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Listed below is a selection of the many emails sent to the Expo 86 webmaster. Included is a memory from the webmaster himself.  Thank you all for the kind words and letters of encouragement.

Scruffy (Expo 86 Retrospective Webmaster)

My friends took me to the Munich Festhaus (German style beer garden in the Green Zone I think) for my birthday.  We had a great night of drinking beer and doing the "chicken dance."  And after many (probably a few too many) drinks, some friends dared me to ask one of the nuns at the next table to dance.  The nuns overheard us and yelled over "you think nuns don't dance?" Before I knew it I was polkaing with Sister Mary (or whatever her name was). I found out that drinks and polkaing do not necessarily go together.  I lost my grip and Sister Mary immediately placed my hand from her ass to heir waist.  I'll always remember that on my 23rd birthday I accidentally felt up a nun.  I wonder if Sister Mary remembers it?

A street entertainer riding a unicycle and dressed like a Keystone Cop (policeman) pulled us over and gave my friend a ticket for walking too fast.  The same policeman gave her a ticket a few weeks before for being a fashion tragedy. I think the faux policeman secretly liked her.


The Seventh-day Adventist Church produced a directory of people who would rent out rooms in their homes during the fair.  We stayed in one of those homes while we were there.  The home happened to belong to a single woman.  After a few days there we could understand why she was single.  It was an interesting experience.  Fortunately, we didn't spend much time at her house because we were at the fair all day.

D-W Jones.

I too attended Expo 86 in Vancouver and I can't imagine that it has been 15 years. I'm from LA, CA.  Your site reminded my of the sight and sounds of the Expo. I have still have the memories of my so-so hotel room and how difficult the reservations were to get.


Thanks so much for the interesting and thorough site.  It brought back so many memories to me! Expo was truly a magical place and occurred in a year when the world, or at least North America, seemed to have shining visions of the future.  I'm amazed that as a 17 year old girl I was able to walk through several days of the Expo alone, without fear of being molested or harrassed.  Reading about the pavilions and their countries' take on the future is like reading about myself, my interests, and my dreams.  Strange to think one small vacation can really shape someone's life so completely.  Although I have wonderful memories of the Expo, I was unaware of its true impact on me and the formation of my personality until I read your site. Thanks again for the site!  I wish the world was now as hopeful and cooperative as it was at the Expo.

H. Anderson

My friend Rex and I have some incredible stories we could tell you.  Like we probably visited more pavilions that anyone else in three days.  We also ran from the Egyptian pavilion to the main entrance to catch the last tram of the night.  It would have been a long walk back to New West Minster.  Thanks for the memories.

M. Davis.

Expo was quite the expierence, I was 20yrs old in 1986 when I hitch hiked to vancouver for expo. My plan was to get a job there but that never happened,I was having way too much fun partying to work. Vancouver was a crazy place in those days,every "freak of nature" transient you can imagine was rolling into the city at all hours of the day and night, "beleive me" I met more than my share. Me and my buddie Stu used to sit down by the bus depot and puff joints and watch them roll in, and that was only a fraction of them. I dont know what kind of stories you want concerning Expo 86, maybe just the shiny candy coated ones about family vacations and school trips, I dont have any of those kind, I did have a good time there and do have stories about Expo, mostly the underbellie of Expo though,the part no one seems to remember. 


I returned from Sydney Australia only 3 days ago on March 17th, 2002, to my home of Vancouver. It was only now, that I realized, that I truly love this city which has been my home. I decided to take a strole down Memory Lane, after visiting Olympic Park in Sydney, where the 2000 Summer Olympics were held. It was almost like walking through the old Expo 86 exibition grounds, much which is abandoned today.

But I searched for Expo 86 on the net, and your site came up. One site, unfortunately. I was only 6 at the time, but I remember much of it as though it were yesterday, only everything was alot bigger and how much excitement was around the city. My Aunt said, that during the Olympics, Sydney was party central, and everything was filled with excitement, and that was how I remembered it during Expo 86, even when I was just a child. But I hoped that this excitement, of making Vancouver center stage on the world, would happen again. . . and that was when I heard of 2010.

A few years back, I remembered how excited everyone was, about Vancouver winning Canada's official contest of being the Official Olympic Bid for the 2010 Olympic games. I wasn't too excited until I saw the Opening Ceremonies in Salt Lake City. It almost drove me to tears, when the entire crowd in the stadium went fanatic when Canada marched out, prideful with our Maple Leaf. This brought me back to Expo.

Expo put Vancouver on the center stage of the world, and thanks to the efforts, of one particular person, you, have immortalized much of Expo's memories into the internet for everyone to see. Not difficult to find it, I think it is good that someone else shares the civic pride, that makes Vancouver the most beautiful city in the world.


I have a memory of a film called "Rainbow Wars".  Do you remember what pavilion it was in?

