New dark sky experiences; online ticket sales; celebrity guests announced in advance of annual astronomy event.
Jasper is preparing to welcome visitors to the annual Jasper Dark Sky Festival this coming October. Now in its fifth year, the Jasper Dark Sky Festival invites visitors to “Power down. Look up” with unique astronomy and science programming for aspiring astronomers of all ages. This year’s festival will see the return of fan-favourite Col. Chris Hadfield along with the exciting addition of former “Mythbusters” hosts Grant Imahara, Kari Byron, and Tory Belleci.
Throughout the summer season and extending into the festival, several new dark sky adventures are also available for visitors to embark upon, from rock climbing to planetarium shows. With exciting celebrity guests and new dark sky themed products, there are more reasons than ever to explore Jasper’s Dark Sky Preserve. Full details below:
TICKET SALES & DEALS
Ticket sales for signature events will be available for purchase online at jasperdarksky.travel. As an added incentive, visitors planning to attend both the Col. Chris Hadfield and Mythbusters events can buy a reduced ticket bundle for only $125. Dark sky accommodation packages are also available. Advance purchase is recommended, as these events will sell out (some may be sold out).
JASPER DARK SKY FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS
Symphony under the Stars | Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge | Oct 3, 7:00pm – 10:00pm
Guests will gather under one of the World's largest Dark Sky Preserves and witness the magic of symphony, with a concert performed by the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra Strings at The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge.
The Sky is Not the Limit | Centennial Park | Oct 23, 6:00pm – 7:30pm
*Ticketed event; $85
Col. Chris Hadfield headlines the evening with a keynote address, sharing stories about his career, his time spent both on and off the planet and his experience aboard the International Space Station.
Beyond the Stars | Lake Annette | Oct 23, 8:00pm – 11:00pm
Join us along the shores of Lake Annette for one of the most memorable star gazing experiences in the World. Beyond the Stars will offer a variety of free, intimate and interactive stations, featuring programming from TELUS World of Science Edmonton, Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Dark Sky Photographers, Parks Canada Interpreters and other special guests.
Telus World of Science Programming | Centennial Park | Oct 24, 10:00am – 3:00pm
As the signature partner, Telus World of Science Edmonton (TWoSE) will present a variety of science programming for the public, such as rocket launches, a mobile planetarium and science demonstrations.
Night of Myth Busting and Science | Centennial Park | Oct 24, 6:00pm – 7:30pm
*Ticketed event; $65
Grant Imahara, Kari Byron and Tory Belleci, the former co-hosts of the Discovery Channel hit show "Mythbusters", will bring an exciting and entertaining evening of myth busting and science to Jasper.
NEW DARK SKY PRODUCT
Jasper Planetarium | Marmot Lodge | Nightly to October 15
The Jasper Planetarium offers nightly astronomy interpretations under a large tented dome with Jasper’s resident “sky guy”, scientist Peter McMahon. Following a 45-minute program, guests can access high-powered telescopes to gaze at planets and constellations. For the early birds, a morning solar program is also available. See jasperplanetarium.com for full details.
Dark Sky Hikes with Canadian Skyline Adventures | Jul 17; Aug 14; Sept 12; First week of October
Daring souls can join local guides in the centre of town and make their way to Old Fort Point as the sun sets. Blankets, fondue, and hot drinks await guests at the top of the lookout, accompanied by dark sky interpretation. See canadianskylineadventures.com for full details.
Rockaboo Dark Sky Rappel | Sept 1 – Oct 31 | 10:00pm – 12:00am
Those looking to embrace a unique dark sky experience are in luck with this exciting guided rock climbing option from Rockaboo Mountain Adventures. Visit rockaboo.ca for full details.
About the Jasper Dark Sky Festival
In 2011, Jasper was designated as a Dark Sky Preserve by the Royal Astronomy Society in Canada, due to its limited light pollution that creates ideal conditions for dark sky viewing. The Jasper Dark Sky Festival began with the goal of celebrating and preserving this status. At 11,000 square kilometres, Jasper National Park is considered to be the world’s largest accessible Dark Sky Preserve.