The Parksville Museum, located at 1245 East Island Hwy., is home to nine local heritage buildings including Knox Heritage Church. (Submitted photo)

Parksville Museum on track to add digital carillon

Plans is to ring it for first time on city’s next birthday

Only a month into fundraising, and with approximately half the funds already raised, the Parksville Museum hopes to have a digital carillon by the end of the year.

Near the end of August, Parksville Museum started a fundraiser to purchase and install a digital carillon on top of the Knox Heritage Church steeple. The plan is to have it ring for the first time on June 19, 2021, for Parksville’s next birthday.

A digital carillon is an automated system that imitates the sound of a real carillon, and is pre-recorded to sound like bells or chimes. Several places on Vancouver Island already use a digital carillon, such as the Royal BC Museum in Victoria and the town square in Qualicum Beach.

“Its unique and would add value to the museum experience,” said Ron Woodward, board director.

Woodward estimates the total cost, including purchasing, installation and maintenance costs, will be approximately $15,000.

READ MORE: ‘You’re sitting here looking at history’: Parksville Museum opens June 20

The museum intends to put its digital carillon to good use and sound it for holidays or local events in the community, while respecting nearby businesses and neighbours and adhering to Parksville’s noise restrictions.

“We’re not going to be gonging it at midnight,” said Woodward.

After Thanksgiving, Woodward said they plan to go live into the community and connect generally with the public. They’ve already started to make contact now, but will do a community appeal in November.

He said that future developments for the museum include a redesigned front entrance, and proper signs for the museum itself along the roadside.

For all three prospective developments, Woodward estimates that the museum will need to raise approximately $100,000.

If you would like to support the ‘Bells at Knox Heritage Church’ project, more information is available at the Parksville Museum website.

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