Thirty years ago on May 2, 1986, Vancouver’s World’s Fair, Expo 86, was officially opened by TRH Charles, Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales. Originally known as Transpo, Expo 86’s theme was “Transportation and Communication: World in Motion – World in Touch”. The 173-acre exposition site featured 65 pavilions representing countries, provinces and territories, and corporations.
While the official records of the Expo Corporation are part of the holdings of the BC Archives, we do have some related materials in our holdings. Here’s an overview of what we have.
- Film footage shot by Mike Collier of Yaletown Productions, the official videographer for Expo 86. From raw footage to television ads to promotional films, the Yaletown records capture the Expo site before and during the exposition, and show the daily goings-on at Expo as well as the transformation of northeast False Creek.
Expo 86 ads by Yaletown Productions. Reference code: AM1553-8-S7-: MI-351
- Photographs taken at Expo by amateur photographer Ernie Reksten (1912-1997). In addition to the Expo site, Reksten’s photographs show Expo 86 legacy building and construction projects.
- City records documenting Expo-related City business such as management of transportation and land and buildings, housing issues arising from Expo, a report on Expo’s economic impact, and correspondence between citizens and the Mayor’s Office regarding Expo before, during, and after the event.
- Pamphlets galore! Our pamphlets collection includes handouts from many Expo pavilions, entertainment guides, and other promotional materials and ephemera.
- The Official Expo 86 Cookbook by cookbook author Susan Mendelson. It includes a recipe section entitled “Restaurant Favourites”, which is a guide to the multi-ethnic mix of restaurants in Vancouver circa 1986.
The six-month-long exposition closed October 13, 1986 with a final attendance of 22,111,578 visitors.
Please let us know if you’ve found these resources useful. And we’d love to hear about your own memories of Expo 86!
[Editor’s note: This post was written by Jana Grazley and Christine Hagemoen]
6 thoughts on “Our Expo 86 holdings”
Wow, that brought back some memories. Thanks for sharing!
in 1986, photo’s were taken of selected individual’s-100- those born in Vancouver prior to 66.how can one access these photo’s?Thanyou
The “Distinguished Pioneer” photographs are part of our Vancouver Centennial Commission fonds and are available for viewing at the Archives, Monday to Friday, 10:00 am to 4:30 pm. They will be available online later this year as part of a grant-funded digitization project.
Do you have a record of the vessels that were displayed as part of the boats from around the world exhibit or Ship of Dreams?
The official records of Expo 86 are held by BC Archives: http://search.bcarchives.gov.bc.ca/expo-86-records They might have record of the vessels. Our Expo holdings come from non-provincial holdings, like the film company that did a lot of promotional work for the fair.
Hello. I new one of the official staff photographers for expo. A very good friend whis name was David Nicholsen. Last name spelling may be off. Anyway, I would like to reconnect with him. Do you have a way to look him.up in your archives and pass on my info so he may contact me. I appreciate all your help if possible. My cell is 310 997 5466 first name alex Mercurio. Thank you agsin