Expo 67, the “Universal and International Exhibition,” was the highlight of Canada’s Centennial celebrations in 1967. Implementing legislation passed by the House of Commons in late 1962 established a crown company, the Canadian Corporation for the 1967 World Exhibition, to build and run the exposition. The central theme and philosophy chosen for the exhibition by the three levels of government, the federal government, the Quebec government, and the city of Montreal was “Man and His World,
The theme program was divided into five main groups: Man the Creator, Man the Explorer, Man the Producer, Man the Provider, and Man and the Community. These, in turn, were divided into subgroups. Illustrating Man the Creator was an exhibit of approximately 160 paintings borrowed from museums and individuals worldwide. Also part of this sub-theme were exhibitions of sculpture, photography and industrial design. The social sciences and humanities were grouped under Man and the Community.
There were some 120 governments present at Expo in 60 pavilions, and thousands of private exhibitors and sponsors participated in 53 private pavilions and through various facilities on the site. The exhibition site was planned to accommodate 26 million individual visits over a 183-day period. In fact, there were over 50 million paid admissions recorded with over 5 million admissions by performers, the press, official visitors and employees. Expo 67 cost Canada, Québec and Montréal $283 million to put together and to run. Independent economic studies indicated that the return to federal, provincial and municipal taxpayers was almost double that amount. For example, the increase in tourist revenues in 1967 directly related to Expo was calculated at $480 million.
An invitation to Canada that all will want to see and many will wish to accept, presented in impressions of Expo 67 and of Montréal, the host city, at the liveliest and most exciting moment in its history.
Considered widely to be the most successful World’s Fair of the 20th century, 62 nations gathered to showcase their cultures, art, and scientific innovation during Canada’s Centennial year.
At Historica Canada, we recognize that the stories we tell matter – and the way that we tell them matters. Across the world, as well as within Canada, we see the impacts of historical injustice and the evolving discourse about systemic racism faced by Black, Indigenous and racialized communities. We are committed to helping to build a better Canada that amplifies missing voices; that recognizes multiple perspectives; that celebrates our achievements and acknowledges our failings. We know that we have a responsibility to do better, to listen more carefully, and to act more deliberately.