EXPO 67 LIVE
| 27 min
A WORD FROM THE PRODUCER
MORE THAN 18,000 PEOPLE ATTENDED 52 EXPO 67 LIVE SHOWS ON THE ESPLANADE AT MONTREAL’S PLACE DES ARTS IN SEPTEMBER 2017
Expo 67 Live was entirely composed of colourful archival material projected onto giant screens. A unique and innovative installation by artist Karine Lanoie-Brien, this ambitious journey back in time thrilled visitors with its remarkable attention to detail from the “show of the century.”
435 linear feet of screen space. 43 speakers. More than 1,000 clips from archives.
MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR/CREATOR
Three years ago, I was already thinking about the year 2017, which would mark the 50th anniversary of Expo 67, a turning point in Canada’s history. It was clear to me that the NFB absolutely had to celebrate this major anniversary and pay tribute to its own famous Labyrinth pavilion, which greeted more than 1.3 million visitors. Because Expo 67 transformed not only Montreal, Quebec and Canada, but also Canada’s entire film heritage.
My ideas for showcasing the anniversary of Expo 67 began to take shape when I first met with Karine Lanoie-Brien, who went on to imagine what would become Expo 67 Live. I turned to her because I knew that she was a sensitive, creative visionary who understood people and the human experience. I was confident that Karine would propose a concept that was completely new, and as a producer, that’s what I’m looking for: to produce something that has never been seen before. In this case, the challenge was to take a linear story and adapt it for a three-dimensional public space using many different techniques and technologies, including infrared production, specialized compositing, stereoscopic 3D cinema, fiction, animation, and semi-circular and hemispheric screens. The result is without question a major advance in the art of storytelling, if not a first in public film events.
As the producer of Expo 67 Live, I want to highlight Karine’s incredible talent. Employing a unique approach, she took visual and musical archives that had been buried for 50 years and brought them to vibrant life. I also want to thank all of our production partners, who were quickly won over by the originality of the concept that Karine had proposed.
Like many people, I would have liked to live through Expo 67. There is still something compelling and profoundly intriguing about this event—a humanist strength that has lived on through the decades. I was fortunate to have a producer, René Chénier, who gave me free creative rein in approaching this fascinating subject. I would like to thank René for his unwavering confidence and his appetite for risk, and the rest of the incredible team of artists and collaborators who participated in creating Expo 67 Live.
In honour of the 50th anniversary of Expo 67, I wanted to offer the public a chance to relive a few moments from this incredible gathering. To evoke the actual size of the pavilions and to highlight the collective aspect of Expo, I decided to use giant-screen projections and spatial audio. My hope was that Expo 67 Live would engage our bodies in a story—just as Expo 67 engaged them in encountering the unknown and the unexpected in each of its streets. In short, I hoped that we could walk through a narrative as though we were walking through the real world. So I tried to ensure that this film/experience would be as realistic as possible, to provide an authentic encounter with a vibrant piece of history using the tools of the present.
Finally, I came up with the idea of a cinematic island in the heart of the downtown area and proposed a multi-screen concept as a way of picking up where the NFB filmmakers who created In the Labyrinth at Expo 67 left off. These artists created new ways to imagine and tell stories and have provided an inexhaustible source of inspiration.
For Expo 67 Live, Karine Lanoie-Brien wanted to recreate some of Expo 67’s unique moments in the most authentic way possible. Lanoie-Brien, who conceived of, wrote and directed Expo 67 Live, crafted the entire project using found treasures from archival collections.
To create the installation, this multidisciplinary artist took on a huge challenge that required the patience of a monk. She needed to comb through various archives in search of those rare finds that would allow the public to relive, 50 years later, some of the highlights from an event that captured the collective imagination of Quebec, Canada and the world.
Executive-produced by René Chénier for the NFB in collaboration with Radio-Canada and Place des Arts, Expo 67 Live is a multi-screen installation that will occupy the esplanade at Place des Arts from September 18–30, 2017. It’s officially part of Montreal’s 375th-anniversary celebrations.
The installation will give audiences born after the “show of the century,” as well as those whose lives were permanently changed by it, a chance to immerse themselves in the era. It’s an experience that lends itself to repeat visits, offers new perspectives, and opens up a world of new discoveries.
EXCLUSIVE HIDDEN GEMS FROM THE ARCHIVES
Expo 67 Live was produced from the archives of the NFB, Radio-Canada, the Institut national de l’audiovisuel, Pathé, Library and Archives Canada, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, Archives de Montréal, private and public collections around the world. Reels upon reels were viewed, scrutinized and spatialized. They were then digitized at a high resolution, one image at the time, primarily by the NFB team.
All the images and sound used in the project are the result of hundreds of hours of research carried out by Lanoie-Brien and her team. She incorporated a remarkable amount of archival film, both colour and black and white, in 16 mm and 35 mm.
To take on the technical challenge of magnifying Lanoie-Brien’s vision of the project, the NFB called upon the expertise of Couleur.tv, led by Francis Gélinas, who then came on board as artistic director.
