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September 18, 2017 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

Tonight, dive into the heart of Expo 67 and experience it as if you were really there! The National Film Board of Canada is launching Expo 67 Live, a cinematic storytelling experience created entirely with archival treasures from around the world. This epic experience, which features 52-foot-high images and spatial audio, will be projected onto several surfaces, including the exterior walls of Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier and the Maison Symphonique. This journey through the greatest moments of Expo 67 is presented in collaboration with Radio-Canada and Place des Arts, and is part of the official programming lineup for the 375th anniversary of Montreal. The project was conceived and directed by Karine Lanoie-Brien and produced at the NFB by executive producer René Chénier to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Montreal World’s Fair. In addition to the director and producer, Expo 67 Live ambassador Louise Latraverse will be available to give interviews about her memories of Expo 67 and the vibrant era that produced it. Expo 67 Live will be presented free of charge starting tonight, September 18, until September 30, beginning at 7:30 p.m. There will be four screenings nightly.

A cutting-edge work

Created in the same forward-looking spirit that brought the world multi-screen audiovisual experiences like In the Labyrinth (the precursor to IMAX technology that screened at the Montreal World’s Fair), Expo 67 Live is an innovative, auteur-driven work that uses today’s technology to evoke memories and provoke reflection among Montrealers, Quebecers, and Canadians. Several different projectors will simultaneously project images onto giant screens placed on walls surrounding the Place des Arts Esplanade, creating an extraordinary cinematic space. Screens integrated into five cubes in the middle of the site display the narrative thread of the story, while the monumental projections that surround them offer historical context. The experience is rounded out with spatial audio made up of voices and music from the era that can be enjoyed without any special equipment. Through a 27-minute-long impressionistic story, viewers will discover specific locations from Expo 67, relive the ambience of the day, and experience the atmosphere at some of the World’s Fair pavilions through images that are at times projected to the same scale as the original buildings.

Ongoing relevance

Fifty years ago, while the world was rocked by major events including the Cold War, the Vietnam War, the Space Race, the end of segregation in the US and the emergence of new roles for women, Expo 67 embodied a vision of hope for a humanist future in which everything was possible. In 1967, Montreal was on a mission to get to know the world—and the world came to discover Montreal. Can we draw parallels to today? Expo 67 Live aims to reach out to those who lived through Expo, but also to later generations who have heard of the World’s Fair but never had the chance to experience it. Through this innovative work, Karine Lanoie-Brien shares memories of this essential collective moment which, despite the sense of disenchantment widely felt today, still has the power to inspire an ever-present hope for a better world, for all generations.

“In honour of the 50th anniversary of Expo 67, I wanted to offer people the opportunity to relive some of the special moments of this incredible gathering. My hope was that Expo 67 Live would engage our bodies in a narrative, just as Expo 67 itself engaged our bodies in meeting the unknown. So I wanted to make sure that this film/experience was as realistic as possible, by using modern tools to provide an authentic encounter with a vibrant past that has strong parallels with the present.” – Karine Lanoie-Brien, creator and director of Expo 67 Live

“Back in 2014, I started to think about celebrating the 50th anniversary of Expo 67 in the great tradition of innovation that has marked the history of the NFB. That intention was sustained through the avant-garde vision and multi-faceted talent of Karine Lanoie-Brien. Producing her concept—outdoor projections on massive screens that captured the excitement felt by visitors to the Montreal Universal Exposition—meant bringing together the varied know-how of many artists and experts, in order to produce this absolutely unique, site-specific experience. In the spirit of the NFB, this was a major step forward in the evolution of the art of storytelling—a first in the annals of public film events.” – René Chénier, NFB producer for Expo 67 Live

“Karine Lanoie-Brien has recreated a monumental installation worthy of the grand scale, innovation and imagination that personified Expo 67. Though she wasn’t there to experience it first-hand, she succeeds in capturing the essence of this era, effectively giving all generations a ticket through the turnstiles. Expo 67 Live: it’s just like being there!” – Louise Latraverse, Expo 67 Live ambassador

Locations and music

Over 27 minutes that cover a span of five years—from 1962-1967—audiences will witness events such as the construction of the Quebec and US pavilions as well as Habitat 67. They can move through the Expo 67 site to discover or rediscover various pavilions, including those of Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago/Grenada, and the Man and Life pavilion, as well as going into the control room, participating in the opening ceremonies at Place des Nations and taking a tour on the Expo Express. And then there’s the music: from songs that inspired “the Twist” and go-go dancing to the roots of the “peace-and-love” sound, the soundtrack includes nearly two dozen songs. Among them: “The Happening” (The Supremes), “Wild Thing” (The Troggs), “Un Canadien errant” (sung by none other than Nana Mouskouri), “The Clapping Song” (Shirley Ellis) and two contemporary compositions created specifically for Expo 67: “Polytope de Montréal” (Iannis Xenakis, French pavilion) and “Centre-élan” (Gilles Tremblay, Quebec pavilion), written at a time when the world was discovering electronic music. This immersive score will envelop visitors in the sounds of a fascinating and creative era thanks to the spatial audio environment created by Jean-Michel Caron.

An enormous challenge

The projected images and soundtrack are the result of hundreds of hours of research by Karine Lanoie-Brien—who came up with the concept for Expo 67 Live—and her team. For source material, Lanoie-Brien turned to a remarkable number of black-and-white and colour films, both 16mm and 35mm, from the archives at the NFB, Radio-Canada, the Institut national de l’audiovisuel, Pathé, Library and Archives Canada, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, and Archives de Montréal, along with other public and private collections around the world. She painstakingly screened and studied them, determining exactly where they were shot. The footage was then digitized at high resolution, one image at a time, primarily by the NFB team. In order to fully realize Lanoie-Brien’s vision, the NFB also called on the expertise of Couleur.tv, a company headed by Francis Gélinas, artistic director of images for Expo 67 Live.

