City of Regina
Saskatchewan CA

CC Committee Report

Regina's Glockenspiel


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Category:Committee Report


  1. Printout
  2. Regina's Glockenspiel - Appendix A

Report Body



Councillor John Findura declared conflict prior to the consideration of item CPS17-4 citing his involvement with the Regina Multicultural Council, abstained from discussion and voting and temporarily left the meeting.


The following addressed the Committee:


-              Chad Novak, representing Saskatchewan Taxpayers Advocacy Group;

-              Leasa Gibbons, representing Regina Downtown BID;

-              Bryce Vanlucen, representing Regina German Club;

-              Alvin Knoll, representing the German Harmonie Club; and

-              Larry Schneider, Former Mayor, representing himself


The Committee adopted the following resolution:


1.              That up to $25,000 be allocated from the General Fund Reserve to undertake detailed design for the restoration of Regina’s Glockenspiel.


2.              That up to $512,000 be considered in the 2018 Capital Budget for the restoration of the structure and mechanical elements of Regina's Glockenspiel, its installation, and servicing of the selected site in the northeast corner of Victoria Park.


3.              That an annual repair and refurbishment capital budget of $2,000 be considered through the 2018 budget process.


4.              That an annual programming budget of $4,000 be considered through the budget process once the carillon bell ringing system has been installed.


Councillors: Jerry Flegel (Chairperson), Lori Bresciani, Andrew Stevens were present during consideration of this report by the Community and Protective Services Committee.



The Community and Protective Services Committee, at it’s meeting held on March 16, 2017, considered the following report from the Administration:




1.              That up to $25,000 be allocated from the General Fund Reserve to undertake detailed design for the restoration of Regina’s Glockenspiel.


2.              That up to $300,000 be considered in the 2018 Capital Budget for the restoration of the structure and mechanical elements of Regina’s Glockenspiel, its installation, and servicing of the selected site in the northeast corner of Victoria Park.


3.              That an annual repair and refurbishment capital budget of $2,000 be considered through the 2018 budget process.


4.              That the purchase and installation of the carillon bell ringing system, estimated at $212,000, be deferred to a future date when appropriate funding sources are identified.


5.              That an annual programming budget of $4,000 be considered through the budget process once the carillon bell ringing system has been installed.


6.              That this report be forwarded to the March 27, 2017 meeting of City Council for approval.




Refurbishment and installation of Regina’s Glockenspiel in Victoria Park recognizes the German and multicultural communities’ contributions to the growth and development of Regina. It marks progress towards the Cultural Plan objectives to Ensure resources are supportive of Regina’s immigrant history and Conserve cultural heritage resources. Further, the reintroduction of this cultural landmark to Regina’s downtown creates an anchor for the northeast corner of Victoria Park at a major access point for the space and for City Square Plaza. Consensus on the location for the Glockenspiel was achieved with key stakeholders including the Regina German Club, Regina Multicultural Council, Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, Regina Downtown Business Improvement District, and Heritage Regina.


These recommendations propose that the City proceed with a detailed design for the restoration of the Glockenspiel, and that based on that design a proposal for the first phase of rehabilitation including the Glockenspiel structure, mechanics, and servicing of the site be considered in the 2018 budget. The second phase of rehabilitation, consisting of purchase and installation of a carillon bell ringing system, would be deferred until appropriate funding sources are identified. The recommendations also consider the resources necessary to ensure that the structure and mechanics of the Glockenspiel are maintained in good working order, so it can have a lasting presence as a landmark in Regina’s downtown.


Regina’s Glockenspiel is large and requires an almost complete refurbishment. Rebuilding the pedestal, upgrading the stand, replacement of the clock and purchase of a modern bell-ringing system that can withstand Regina’s temperature fluctuations is a significant undertaking. McGinn Engineering & Preservation Limited has identified that the cost for restoration and installation at nearly $512,000 including landscaping and a recommended 30% contingency.


If these recommendations are approved, the refurbishment of the Glockenspiel would represent a comparatively large investment in a single piece in the Civic Art Collection. Regina Lace by Stephen Brathwaite and Douglas Bamford cost $250,000, and oskana ka asasteki, the 1998 Joe Fafard bison on F.W. Hill Mall, was $80,000. Gateway, near the airport, cost $150,000. While public art and heritage investments have intangible value beyond what is tallied for insurance or budget purposes, it is important to understand the relative scale of the Glockenspiel project.




