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Expo 67's official opening ceremonies

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.

After five years of planning, construction, headaches and hype, Expo 67 officially opens today. Almost 7,000 invited guests and dignitaries from around the world assemble at Place des Nations for Expo's gala opening ceremonies.

On April 27, 1967, a brilliant spring day, the flags of 62 nations are unfurled, and Canada's Governor General and prime minister light the Expo torch and declare the six-month exposition open for business.

• Present for Expo's opening ceremonies were Montreal Mayor Jean Drapeau, Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, Quebec Premier Daniel Johnson, Expo Commissioner General Pierre Dupuy, the premiers of all 10 provinces, and over 1,000 reporters. The opening ceremony was broadcast live on satellite, with 700 million viewers and listeners expected.

• Expo was declared open by Gov. Gen. Roland Michener. Michener was sworn in just 10 days earlier following the death of Georges Vanier.

• Flying overhead were the Golden Centennaires, a new Canadian military formation aerobatic team flying CT-114 Tutor jets. They were disbanded at the end of the year and were soon replaced by the Snowbirds.

• The theme of Expo 67 was "Man and his World", inspired by Antoine de St. Exupéry's 1939 book Terre des Hommes, a book about man's place in the universe. In it he writes, "to be a man is to feel that through one's own contribution, one helps to build the world."

• Children may know Antoine de St. Exupéry's book Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince).

Medium: Television
Program: CBC Television News Special
Broadcast Date: April 27, 1967
Host: Lloyd Robertson
Duration: 2:54

Last updated: January 12, 2012

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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