From May 26 to June 2, 1969, The Queen Elizabeth hotel welcomed John Lennon and Yoko Ono for their Bed-in for peace. Nobody could imagine at the time that this event would play such a key role in the peace movement and that their suite would become one of the most mythical in the world.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of this significant event, the hotel invites Montrealers and visitors to relive this memorable week during which the legendary couple composed and recorded the famous peace anthem Give Peace a Chance without leaving their bed. By this surprising undertaking, the newlyweds wanted to protest against the war in Vietnam, creating greater public awareness about universal peace.
Geneviève Borne, well-known TV personality, has been chosen as the spokesperson for the 50th anniversary celebrations. A great fan of the British pop culture, she is very interested in the social and musical movements of the 60s. She will be present for the major events held at the hotel and take part in the festivities paying tribute to peace, love and creativity.
As part of this commemorative week, visitors will be able to take part in the following activities:
◾Starting on May 25th, a special exhibition of photographs from Gerry Deiter will be presented in the hotel’s Lobby. On assignment for Life Magazine, Deiter was the only photojournalist to cover the whole event. Photos and testimonials from Bed-in participants are taken from the book “Give Peace a Chance: John and Yoko’s Bed-in for Peace” compiled by Joan Athey. This free exhibition will be presented until October 9th, birthday of John Lennon.
◾On May 25th, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m, the hotel is organizing guided tours of the couple’s suite where visitors will see the new design of the most photographed door of the hotel and meet author Joan Athey.
◾On May 25th, at 10:00 p.m. Nacarat bar will also get in the Bed-In mood with a Peace & Love party. Guests are invited to embrace the peace movement, don their best hippie outfit and dance to the beat of DJ Jojo Flores.
◾From May 26 to June 2nd, the Bed-in projection from Cité Mémoire will be presented every 30 minutes in the Agora located in the Lobby of the hotel. This historical tableau with soundtrack emphasizes the war protest movement of the late 60s and was created by Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon, in collaboration with Michel Marc Bouchard.
◾On May 26th from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and May 27 to 31 from 3 p.m. to 5p.m., author Joan Athey will sign copies of her book at Marché Artisans, in the Lobby.
◾On May 30th, at 7 p.m., a concert for the 50th anniversary of the Bed-in will be presented at Espace C2, a stunning hall on the top floor of the hotel. This concert benefitting Amnistie Internationale Canada Francophone will feature DJs Geneviève Borne and Ève Salvail, Beyries, Joël Denis (present at the Bed-in in 69), Jonas Tomalty, Kevin Parent, Les Porn Flakes, Lulu Hughes, Miriam Baghdassarian and Yann Perreau.
◾Those wishing to have their own Bed-in experience can book the 50th Anniversary Bed-in Package that includes accommodation in Suite 1742; breakfast at Rosélys restaurant or in room; two white pajamas; calligraphed lyrics of “Give Peace a Chance”; a booklet of photos; white flowers; a commemorative collector item and a welcome treat. The package is available year-round at the cost of $2999, double occupancy.
◾All guests staying at the hotel from May 26 through Fall will receive a commemorative magnetic room key.
◾More commemorative public events will be announced in coming weeks.