It was 100 years ago tonight that the R.M.S. Titanic struck an iceberg and later sank about 700 kilometres from the port of Halifax killing 1,500 of the 2,200 people aboard.

The province of Nova Scotia is inviting the public to help commemorate the sinking and the lives that were lost at an event called Titanic Eve - Night of the Bells.

It will be an event rich in memory and symbolism, beginning with a candlelit procession that will start at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic on Lower Water Street.

The public will follow a horse-drawn carriage with a period casket as it moves from the waterfront to Grand Parade on Barrington Street, passing Titanic landmarks along the way.

After the candlelight procession, an event called the Night of the Bells will begin at 9:30 p.m. at Grand Parade in front of Halifax City Hall.

The climax will be at 12:27 a.m. Sunday, the last time anyone heard from Titanic.

There will be a moment of silence and then church bells will peal out across the city symbolizing the great ship's calls for help and mourning the staggering loss of life that followed.

Halifax was at the centre of recovery efforts in 1912 after the luxury liner hit at an iceberg at about 11:40 p.m. on April 14, and sank at 2:20 a.m. on April 15.

"Halifax was the site that the bodies returned, and those that were not reclaimed are buried here in Halifax. So it is very sombre in its nature," Jeff Gray, with the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History, said of the event.

"These events and what the museum does is a way for people to really learn more about Halifax's very real role in what is really seen as a global event." 

More than 120 victims of the sinking are buried at the Fairview Lawn Cemetery. Another 30 victims are buried at two other cemeteries in the city.