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A royal opening for Expo 86

The Story


Eight years in the making, 54 countries participating and 15 million tickets sold: it all adds up to one buzzing, excited city. The National broadcasts live from Expo 86 as the Prince and Princess of Wales officially open Expo 86 to the world. Dreary weather can't dampen Vancouver's enthusiasm; the lines are long and the fair is bustling as soon as the doors open. For the next five months, Vancouver is hosting the world ... and you're invited.

Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: May 2, 1986
Guest(s): Kevin Flynn
Host: Knowlton Nash
Reporter: Karen Webb, Paul Workman
Duration: 4:44

Did You know?


• Expo 86 was the second world's fair held in Canada and, like the first, it coincided with a centennial year. Expo 67 was held in Montreal on the anniversary of Confederation. Expo 86 occurred in the same year as Vancouver's 100th birthday.

• Expo 86 was considered a success, owing to its attendance figures. While organizers originally forecast 13.5-15 million attendees, Expo 86 drew over 22 million. The world's fair was not a financial success, though; it ran a $337-million deficit. Most world's fairs did not reap a profit, but one exception was the 1982 World's Fair in Knoxville, Tenn., which turned a profit of $57 US.

• Princess Diana grabbed headlines again six days later when she fainted at the U.S. Pavilion, prompting widespread speculation that she was ill or pregnant. Buckingham Palace issued a statement denying any health concerns, but Diana later revealed she had begun to develop bulimia nervosa that same year.


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