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Shannon Lecture Series with Gary Miedema: “A Painted Summer Scene: Expo 67 in the Context of Canada in the 1960s”

September 22, 2017 at 2:30 PM

Location:Multi-Media Lab (room 482), Discovery Centre, MacOdrum Library MacOdrum Library
Key Contact:Paul Litt
Contact Phone:613-520-2828

This lecture will take place in the Multi-Media Lab (room 482), Discovery Centre, MacOdrum Library starting at 2:30PM followed by a reception in the History Lounge (433 Paterson Hall).


Expo 67 was an astounding project that captivated citizens of Canada and the world.  Fifty years later, it continues to resonate with those who experienced it, and – as a wealth of studies and exhibits demonstrate – with scholars and curators of Canada’s past.

Still a powerful moment in Canada’s national narrative, Expo 67 comes into focus when placed in the context of Canada’s Centennial celebrations. Together, Expo 67 and the Centennial reflected a particular response to the dramatic political and cultural changes – and challenges – faced by Canada and the world in the 1950s and 1960s.  At Expo 67, that response was crystallized in its theme, Man and His World. Dedicated to profiling the universality of the human experience, Expo 67 emphasized the interconnectedness and interdependence of humanity as the key to a bright future. It was a message that fit perfectly into the Centennial Celebrations, where planners also strove to emphasize that what Canadians shared together was more important than that which held them apart.  Both messages were demonstrated best, perhaps, in the approach of both the Centennial Celebrations and Expo 67 to the historically divisive issue of religious expression – including the intense negotiations over the presence of religious pavilions on the Expo isles.

About Dr. Gary Miedema

Gary Miedema headshotDr. Gary Miedema is the author of For Canada’s Sake: Public religion, Centennial Celebrations, and the Re-making of Canada in the 1960s, published by McGill-Queen’s University Press in 2005.  For over 10 years he was the Chief Historian of Heritage Toronto, an agency of the City of Toronto, where he continued to study Canada’s mid-twentieth century decades.  He is now a Project Manager with the Museums and Heritage Services section of the City of Toronto, and has been directly involved in the planning of Canada 150 programming in that city.

Please contact Paul Litt at ideally at least two weeks in advance of this event, and at the very least one week in advance, should you wish to request interpretation services.

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