Beautiful Earth

In all its beauty

© 2013 Grant Finlayson & Adrian Green CONTACT US

Filming the Nine O'clock Gun

Some of you might not know that every day at 9pm along the seawall near Brockton Point, an 1816 bronze cannon goes off with a loud ‘Bang!’ followed by a huge fireball. It is said that it has been heard as far away as Mission, almost sixty-two kilometres to the East.

As a Vancouver resident I’ve known about the nine o’clock gun for most my life. However, it wasn’t until now, during the making of ‘Stanley Park: An Urban Wilderness’ that I witnessed the spectacle of the gun up close for myself. We filmed the gun over half a dozen times this summer alone and I never get tired of the shocked reactions that I witness from the crowd.

If you’ve never been down to the gun at around nine, you certainly should. Ten seconds before the gun is due to go off a red warning light starts to blink along with an audible buzzer, then a huge boom echoes across the harbour.

The first time I filmed this I had no idea what to expect. Because the tide was out I climbed down the seawall to the shore and set my camera in a perfect position to film from the front and just below the gun. While waiting for the big moment, the tide started to come back in and splash around my feet. I will never forget the heat on my face from the fireball that shot out from the gun just a few feet away and feeling the intense shockwave in my ears. What an exhilarating experience.

Here is a video of what to expect, but it really needs to be experienced in person.