Production photos - Expo 67 Live
ARCHIVE PHOTOS OF EXPO 67
A MONUMENTAL MULTI-SCREEN EXPERIENCE
A JOURNEY IN TIME AND MEMORY
Drawing inspiration from past multi-screen projections at Expo 67, like In the Labyrinth and A Time to Play, Lanoie-Brien created a captivating cinematic enclave where several projectors broadcast images onto giant screens installed on the exterior of the Maison Symphonique and Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier at Place des Arts. Screens integrated into five cubes at the centre of the site make up the narrative aspect of the experience, while the surrounding large-scale projections immerse us in the environment and add context to the story.
Made to measure for the Place des Arts building, the project—which is up to 15 metres high—invites visitors into some of Expo 67’s venues to relive the atmosphere of its pavilions and the anecdotes behind them. It’s a completely immersive, one-of-a-kind experience that doesn’t require any additional technology.
Historical and Cultural Context
The project comprises the stories of several people who lived through the Montreal World Expo. After interviewing 10 attendees whose lives were permanently changed by the event, Lanoie-Brien crafted rich stories that serve to anchor the experience and offer up small, authentic moments from life at that time.
Among these stories is that of Roger La Roche, an Expo expert who worked with Lanoie-Brien as a senior advisor. La Roche was 13 years old at the time of his visit to Expo, and his story occupies a prominent place in the project. With his guidance, they faithfully captured the character and tenor of this historic event, creating an informative and unforgettable journey for modern-day audiences.
Did you know? – Fun Facts about Expo 67
In 1967, on the eve of one of the biggest universal expositions in history, Montreal was in full cultural, economic, political and social swing. Under the leadership of Mayor Jean Drapeau, the city had undergone massive development, notably the transformation of Île-Notre-Dame and Île-Sainte-Hélène and the opening of the Metro. This redefining of the urban landscape was set against the Quiet Revolution, as Quebec leapt into modernity and opened itself to the Swinging Sixties. Quebeckers embraced the world, women gained emancipation, and we witnessed an incredible creative, scientific and technical boom. If society was rocked by major events—the Cold War, the Vietnam War, the race for space, the Civil Rights movement—Expo 67 embodied a vision of hope, a humanist future, a world of possibilities. In 1967, Montreal set out to meet the world, and the world came to Montreal.
The NFB: Thinking Forward, Looking Back (1967-2017)
On April 27, 1967, the opening night of Expo 67 drew 6,000 visitors from 61 countries. The next day, the first full day of the exhibition, 423,000 people attended—about double the number expected.
The first person to pass through the gates of Expo 67 was Chicago jazz musician Al Carter. He had camped out the night before to make sure he was first in line.
During the first five days of Expo, 524 children and 167 adults were reported lost. All were found.
The NFB spent four years working on the films for its pavilion, the Labyrinth. It contained three chambers, two of which were film-screening venues. There were 30 screenings a day during the entire period that Expo was open.
The 1967 Universal Exposition was awarded to Montreal on November 13, 1962 (after the rejection of surprise candidate Long Beach, California).
The theme of Expo 67, “Man and His World,” was adopted on December 20, 1962, with Parliament’s authorization of the incorporation of the Canadian Corporation for the 1967 World Exhibition (CCWE). The law stipulated that the committee would have 12 directors: six appointed by the federal government and six by the province.
Five other locations in Montreal were considered to host Expo 67: Pointe-Saint-Charles, Maisonneuve Park, the domaine Béique in LaSalle, Tétreaultville, and Anjou–Saint-Léonard.
Several hundred Expo 67 postcards were produced exclusively by the company Messageries de presse Benjamin. It was the largest series of postcards produced in Canada to that date.
The Expo 67 site covered over 1,000 acres—nearly double the area of the Brussels Exposition.
The Habitat 67 project was launched by architect Moshe Safdie in 1963, and construction began in 1965. Inaugurated at the same time as Expo 67, on April 27, 1967, Habitat wasn’t fully completed until 1970.
The 12-car Expo 67 Minirail could transport up to 2,500 passengers per hour. It was part of the Expo Express network, which linked five stations. The cost of a ticket was 25 cents.
Most of the La Ronde shops at Expo were grouped together in three areas: Carrefour International (29 shops leased by 13 countries), the Village (crafts), and Fort Edmonton. For the rest of the site, there were 5 Expo-Service areas with Souvenir boutiques for different countries and Food stands
Environments recreated for EXPO 67 LIVE
At Expo 67, the NFB offered visitors a new and original experience called In the Labyrinth, a precursor to today’s IMAX format composed of several large screens arranged in a cross-like formation. The show’s title was a play on the mythical Daedalus’s labyrinth, where Theseus killed the Minotaur. In the Labyrinth was viewed by more than one million people.
Fifty years later, we’ve created another multi-screen work that aims to capture the imaginations of those who experienced Expo 67, as well as younger generations who’ve heard of Expo but never had the opportunity to see it.
