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Jacques F.

The Molson Brewery cards

Here are the cards offered to the public by the Molson co. (division of Quebec) on the occasion of the Exhibition, each illustrating one of 90 pavilions. The series contained 45 cards, but it was not about collecting cards, because they were quite distributed sets in a small box of gold-coloured box (mostly by the representatives of sale of the Brewery without requiring a purchase.

The identification of the Brewery was rather discreet on the packaging, limiting itself to a bilingual mention on the back, in small print: " this series of educational cards on the expo 67 pavilions Is offered to you as Public utility by the Molson co. of Quebec Ltd ".

This was in accordance with an agreement between four breweries which sold in Quebec at that time (Molson, Labatt, Dow and O' Keefe), which had agreed to behave " good corporate citizens " and to contribute to the efforts which led to the success of Expo ' 67, but by a joint and non-competitive support.

So it was about one " sponsor of prestige " identified with the companies, but without any brand recognition nor intense promotion of product. (Because " the beer XYZ " and " The Brewery(Brasserie) XYZ of Quebec Ltd The completely different entities) were considered.

Four breweries sponsored thus collectively a " Breweries Pavilions " as well as a brewery - beergarden of Bavarian type which knew an enormous success (we can even say that it is from Expo ' 67 that the Quebecers began to be interested in imported beers and possibly in products of microbreweries(microbrasseries).

The Molson cards were produced with the permission and the collaboration of the organizing body of the Exhibition, the " Canadian Company of the World Fair of 1967 " ( CCEU).

The term " Expo ' 67 ", the slogan " man and his wolrd " and the logo were trademarks which the CCEU protected jealously to avoid any exaggerated commercialisme. She wanted in particular to avoid the trap of her " Of World Fair " of New York ( 1964 ), which had not known the hoped success, and had a little tarnished the image of this kind genre of demonstration. And furthermore, exhausted the budgets as well as the enthusiasm of several exhibitors and potential visitors.

Indeed, Expo ' 67 distinguished itself sharply from this Fair by its cultural and non-commercial character. And from the beginning preparations towards 1962-63, the CCEU already insisted to say and make repeat that its demonstration was a "Exhibition" cultural and educational, duly approved and checked by the Office International , and not Fair with commercial purpose, more or less an outlaw.

This difference was quite obvious of whoever visited both, but before the opening, the efforts of the CCEU to distinguish itself knew more or less of success, especially among the English speakers who do not generally take offence at semantic subtleties! Moreover even today, the English version of Wikipedia (normally rather reliable) qualifies Expo ' 67 of "Fair"!

La qualité graphique des 45 cartes laisse hélas à désirer parce que la The graphic quality of the 45 cards because the technology of poor printing in big quantities at this time what it is today. Furthermore (if my memory is good), cards were produced before the opening of the Exhibition; so they show only models or architects' drawings. And finally, the quantity of cards to be produced considering the budget made that we used some matt light cardboard of poor quality.

It is considerable that every card has a hexagonal size which by-passes subtly the agreement of non-commercialism: cthis stylized barrel of beer is the corporate logo of Molson and was then applied to all the sauces including the labels of its beers. What seems a very sufficient identification in the context of Expo ' 67. Nevertheless every card also contained an advertising of the beer Molson (today "Molson Ex") which spoils a little the sauce, and explains badly considering the agreement between breweries.

Thanks to Jacques F. for his generosity and its contribution to this site.

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