium); Théâtre du Nouveau Monde, Halifax Neptune Theatre, Toronto Symphony Orchestra (Canada); Théâtre de France; *Cameri Theatre (of Israel); Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra; *Stockholm Royal Opera; Red Army Chorus; Music Theatre of the Lincoln Centre (U.S.A.); Concours International d'Art Vocal; *the Australian Ballet; the Bristol Old Vic; Montreal Symphony Orchestra.

June. *The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra; *Bath Festival Orchestra, with Yehudi Menuhin; The Royal Ballet (Great Britain); Théâtre Rideau Vert (Canada); *Hamburg State Opera; Teatro Stabile di Genoa; Orchestre de la Suisse Romande; *Centre Dramatique Romand and the Théâtre de Carouge (Switzerland).

July. Montreal Symphony Opera; National Youth Orchestra (Canada); Paris Opera Ballet; *Comédie de St. Etienne (France); Collegium Musicum de Zurich; New York City Ballet; Soloists of Switzerland; Jeunesses Musicales Concerts (Canada).

August. Royal Winnipeg Ballet; Swiss Folkloric Gala; Verevka Song and Dance Ensemble of the Ukraine ; Festival of Arts of the U.S.S.R. ; Twenty Star Soloists of the Ukraine; Byelorussian Company; Czech Pops and the Black Theatre; Stars of the Ukraine.

September. *Vienna State Opera; *Théâtre National de Belgique; *le Rideau de Bruxelles; English Opera Group; Orchestre National de France (ORTF); Manitoba Theatre Centre; Israeli Festival; Munich Bach Choir; Vienna Philharmonic; New York Philharmonic; Martha Graham Dance Company (U.S.A.); Benedetti Michelangeli, pianist (Italy).

October. National Theatre of Britain; Stratford Shakespearian Festival; The National Ballet of Canada; Charlottetown Festival; Canadian Opera Company; Czech Philharmonic Orchestra; Czech Chamber Groups; *La Scala Opera of Milan; New York Philharmonic.

In addition to those for which dates are given, there will be the following performances: *the Benelux countries' Ommegang festival; Kabuki Theatre, Japan; Royal Thai Dance Company; Bolshoi Opera; Les Grands Ballets Canadiens; Mormon Tabernacle Choir; Los Angeles Philharmonic; *Troupe National Folklorique Tunisienne; McGill Chamber Orchestra.

The greatest Film Festival ever held in North America, to be attended by leading film actors, directors and producers, will present more than thirty feature films, many of them world premières.

Free entertainment

Most pavilions will feature free entertainment. Marionettes, chamber music ensembles, comedians, singers, folk dancers, and experimental theatre troupes are among attractions in the national pavilions.

About three hundred groups from across Canada are expected to participate in thirty-minute shows in five bandshells.

Even those who are lining up awaiting entrance to pavilions are to be entertained. Four motorized troubadour units will circulate, and there will be a marching band touring the grounds.

La Ronde — "Joie de vivre" — has all the traditional fair fun as well as special attractions. A lake has been made to accommodate water sports and spectacles. Near by is an "Old Canada" sector with authentic entertainment of the time. There is an African safari, including a ride on an ostrich. A "wild-west" town has a Golden Garter Saloon, complete with honky-tonky and stage show. The Alcan aquarium complex, one of the largest of its kind in North America, will become the property of the City when the Exhibition closes. The "Gyrotron" is something new in the way of thrill rides, whirling the passenger "through space" and almost into the jaws of an undersea monster.

The Garden of Stars is a triangular building designed to serve as a children's entertainment area in the late morning and early afternoon; a teen-age dance hall in the early evening, and a night club at night with popular entertainers of international fame.

Spectaculars and sports

Six spectaculars and many sports events are scheduled for the 25,000-seat Automotive Stadium.

The spectaculars include: La Gendarmerie Franqaise (North American premiere), involving 700 members of France's historic military police force performing with 110 horses, 40 motorcycles and 18 jeeps; the 1,700-man Canadian military searchlight tattoo, the largest ever staged; "Man the Daredevil", a collection of high-wire and helicopter acrobatics; the World Horse Spectacular, with colourful acts from around the world, including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police musical ride, the Mexican Charros troupe and the crack Cossack Riders from Russia; and a western rodeo performance.

