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Vancouver Expo '86

Expo 86 - World in Motion, World in Touch

Quick List Info

Expo 86

Dates Open - May 2, 1986 to October 13, 1986

Attendance - 22,111,578

International Participants - 51 nations 2 colonies, 2 international organizations. 12 State/provincial participants, 9 Corporate/domestic participants

Total Cost - Total Budget (Expo Authority Capital & Operating) ... CDN$802 million (US$590 million). Total actual revenues (Expo Authority) ... CDN$369 million ... deficit of CDN$337 million (US$253 million) (Paid off by provincial lottery). Lower expenditures than budgeted by CDN$94 million.

Site Acreage - 173 acres (2 sites, False creek 165 acres & Burrard inlet 6 acres) Sites connected by free Skytrain line (4 minutes)

Sanction - B.I.E. Special Category Expo.

Ticket Cost - CDN$20, US$15.

Expo 86 Ticket

Other Histories of World's Fairs to Check Out

Expo Timeline

Vancouver Expo '86

1978 ... British Columbia initiative to host Expo '86 began with Centennial fair proposal.
June 1979 ... Bureau of International Exhibition sanction filed for by British Columbia.
November 26, 1980 ... Executive Committee of Bureau of International Exhibitions awards right to Vancouver, Canada to host Expo '86. Requirements of a Specialized Category World Expo - focus on single aspect of human endeavor, "Transportation & Communication." Host country builds and leases pavilion to international participants.

June 1981 ... Canada issues diplomatic invitations for nations to participate.
February 1984 - 30 international participants committed, including China, USSR, and Mexico. 1st normal meeting of College of Commissioners.
November 1984 ... Construction forges on, eventually to be 200 structures.
February 1985 ... General Motors pavilion announced, also appointed official supplier of transportation.
March 1985 ... A first for World Expositions with year early Expo Centre building opening as prevue with three major exhibits. International participation reaches 36 with Barbados announcement.
April 1985 ... 100,000th visitor to Display Centre
August 1985 ... Hong Kong announced as 42nd international participant. 500,000 people attend Expo Centre.
November 1985 ... Expo Centre prevue draws 664,134, over double projection.
January 1986 ... Announcement of ticket sales boom, over 60% of tickets now pre-sold.
February 1986 ... 10 million tickets pre-sold, 73% of budgeted projection.
March 1986 ... 54th international participant announced when Nauru and Malaysia join roster.
April 1986 ... 13 million tickets pre-sold. Expected attendance now raised to 17 million.

May 2, 1986 - OPENING DAY.
May 13, 1986 - Attendance already over one million.
July 7, 1986 - 7 million visitor mark topped.
August - 10 millionth visitor clicks through the gates followed close behind by the passing of the 13.75 budgeted attendance figure on August 20.
October 13, 1986 - EXPO CLOSING DAY. Accomplishments noted - 15 million pre-sold tickets. United States, U.S.S.R. & China participate together for the first time at a North American exposition.


Expo 86 Guidebook

Expo Zones By Color

Purple - East Gate, Expo Centre, Yukon, People's Republic of China, Northwest Territories, Folklife Festival.

Red - SkyTrain Stadium Station, Scream Machine, Canada Pavilion, Canada Portal, Saskatchewan, Looping Starship, HSST, Japan, Yugoslavia, Romania, Pavilion of Promise, Australia, Land Plaza, Canadian National, HIGHWAY 86, Ontario, Kenya, Pakistan, Senegal, First Aid & Security.

Blue - BC Pavilion Complex, Plaza of Nations, B.C., Expo Theatre, 1907 Philadelphia Toboggan Co. Carousel.

Pink - USSR, Switzerland, Czechoslovakia, Peru, Sri Lanka, Norwegian Explorers, Indonesia, Singapore, Phillipines, Brunei Darussalem, Thailand, Child's Play, Saudi Arabia, Air Plaza, Org. of Eastern Caribbean States (Antigua & Barbuda, Grenada, Commonwealth of Dominica, Montserrat, St. Kitts/Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia), Mexico, South Pacific (Fiji, W. Samoa, Cook Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Nauru.)

