October 1, 2016
By Naomi Witherick
Jasper National Park is 11,000 square kilometres of epic mountains, valleys, forest and lakes. But above, there’s an equally breathtaking display: 11,000 square kilometres of vast, star-filled sky.
The park was designated a Dark Sky Preserve in 2011 by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. With virtually no light pollution and ideal dark sky viewing conditions, Jasper has one of the most magical night skies in the world.
So look up and see the sky like never before. The Jasper Dark Sky Festival Oct 14-23 is the best time to discover the darkness. Be curious, be inspired, be awed.
This 10-day celebration has something for everyone. For the budget-savvy, there’s free stargazing at Lake Annette Oct 21, 8-11 pm and Jasper Visitor’s Centre from 8 pm the following night. Or pop by the Big Bang Expo in Centennial Park Oct 22, 11 am-3 pm.
Want to delve deeper? Book a ticket for the keynote speakers. This year’s special guests include scientist, comedian and author Bill Nye (the Science Guy) and George Takei, known for his founding role in Star Trek.
Also on the line-up are Canadian astronaut Jeremy Hansen and SPACEtalks, a two-hour show of entertaining discussions on space, astronomy and science. There’s also solar gazing, aurora watches and a chance to view planets, moons and galaxies through the largest telescope in the Canadian Rockies.
For the creative, there’s a two-day photography workshop Oct 21-22 at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. Learn how to photograph the moon and capture star trails.
Jasper Park Lodge is also hosting the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra Strings for an enchanting outdoor performance Oct 15, 8-10 pm, while Chaba Theatre presents the Jasper Short Film Festival from 11 am-5 pm on the same day.
See more festivals and events in Jasper.
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