VANCOUVER — The Vancouver parks board says the city’s historic Nine O’Clock Gun is being silenced by a lack of explosive powder that’s needed to fire it.

A statement from the board says the type of black powder needed to fire the five-kilogram, muzzle-loaded naval cannon is difficult to find in most parts of the world but it will continue to search for alternative stocks.

The board’s supplier closed last fall and it bought as much of the charcoal, saltpetre and sulphur mix as possible but reserves have run out.

The 200-year-old canon was scheduled to fire Thursday night but there was no word when it will boom again.

The gun has been fired over Vancouver’s Coal Harbour daily at 9 p.m. for more than a century although the park board website says the time was shifted to 7 p.m. at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to honour health-care workers.

The gun was also briefly silenced last October when a falling tree damaged the shed where the explosive charges are prepared, but firing resumed within a month.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 10, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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Tom Summer, Alaska Highway News

Tom Summer is a Peace Region journalist and has been covering the courts and more in the pages of the Alaska Highway News and Dawson Creek Mirror since 2016. Born and raised in Hudson's Hope, he's also one of the first reporters to take part in the Local Journalism Initiative, delivering news to communities in Northeast BC. Funding is available to eligible Canadian media organizations to hire journalists or pay freelance journalists to produce civic journalism for The content produced...