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Expo 67 theme song 'Hey Friend, Say Friend'

Expo 67 was the most spectacular of Canada's 100th anniversary celebrations. When the Montreal Universal and International Exposition of 1967 opened on April 27, it was a gleaming futuristic spectacle and a dazzling international success. On two giant islands in the St. Lawrence River more than 50 million visitors were presented with a vision of the future.

"Hey friend, say friend, come on over. Looking for happiness? This is the place!"

These inviting words are part of Hey Friend, Say Friend, the controversial official theme of Expo 67. Long before Expo even opens the song can be heard everywhere -- and so can complaints. For example, why doesn't the song even mention Expo 67 or Montreal?

Composer Stéphane Venne appears on the first edition of CBC Radio's Centennial Diary to defend the anthem.

Hey Friend, Say Friend was chosen in an international competition that brought more than 2,200 entries from 35 countries.

• On May 7 and 21 The Ed Sullivan Show was broadcast from Expo 67. In addition to Mayor Jean Drapeau and Commissioner General Pierre Dupuy, guests included Diana Ross and The Supremes, Petula Clark, and The Seekers.

• Other catchy (and some would say irritating) songs came out of Expo:
- Something to Sing About was written for a 1963 TV special but became the theme song for the Canadian Pavilion
- A Place To Stand (Ontari-ari-ario) was the theme for a multi-screen movie of the same name in the Ontario pavilion. The movie won a 1967 Academy Award for Live Action Short Subject. The song was written by Dolores Claman, who also wrote the Hockey Night in Canada theme

Medium: Radio
Program: Centennial Diary
Broadcast Date: Jan. 2, 1967
Guest(s): Stéphane Venne
Host: Alan Maitland
Reporter: Alec Bollini
Duration: 1:42

Last updated: January 11, 2012

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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