Expo 86

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

EXPO Vancouver 1986
Expo86logo.svg
The Expo 86 logo
Overview
BIE-classSpecialized exposition
CategoryInternational specialized exposition
Name1986 World Exposition on Transportation and Communication
Area70 hectares (170 acres)
Visitors22,111,578
Participant(s)
Countries54
Location
CountryCanada
CityVancouver
VenueCanada Place
Coordinates49°17′19.1″N 123°6′40″W / 49.288639°N 123.11111°W / 49.288639; -123.11111
Timeline
Bidding1979
AwardedNovember 1980
OpeningMay 2, 1986 (1986-05-02)
ClosureOctober 13, 1986 (1986-10-13)
Specialized editions
PreviousExpo '85 in Tsukuba
NextWorld Expo 88 in Brisbane
Universal expositions
PreviousExpo '70 in Osaka
NextSeville Expo '92 in Seville
Horticultural expositions
PreviousInternational Garden Festival in Liverpool
NextExpo '90 in Osaka
 
Jump to: navigation, search
EXPO Vancouver 1986
Expo86logo.svg
The Expo 86 logo
Overview
BIE-classSpecialized exposition
CategoryInternational specialized exposition
Name1986 World Exposition on Transportation and Communication
Area70 hectares (170 acres)
Visitors22,111,578
Participant(s)
Countries54
Location
CountryCanada
CityVancouver
VenueCanada Place
Coordinates49°17′19.1″N 123°6′40″W / 49.288639°N 123.11111°W / 49.288639; -123.11111
Timeline
Bidding1979
AwardedNovember 1980
OpeningMay 2, 1986 (1986-05-02)
ClosureOctober 13, 1986 (1986-10-13)
Specialized editions
PreviousExpo '85 in Tsukuba
NextWorld Expo 88 in Brisbane
Universal expositions
PreviousExpo '70 in Osaka
NextSeville Expo '92 in Seville
Horticultural expositions
PreviousInternational Garden Festival in Liverpool
NextExpo '90 in Osaka

The 1986 World Exposition on Transportation and Communication, or simply Expo '86, was a World's Fair held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada from Friday, May 2 until Monday, October 13, 1986. The fair, the theme of which was "Transportation and Communication: World in Motion - World in Touch", coincided with Vancouver's centennial and was held on the north shore of False Creek. It was the second time that Canada held a World's Fair, the first being Expo 67 in Montreal (during the Canadian Centennial). It was also the third World's Fair to be held in the Pacific Northwest in the last 26 years as of 1986 and as of 2013 it still stands as the latest World's Fair to be held in North America.

History[edit]

The monorail at Expo 86. After the site closed, it was shipped to England where it was installed at the Alton Towers theme park in 1987.

The logo of three interlocking rings to make the 86 in the logo stood for the three main modes of transportation; land, air, and water.

Background[edit]

Up until the late 1970s, the 173 acre (0.7 km2) site on False Creek, where Expo was staged, was a former CPR rail yard and an industrial wasteland. In 1978, Sam Bawlf (then BC Minister of Recreation and Conservation) proposed an exposition to celebrate Vancouver's Centennial year (1986). The proposal was submitted in June 1979, for a fair that was to be called "Transpo 86." In 1980, the British Columbia Legislature passed the Transpo 86 Corporation Act, paving the way for the fair. The transportation theme reflected the city's role in connecting Canada by rail, its status as a major port and transportation hub, and the role of transportation in communications.

The initial idea was to have “...a modest $80 million transportation exposition that would mark Vancouver's 100th anniversary.”.[1] It soon blossomed into a full exposition thanks to the help of the Vancouver Exposition Commissioner-General at that time, Patrick Reid. The theme of Transportation and Communication led to the conglomeration of many different exhibits of transportation networks. This included a monorail that glided over the crowds that included a trip to every zone. Other ground transports included a Skytrain, a High Speed Surface Transport from Japan, and a French “People Mover.” (basically a little boxcar). The transports of the sky was the Gondola, a boxcar hovering high in the air. The water taxis moved along four different ports on the site.[2]

The fair was awarded to Vancouver by the Bureau of International Expositions in November 1980. However, once it became clear that the event would be a world exposition, the name was officially changed to "Expo 86" by Ambassador and Commissioner General Patrick Reid in October 1981, and, by the end of the year, Expo 86 Corporation was established as a nonprofit agency responsible in the planning and operation of the fair. Local business tycoon Jim Pattison was appointed as CEO, and would eventually also become the president of the corporation. The chief architect selected was Bruno Freschi, the Creative Director was Ron Woodall, and Bob Smith was responsible for the production and design.

Construction started in October 1983, when Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, started a concrete mixer on the future site of the Canada Pavilion, and offered the "invitation to the world."[3] But, work was disrupted by labour disputes for 5 months. Still, Expo Centre opened May 2, 1985, as a preview centre for the fair.