I also remember being fascinated with the Spirit Lodge at the GM Pavilion and, being 10 years old, I thought it was real.  I had a 3-day pass and also went down on a field trip with my elementary school.  The fireworks, rides, Belgium waffles, and toy store were my favorites at the time, but I also remember my best friend dragging us around all day trying to find these little wooden elephant charms that she had seen previously in one of the pavilions.  We went through every one again until we found them, they ended up being in the Peru one.  She is the same girl who freaked out and cried on the way down from the parachute drop.

Well, thanks for the memories.


Well, all I can say is thank you for your site.  I worked on several construction projects for the fair, and it has a fond place in my memory.

I worked on some of the electronic displays in the Saskatchewan Pavillion, and the Norway Pavillion.  I was also heavily involved in 2 amazing topographigal models of the site that were used to promote the fair. Lastly I worked on the travelling pavillion that went throughout BC promoting the fair.

By far my favourite project was a model of a grain elevator for the Saskatchewan Pavillion that showed the flow of grain with lights.   I designed and built all of the electronics for that, and I have extremely fond memories of it.  I wish I knew what happened to it.

I'll think of a few memories to add to your site, but one unique thing you may have forgotten about the Saskatchewan Pavillion was the mechanical horse - a strange gasoline powered contraption that looked and walked like a horse.  It sat in static display with a video loop of it working.  The loop had some typical 50's style documentary 'jaunty' music that drove us all crazy while we were working on site construction.  I can still hear that music in my head.

Thanks for the memories,

Terry Nielsen

I worked expo and do have very fond memories.  One very strong memory I have was at the finale when the folks that participated and worked expo penned a song and sang it.  Is their a recording of this song somewhere.   I would really like to hear it again.

Kind regards


My name's Dan -- Vancouver born and raised (still 'raising').  Wow, your site brought back so many memories.  I'm so glad someone's taken the initiative to put a record like this together, and extremely well, I must say.  Actually, Expo was one of the defining moments of the 80s for me.  I was 5 when it was on but I remember every moment.  Do you remember that man-made pond that people would pilot their remote control boats in (I remember that because a small girl puked beside me one day)?  And how the hostesses would bow when you left on that short HSST mag-lev line?  I can still see those model trains going around and around and how we could watch the man in the workshop fixing them beside the layout.

I remember the films -- The one with the red ball who takes a girl for a ride in the Plaza of Nations, and Rainbow Wars (I forgot where it was).  There was also that one in the now-Science world where we got to press the buttons on the seats in the 'survey' sort of deal where the results would show up onscreen.  I remember being told not to stand up as the seats revolved, because of a girl who had done so and had been crushed to death in the space in the wall between each theatre.

I remember meeting up with friends/relatives in random places in the fair and being in a car accident on the way.  An older relative of mine went to see A-ha, I think.

Something for your "upsets" page, perhaps -- I read somewhere much later that a significant number of people had developed something the media (euphemistically) called a 'hiker's rash,' which was actually the fumes from the toxic waste they had buried before construction as landfill.  Then there was that huge deal about cleaning it up in the early 90s before the residential development could be built.

Another thing -- my family and I were adamant viewers of "Mission Impossible," and one of the episodes featured Expo in it (I remember being so impressed by it).  Peter Graves gets on a monorail, finds the little machine thing that has the video in it, and then it self-destructs in the monorail as he gets out in the next station.  Ring any bells?

I've gone on far too long -- the memories are endless -- but I hoppe that some of my memories relate to some of yours.  You probably have the Expo official souvenir book -- I still have mine in the original redd shiny box! Perhaps this e-mail is far too long to be posted -- I think I'd prefer for it to be kept as an e-mail.  It'd be awesome to hear from you though -- just to be sure that you got my e-mail.

Once again, thanks for the memories, and thanks for listening...

Dan Enjo

Hi Scruff,

This is Dan again, with some more memories... Thanks for your informative reply!

Do you remember that logging boat show?  There were a bunch of those small tugboats that would swing from side to side and do acrobatic things outside the Plaza of Nations.  Speaking of the Plaza of Nations, most of my family members played music at the Plaza of Nations at one time or another in the concerts.  I used to play the violin, and I remember performing with the Suzuki program there one day.  A picture of my brother with his violin (he also played) actually made it to a couple of 'touristy' Vancouver books after Expo.

Actually I must have like those group formation sort of shows because I did see the Chinese motorcycle acrobats who went around inside the spherical cage and the RCMP musical ride (still have the souvenir pin when we went to see the horses afterwards).  It must have been a precursor to my unwavering obssession with the TV show CHiPs (did you ever watch that?).

Ahh Expo Ernie.  Doug Coupland hated 'him' (as he mentions in City of Glass) but to a young 'un, it was just like meeting KITT.  I remember running around him and finding the guy that had the remote control and the microphone hiding behind a nearby wall. Then, Ernie suddenly 'had to go'... I think he was kicked by some bratty kid as well!

I do have some pictures somewhere, hidden away, so I'll start looking for them.  They're probably the typical family pictures -- my family in front of the giant Swatch, my family at Steam Expo, etc. but I'll be on the lookout for some good ones.  I know I made my dad take some pictures of the Japan pavillion interior.



