Friday, March 11, 2016

Episodes #240 & #241 - Canada pavillion

Overview: Today's podcast is a tribute to the Canada pavilion. I take a thorough look at the design, layout, theming, and talk about the Circlevision movie that's shown. Then, I spend some time talking about shopping and dining. Its another of Epcot's opening-day pavilions, so come and explore our neighbors to the north.  

Notes: I find the fact that Disney created a stereotypical view of Canada a little amusing. And the fact that it took them a fairly long time, and several requests from the Canadian government, to acknowledge it and tone down the point of view is striking. Still, the overall design is terrific, and the garden is beautiful.

  • A reminder that the general overview of Epcot's World Showcase is in podcast #208
  • I explored the Japan pavilion in podcast #209
  • the Germany pavilion is in Podcast #216 
  • And Mexico is in Podcast #233


    1. Dave,

      Long time listener, first time commenter. I have really been enjoying this World Showcase series.

      Listening to this show, I was curious why there was no conversation about how the Circle-Vision 360° film attraction at Epcot’s Canada pavilion is the only (I certainly can’t think of anything else, but please correct me if I am wrong) attraction to predate the design of EPCOT Center. While WED Enterprises’ first use of Circle-Vision 360 was in 1955 for the film “America the Beautiful” at Disneyland, a later creation using this filming technique was the direct forbearer of the film at Epcot’s Canada pavilion. Disney was hired to produce a film called “Canada ‘67” for The Telephone Pavilion at Expo67 in Montreal. That film, never again released after the closing of the Expo67 in October of 1967 except for a brief and unconfirmed showing in Disneyland in the mid-1970s, was adapted into the later film “O Canada!”

      I am continually surprised by how small the body of research is on the connections between Expo67 and EPCOT Center. Especially given how blatantly Spaceship Earth was copied from the Expo67’s American Pavilion designed by Buckminster Fuller.

      Also of note is that listed among the corporate sponsors of Expo67’s Telephone Pavilion is Bell Telephone Company of Canada, a subsidiary of Bell Telephone Company, who was the first corporate sponsor of Spaceship Earth. Not to mention that Bell Telephone Company had previously worked with Fuller in 1954 during the Cold War, when the US government in conjunction with the Canadian government developed an early warning system designed to detect air-attacks from the Arctic border called Distant Early Warning Line (DEW Line). A series of radar stations were placed along a line 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle in Northern Canada. Fuller was commissioned to design geodesic dome as protective shelters for the delicate radar systems. Western Electric and AT&T, who were both subsidiaries of Bell Telephone Company, carried out this project. I’m sure there is good conspiracy theory in there somewhere.

      Anyway, thanks for the great content!

    2. Chris - First, thank you. Always nice to know someone is listening and enjoys hearing about the history (and yes, that's tongue planted firmly in cheek)

      I agree that there's a lack of research and reporting on Expo67 and its connection to Disney (and particularly EPCOT). I admit that while I am aware of the general connection, I'm not as well versed as I'd like to be, either. I guess its time to do more research - something I really enjoy doing.:)

      BTW, Disney did consult with Fuller on the design of space ship earth, so I know there's more to that story.

      Now as for CircleVision 360, my next podcast is about its history. It doesn't cover all of the angles you mention, but I hope its still insightful.

      And I am fairly certain you're right, Circlevision does predate epcot and is the only attraction that does that...

    3. I think it would be nice if the movie shown at the Bell pavilion at Expo 67 was released for the public to purchase and to enjoy this great movie.I also think that the content really shows what Canada is made up of and perhaps could be shown on ferry boats and cruise ships Thankyou

    4. Now that would be outstanding. That movie was a much better representation that what the imagineers put together for the Canada pavilion.