Associated and concurrent with Expo, and organized by a division of the corporation under an artistic director, Gordon Hilker, an associate artistic director, Gilles Lefebvre, and an administrative director, Jean Coté, was the World Festival of Entertainment, featuring several of the world's leading opera, ballet, and theatre companies, orchestras, chamber ensembles, jazz groups, singers, solo instrumentalists, dance bands, and popular and folk singers. The corporation's advisory committee on the performing arts comprised Peter M. Dwyer, Jean Gascon, John Hirsch, Jean-C. Lallemand, and Jean Vallerand.
During the six months of the exposition, about 6000 free concerts were presented on the Expo grounds by professional and amateur ensembles from all parts of the world, some being sponsored and paid by their governments and others contributing their services and paying their own expenses. Concerts were presented at scheduled times on bandshells and plazas, strolling groups wandered the site serenading the crowds, groups were imported to play in national pavilions, musical comedies and operettas were presented in the Expo Theatre, cabaret and pop-music performers found employment at La Ronde - in short, music was continuous and pervasive. Composers were commissioned to write works for concerts and scores for films and for the aural environments of some pavilions; among them were R. Murray Schafer (for the Chemical Industries pavilion, Kaleidoscope), Eldon Rathburn (for the NFB pavilion, Labyrinth), Serge Garant (for the pavilion Man and the Polar Regions), André Prévost, Alexander Brott, Robert Fleming, and Otto Joachim (for the Canadian Pavilion), and Gilles Tremblay (who won the 1968 Prix de musique Calixa-Lavallée for his sound-tracks for the Quebec Pavilion). The Man and Music Pavilion was devoted to the work of the JMC (YMC) and featured displays, facilities for listening to recorded music, exhibits of major teaching systems such as Orff and Kodály, and studios in which master classes in teaching were held each day, observed by the public. The prefabricated concrete building which housed this activity was moved later to become part of the JMC music camp at Mount Orford, Que (Orford Arts Centre). Between 16 July and 22 July, on the Expo site and in Montreal, the JMC was host to the 21st World Congress of theInternational Federation of the Jeunesses musicalesFédération internationale des Jeunesses musicales and also held the finals of major national performing competitions and an international composition competition. Winners of the former were Andrew Dawes (strings), Annon Lee Silver (voice), and Robert Silverman (piano), and of the latter Josef Maria Horvath (Austria), Sydney Hodkinson (Canada), Zsolt Durko (Hungary), Martin Boykan (USA), and Michael Finnissy (England).
The main location for musical performance by Canadians, however, was the Canadian Government Pavilion, named Katimavik (an Inuit word for 'gathering place'). It contained a 500-seat theatre and a 1200-seat open-air bandshell, where 58 shows each week were presented during the run of the fair by all kinds of groups and individual artists. Hugh Davidson was music consultant to the pavilion's administration, and the federal government contributed about $800,000 to the cost of the entertainment presented there. Four concerts were given each day (except Mondays) in the bandshell: amateur choirs and ensembles at noon, a concert band at 2:30 and 5:00 pm, and chansonniers and folksingers at 3:45 pm. In the theatre (also closed on Mondays) there were organ recitals at noon (on an instrument donated by Casavant Frères), chamber music and jazz groups at 2:30, two performances each afternoon by Les Feux-Follets (dance troupe), and a musical-comedy revue at 6:15; on Saturdays and Sundays the 2:30 performance featured recitals, the official accompanist for which was John Newmark.
Week-end recitalists were Pierrette Alarie, Donald Bell, John Boyden, Victor Braun, Hyman Bress, Maureen Forrester, Richard Gresko, Elizabeth Benson Guy, Ida Haendel, Betty-Jean Hagen, Walter Joachim, Lois Marshall, Zara Nelsova, Louis Quilico, Joseph Rouleau, Robert Savoie, Steven Staryk, Bernard Turgeon, Ronald Turini, André Turp, Richard Verreau, the duo-pianists Victor Bouchard and Renée Morisset, and the singers Shirley Harmer, Pauline Julien, and Monique Leyrac.
Weekday 2:30 concerts were given by the Baroque Trio of Montreal, the Cassenti Players, the Duo Pach, the Ensemble Couperin-le-Grand, the Ensemble vocal Chantal Masson, the Festival Singers, the Gabora String Quartet, the Hart House Orchestra, the Halifax Trio, the Hidy Trio, the Lance Harrison Dixieland Band, the Lee Gagnon Jazz Ensemble, the McGill Chamber Orchestra, the Manitoba University Consort, the Moe Koffman Quartet, the Orford String Quartet, Nimmons 'n' Nine, Phyllis Mailing, the Montreal Brass Quintet, the Petit Ensemble vocal, the Quebec Woodwind Quintet, the Ron Collier Jazz Group, the Toronto Woodwind Quintet, the Trio Pierre Leduc, the Tommy Banks Quartet, the Yvan Landry Jazz Quartet, and groups organized by the SMCQ and by Ten Centuries Concerts. Each group played for four consecutive days, usually in a variety of programs.
