Explosion 67 – Youth and Their World

Expo 67 had a huge impact on Montrealers. Young and old alike embraced this seminal event and stepped into the modern world, a time filled with memorable rock concerts and life-changing encounters. Man and His World (and Woman, of course) offered a place of freedom and a whole new look on people and the world around us. This iconic exhibition gives us a chance to see how this world fair was the tipping point for Québec society and a generation that passionately embraced a brand-new era.

To mark the 50th anniversary of Expo 67, the Centre d’histoire de Montréal brings you Explosion 67 – Youth and Their World, a living portrait of this monumental event through the impressions and first-time experiences of people who were between the ages of 11 and 21 in 1967 and the two subsequent turbulent years. Through their often humorous accounts, along with visual and sound archives from that watershed period, the effervescence of our city and Quebec society in those years is recaptured in immersive sets and a lively digital, graphic, and audio-visual environment. A visit to Explosion 67 is a passport to “Enter” the magical mystery of one of the world’s fair pavilions: an experience full of anticipation, the unexpected and the unknown, emotions, and revelations! This exhibition is part of the official program of Montreal’s 375th birthday celebrations.

Let’s all go to Expo!
In 1967, Montreal was on a roll! More than 50 million people visited the world’s fair on the islands in the St. Lawrence adjacent to the city core. Fascinated Montrealers returned to the site time and again to see, admire, and taste the wide world. However, parallel to the idealized vision of the future incarnated by Expo and its pavilions, radical change was brewing as the younger generation dreamed of a different kind of new world.

Expo 67 … 68, 69
In the latter half of the 1960s, television, print media, and radio exposed us daily to a planet subjected to overwhelming forces, almost to the point of shattering. In Quebec, the Quiet Revolution, a progressive movement pushing for a secular society, social justice, and linguistic equality, had recently modernized the province. Yet despite an atmosphere of general prosperity, tensions were creating cracks in the image of an apparently peaceable city and its inhabitants. Youth in Western countries were demanding a new and better world, provoking a veritable social, political, and cultural explosion. After centuries of patience, the tight lid on Quebec society was blowing off!

Inside the heads of youth in 1967
Metaphorically penetrating the skull of a young person in 1967, the content of Explosion 67 is revealed through the emergence of scattered, fragmentary, impressionistic memories from a “black box.” The spirit of youth conveys the vivid impressions left not only by Expo 67 and Man and His World, but also by the societal upheavals of the second decade of the 1960s.

Modernity in 1967, modernity in 2017
Metaphorically penetrating the skull of a young person in 1967, The exhibition reflects the optimistic, futuristic vision of young people in the 1960s by its modernist atmosphere and its many interactive tools and tech supports. With dynamic panels, multiple projections, virtual reality experiences, visual and tactile explorations and soundscapes, Explosion 67 is inspired by and pays tribute to the innumerable technological innovations that were the hallmark of Expo 67.

The exhibition’s high point is a 4-minute ride on the Minirail in virtual reality with binoculars and ambisonic sounds.

With Explosion 67 – Youth and Their World, the Centre d’histoire de Montréal presents the most conceptual exhibition ever, pushing the boundaries of the use of intangible heritage in all its museographical, technological, and imaginative forms.

It’s your turn to discover how young people experienced the thrills of Expo 67 — from the inside!

For more information visit: Centre d’histoire de Montreal    514-872-3207

Centre d’histoire de Montreal is open Wednesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm.
335 place D’Youville
Old Montreal

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