Eyewitnesses and collective memory

The stories of several people who personally experienced the Montreal World’s Fair also guided the development of Expo 67 Live. Among those who contributed valuable stories, Roger La Roche stands out. An Expo expert who was 13 in 1967, he worked in close collaboration with Lanoie-Brien as principal adviser in order to faithfully capture the character and tenor of this historic event in a way that makes contemporary spectators want to experience it.

At each screening of Expo 67 Live, audience members can get a stamp in their Expo 67 50th-anniversary passport, which features a variety of events and cultural programs. For more information, please visit http://passeport.375mtl.com/.

Detailed schedule

Four screenings nightly

7:30 p.m.: Opening of site

  • 8:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m.: Show 1
  • 8:45 p.m.–9:15 p.m.: Show 2
  • 9:30 p.m.–10:00 p.m.: Show 3
  • 10:15 p.m.–10:45 p.m.: Show 4

Expo 67 Live fast facts

435 linear feet of screens

23 projectors

43 audio speakers

More than 1,000 archival images from 1967

Five storeys high (52 feet)

A team of more than 100 people supporting the bold creative vision of Karine Lanoie-Brien

Onsite installations created under the direction of Benoît Lemieux of Creos Experts-Conseils inc.

Partner suppliers: TransQuébec (Pierre Laporte) and Christie Digital (Dave Muscat)

Expo 67 Live is a production of the National Film Board of Canada in collaboration with the Société Radio-Canada and Place des Arts, as part of the official programming of the 375th anniversary of Montréal.

Conceived, written and directed by: Karine Lanoie-Brien | Producer: René Chénier

  • The NFB is also offering free online programming marking the 50th anniversary of Expo 67 at nfb.ca/expo67—including the essential Impressions of Expo 67 and the legendary In the Labyrinth.
  • The Expo 67 Live website has many more photos and lots of additional information about Expo and the project: www.nfb.ca/expo67live.
  • Keep up to date through the NFB’s social media and by following the hashtag #Expo67Live:

Facebook: facebook.com/nfb.ca
Twitter: @theNFB @onf
Instagram: @ONF_NFB

About Karine Lanoie-Brien

Karine Lanoie-Brien, alias “K,” is a multidisciplinary creator who has worked in the fields of communication and visual arts since 1997. After cutting her teeth in television as a researcher and animator, she began to conceptualize, art direct and direct works that focused on the relationships between humans and their natural and cultural environments. This led to a number of projects, including the benefit gala Le soir de la Terre at Défi pour la Terre, le show! (2007); the Mode Réc’Up fashion show (2007); the exhibit 1000 jours pour la planète / Camp de base (special multi-disciplinary award at the 2012 Grands Prix du design 2012); and the documentary Reeves, Suzuki et nous (2014), which features a virtual conversation between two legendary environmentalists. Expo 67 Live is the first project she has directed at the NFB.



Related Products

Electronic Press Kit | Images, trailers, synopsis: Expo 67 Live
NFB – Expo 67: 50 years later

Associated Links

Place des Arts
Society for the Celebrations of Montréal’s 375th Anniversary
Creos Experts-Conseils inc
Christie Digital




Media Relations

  • About the NFB

    Founded in 1939, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is a one-of-a-kind producer, co-producer and distributor of distinctive, engaging, relevant and innovative documentary and animated films. As a talent incubator, it is one of the world’s leading creative centres. The NFB has enabled Canadians to tell and hear each other’s stories for over eight decades, and its films are a reliable and accessible educational resource. The NFB is also recognized around the world for its expertise in preservation and conservation, and for its rich and vibrant collection of works, which form a pillar of Canada’s cultural heritage. To date, the NFB has produced more than 14,000 works, 6,500 of which can be streamed free of charge at nfb.ca. The NFB and its productions and co-productions have earned over 7,000 awards, including 11 Oscars and an Honorary Academy Award for overall excellence in cinema.

  • About Place des Arts

    The objectives of the Société de la Place des Arts de Montréal are to operate a business for the dissemination of the performing arts, to administer the Place des Arts de Montréal and the Amphithéâtre Fernand-Lindsay in Joliette, and to establish the arts programming at the Maison symphonique for organizations other than the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. These activities are to be conducted, more specifically, so as to provide a residence for major arts organizations and improve access to the various types of performing arts, and to promote arts and culture in Quebec. The Société produces, co-produces, and hosts artistic works originating in Quebec or abroad, featuring both emerging artists and international stars, in collaboration with arts organizations, producers, creators, and the entire cultural community.

  • About the Society for the Celebrations of Montréal’s 375th Anniversary

    The Society for the Celebrations of Montréal’s 375th Anniversary is a non-profit organization whose mission is to organize the festivities and socioeconomic initiatives that will mark Montreal’s 375th birthday in 2017. With a focus on promoting Montreal expertise, it acts as a catalyst for initiatives that come together to fulfill its mandate: to mobilize the community, implement a funding strategy, manage financial resources wisely, develop an exceptional program of events and promote the festivities.

    The Society receives financial support from the Ville de Montréal, the Canadian government and the Quebec government, as well as private funding from 12 great Montrealers. For more information: 375mtl.com

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  • CBC / Radio- Canada is the public broadcaster of Canada and one of the greatest national cultural institution. The company is a leader joining Canadians on new platforms and delivering a comprehensive range of services on radio, television, Internet and satellite. Deeply rooted in the regions, CBC / Radio-Canada is the only national broadcaster offering different points of view about the regions and the culture in French, in English and in eight Aboriginal languages.