expo 67 lounge

Mid-century fashion, vintage pop culture and retro cool... from Expo 67 and beyond.

1 June 2008

The World Festival

The Nutcracker, performed by the New York Ballet and the Royal Ballet.

The World Festival was staged as part of Expo 67.

Arguably the greatest program of arts and entertainment ever presented in one city over a 6-month period, the World Festival made Montreal the art lover's place to be in 1967. Many of the world's leading opera, ballet and theatre companies, orchestras, popular singers, chamber music ensembles, comedians and athletes all performed during Expo's World Festival... In all there were 672 events involving about 25,000 participants from 25 countries, and over 5 million tickets!

The interior of Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier during Expo 67.

For its largest and most prestigious performances, Expo 67 had rented Place des Arts for its 6-month duration. While the 3000-seat Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier was completed in 1963, 2 additional theatres were completed just in time for Expo: Théâtre Maisonneuve (1300 seats) and Théâtre Port-Royal (800 seats), known today as Théâtre Jean-Duceppe.

Carol Channing in front of Expo Theatre.

Various popular entertainment, special shows and film festivals were presented in the 2000-seat Expo Theatre, a stone's throw away from Place d'Accueil, Expo's main entrance.

The Garden of Stars at La Ronde.

La Ronde's Garden of Stars, a multi-purpose triangular building on the banks of Dolphin Lake, became an exciting international nightclub for the World Festival. The large scale spectacles at the Autostade were also part of the World Festival programme.

The Cité du Havre art gallery entitled Man the Creator.

Fine arts was likewise a major feature of the World Festival. The International Fine Arts Exhibition at the Cité du Havre art gallery showed nearly 200 works from from 40 countries (aside from the masterpieces already being shown in Expo's national pavilions).

The sculpture garden on Île Sainte-Hélène.

The Garden of Sculpture was an open-air show on Île Sainte-Hélène featuring some 50 works of contemporary sculpture. Exhibitions such as the International Design Exhibition and the International Photography Exhibition attracted amateurs and professionals alike.

On-site performers entertained crowds throughout Expo 67.

Thousands of performers took part in a major on-site free entertainment program. Four motorized troubadour units made up of singers, dancers, clowns, magicians and musicians entertained visitors lining up for pavilions (queues for major pavilions were hours long, in some cases!). Where lineups were thinner, these performers drew crowds.

A wide variety of activities were offered in the pavilions as well, allowing visitors to Expo 67 to truly immerse themselves in culture...

Marlene Dietrich was just one of many international stars to perform at Expo 67.

images: (1-2-3-6-7-8) library and archives Canada
(4) alalmedainfo.com
(5) dchillier.com



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