The fair was originally budgeted for a modest CAN$78 million. However, final expenditures for the expanded event totaled $802 million with a deficit of CAN$311 million.[4]

The Fair[edit]

Expo '86 was opened by Charles, Prince of Wales, Diana, Princess of Wales, and Prime Minister Brian Mulroney on Friday, May 2, 1986. It featured pavilions from 54 nations and numerous corporations. Expo's participants were given the opportunity to design their own pavilion or opt for the less expensive Expo module. Each module was approximately two-and-a-half stories high and had the floor space equal to a third of a city block. The design was such that any number of the square modules could be placed together in a variety of shapes. The roof design allowed the interior exhibit space to be uninterrupted by pillars.

This World's Fair was categorized as a "Class II," or "specialized exhibition," reflecting its specific emphases on transportation and communications.

Pavilions[edit]

Canadian provinces and territories[edit]

Not pictured: Nova Scotia Ontario Prince Edward Island Saskatchewan

Countries and international organizations[edit]

Not pictured: Barbados Côte d'Ivoire Hungary Kenya South Korea Malaysia Spain Yugoslavia

US states[edit]

Oregon's pavilion

Corporations and Non-Governmental Organizations[edit]

Other pavilions and exhibits[edit]

Outdoor exhibits[edit]

Theatres[edit]

Entertainment and famous visitors[edit]

Royalty: Prince Charles & Diana, Princess of Wales for the opening ceremonies; Crown Prince Harald & Crown Princess Sonja of Norway; Saudi-Arabian Prince Sultan Bin Salman al-Saud[7]

Prime Minister: Brian Mulroney (Canada) Margaret Thatcher (United Kingdom) Pierre Trudeau (former Prime Minister - Canada)[7]

Vice-President: George Bush (United States)[7]

Concerts: Einstürzende Neubauten, Harry Belafonte, Anne Murray, Billy Ocean, Bruce Cockburn, Miles Davis, Wynton Marsalis, Annie Lennox - Eurythmics, Julio Iglesias, Amy Grant, Loverboy, A-ha, Liberace, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Gowan, Parachute Club, Joan Baez with Don McLean, Kenny Loggins, Lou Rawls & The 5th Dimension, Honeymoon Suite, Kim Mitchell, Johnny Cash, Depeche Mode, Joe Jackson, George Thorogood + the Delaware Destroyers, Smokey Robinson, George Benson, John Denver, The Beach Boys, Air Supply, Peter, Paul & Mary, The Manhattan Transfer, The Temptations, René Simard, k.d. lang (opening for Rockin' Ronnie Hawkins), Peter Allen, Sheena Easton, Trooper, Bryan Adams, The Romaniacs, Tangerine Dream, Youssou N'Dour, Rolf Harris, Kool & The Gang, Roy Orbison, Fats Domino with Jerry Lee Lewis, Donovan[7] Leilehua High School, Layton High School Lancer Marching Band, College Park High School Marching Band from Pleasant Hill, CA, Gustine High School Marching, Concert and Jazz Band from Gustine, CA, World Drums concert (led by John Wyre), Shannon Gunn, Skywalk, Kent-Meridian Jazz Ensemble, Images In Vogue, Peter Noone, Alvin Lee opened for Donovan[citation needed]. Many of the concerts were hosted by Red Robinson[citation needed], Vancouver DJ. These concerts were held at the Open air Expo Theatre.

The "Festival of Independent Recording Artists", a concert series promoting local bands, was cancelled on the first night after a performance by Slow devolved into a riot.[8] Other artists who had been scheduled to appear in that series included Art Bergmann.[8]

Comedians: Bill Cosby, Bob Newhart, Bob Hope, Red Skelton, Joan Rivers, Howie Mandel, George Burns and Danny Kaye[7]

Dance: Mikhail Baryshnikov, The Royal Ballet,[7] Cheremosh Ukrainian Dance Company[citation needed]

Directors: Norman Jewison, George Cosmatos (Rambo: First Blood Part II)[7]

Oceanographer: Jacques Cousteau[7]

Facts and figures[edit]

Expo 86 Stamp Issued by the Soviet Union

(Note: All amounts are in Canadian funds and are not adjusted for inflation.)

54 Official Participating Nations:

 Antigua and Barbuda,  Australia,  Barbados,  Belgium,  Brunei,  Canada,  China, Cook island,  Côte d'Ivoire,  Costa Rica,  Cuba,  Czechoslovakia,  Dominica,  Fiji,  France,  Germany,  Grenada,  Hungary,  Indonesia,  Italy,  Japan,  Kenya,  Malaysia,  Mexico,  Montserrat,  Nauru,  Norway,  Pakistan,  Papua New Guinea,  Peru,  Philippines,  Romania,  Saint Kitts and Nevis,  Saint Lucia,  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines,  Saudi Arabia,  Senegal,  Singapore, Solomon Islands,  South Korea,  Spain,  Sri Lanka,   Switzerland,  Thailand,  Tonga,  United Kingdom,  United States,  U.S.S.R.  Vanuatu, Western Samoa, and  Yugoslavia.