My name is Karen Tripp.  I worked at Expo 86, for the Department of External Affairs from January until November 30, 1986.  I was in the Commissioner General's Suite, under Patrick Reid, who was Commissioner of the entire Exposition (Jim Pattison was the Chairman).  All of us who worked in the Commissioner General's Suite were employees of the Canadian Government.

Jim O'Hara was my direct supervisor, and one of his jobs was to write Patrick Reid's speeches.  He later became Director of the Vancouver Board of Trade, as he did not wish to return to Ottawa after the Exposition.  Jim and I were literally the last two people to leave there. We spent the last 6 weeks (from October13th when it ended, until November 30th) tying up loose ends, and assembling the final publication of the official expo report (not the black bound hardcover you find in stores), and shipping it off to all the Commissioners General around the world.

Expo was the greatest experience I ever had.  For almost a year after it ended I did not look for employment. I was on a high for many months.  Being in the Commissioner General's Office, I got to meet the who's who of diplomats, commissioners, presidents, kings, princesses and princes from around the world.  I distributed the tickets for many of the events and got to attend most of them when time permitted.  From Frankie Avalon to Princess Diana, from Anne Murray to Bill Cosby ... I was there. It was exhilerating every day.  We worked hard, though.  I think it was a 7-day a week job.  Long hours.  But oh what fun we had.

I remember reaching out to touch Amanda Reid's hand as she cried, watching her father, Patrick Reid, officially announce the end of the Exposition, on video, after the actual event. What an emotional moment that was. There were many of us sitting in Patrick Reid's office, watching it on TV.  Even though we had been at the Closing Ceremonies, watching it one last time on video ... we all cried.

I have a box full of souvenirs from Expo, gifts I received from many Commissioners General - gifts from Czechoslovakia, Senegal, the Ivory Coast... places I didn't know anything about before 1986.

For me, it was a life changing experience.  I can't explain it.  I would love to be in touch with others who worked there... whatever happened to Rachel David, Carol Paskaruk, Bob Dawson, Jim O'Hara, Dick Noyes-Robert, Catherine.... where are they now?

If anyone would like to reach me, my email is I now live in Cranbrook, BC, and winter in South Texas.

Thanks for the opportunity to share.

Karen Tripp

Hi there, 

I have some pix of me and my family at Expo 86 scanned and ready to email to you for your archives if interested.  I was 12 at the time and now I am almost 28.  Strange how times evolve. 

(photo courtasy of  J. Turner)

(photo courtesy of J. Turner)

(photo courtesy of J. Turner)

As for the music, I have not checked your site in depth but my former teachers Sal Ferreras (percussion) and John Celona (Composition) were key players in the development of the official Expo 86 sound.  I mean the sounds that UK techno artists are currently trying to emulate from that era.  I think Jon Hassell also helped out with that too. 

Best regards, 
J. Turner 

Thanks for the trip back to the past. My family got season's passes (I am from Vancouver now living in Europe) and beleive me we got our money's worth. I am sure we went at least ever two weeks or every week in the summer. Went with friedns who came out for the experience. Fascinating to see the Soviet pavilion and I also distinctly recall a big photo of Romanian dictator Ceausescu with then PM Mulroney...amazing to see what has changed and what has come true or not in terms of technology, science, politics and society since then. I had a blast at the nightclubs esp. the Unicorn bar and the German gausthaus.



Expo 86 was my first world fair. It was spectacular for me especially because my darling 14 month old son, shared it with me. I remember the feeling of awe. One event that really tickled me and my son, who is turning 19 very soon, was doing a news broadcast in the BCTV pavillion. Walking in, I was captivated by all the televisions on the wall. When I passed the section where a TV was being used to demonstrate how a satellite was working, I expressed my amazement. Then a female staff member asked me if I would like to read the news. I said yes, thinking that it was an opportunity for me to pretend I was a broadcaster. I was placed at a desk, a card was handed to me or held up for me(?) and with no time to preread I was told to go in 3,2,1...the reading included putting my name and my son's name, who was playing enthusiastically with the microphone, in the news. Someone suddenly brought another one and shut my son's microphone off so he could continue to be fascinated by it. I just kept reading, pretending I was truly a news broadcaster. Upon finishing the paragraph and closing off I heard thunderous applause. I looked up at the wall where all the televisions were and realized that everyone in the building had been viewing. Had I been informed that I would be on those TV's, I probably would have declined the opportunity. The BCTV staff member said that some of the broadcasts were chosen for the 6:00 p.m. local news and that I should watch for it. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to do so and have wondered all these years how darling my son would have looked on TV., at 14 months, discovering a mic. If there was some way I could get a hold of this videotaping, I would give it to my son for his birthday. Does anyone know how? Please contact me if you do.

Thank-you for this forum as it was so meaningful to remember and share here.

PS  As I was walking away from the building a woman hurriedly caught up and beseeched me to tell her whether I was actually a broadcaster. I told her the truth; I was not. She looked at me and said, "You should be. You're better than most!" and off she went, perhaps not realizing that her comment made my day