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Expo 67 and Man and His World Collection (C146)

Recrutement des hôtesses, Press release from the Canadian Corporation for the 1967 World Exhibition (detail), 1966. Gift of Mr. Germain Laberge, Expo 67 and Man and His World Collection C146, M2015.18.7.18 © McCord Museum

Hostesses wanted: No married women, please!

"Hostesses must be between 20 and 35 years of age in 1967. In addition:

  1. They must speak two languages, French and English; those who speak other languages as well will be given preference during the final selection and their salaries will be set according to their proficiency;
  2. Preference will be given to unmarried applicants and those with few family responsibilities;
  3. Applicants must have at least a high school education, or its equivalent;
  4. They must be Canadian citizens.

Needless to say, applicants must be intelligent, attractive, in good health and have a good reputation."

As this press release demonstrates, the Canadian Corporation for the 1967 World Exposition (CCWE) placed great importance on recruiting hostesses to welcome and guide visitors to the site. Disseminated across the country, this document specifies the qualifications that organizers were looking for in a selection process that began in early December 1965. In light of the responsibilities now incumbent upon employers with regard to equity, the abusive nature of some of these criteria is striking. In fact, the Canadian Human Rights Act, adopted by the federal government in 1977, prohibits all discriminatory practices based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability or conviction for an offence for which a pardon has been granted or in respect of which a record suspension has been ordered.

In addition to the 250 hostesses sought by the CCWE during this recruitment campaign, hundreds of other hostesses were hired around the world by the exhibitors of the other national, theme and private pavilions. To this day, many Expo 67 visitors have strong memories of this cohort, composed primarily of students selected for their personality, appearance, communication skills and general culture.

Inaugurated on April 27, 1967, the Canadian Universal and International Exhibition lasted six months and received over 50 million visits.

Canadian Human Rights Act, R.S.C., 1985, c. H-6, s. 2.
Ville de Montréal. (October 1967). Farewell, Expo 67. Montréal 67, Vol. 4, No. 10, p. 7.

C146 Expo 67 and Man and His World Collection. - 1963-1999. - 140.9 cm of textual records and other material.

Administrative History

The Canadian Universal and International Exhibition, better known as "Expo 67," took place from April 27 to October 29, 1967, on Îles Sainte-Hélène and Notre-Dame and at the Cité du Havre. With the theme of "Man and His World," taken from the title of a book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Expo 67 showcased discoveries, culture and various ways of thinking and being.

Some 60 countries took part, along with numerous cities, provinces, international organizations and private companies. Though the majority of participants constructed their own pavilion (i.e., most nations, several Canadian provinces and American states, and industries), some were grouped together, like the Scandinavian countries and a number of African countries. Theme pavilions featured universal themes like health, work and the environment. Thanks to the many theatre and music performances, sports competitions, free concerts, film screenings and exhibitions of fine art, sculpture and photography, Expo 67 was a major cultural event. It was also the site of numerous activities celebrating the Centenary of Canadian Confederation.

During the 186 days of Expo 67, Montreal became a hub and meeting place, while Quebec opened to the world. This success generated much discussion about the site's future use. Mayor Jean Drapeau wished to continue drawing tourists and in October 1967 announced that the site would become a permanent exhibition entitled "Man and His World," the theme of Expo 67. Several national pavilions -- donated to the city following Expo 67 -- were modified to reflect new themes, while other buildings were constructed. The new exhibition was inaugurated in 1968, in the presence of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada. Numerous countries took part in Man and His World, as did a number of artists who presented a variety of musical shows. Open to the public for over ten years, the exhibition definitively closed in 1981.

Although the majority of the Expo 67 and Man and His World pavilions have disappeared, several buildings from that era survive: the Biosphere (United States of America Pavilion), the Casino de Montréal (France and Quebec pavilions) and amusement park La Ronde.

Library and Archives Canada (in cooperation with the Ville de Montréal Archives). 2002. Expo 67... A Virtual Experience. Online: Consulted April 17, 2014.
Ville de Montréal. (October 1967). Farewell, Expo 67. Montréal 67, Vol. 4, No. 10, p. 7.

Scope and Content

Focussed on the Canadian Universal and International Exhibition of 1967 and the permanent exhibition Man and His World, this collection illustrates the importance of these two events.

First, several records chronicle how Expo 67 was organized by the Canadian Corporation for the 1967 World Exhibition (CCWE), beginning in the spring of 1963. These pertain to facilities administration, design choice, and the planning and construction of the various areas of the site: Cité du Havre, Île Sainte-Hélène, Île Notre-Dame and La Ronde. Other records, such as plans, directories, portfolios and lists, document the management of human resources and offer information about the participants, exhibitors and sponsors. There are flyers, brochures and press releases that promoted the event to both the general public and the world of business. Monographs published by the CCWE describe the circumstances surrounding the City of Montreal's successful bid to host the fair, while periodicals issued by its public relations department provide day-by-day updates on the project's progress. Albums, a score of the theme song, posters, memorabilia and several tie-in products also evoke the communication strategies developed both before and after Expo 67.

Guides and plans (official and unofficial), passports, visas, flyers, brochures and transport tickets provide a wealth of general information about the exhibition site, access to the fair and the many services offered to visitors (accommodations, parking, shops, restaurants, etc.). Various documents, such as catalogues, postcards, press clippings, menus, ephemera, photographs and stamps, illustrate what was presented in the 40 or so national pavilions, the regional pavilions (Canadian provinces and some American states), theme pavilions, industry pavilions and Habitat 67. Tickets, programs, an activity report and other publications underscore the wide array of festivals, concerts, performances and attractions planned for the World Festival, the festivities commemorating Canada's Centenary of Confederation and National Days.