The Glockenspiel was purchased by the Regina Multicultural Council (RMC) in 1985. On October 15, 1985, City Council approved the terms and conditions of an agreement to grant $30,000 to the Regina Multicultural Council for the Glockenspiel project. In the agreement, condition #2 states “the RMC shall use its best efforts to secure or become entitled to other grants (specifically from Regina Market Square and the Regina 1985 Heritage Committee) together with private donations, and all revenue generated therefrom shall be applied against the costs of acquiring, assembling and erecting the Glockenspiel.” Condition #5 further states that “in the event sufficient funds for the assembly and erection of the Glockenspiel cannot be generated by the RMC, possession of the said Glockenspiel and all rights to and property of same shall be transferred unconditionally to the City by the Society upon a demand therefore by the City.”


In 1988, Council heard that the RMC’s fundraising efforts had not been successful and that the RMC had requested that the City exercise the full terms of the agreement. Council approved the recommendation that the City of Regina assume all rights to the Glockenspiel and release the RMC from its obligation. The Glockenspiel has been part of the City’s Civic Art Collection since 1988. 


Regina’s Glockenspiel commemorates Regina's German and multicultural communities, their contributions to the growth and development of the city, as well as their continued strength and cultural vibrancy. The Glockenspiel was situated close to the northeast corner of Victoria Park, adjacent to Scarth Street and 12th Avenue, until it was removed and placed in storage during construction of the City Square Plaza in 2010.


Regina's Glockenspiel was built in Germany. The original tower incorporates 23 original bells and decorative elements, including a three-faced clock. The bells were programmed to play O Canada and Canadian folk tunes.


Due to the complexity of the mechanism to operate and program the bells, exposure to the elements, location, and general wear and tear, the Glockenspiel has required significant upgrades on several occasions since its installation. Even so, by the time it was disassembled for construction of City Square Plaza, it continued to show signs of aging and was in need of repair. Funds were not immediately available to complete repairs, so the Glockenspiel remained in storage in a secure City facility.


At the September 14, 2016 Executive Committee meeting, motion EX16-26 was approved: that the Administration consult with the community to find a location for the Glockenspiel and provide a report at the December 14, 2016 meeting of Community & Protective Services Committee with a proposed location, costs and funding source.




Three issues were outstanding at the time of the Executive Committee motion: the total cost of refurbishment and reinstallation of the Glockenspiel; agreement with stakeholders on a location and schedule for the ringing of the bells; and, a funding source for the project.


Cost of Refurbishment

McGinn Engineering & Preservation Limited was contracted to determine the current condition of the Glockenspiel and to create a preliminary cost estimate to refurbish the piece. The McGinn firm was chosen because of their extensive experience with heritage conservation projects. This firm also did the assessment and detailed design for the fountain located in Confederation Park, adjacent to the new stadium, which is currently being restored. McGinn’s Glockenspiel cost estimate was created with information from Verdin Bells, the only company in North America that has experience in fabricating and maintaining glockenspiels.


McGinn Engineering & Preservation Limited has provided a preliminary design for Glockenspiel refurbishment and installation of a new pedestal base. The preliminary design is attached as Appendix A.


Option 1: Full Restoration

McGinn provided an opinion of probable cost for full restoration of $368,100. With a recommended contingency of 30 per cent due to the complexity of the project, and including tax and additional landscaping, the total estimate is $511,900. Scope of the restoration includes:

-              repair and painting of original steel frame

-              bells cleaned and new clappers, with a 25-year life span, installed

-              sufficient weatherproofing to ensure reliable operation

-              site preparation including servicing and conduit installation

-              pouring of new concrete base and installation of salvaged granite cladding using custom masonry techniques

-              fully programmable, clarion bell controller (bell ringing system)

-              new three-sided clock

-              new commemorative plaque


The cost is driven by the complexity of the project along with a few key factors. The bell ringing system and weatherproofing are state of the art in order to ensure reliable operation through the climate fluctuations experienced in Regina. The estimate provided by Verdin Bells includes shipping of Glockenspiel parts to and from their Cincinnati headquarters, and training of a technician in Regina to perform regular maintenance and programming support. The pedestal base as designed by McGinn will use salvaged granite from various sources, including the Old City Hall building in nearby F.W. Hill Mall.


