Above: Bruce at a United Nations press conference during EXPO 86 in Vancouver, speaking about the song, “PEACE ON EARTH”.
1986 was an exciting year for Bruce and his music. His dramatic musical “The Scroll” was the feature presentation at the Pavilion of Promise at EXPO 86 (the six-month world exhibition being held in Vancouver, Canada), and a song he would compose that summer would become part of a historic meeting of two presidents on the other side of the globe.
54 countries participated at EXPO 86 in Vancouver, in addition to international organizations such as the United Nations who had recognized 1986 as the “International Year of Peace”.
Bruce was serving as Creative Director for the Pavilion of Promise during Expo and as such had VIP access to the many international pavilions on site. He observed there was little direct communication between countries participating at EXPO and wondered if there might be a way to bring the nations together in a meaningful way during the event. Bruce composed a song, “Peace On Earth” and offered it as a gift to the United Nations, suggesting they form an Expo Peace Choir made up of representatives from each country to sing it. The United Nations was excited about the song and the idea of the choir and enthusiastically supported the concept. Bruce organized local studio musicians to record the song and began rehearsing the choir of nearly 60 individuals. The CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Network) provided a crew to record a music video of Peace On Earth, which Bruce directed. The recorded song was released on vinyl and distributed internationally by the UN. Bruce directed all proceeds from sales of the song to a UN program that immunized children in third world countries from blindness. The music video became a feature display at the United Nations Pavilion.
Imagine Bruce’s excitement when Expo 86 approached the UN to request the song be performed at the Closing Ceremonies of EXPO! Held at Vancouver’s BC Place stadium on October 13th, the event was televised nationally across the country and around the world. During the closing ceremonies Commissioner General of Expo, Patrick Reid made an astounding announcement; “…It was right that Bruce Stacey of the Pavilion of Promise should write the song, Peace on Earth and that representatives of all our pavilions should sing it… And I am proud to say that the video was played for Presidents Reagan and Gorbachev at the Summit in Iceland, two days ago.”
35 years after EXPO 86, Bruce and his wife Elaine visited Iceland. Bruce is pictured below, standing outside the very building in Reykjavík where the music video was played for Presidents Reagan and Gorbachev. Click HERE to see Bruce in Iceland, watch a key segment from the closing ceremony at EXPO 86 and view the official music video played for the two world leaders.
The progress achieved at the Reykjavík Summit eventually resulted in the historic, 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union.
“Peace on earth, let it be more than just a dream. Every land from sea to sea, living in harmony…” Exert from the song: PEACE ON EARTH
CLICK HERE to listen to a 2023 choir rendition of PEACE ON EARTH performed by the Capilano University Campus Choir. Arranged by CampU School of Performing Arts Director, Geordie Roberts.