Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Salute To The Queen

I am stepping away from the Tulip Festival for one day. On Victoria Day, a 21 gun salute to Queen Victoria is fired off on the east side of Centre Block on Parliament Hill. It is very loud, hearing these field guns go off, but it brings out the crowds beforehand. This year with the work being done on various buildings, the scaffolding makes for a different backdrop.

A few minutes before noon, the crowds are sent back a short distance to watch, and advised that the sound will be loud. Note the Union Jack flying on the flagpole at the right- another Victoria Day tradition on the Hill.

And at noon, the guns start firing. The statues of the Famous Five just have to put up with the noise.


  1. All right! I'll bet that was loud.

  2. These events with cannons always make me think of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture!


  3. Sounds great. It is nice to see things which you which i can't see it real...

  4. It's good to celebrate things so you do not forget!


  5. I hope you brought ear protection!

  6. That must be quite a noise, Victoria Day,still celebrating the old Queen with gunfires? That is a long tribute.

  7. I've heard guns like these being used during performances of the 1812 Overture.

  8. In my imagination I'm hearing the guns go off! ;)

  9. A celebration is a celebration!

  10. Oh wow! From the photos, I can imagine it was really loud!

  11. great shots! looks like a fun event!

  12. Wonderfull shots, I bet it was loud

  13. Hmmm....looks like a battlefield what with all that smoke. I hope the queen was pleased! Boom!

  14. Lots of smoke and noise. I guess it's a tradition to let the big guns go off for a celebration. I will have to check on the origins.

  15. @Linda: it was!

    @Whisk: definitely.

    @Janis: in the later summer, there's an event on the Hill that incorporates the 1812 Overture.

    @Weekend: that's what these blogs are for!

    @Tomas: definitely.

    @Halcyon: I didn't, but I know the sound well enough that it doesn't bother me. Lots of kids were holding their hands over their ears.

    @Marianne: she was the Queen when Confederation was begun in 1867, so that's one of the reasons we have a holiday in her honour.

    @Revrunner: and they use them here for the 1812 Overture as well, along with a military brass band and the bells of the Peace Tower.

    @EG: it's quite a sound.

    @Luis: it certainly is.

    @Tamago: very much so.

    @Tanya: it was!

    @Bill: very loud!

    @Lowell: a lot of smoke, fortunately safe fire.

    @Jan: it is a good tradition.

    @Tex: the noise can be bothersome.

    @Red: a traditional salute to the monarch often involves this sort of thing.

  16. That must have been fun to watch even if it was a bit loud!

  17. Great captures of the event!

  18. Too funny with the Famous Five having tea there.

  19. Great pictures, I would really like to see (and hear) this!

  20. It got a bit smokey around there!

  21. Lotta smoke those big guns make. Not to mention the noise too.

  22. @Sharon: it was enjoyable.

    @Linda: thanks!

    @Jackie: one of them even looks like she's plugging her ears.

    @VP: it's a tradition I like to take in every year!

    @Judy: it certainly did.

    @RedPat: there were some babies around, you could hear them crying.

    @MB: a lot of smoke indeed!

  23. So that's what they mean when they say, "Pulling out the big guns!"

  24. Stirring and fitting, Wm!

    ( '>

    ALOHA from Honolulu,

  25. That does it! I'm absolutely going to have to come up there for the tulip festival around Victoria Day! I love big guns going off!

  26. Impressive! Did you bring ear plugs?!

  27. You should have done it as a video. Then you could have included the sound, too!

  28. Just wonderful and of course very loud.

    cheers, parsnip

  29. I can almost hear them :) enjoyed the photos.

  30. @Virginia: in this case, it's an apt description!

    @Cloudia: thanks!

    @Jennifer: yes, all that noise!

    @Cheryl: they use them for Remembrance Day too, but then the effect is very different.

    @Ciel: I did not, but the distance does help in that respect.

    @Norma: I didn't think of that! My camera does allow for videos.

    @Parsnip: very loud indeed!

    @Gill: thanks!

    @Denise: thank you.

    @Geoff: it's a wonderful tradition to have.

  31. I do hope they had earplugs for any children.

  32. Here's a song to celebrate her day. "Victoria" by the Kinks.

  33. It's interesting how some traditions live on.

  34. The Famous Five :) one of my favourite series of books by Enid Blyton when I was a youngster! Quite an impressive sight when the cannons are fired William.

  35. @Mari: they do warn parents in advance.

    @Birdman: different!

    @Randy: indeed.

    @Hamilton: it is, yes.

    @Grace: the Famous Five are currently out of sight, and may be inaccessible for some time to come.

    @Shelly: it is.

    @Peter: boom indeed.