The Inauguration of the Carillon

Hi. My name is Laura, and I am a Parliamentary tour guide. Today I would like to talk to you about a musical instrument right here on Parliament Hill: the Carillon. The Carillon is comprised of 53 bells that span 4 musical octaves that are connected to a Carillon keyboard, which is played by an expert Carilloneur.

The Carillon is located in the heart of the Peace Tower. A tower that stands 90 meters tall on Parliament Hill. The Peace Tower was originally built, and named, in honour of the Armistice of 1918 and the sacrifice of Canadians during the First World War. Construction of the Peace Tower was completed in 1927. Coincidentally, another important, historical event occurred in that same year. That is the 60th anniversary of Canadian Confederation. And this occurrence of two historical milestones, in the year 1927, was commemorated with a celebration.

Imagine that you are on Parliament Hill on July 1, Canada Day, 1927. You are part of a crowd of several thousand Canadians, gathered and cheering. You are there to celebrate the inauguration of the Peace Tower, it’s Memorial Chamber, and it’s 53-bell Carillon. This concert will be the Carillon’s first. However, it is not just you, and the rest of the crowd on Parliament Hill, who will be privy to the Carillon’s first concert because it will be broadcast from coast to coast. This will mark the first ever, live coast to coast radio broadcast in Canada’s history.

Lastly, if you haven’t heard a concert of the Carillon, we welcome you to come and experience the talent of the Dominion Carilloneur, Dr. Andrea McCrady whose concerts occur every weekday at 11AM during the Summer, and at noon during the year.