Option 2: Full Restoration with deferral of purchase and installation of bell ringing system (Recommended)

McGinn has advised that this project can be split into two phases without changing the total estimated cost. In this option, the City will undertake full restoration of the Glockenspiel and installation of all required servicing, but defer the purchase and installation of the bell ringing system. This option still carries a $511,900 estimate for the entirety of the project, but the initial restoration and installation of the structure is estimated at $279,300. With contingency, Administration is recommending that up to $300,000 be made available for this stage of the project. A more accurate amount will be known once detailed design is complete. The remaining $212,000 is a reasonable estimate for purchase, installation, and initial programming of the bell ringing system at a future date.


This option has the same attributes as full restoration (See Option 1 above). Deferral of the purchase and installation of the bell ringing system reduces the pressure on the 2018 Capital budget, and provides opportunities for stakeholders to participate in fundraising to contribute to a portion of the final cost. 


There are risks to proceeding with this option, including a potential escalation in material or transportation costs due to an unfavourable exchange rate. Stakeholders may not be successful in additional fundraising or securing grants from other levels of government in the current financial climate.


Location & Schedule

To prepare for external consultation on the site and schedule for the tolling of the Glockenspiel’s bells, Administration began by identifying criteria for the location decision. The principles that guided the selection of possible sites were:

a)              Clear pathway

b)              Proximity to a main entrance to Victoria Park

c)              Clear lines of sight

d)              Ease of maintenance, e.g. Allows for snow removal, landscaping, and other operations

e)              Reflective of the Glockenspiel’s cultural importance to the city

f)              Centre of the city


Based on this criteria, four locations were identified in Victoria Park. The four locations were assessed by internal City departments with consideration for underground utilities, proximity to existing trees, ease of maintenance (including cutting the grass and snow removal), events that occur within the park and finally Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles. Finding no major impediments to the four possible locations, Administration began consultation with stakeholders.



Two meetings were held with community organizations with deep interest in the history and future plans for the Glockenspiel. The Regina Multicultural Council (RMC), the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan (MCoS), the Regina German Club, Heritage Regina, and the Regina Downtown Business Improvement District (RDBID) met with members of City Administration on November 4, 2016 to review the site options and frequency and timing of the bells. At this meeting agreement on the recommended frequency of programming was achieved; similar to other cities worldwide with a town glockenspiel, Regina’s would be programmed to run twice per day, possibly at noon and 5 pm.


Additional guiding principles for the location were developed in the consultation session, continuing from the list above:


g)              considerate of other major stakeholders

h)              alignment with any future plans for renovations at Victoria Park

i)              consideration of the City Square Policy currently in development

j)              considerate of the location of the seasonal skating rink in Victoria Park


The group ruled out several sites and asked that Administration consult with several other major users of Victoria Park and City Square on the remaining options. Administration spoke with the Regina Folk Music Festival and the Regina Public Library before reconvening with the original stakeholders on November 17, 2016. At that time, the group agreed on site four, which is recommended in this report. 


The recommended location allows for unobstructed views of the Glockenspiel from several angles, and is adjacent to a major entrance to Victoria Park. It is very close to the original location of the Glockenspiel. Stakeholders appreciated the historical significance of this location, its visibility, and its status as a major gateway into the Park, Plaza, and the F.W. Hill Mall. Ultimately, once installed in this location, it will appear as though the Glockenspiel was never removed.




Financial Implications


Current plans to restore the Glockenspiel are based on the best information available to Administration at this time. A more refined plan will be obtained by undertaking detail design work during 2017. Administration estimates the cost of this design at $25,000. Due to the timing of the work done to date on this issue, this expenditure was not anticipated in the 2017 budgets recently approved by City Council. Consequently, Administration recommends that the 2017 detailed design work be funded by a withdrawal from the General Fund Reserve. The forecasted future uses of this reserve do not preclude the proposed withdrawal of up to $25,000 in 2017.

The February, 28, 2017 balance in this reserve is $32,769,342. The 2017 target minimum balance for this reserve s $21,486,567. The 2017 target maximum balance for this reserve is $42,973,134.


