The Conductor


©Photo by Charles Frost

Born and raised in Toronto, Gordon Slater started playing the piano when he was 4-years-old and the carillon when he was seven. He began conducting orchestras, bands, choirs and musical productions  in high school. As well, he assisted  his father, James, the former Carillonneur at the Metropolitan United Church in Toronto. Gordon retired as the the Dominion Carillonneur, for the Peace Tower, Parliament, Canada, June 2008 after 31 years of service. He plays the bassoon and  contrabassoon with the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra and has been Music Director of
Divertimento Orchestra since 1987.


Photo by Bruno Schlumberger, The Ottawa Citizen
Reprinted with permission

The Peace Tower

The Peace Tower reaches a height 302 feet 6 inches (92.2 metres) and is made of approximately 54,000 stones. The clock face, 214 feet up, measures 15 feet 8 inches in diameter.

There are 53 bells in the Carillon with a musical range of four and a half octaves. The bells range from the Bourbon Bell, 8 feet 4 inches wide and 6 feet 10 inches tall weighing 10 tonnes (22,400 lbs.) to smallest bell, 7 inches wide and 6 inches tall weighing 4.5 kg (10 lbs.). The bells don't move, the clappers move. The total weight of all 53 bells is 54 tonnes. The interior height of the belfry is 91 feet (27.73 metres).


©Photo by Lois Siegel
The Carillon is played using a keyboard