For six months in 1967, from late April until the end of October, Canada and its world’s fair, Expo 67, became the focus of national and international attention in a way the country and its people had rarely experienced. Expo 67 crystallized the buoyant mood and newfound sense of confidence many felt during Canada’s centennial. It becomes clearer, though, as its forty-fifth anniversary approaches in spring 2012, that Expo was something more than just a great world’s fair. For many Canadians, it became a touchstone, a popular event that penetrated the collective psyche.
The Best Place to Be takes a look at Expo and at the social and political contexts in which it occurred. It is above all a story of people: the young men and women who worked at Expo, the visitors, and the cameo appearances from the titled and celebrated, such as Elizabeth II, President Lyndon Johnson, President Charles de Gaulle (whose visit to Expo and Montreal became infamous), U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy, Jacqueline Kennedy, Princess Grace of Monaco, Princess Margaret, Marshall McLuhan, Sidney Poitier, Laurence Olivier, Cary Grant, Twiggy, and Pierre Trudeau.