Exhibit to feature items from N.W.T. pavilion at Expo '86

It's been 30 years since Expo '86, but a Yellowknife man wants to bring the northern treasures from the world fair back to life. Dave Kellett is on a treasure hunt, specifically for memorabilia from the N.W.T. pavilion at the Vancouver event.

Dave Kellett wants to bring memories from the iceberg-shaped pavilion back to life

The N.W.T. pavilion was 7,000 square feet and shaped like an iceberg. (CBC)

It's been 30 years since Expo '86, but a Yellowknife man wants to bring northern treasures from the world fair back to life.

Dave Kellett is on a treasure hunt for memorabilia from the N.W.T. pavilion at the Vancouver event. The items Kellett collects will go into an exhibit he's curating at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre in Yellowknife.

The N.W.T. pavilion at Expo '86 in Vancouver. (CBC)

Kellett, who ran the audio visual room at the pavilion, said his motivation for the project is to share Expo '86 with those who weren't around to experience it. 

"One day it occurred to me that it's been 30 years since the fair," he said. "And there's a whole generation that doesn't even know that anything existed." 

Expo '86, which had participation from 55 countries, attracted millions of visitors and thrust Vancouver onto the world's stage. The May to October event was the last world fair held in North America. 

7,000 square feet of N.W.T.

Kellett said the N.W.T. pavilion also thrust the territory onto the world stage. 

"It was constantly in the top five must-see pavilions throughout the entire length of the fair," he remembers. 

Kellett said the pavilion was a 7,000-square-foot structure in the shape of an iceberg, complete with a restaurant, museum and performances by musicians and artists. 

Performers in the N.W.T. pavilion at Expo '86. (CBC)

"There was six months of something happening every day," he said. 

Of course, at that time, the Northwest Territories still included the region that is now Nunavut. 

"I think it [Expo '86] was hugely exciting for everyone, including bringing exposure to the Northwest Territories itself to a worldwide audience," Kellett said. 

He is looking for any items former staff or visitors to Expo '86 may have from the N.W.T. pavilion — including items like uniforms, menus, press clippings, brochures, pins, T-shirts or photographs.

Kellett can be contacted at


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