'It gave us an identity': City Councillor wants 2030 'World Expo' as follow-up to Expo 67
Expo 67 will forever be known as a cultural watershed in the city's history.
Now, a city councillor wants to bring the World’s Fair back to Montreal as a means to to bolster the city's economy and culture: but at what cost?
Montrealers who attended in 1967, like Marvin Rotrand, retain memories of a festival that introduced so many cultures, experiences, and technological advances to the city, and to the world.
“It was really a golden age in the life of our city,” he explained. “It brought our city together. Much of what we consider iconic today - the metro, to habitat 67 - a lot of the good stuff dates from that time.
“It gave us an identity,” he added.
Rotrand wants Montreal to host the World Expo in 2030
He says he's received support from opposition leader Lionel Perez, and is working on getting the backing of the Mayor Valerie Plante as well.
However, Rotrand says the event wants to approach the federal government.
“You need the support of the government of Canada to ultimately bid; I'll worry about City Hall after we get Justin [Trudeau], Andrew [Scheer], and Jagmeet [Singh] on board,” he added.
Hosting an expo is not cheap, but Rotrand is convinced it could be a lucrative venture for the City of Montreal, even if the last North American expo - Vancouver 1986 - racked up a big deficit.
Many Montrealers CTV Montreal spoke to said they aren't interested in taking the financial risk.
But others are open to Montreal hosting the world again.
“I think it'd be fantastic and it'd revitalize Montreal,” one woman said. “That would be fantastic – expensive, but definitely interesting culturally and for tourism.”
Rotrand knows it will be an uphill battle, but he hopes he'll end up with enough support to tip the balance.
“Look, it's going to be really difficult for the Mayor of Montreal to say no, if everyone else is saying yes,” Rotrand said.