Organ recitals in the theatre were given by Françoise Aubut, Hugh Bancroft, Douglas Bodle, Antoine Bouchard, Barry Cabena, Raymond Daveluy, Maitland Farmer, Frederick Geoghegan, Kenneth Gilbert, Conrad Grimes, Gordon Jeffery, Mireille Lagacé, Claude Lavoie, Jean Leduc, Lucienne L'Heureux-Arel, Hugh McLean, Kenneth Meek, Charles Peaker, and Gerald Wheeler.
Bandshell concerts featured Hélène Baillargeon, Oscar Brand, Pierre Calvé, Dinah Christie, Tommy Common, Michel Conte and Micheline (Bardin), Bobby Curtola, Bonnie Dobson, the Maynard Ferguson Sextet, Louise Forestier, Tom Kines, Penny Lang, Raymond Lévesque, Gordon Lightfoot, Malka and Joso, Bruce McKay, Alan Mills, Jean-Guy Moreau, Ginette Ravel, La Famille Soucy, The Travellers, and Alexandre Zelkine.
Many of these concerts were recorded by the CBC for subsequent broadcast, and transcription discs in a 'CBC Expo' series were made of over 40 of them.
The World Festival
The main location for the World Festival events was the PDA, in mid-town Montreal, which Expo rented for the duration of the fair. Events were held in its three theatres, in the 2000-seat Expo Theatre built for Expo 67 and located just outside the grounds, and in St-Jacques Roman Catholic Church. The corporation announced that 4.3 million tickets were printed for 672 events featuring 110 groups numbering nearly 25,000 performers from 25 countries (the figures included large-scale spectacles like the Canadian Armed Forces Tattoo, held in the Autostade adjacent to Expo). Attendance for opera was 87 per cent of capacity and for music 72 per cent. A gala opening on 29 April featured the premiere of André Prévost's choral-orchestral work Terre des hommes by the MSO and the World Festival Chorus (the latter prepared by Marcel Laurencelle) with Albert Millaire and Michelle Rossignol as narrators and Pierre Hétu conducting. Wilfrid Pelletier also conducted the MSO and the Rutgers U Chorus in Beethoven's Ode to Joy with Pierrette Alarie, Maureen Forrester, Léopold Simoneau, and Joseph Rouleau as soloists.
The full companies of La Scala, the Vienna State Opera, the Bolshoi Opera, the Hamburg State Opera, and the Royal Swedish Opera, all making their North American debuts, each gave a number of fully staged performances. The cost of transporting foreign performers and their sets and costumes to and from Montreal was borne by their home governments, while Expo provided theatres, audiences, living expenses, and accommodation. The opera series consisted of the Swedish Opera, conducted by Silvio Varviso and Sixten Ehrling, in Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera, Karl Birger Blomdahl's 'space opera' Aniara, Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress in the Ingmar Bergman production, and Wagner's Tristan und Isolde with Birgit Nilsson and Ken Neate; the Hamburg State Opera, conducted by Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt and Leopold Ludwig, in Hindemith's Mathis der Maler, Berg's Lulu, Janáček's Jenu°fa, and a concert version of Weber's Der Freischütz; the Vienna State Opera, conducted by Karl Boehm, Heinrich Hollreiser, Berislav Klobucar, and Josef Krips in Mozart's Don Giovanni and The Marriage of Figaro, Strauss' Elektra and Der Rosenkavalier, and Berg's Wozzeck; the Bolshoi Opera of Moscow in Borodin's Prince Igor, Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov, Tchaikovsky's The Queen of Spades, Prokofiev's War and Peace, and Rimsky-Korsakov's The Invisible City of Kitezh; La Scala of Milan in Verdi's Il Trovatore and Nabucco, Puccini's La Bohème, and Bellini's I Capuleti e i Montecchi, and also in a performance of Verdi's Requiem conducted by Herbert von Karajan; the English Opera Group, conducted by Benjamin Britten, Rudolph Schwarz, James Lockhart, and Steuart Bedford, in Britten's Curlew River, The Burning Fiery Furnace, and A Midsummer Night's Dream, Walton's The Bear, Handel's Acis and Galatea, and John Gay's The Beggar's Opera (realized by Britten); the COC, conducted by Victor Feldbrill and Otto-Werner Mueller, in Harry Somers' Louis Riel and Offenbach's Tales of Hoffmann, with Bernard Turgeon, Cornelis Opthof, Joseph Rouleau, Patricia Rideout, Roxolana Roslak, Mary Morrison, André Turp, Colette Boky, Eleanor Calbes, Heather Thomson, Phil Stark, Jan Rubes, Norman Mittelmann, and Alan Crofoot; and a two-opera season given by the MSO comprising Verdi's Otello conducted by Zubin Mehta, with Jon Vickers, Teresa Stratas, and Louis Quilico, and Gounod's Faust conducted by Wilfrid Pelletier, with Joseph Rouleau, Richard Verreau, Robert Savoie, and Heather Thomson. The Canadian government contributed $50,000 towards the Otello production.