EXPO 67 LIVE MUSIC
> TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO / GRENADA
> UNITED STATES
> MAN AND LIFE
> PULP AND PAPER
> CP COMINCO
> LABYRINTH (NFB)
> MAN IN THE COMMUNITY
> MAN AND HIS HEALTH
> AIR CANADA
> TELEPHONE PAVILION
> THE CONTROL ROOM
> LA RONDE’S GYROTRON RIDE
> HABITAT 67
> YOU ATTEND THE OPENING CEREMONIES AT PLACE DES NATIONS
> YOU BOARD THE EXPO EXPRESS
> YOU ENTER ONE OF THE 25,000 CAMPING SITES AROUND EXPO
Un Canadien errant
Performed by Nana Mouskouri
Reproduced courtesy of Universal Music
Performed by Gilles Tremblay
(Gilles Tremblay) SODRAC
The Clapping Song
Performed by Shirley Ellis
(Lincoln Chase, Kay Werner, Sue Werner)
Published by EMI Al Gallico Mus Corp.
Reproduced courtesy of Geffen Records
Eine kleine Nachtmusik
Performed by Matthew White
(Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)
Reproduced courtesy of Analekta
Frappe tes mains
Performed by The Beau Marks
(Joseph Fréchette, Raymond Hutchinson,
Michel Robitaille, Gilles Tailleur)
Published by Star Quality Music
Reproduced courtesy of Disques Mérite
Performed by The Supremes
(Frank De Vol, Herbert Dozier, Brian Holland, Eddie Holland)
Published by Stone Agate Music, EMI April Music Canada Ltd.
Reproduced courtesy of Universal Motown Records,
a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.
I’m So Glad
Performed by The Montgomery Gospel Trio,
The Nashville Quartet and Guy Carawan
Reproduced courtesy of Folkways Records
Inside Looking Out
Performed by The Animals
(Eric Burdon, Bryan Chandler, Alan Lomax)
Published by Slamina Music Ltd., Carbert Music Inc.,
Ludlow Music Inc., Unichappell Music Inc. SP ACC 1
Reproduced courtesy of Universal Music Canada
Un jour, un jour
Performed by Stéphane Venne
(Stéphane Venne) SODRAC
Published by Productions Jacqueline Vézina enr
Reproduced courtesy of Sélect
Performed by Chris Montez
Published by Rondell Music, Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp.
Reproduced courtesy of Jimmy Joe Lee Productions
Le petit sauvage du Nord
Performed by Les Coquettes
(Mme Édouard Bolduc [Mary Travers])
Reproduced courtesy of Disques Mérite
Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
Performed by The Beatles
(John Lennon, Paul McCartney)
Published by Northern Songs Ltd.
Reproduced courtesy of EMI Records Ltd.
Polytope de Montréal
Performed by Iannis Xenakis
(Iannis Xenakis) SODRAC
Published by Boosey & Hawkes Co. Ltd.
Reproduced courtesy of Mâkhi Xenakis
Performed by The Sonics
Published by Valet Publishing Company
Reproduced courtesy of Etiquette Records
7 h du matin
Performed by Jacqueline Taïeb
(Marie Taieb) SODRAC
Published by Bloc Notes Music Publishing,
Nouvelles éditions Eddie Barclay
Reproduced courtesy of FGL Music
Shakin’ All Over
Performed by Johnny Kidd & The Pirates
Published by EMI Mills Music Ltd.
Reproduced courtesy of Parlophone Records Ltd.,
a Warner Music Group Company
Spirit in the Sky
Performed by Norman Greenbaum
Published by Great Honesty Music Inc., Canadiana Music
Reproduced courtesy of TransTone Productions
Vive la Canadienne
Performed by Le Royal 22e Régiment
Under the musical direction of Captain Christian Richer
We Do Wie Du
Performed by Monks
(Gary Burger, Merril Havlicek, Roger Johnston,
Edward Shaw, Larry Spangler)
Published by BMG Bumblebee, Monktime Publishing
Reproduced courtesy of Light in the Attic Records
Performed by The Troggs
Published by EMI Blackwood Music Inc.
Reproduced courtesy of Fontana Records
Ya Hala Ya Habibi
Performed by Fairouz
(Assy Rahbany, Mansour Rahbany)
Published by A. Chahine & Fils – Voix de l’Orient
Reproduced courtesy of A. Chahine & Fils – Voix de l’Orient
Key advisor, Expo 67
Roger La Roche
Master image editor
Design art director
Technical designer, video projection
Benoît Lemieux, chief consultant
Virginie Simon, operations and production
Music rights clearance
Archival image clearance
Charly Chives / Carlos Miguel Barrera Alarcon
Executive producer, Programming and Production, Institutional Program
A National Film Board of Canada production
In collaboration with Radio-Canada and Place des Arts
With the financial contribution of the Government of Quebec as part of the official programming for the 375th Anniversary of Montreal
PDF version of Press Kit
About the NFB
The NFB is Canada’s public producer and distributor of award-winning documentaries and auteur animation, working with talented creators across the country. The NFB is taking action to combat systemic racism and become a more open and diverse organization, while working to strengthen Indigenous-led production and gender equity in film. NFB productions have won more than 7,000 awards, including 12 Oscars. To access this unique content, visit NFB.ca.