In sports there will be: an international soccer tournament; an all-Indian field lacrosse tournament; the first Europe vs the Americas track and field meet, starring the finest athletes from the Pan-American games; tennis, baseball and skating; international basketball, field hockey, weight-lifting, lawn bowling, and the Marylebone Cricket Club from England and the All-England rugby team.

Practical matters

Amid all these lyrical anticipations it is necessary to think of practical things, such as how to get to the World Exhibition, where to live while visiting it, how to get tickets and where to eat.

The best sources of information are: a travel agent; an automobile association or club; a tourist bureau; rail, steamship, air and bus companies; and gasoline vendors. Montreal is readily accessible by sea, air, road and rail.

"Logexpo" is the central housing bureau. Operating as a free liaison service, this bureau set itself the task of arranging five million beds for Exhibition visitors. They will use hotels, motels, rooming houses, dormitory space in universities and other institutions. There is even docking space for 350 small boats in Expo's Marina. There will be trailer camps and tent camp sites capable of accommodating 400,000 campers a month.

An Exhibition brochure puts it this way: "Your travel agent will be happy to arrange your trip. If you want further information, write to: "Logexpo, Administration and News Pavilion, Cité du Havre, Montreal, P.Q."

Admission tickets to the World Exhibition are called "Passports". There are three types: season, seven-day, and single-day, with special prices for youths (13 to 21 at April 28, 1967) and children (2 to 12 at April 28, 1967). The passports are available through many outlets such as department stores, automobile clubs, service stations, service clubs, banks, travel agencies and retail stores. The Exhibition itself does not sell passports before opening day.

  Up to Feb. 28, 1967 Remaining stock March 1, 1967 At gate, April 28 to October 27, 1967
One-day      
Adult $ 2.00 $ 2.20 $ 2.50
Child $ 1.00 $ 1.10 $ 1.25
Seven-day      
Adult $ 7.50 $ 9.00 $12.00
Youth $ 6.75 $ 8.00 $10.00
Child $ 3.75 $ 4.50 $ 6.00
Season      
Adult $22.50 $25.00 $35.00
Youth $20.00 $22.50 $30.00
Child $11.25 $12.50 $17.50

The passports include free transportation on the primary mass-transport system, Expo-Express, within the Exhibition grounds. Entrance to national, international, provincial, and theme pavilions is free.

Getting to the Exhibition

The Exhibition site is ten minutes from the heart of Montreal. It may be reached by Metro, an extension of the Montreal subway system with a station in the heart of the Exhibition grounds, or by city buses. Hovercraft, making their American debut as commercial carriers, may be used to reach La Ronde.

Motorists may drive to the parking area, where free bus transport is available to carry them to the gate. Motorists from the South Shore find parking space at the Longueuil area near the entrance to the subway station. The parking lots are operated by the City of Montreal, and the rate is $2, whether for one hour or 24 hours.

There are auxiliary transport systems within the grounds to supplement the free Expo-Express. A mini-rail connects with all Express stations, and there are dhows, junks, sampans, gondolas and motor boats plying the canals and lakes.

Restaurants and services

The ritual of eating and drinking has not been forgotten. Between fifty and sixty restaurants, with a combined seating capacity for 23,000 persons, are located on the Exhibition grounds, and in addition there are innumerable food stands and snack bars. A very strict health code has been adopted, and there are regulations regarding minimum portion sizes, maximum selling prices and quality of food.

Never such before

That is EXPO — the Universal and International Exhibition of 1967. Measured in terms of area, of national participation, of interest and entertainment for visitors, of co-operation between widely diverse interests, there has never before been such an Exhibition.

For Canada, this marks a point where the nation's maturity is recognized by her own people and by the rest of the world. It is an instrument of national consciousness, and a contribution to man's unity.

The fact that Canada, celebrating her hundredth year of confederation, had the courage to tackle such a job surprises some people. When a model of the Exhibition was displayed in a New York department store it was one of the biggest attractions in the city. "What astonishes people most," said one of the store's officials, "is that something this bold and big is not American."

 

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