Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Atlantic Provinces Pavilion

The Atlantic Provinces Pavilion (Expo 67)
The Atlantic provinces pavilion at Expo 67 represented the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland.

The Atlantic Provinces Pavilion (Expo 67)
Located on Île-Notre-Dame near the Indians of Canada, the pavilion was a mostly open structure with a wooden, cantilevered roof (claimed to be the world's largest at the time). The blue-line Minirail passed right under a portion of it.

The openness of the pavilion created a breezy, "Maritime" atmosphere which was enhanced by subtle sounds audible throughout the 3 levels of exhibits: roaring waves, the cry of gulls, the man-made noises of docks. Flags snapped in the wind overhead, and smooth pebbles surrounded the displays.

The Atlantic Provinces Pavilion (Expo 67)
A principal exhibit area displayed the history, ethnic origins and environment of the Atlantic provinces, as well as a confident look towards the future.

Each provinces' unique quality and character was stressed through illustrated panels that represented their way of life and folklore. Spirited displays discussed migrations, local inventions, myths and regional heroes.

The Atlantic Provinces Pavilion (Expo 67)
The pavilion's presentation was completed by 4 thematic sub-areas:

The Resources section discussed the abundant potential from forests, mines, soil and sea, as well as the abundance of water and the potential for tidal power.

The Industry section showcased people in their occupations, with a focus on new technologies for 1967: automobile assembly, heavy water production, hardboard manufacture and chemical research.

The focus of the Leisure section was on recreation attractions: natural beauty, mild climate, beaches, salt water and fresh water fishing, hunting, sailing, festivals, and above all: an abundance of free space.

The Heritage and Culture section featured regional art and sculpture:

At first glance, a group of drawings by artist Rodger Willis offered a sober look on past events; adjoining texts revealed the subtle humor to visitors.

A series of translucent, fibreglass panels from Halifax artist Marjorie Lorain incorporated actual undersea plant life to provide a colorful portrayal of the ocean's resources.

Anne Roberts and John Corey demonstrated cultural diversity through a collection of dolls in delicately embroidered costumes, suspended above a map made from a variety of textiles.

The Atlantic Provinces Pavilion (Expo 67)

The Atlantic Provinces Pavilion (Expo 67)
One of the most striking sculptures at the Atlantic provinces pavilion was the Whale Wall.  Designed and executed by Witold Kuryllowics and John Shreiber, this 30-foot "Viking ship" was made up of giant whale skulls and ribs found at Trinity Bay, Newfoundland.

The Atlantic Provinces Pavilion (Expo 67)
The Whale Wall was part of a collection of other "found" sculptures which adorned the surrounding area of the pavilion:  chains, cannons, a massive orange and red bell buoy, a huge 8-ton anchor...

The Atlantic Provinces Pavilion (Expo 67)
During Expo, craftsmen built a 47-foot schooner in front of the pavilion, displaying the ship building tradition that flourished in the Atlantic Provinces.

During the pavilion's special day on October 11, 1967, the Atlantica was launched in the presence of the Atlantic province premiers.  The wife of Montreal-mayor Jean Drapeau cracked the  inaugural bottle of champagne on the ship's bow, to the cheer of the large crowd gathered.

The Atlantic Provinces Pavilion (Expo 67)
One of the most popular attractions of the Atlantic provinces pavilion was its outstanding seafood restaurant and chowder bar.  The glass-enclosed dining area offered a splendid view of Montreal's skyline. Visitors waited up to 5 hours to sample one of the 90 different seafood dishes being served, which included lobster, sole, crab and other specialties.

The Atlantic Provinces Pavilion (Expo 67)

images: (1)  
(2-10) Bill Dutfield via
(3) library and archives Canada
(4-5-6-9) personal collection  
(7) Bill Cotter via
(8) courtesy DC Hillier

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