Montréal celebrates 40th anniversary of Expo 67:
Montréal, world of the future!
Montréal, April 25, 2007 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 www.ville.montreal.qc.ca/expo67.
Cabinet du maire et du comité exécutif
Information: Media relations