The National Capital Authority (NCA) looks forward to the resumption of international travel in 2022 to support the finalisation of recent upgrades to the National Carillon to mark its 50th anniversary.
The NCA has been working with both local and international carillon experts to custom fabricate, assemble and test the 50th anniversary works components. The works will help ensure the National Carillon continues to function as a world-class instrument.
In the meantime, on occasion you might hear local carillonists practicing on the instrument.
Update 31 August 2021
It’s been a long year and a half with COVID-19 delaying many of the works underway at the National Carillon.
Please see our Agency updates page for current COVID-19 lockdown periods affecting opening times of the NCA buildings and assets.
Bells will be ringing
From Monday 27 July 2020 you will hear the bells of the National Carillon chiming.
The National Capital Authority (NCA) along with our revered Carillonists and experts from Taylor Bells & Co will be testing the new clavier, bells and clappers. Numerous adjustments and fine tuning will be undertaken in the coming weeks to ensure the Grande Dame of Aspen Island will play magnificent music once more.
Aspen Island now open
We’ve been working hard on landscaping Aspen Island for your enjoyment.
Aspen Island is now open - make time to visit and see the newly created accessible grassed area, upgraded walking paths and beach improvements.
Unfortunately, the National Carillon bells are yet to chime due to delays with the experts based in UK and parts slow to arrive due to COVID-19. We hope to have the bells ringing as soon as possible and will be sure to update you on the Carillon’s progress.
National Carillon’s 50th Anniversary
Gifted to the people of Australia by the British Government in 1970, 2020 marks an important milestone birthday for this iconic musical instrument in the heart of the National Capital.
With signs of wear and tear on the musical instrument after 49 years of use the NCA has undertaken extensive repair and upgrade works in preparation for the anniversary where a celebratory program in 2020 will be held.
John Taylor & Co are the founders of some of the world’s finest bells, as the original founders of the Carillon bells they have been commissioned to produce the two new bells for the 2020 works. Detailed planning was required which involved measurements to cross check the instrument against the original 1970 drawings, the development of an enhanced design, the clavier to be built to new World Carillon Federation standards, as well the installation of larger bell clappers to create an increased depth of tone from the bells as well as a new practice instrument located on the upper floor to the main clavier, has all been completed as part of these works.
In brief, the works for Aspen Island and Carillon that have been undertaken include:
Island’s beach upgrade
Weatherproof perimeter path around the Island
Grading on the Island’s grassed mounds
General Island landscaping
Installation of a new G Bell to the carillon (over 5 tonne)
Installation of a D Bell (tiny)
Carillon Claviers, clappers and transmission rigs upgrade.
Minor AV works within the Carillon
Acknowledgement of Country
Our work is on the land of the Ngunnawal People, Ngunnawal Country. We pay our respects to their Elders – past, present and emerging.