Legacy[edit]

In all, 22 million people attended the expo and, despite a deficit of $311 million CAD, it was considered a tremendous success. It remains to date the second biggest event in British Columbia history and is viewed by many as the transition of Vancouver from a sleepy provincial backwater to a city with global clout.[citation needed] It marked a strong boost to tourism for the province.

Many[who?] have also seen the fair as being at least partially responsible for the re-election of the Social Credit party for its final term as a provincial government.

Today, the western half of the site has and is continuing to be developed into parks and high rise condominiums. The eastern portion was used for the annual Molson Indy race, until it was cancelled in late 2004. Future plans call for the eastern third of the site to be developed into parkland and condominiums. The western third of the site is presently owned by the real estate investment firm Concord Pacific, which has its primary shareholder the Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing. The redevelopment took longer than expected, but is one of the most successful urban developments in Canadian history.[citation needed] The south eastern section of the site just underneath the former Expo Center was redeveloped for use as part the Olympic Village for the 2010 Winter Olympics. After the Olympics, it will also be redeveloped into condos and park land[dated info].

“Expo 86 will be remembered for the warm, friendly spirit that existed among the exhibitors, staff, 8000 volunteers and visitors.” according to Kim O'Leary[10]

It put Vancouver on the map by making it into a major tourist attraction. Many of the buildings that stood in the fair stayed there, including restaurants, clubs, and the important service buildings.

State of Expo 86 attractions[edit]

The former Expo 86 monorail, Swiss built Von Roll Seilbahnen AG Mark II, is now installed at Alton Towers in the United Kingdom.

Some of the lasting contributions of Expo 86 to the city of Vancouver include:

After the fair closed many of the attractions were auctioned off to buyers. The dispersed Expo '86 building include:

The McBarge is currently anchored derelict in Burrard Inlet next to an oil refinery
The Pub left is formerly the China Gate Restaurant. The Lighthouse right was formerly a spaceship atop a McDonalds. It is now the Lighthouse Pub in Sechelt BC

Reunions[edit]

A group of former Expo '86 employees conducted a 20th anniversary reunion for Expo participants on May 2, 2006, at the Plaza of Nations site.

A group of former BC Pavilion employees celebrated the 20th anniversary of the close of Expo 86 at a reunion [1] on October 13, 2006, at the former Expo Centre (now renamed the Telus World of Science).

Scandal[edit]

In 1988, the site was sold to the Concord Pacific development corporation for a fraction of the original cost, a move that proved to be extremely controversial. Premier William Vander Zalm and Peter Toigo were accused of influence peddling in the sale.[citation needed]

Accidents[edit]

While opening the World's Fair, Diana, Princess of Wales briefly fainted onto her husband in a crowded hall in the California Pavilion. She recovered quickly in the washroom, and left half an hour later. Prince Charles later said that her fainting spell was a result of heat and exhaustion. However, the Princess confessed several years later that it was actually caused by not having kept down any food for several days a result of her eating disorder. She was chastised by her husband for not "fainting gracefully behind a door."

On May 9, 1986, 9-year-old Karen Ford of Nanaimo, BC died at the Canadian Pavilion. She was crushed while on a revolving turntable that connected two semi-circular theatres in the pavilion. The revolving table was shut down for some time after the accident, but was put back in service with a number of new safety measures.[11]

A ride operator on the looping starship ride was hit by the ride when he crossed in front of it late in the evening at the end of his shift, Most of the bones in his body were broken. It was an on a very busy weekend in September. (a source is needed)

In popular media[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Multimedia[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Peter Stoler, Rudolph, Barbara (28 April 1986). "Westward Ho to Expo 86". Time Magazine. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  2. ^ "Transportation -- EXPO 86". Retrieved 5 November 2011. 
  3. ^ Archives of British Columbia: Trains, Planes and Automobiles
  4. ^ Expo 86 by Kim Patrick O'Leary
  5. ^ "Rainbow War". www.imdb.com. 
  6. ^ "Experience Required". www.fastcompany.com. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h "PROMINENT VISITORS TO EXPO 86". Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  8. ^ a b Michael Barclay, Ian A.D. Jack and Jason Schneider, Have Not Been the Same: The Can-Rock Renaissance 1985-1995. ECW Press. ISBN 978-1-55022-992-9.
  9. ^ Expo 86. The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved on 2013-07-26.
  10. ^ O'Leary, Kim. "Expo 86 - The Canadian Encyclopedia". Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  11. ^ Victim's father wants $100,000 from Expo, Associated Press, Spokane Chronicle - Jun 19, 1986, pg A2