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Elvis performed on stage at the Ottawa Auditorium on April 3, 1957.

He arrived at Ottawa’s Union Station the same morning.

At the previous night’s performance in Toronto , Elvis wore his full gold lamé suit, designed by Nudie Cohn, for the last time, although he had only worn it in full for three performances.

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In this concert we see that Elvis wore only three elements of the gold suit: jacket, belt and shoes. He did not wear the tie or the pants. 

Elvis did not feel comfortable in this suit. He immediately stopped wearing the pants because they were very uncomfortable and he could not move freely in them. He replaced them with black pants.

Many teenagers traveled from far away to attend the shows.

In the evening, as usual, before the concert, Elvis gave a press conference.

The medallion that Elvis wears on stage was given to him by a fan before the concerts began, and he wore it on stage that day.

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When Elvis took the stage, the audience of more than 9,000 people was screaming so loudly that it was almost impossible to hear Elvis sing. The fans were in a frenzy of adoration… they were crying, they were moaning; they were screaming, they were clapping…. It was madness. The police had to use all their resources, because they feared that the fans would go on stage. 

Elvis Presley was always a very controversial artist, because his suggestive and sensual dance moves scandalized many parents and authority figures. 

One of the city’s convents, the Convent of Notre Dame, considering Elvis as immoral, forbade its students to attend the concert. Nevertheless, several students attended and were expelled. Although the nuns later rescinded the expulsions, at least half of the girls remained enrolled in other schools. 

Such was the magnitude of the situation, that the controversy created by Elvis gripped the city.

The social and cultural impact of these performances in Ottawa was tremendous.  There was perhaps no greater event in Ottawa’s popular culture in the 1950s than the Elvis concerts held at the Auditorium in April 1957. 

Elvis embodied the spirit of rock n’ roll, the spirit of breaking with the establishment. He was a socio-cultural phenomenon unknown until then, a threat to adults and to the puritanical and affluent society of the time, but at the same time an icon for the youth.

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His presence in the city drove thousands of teenagers into fits of irrepressible hysteria and madness as they listened to his music and watched his imposing stage presence. 

Elvis left a deep mark on the lives of teenagers, as was usual in all those who were fortunate enough to see him on stage.

For them it was a great social revolution. Elvis became their reference, their inspiration, a mirror in which they saw reflected their illusions, their vital expectations, their yearnings … there and in the rest of the world.

Andrews Newton was the official photographer when the Elvis show arrived in Ottawa on April 3, 1957. He was who immortalized this memorable day.

Information provided by ELVIS. El Chico De Tupelo 



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