In 1967, Mini-Skirts are Everywhere! At Least at Expo 67…

Could it really be one less reason to visit Montreal?

By Carmen Desmeules (translated by Emilie Gosselin)

August 6, 1967

It is both Youth Day and Peace Day at the Universal Exhibition in Montreal, as it marks the anniversary of the World’s first nuclear attack at Hiroshima in 1942, only 22 years ago.

Numerous speeches are made, including one by writer and sociologist Marcel Rioux, between the singing, poetry, dance and music shows. Afterwards, Commissioner General Pierre Dupuy lights the torch of peace and one hundred doves are released.

Photo credit : City of Montreal Archives

For entertainment, a fashion show is held at the Youth Pavilion to the rhythm of yéyé music. And in 1967, mini-skirts are everywhere… at least at Expo!

Yves Jasmin, Director of PR, Advertising and Information, recalls how the clergy did not approve of the Universal Exhibition and discouraged the faithful of going:

“There was resistance, though it’s still too soon for it to be recognized, but the reason why we had such little participation from rural Quebec was because the clergy were opposed to people going to Expo. Because of the skimpy girls and communists and whatnot. They didn’t want their flock feasting their eyes at Expo which is why there was less participation from rural Quebec.”

And so, the regions were very under-represented from a visitor’s standpoint: 4.8% rural Quebec visitors in comparison to 26.9% for Montreal and the surrounding area. The highest number of visitors came from the United States at 44.8%.

Sources: Expo 67 Collection, Library and Archives Canada; interview with Yves Jasmin, May 2016.

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