Green - Canadian Pacific, Roundhouse, First Aid & Security, American Express, Hong Kong, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Air Canada, Alberta, Quebec, United Nations, Italy, Britain, Spain, Belgium, EEC, France, Germany, Barbados, Norway, Costa Rica, Marine Plaza.

Yellow - Space Tower, Cariboo Log Chute,Republic of Korea, Telecom Canada, BCTV, West Gate, Old Salts Shipyard, Kodak Pacific Bowl, Great Hall of Ramses II, California, Washington, Oregon, U.S., Xeros International Theatre,Cote d'Ivoire, General Motors, Cuba.

2nd World's Fair in Canada

Ramses II Exhibit, Vancouver Expo '86

Expo Tidbits

The Prince & Princess of Wales (Prince Charles & Princess Diana) along with Prime Minister Brian Mulroney & British Columbia Premier Bill Bennett participated in the Opening Ceremonies at 60,000 seat B.C. Place Stadium.

* 158 structures were constructed or re-utilized on site, enclosing 140,000 sq. meters. There was also seating on site for 10,000.
* There were 52 restaurants, 11 inside international pavilions. Total seating in restaurants 10,000.
* Largest single day attendance 341,806 on Sunday October 12.
* Residuals to be directly after the exposition ... Canada Place to be used as Vancouver Convention & Docking Center. Expo Center. Roundhouse. BC Place.
* Disney's two part Sunday movie "Earth Star Voyager", partially filmed inside Soviet Pavilion built for Expo '86. This was only the beginning of the burgeoning film industry in British Columbia.


Science World in the former Expo Centre
B.C. Pavilion Complex
Convention Center in the former Canada Pavilion on Burrard Inlet
False Creek promenade.

Theme Pavilions, Plazas, and Sculptures Three Theme Pavilions
Roundhouse "Golden Age of Ingenuity"
Legacy building Expo Centre "future pavilion" 17 story future pavilion, featuring a five hundred seat OMNIMAX Theatre with the film "A Freedom to Move," a Futures Theater, Design 2000, and an exhibit of futuristic vehicles. The legacy building, now the Vancouver Science World, was originally opened a year early as a preview to Expo 86.
The third theme pavilion was the Great Hall of Ramses II, an exhibit of ancient Egyptian artifacts from Ramses II.

Besides the three theme pavilions, there were three Theme Plazas (Marine, Air, and Land) and five Theme Sculptures (Highway 86, Spirit Catcher, Rowingbridge, Locomotive People #4, UFO H20.)

Amusement Rides
Space Tower, Cariboo Log Chute, Looping Starship, Scream Machine, 1907 Toboggan Co. Carrousel.

Free On-Site Transportation

Monorail - 3.3mls. 7 stations, 20 min. ride.
Canadian Pacific Air Lines Skyride, 5 min. ride.
Air Canada Skyride, 5 minute ride.
Soule SK System, 30 second ride, 427' from France.
HSST, 2 minute ride behind Japan.
Intra Site ferries between East-Centre-West Ports.
Intergate bus shuttle.
Intersite Skytrain

Entertainment Venues

A variety of Entertainment venues were situated around the site, including:

The Barn, 400 seats
The Big House, 300 seats
The Common
Expo Theatre, 4000 seats
Xerox Int'l Theatre, 1500 seats
Kodak Pacific Bowl, 3000 seats
Plaza of National, 2500 seats with 1000 standing
Bandstands operated by EXPO 86: European Plaza Bandstand, Expo Centre Bandstand.
Pacific Station, 650-700 seats (privately operated)
Waves, 250 seats (privately operated)
Flying Club, 200 seats (privately operated)
Unicorn, 320 seats (privately operated)

Those in Charge

Ambassador & Commissioner General - Patrick Reid

Chairman & President, Expo '86 - Jim Pattison

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