The Netherlands Centennial Carillon was a gift from British
Columbia’s Dutch community to honour Canada’s 100th birthday in 1967. It is housed at the top of the tower, which stands 27 metres (90 feet) tall. This carillon, the largest in Canada, has 62 bells. To play, a musician has to climb the 75 steps of the spiral staircase and then a 10-step ladder to sit at the clavier. There, the carilloneur depresses the clavier’s keys and pedals to sound the bells and play a song.
The pitches of several bells commemorate specific events: D celebrates the founding of the Colony of Vancouver Island in 1849, E the founding British Columbia as a colony in 1858, and F-sharp their union in 1866; F rings for the Confedera- tion of Canada in 1867 and G-sharp for British Columbia’s 1871 entry into the Confederation; and G remembers Canadian soldiers who gave their lives for the liberation of the Netherlands, 1940-45.
You will hear the carillon playing automated seasonal themes throughout the Inner Harbor area on the hour between 10 am and 5 pm from October to February and between 10 am and 8 pm from March to September.
Rosemary Laing, Provincial Carilloneur, plays live concerts Sundays from June until the end of August. Bring a picnic and come and sit in the Native Plant Garden to best enjoy the beautiful music. Rosemary also plays as part of Symphony Splash and for the annual Legislative Christmas Light Up event.
The main themes for the automated tunes are: • Classical and Movies – January, February, March • Spring and Love – April, May, June • Flowers and Folk Music – July, August • Winter and Water – September, October, November • Festive Holiday – December