Although the reserve is currently above its minimum target balance, it is expected to decrease significantly. Due to commitments in the next 5 years the reserve is expected to be below its minimum by 2018 and by 2021 is forecast to have a balance of approximately $4,000,000.

This report recommends that up to $300,000 for restoration of the structure of Regina’s Glockenspiel be considered in the preparation of the 2018 budget.  Administration also recommends that the purchase and installation of the carillon bell ringing system, estimated at $212,000, be deferred to a future date when appropriate funding sources are identified. Deferral of the purchase and installation of the bell ringing system reduces the pressure on the 2018 budget, and provides opportunities for stakeholders to participate in fundraising to contribute to a portion of the final cost. However it also carries some risk that costs may escalate in the intervening period.


In addition to capital refurbishment costs, Administration recommends funding be considered within the 2018 budget for ongoing repair and refurbishment of the Glockenspiel. An annual capital program of $2000 per year will make it less likely that the Glockenspiel will require another ground-up rebuild 25 years into the future.


The Civic Art Collection is maintained through the efforts of a part time art preparator and minimal funding. This approach has meant that larger repairs and refurbishment, such as those required by the Glockenspiel and pieces like Gateway (repairs estimated at $5000) and Jack Sures’ Bandicoots are difficult to complete. A policy that identifies standards and rationale for commissioning, procuring, and asset management of pieces within the Civic Art Collection is a priority action within the Cultural Plan, and work will begin on this policy in 2017. With a responsible asset management plan and modest budget in place, the assets in the Civic Art Collection will be maintained for future generations of residents to enjoy.


Environmental Implications


The Glockenspiel will be rebuilt using recycled and reused materials to the extent possible, including the original stand and bells, salvaged granite from City reserves, and pavers that match those used in City Square Plaza.


Policy and/or Strategic Implications


The Cultural Plan identifies Embrace Cultural Diversity and Commemorate and Celebrate Regina’s Cultural Heritage as goals for cultural development in the next 10 years. The refurbishment and installation of the Glockenspiel contributes to the objective to Ensure resources are supportive of Regina’s Immigrant History. The City’s investment in the Glockenspiel is a tribute both to early German immigrants who contributed to Regina’s growth and development, as well as symbolic “of the way in which groups of different heritages come together to enrich the life of this city.” (Quote from the original plaque at the base of the Glockenspiel).


The Glockenspiel nurtures appreciation of our cultural identities and support the understanding and appreciation of our city’s diversity. As a landmark, it provides visitors and residents with the opportunity to immerse themselves in other cultures and create places for sharing ethnic traditions. Design Regina and the Cultural Plan define Heritage Value as The aesthetic, historic, scientific, cultural, social or spiritual importance for past, present or future generations. The heritage value of a historic place is embodied by its character-defining materials, forms, location, spatial configurations, uses and cultural associations and meanings. In commemorating and celebrating Regina’s cultural heritage, the Cultural Plan calls for conservation of cultural heritage resources. This investment by the City of Regina will ensure the Glockenspiel is reinstated, preserved and maintained for many years to come.


Other Implications


Preservation and Maintenance of Public Art


The Glockenspiel is included within Regina’s Civic Art Collection. Pieces in the collection are the responsibility of the City on behalf of citizens of Regina, and are preserved and maintained to the extent possible. Building on lessons learned from the issues maintaining the Glockenspiel throughout its life, efforts have been taken in the preliminary estimates for refurbishment to ensure that the rebuilt instrument will be feasible to operate and maintain in Regina’s extreme climate. An annual budget has been recommended to ensure the long-term preservation of the instrument.


Utility Locates


At the time of his investigation, utility underground information was provided to McGinn Engineering & Preservation Limited, but actual utilities were not exposed at the proposed site. The Glockenspiel’s exact location is dependent upon installing around existing utilities. 


Accessibility Implications


As a piece of public art in a highly visible and pedestrian friendly corner of Victoria Park, it is anticipated that residents and visitors of all ages and abilities will be able to visit and appreciate the Glockenspiel.




A communications strategy will be developed to support decisions resulting from the approved plan. 




The recommendations contained in this report require City Council approval.


Respectfully submitted,





Kristina Gentile, Secretary