Magazines, newspapers and press clippings chronicle the media coverage surrounding Expo 67 and events hosted at the site from 1967 to 1981. In addition, these records document the visits of numerous personalities like Queen Elizabeth II, Maurice Knight, Renée Claude, Gilles Vigneault and Stéphane Venne. This collection also includes several notes, press releases and publications associated with the anniversaries and commemoration of Expo 67.

Variations in title: The collection was previously entitled "Exposition universelle de Montréal de 1967 /Montreal Universal Exhibition of 1967/Expo 67." This title was modified in 2014.

Source of title proper: Based on the contents of the collection.

Dates of creation: Several documents are undated.

Physical description: Other than the textual records, the collection contains 22 iconographic documents (photographs, posters, postcards, etc.), 5 cartographic records, 13 sound recordings, 8 objects (medallion, bag, flags, etc.) and 27 philatelic documents.

Immediate source of acquisition: The Expo 67 and Man and His World Collection was created with several different donations from various donors.

Arrangement: The contents of the files containing the Expo 67 newspapers (C069/D,54) and photocopies of newspaper articles (C069/A,151) preserved in the McCord Museum's collection of thematic files were transferred to the Expo 67 and Man and His World Collection (C146) in 2014. Menus preserved in the Menus and Gastronomy Collection (C285) were also transferred in 2016.

Language: The documents are in French and English, but primarily in French.

Associated material: Documents about Expo 67 have also been gathered by the Ville de Montréal Archives, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ), and Library and Archives Canada (LAC).

Accruals: Further accruals expected.

Related groups of records: Archival documents (books, passports, visas, etc.) associated with Expo 67 and the Man and His World exhibition are preserved in other McCord Museum collections and archival fonds.

General note: Other photographic records and objects (pins, uniforms, puzzles, etc.) associated with Expo 67 and the Man and His World exhibition are preserved in the McCord Museum's Notman Photographic Archives, Costume and Textiles, Decorative Arts, and Paintings, Prints and Drawings collections.

The collection is divided into the following series, subseries and files:

  • C146/A Administration and Management
    • C146/A1 Planning, facilities and design
    • C146/A2 Human resources
    • C146/A3 Participants, exhibitors and sponsors

  • C146/B Official Communications
    • C146/B1 Public relations. - 1963-1968. - 4.5 cm of textual records.
    • Scope and Content: This subseries chronicles the public relations campaign conducted throughout North America from 1963 to 1968 by the Canadian Corporation for the 1967 World Exhibition and the city of Montreal. It includes leaflets, flyers and press releases on a variety of topics, such as the main themes of Expo 67 and its pavilions, the price of passports, the various services offered to the public and the schedule of upcoming shows. There are also brochures published by the Business Development Bureau to promote the pavilion called the "International Trade Centre- Expo-Club" and the commercial opportunities available to visiting businessmen.

      Source of title proper: Based on the contents of the subseries.

      Dates of creation : Several documents are undated.

      Language: The documents are in French and English, but primarily in English.

    • C146/B2 Publication
      • C146/B2,1 Monographs
      • C146/B2,2 Music and theme song
      • C146/B2,3 Periodicals. - 1964-1967. - 4.5 cm of textual records.
        Digitized documents: Part 01 - Part 02 - Part 03 - Part 04
      • Scope and Content: This file contains copies of Expo Digest, Expo Information and Expo Journal: Man and His World, periodicals that were produced by the Canadian Corporation for the 1967 World Exhibition from 1964 to 1967. Published either weekly or monthly, these newsletters, information sheets and newspapers were designed to show off the scale of the event and generate public excitement. The articles and photos in these publications chronicle the construction of the site, the progress of the project and news about the event.

        Source of title proper: Title based on the contents of the file.

        Language: The documents are in French and English, but primarily in English.

      • C146/B2,4 Images
    • C146/B3 Marketing

  • C146/C Services

  • C146/D Pavilions, Plazas and Squares. - [ca 1967]. - 31.5 cm of textual records. - 5 iconographic documents.
  • Scope and Content: This series contains various documents produced by, or about, the pavilions, plazas and squares of Expo 67. It chronicles what was exhibited or made available to visitors by the 60 or so participating countries. A total of 90 pavilions were built on the site; in addition to the national pavilions, there were regional pavilions, like those of Canadian provinces and some American states, theme pavilions, industry pavilions, Habitat 67, and areas created for relaxation or amusement. Among other things, the series includes invitations, menus, exhibition catalogues, tourist flyers, brochures, press kits, invoices, stamps and postcards.

    Source of title proper: Based on the contents of the series.

    Dates of creation: Several documents are undated.

    Language: The documents are in French and English.

  • C146/E Entertainment
    • C146/E1 The World Festival
    • C146/E2 La Ronde
    • C146/E3 Canadian Centennial
    • C146/E4 National Days

  • C146/F Media Coverage
    • C146/F1 Journals and magazines
    • C146/F2 Newspapers and press clippings

  • C146/G Celebrations and Commemorations
    • C146/G1 Anniversaries
    • C146/G2 Clubs and associations
    • C146/G3 Publications

  • C146/H Photographs


Last update: August 30, 2017