Orchestral concerts were given by the Vienna Philharmonic under Boehm, l'Orchestre de la Suisse romande under Ernest Ansermet and Paul Kletzki, the Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam under Bernard Haitink, the ORTF Orchestra, the Czech Philharmonic, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the NYO, the Melbourne (Australia) SO under Willem van Otterloo with the soprano Marie Collier, the Hamburg SO, the New York Philharmonic, the TS, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the San Francisco SO, the MSO, the JM International Orchestra, and the Northern Sinfonia of England.
Chamber orchestras and ensembles included the Collegium Musicum of Zurich under Paul Sacher, the Prague Soloists, the Berlin Philharmonic Octet, the Slovak Quartet, the Scarlatti Orchestra of Naples under Mario Rossi and Massimo Pradella, the Solistes de Liège, Belgium, the Bath Festival Orchestra under Yehudi Menuhin, the Danzi Quintet of the Netherlands, and the Stern-Rose-Istomin Trio. Solo recitals were given by Henryk Szeryng, Christoph Eschenbach, and Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli.
Choirs included the Red Army Chorus and the Piatnitsky Choir of the USSR, the Munich Bach Choir and Orchestra, the Copenhagen University Choir, the Lado Folkloric Ensemble of Yugoslavia, and the Swiss Folkloric Ensemble.
Dance and folkdance companies were Belgium's Ballet du vingtième siècle, the Bolshoi Ballet, the Paris Opera Ballet, the Royal Ballet of Britain, the Australian Ballet, the National Ballet of Canada, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, the New York City Ballet, the Martha Graham Dance Company, the National Dance Theatre of Jamaica, the Troupe nationale folklorique tunisienne, the Japanese Folkloric Art Dance Company, Music and Dance of India, and Fiesta Cubana.
Other events included a gala concert by JMC National Competition winners, a one-week run of Anne of Green Gables, and several performances by Duke Ellington and his Orchestra with Sarah Vaughan. Altogether, the World Festival of Entertainment constituted one of the greatest assemblages of musical talent ever brought together in one city, and certainly the greatest ever convened in Canada.
The official theme-song of Expo 67, selected by a jury after open competition, was 'Hey Friend, Say Friend' (French version 'Un Jour, Un Jour') by Stéphane Venne. It was recorded and widely played on radio stations in Montreal but did not meet with enthusiasm from Montreal mayor Jean Drapeau, one of the chief proponents of Expo 67, because its lyrics made no mention of the host city.
Man and his World was retained as the name of a summer festival held until 1982 on the Expo site.
Author Thomas C. Brown
Rudel-Tessier, J. 'Plans for Expo vague but promising,' CanComp, 7, Mar 1966
Green, Robin. 'Opera at the World Festival,' OpCan, vol 7, Sep 1966
Rudel-Tessier, J. 'Stéphane Venne wins Expo song contest,' CanComp, 14, Jan 1967
'Canadian music at Expo,' ibid
Green, Robin. 'The Expo 67 scene,' OpCan, vol 7, Feb 1967
Evans, Ron. 'Expo 67: ''Katimavik'' the meeting place,' PfAC, Spring 1967
'Three Canadian composers set puppet fantasies to music,' CanComp, 17, Apr 1967
'Opera at Expo 67,' OpCan, vol 8, May 1967
Davidson, Hugh. 'Festival Katimavik,' Mcan, Jun 1967
Canadian Composer, 20, Jul-Aug 1967. Issue devoted to music at Expo 67 including articles on jazz, popular entertainment, the JMC pavilion
Kraglund, John. 'Review: Expo's World Festival,' OpCan, vol 8, Sep 1967
Canadian Government Pavilion: Expo 67: Theatre and Bandshell Performances (Ottawa 1967)
Expo 67: Official Guide (Montreal 1967)
General Report on the 1967 World Exhibition, 5 vols (Ottawa 1969). Vols 4 and 5 report on the World Festival.
Reviews of performances carried in Montreal in the Gazette, the Montreal Star, Le Devoir, La Presse; in Quebec City in Le Soleil; and in Toronto in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Daily Star, and Telegram
Links to Other Sites
Expo 67: Montréal Welcomes the World
Check out a selection of radio and television clips about Expo 67 from the CBC Digital Archives.