John Nelson, Sr.

John Nelson Sr. introduced handbells to Alberta by placing the first Schulmerich 2-octave bell set at the First Baptist Church in Calgary in 1963. Since then, John has placed more than 180 bell sets in Alberta schools. John was a visionary who saw the value of handbells in music education. It is because of him that there are so many handbell sets in elementary schools in Alberta and western Canada. His contribution has given western Canada a place of respect in the international handbell world.

John Nelson, Sr. began his career as a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police but a love of handbells and carillons finally drew him to a sales position for Schulmerich in 1953. He introduced Schulmerich’s Carillonic Bell instruments to churches, universities, colleges and other significant buildings, including the Alberta Legislature building.