News of the end of fighting in the First World War traveled quickly in Europe, in part, by the eruption of church bells. A century later, bells in communities across Canada will chime 100 times this Sunday to mark each year since the armistice.
The Royal Canadian Legion and Veterans Affairs Canada have been encouraging legions, churches, spiritual centres and community centres to take part in the initiative, called “Bells of Peace.” They’re asking Canadians to ring or play bells at five-second intervals starting at sunset on Sunday.
Since the timing will coincide with sunset, the chorus will begin in St. John’s and move westward. The legion is hoping hundreds of communities to take part across Canada at sunset, meaning bells will start ringing at 4:29 p.m. local time in Newfoundland. In Ottawa, the Peace Tower’s carillon on Parliament Hill will chime.
Many churches have transitioned to electronic systems that don’t require people to ring physical bells, so the legion is encouraging community organizations to play recorded bell tones in the spirit of the event.
Photos and videos can be shared with the hashtag #100Bells and #100Cloches.