Written BY: Sabrina Doyle
13 highlight events to attend at the Jasper Dark Sky Festival
Jeff Bartlett Photography
LocationJasper, Alberta, Canada
From October 18 to 27, the town of Jasper sparkles with non-stop dark sky events. From symphonies under the stars to planetarium shows to astrophotography workshops, the Jasper Dark Sky Festival celebrates the art, science and culture surrounding the night sky.
And this year, thanks to tickets are more affordable than ever. When you purchase the Star Package, you get to attend both the keynote with Jad Abumrad and the audience-favourite SPACEtalks for just $50!
KEYNOTE – JAD ABUMRAD OF RADIOLAB
October 25 / 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm / $40
VENUE – 305 Bonhomme St
If you’re a fan of podcasts, you’ve likely heard of smash audio sensation Radiolab. Host Jad Abumrad will talk about how he crafts emotional stories while balancing technical accuracy and other struggles of science communication. Opening performance by the Beaker Band from 6-7pm.
October 26 / 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm / $30
VENUE – 305 Bonhomme St
Join an illustrious panel of experts for an in-depth discussion about the race to Mars. This dynamic conversation is always an audience favourite and will feature Canadian astronaut Dr. Robert Thirsk, scientist-astronaut candidate Dr. Shawn Pandya, CEO of Delalune Space Rob Meyerson, and more!
Symphony under the stars
October 19 / 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm / $119
VENUE – Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge
Cozy up with a blanket and hot chocolate and witness the magic of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra Strings, amplified by the Rocky Mountains, under thousands of twinkling stars. Doors at 7:00 pm, concert at 8:00 pm.
Beyond the Stars
October 25, 26 / 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm / FREE
VENUE – Lake Annette
This free lakeside star gazing experience is for people of all ages, and will feature interactive programming with the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada – Edmonton Center, Dark Sky Photographers, Parks Canada Interpreters, and other special guests. No parking is permitted at the event, but a complimentary shuttle service will leave from the Visitor Information Centre every 15 min between 7:45pm-10:45pm, with return shuttles running from 8:00pm-11:15pm.
SCIENCE FOR BREAKFAST, FEATURING SETH SHOSTAK, NICK POPE, BOB MCDONALD
October 26, 27 / 8:00 am – 10:00 am / $40
VENUE – Lobstick Lodge
Kickstart your morning with a healthy dose of awe by chatting with celestial celebrities over a hot buffet breakfast. On October 26 join Nick Pope and Seth Shostak. Pope used to run the British Government’s UFO project and was known in the media as the real Fox Mulder. Shostak is Senior Astronomer and Institute Fellow at the SETI Institute (SETI stands for Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence). The next morning join Bob McDonald, one of Canada’s best known science journalists and host of Quirks & Quarks.
OVER THE MOON, PRESENTED BY TELUS WORLD OF SCIENCE – EDMONTON
October 26 / 9:00 am – 1:00 pm / FREE
VENUE – Jasper Junior/Senior High School (401 Bonhomme St)
2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo missions, and TELUS World of Science – Edmonton is proud to present an exposition perfect for scientists of every age! Gaze at a giant inflatable Moon and find the locations of the Apollo Moon landing sites. Drive a remote-controlled Moonbot. See electricity, magnetism, cryogenics, lasers, and other wonders in action.
October 19, 26 / 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm / $125
VENUE – Mountain Galleries at the Fairmont
Artists both beginner and expert are welcome at this dark sky painting workshop. Taught by artist/filmmaker Wendy Wacko, the class will look at famous artists who explored dark sky themes and each student will leave the class with a framed piece and a “Dark Sky Painting Guide” book. Some refreshments and all materials will be provided. Please inquire with Mountain Galleries Jasper by phone or email for tickets.
PHOTOGRAPH THE STARS: A HOW-TO GUIDE TO ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY, WITH JEFF BARTLETT AND JACK FUSCO
October 19, 26 / 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm / $15
VENUE – 400 Geikie St
Astrophotographers Jeff Bartlett and Jack Fusco teach you how to capture your own dark sky images in just 90-minutes. Beginning with the basics and ending on timelapse techniques, this high-paced, hands-on event that will leave you longing to explore the Jasper Dark Sky Preserve through your own lens.
DINNER ON A MOUNTAINTOP: SKYTRAM STAR SESSIONS W 3-COURSE MEAL
October 18, 19, 25, 26 / 5:45 pm – 10:30 pm / $129.60
VENUE – Whistlers Rd
Get even closer to the stars with this exclusive dining and stargazing experience atop the Jasper Skytram. Includes a 3-course mountain-top dinner, the most powerful telescopes in the Canadian Rockies, a special talk on Canada’s dark skies. Bring warm layers for the outdoor star gazing portions of the evening.
JASPER PLANETARIUM NEW DOME THEATRE EXPERIENCE “FROM JASPER TO JUPITER”
October 18-27 / 7:45 pm – 8:15 pm / $29
VENUE – Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge
Blast off with the Jasper Planetarium for an ‘orbital cruise’ around the Earth, through craters on the Moon, inside a comet tail and down a giant canyon on Mars, and more! Children under 4 years not permitted.
October 19, 26 / 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm / $99
VENUE – 401 Patricia St
Mixing food and science, this fun, interactive cooking demo of molecular gastronomy and quirky cooking techniques results in unique flavors, textures and style. The best part? You get to eat.
“ANIMALS OF THE NIGHT” EVENING HIKE
October 25 / 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm / $25
VENUE – Pyramid Bench
Join Joy and Sean on this family-friendly night hike. You will have the opportunity to learn all about our nocturnal wildlife while we hike a scenic 4km loop. There will be great views of our Dark Sky Preserve from the trail as well as the town lit up at night. Expect an elevation gain of around 100m. Only 20 spots available so book in advance.
October 25 / 9:30 pm – 11:59 pm / $65
VENUE – Maligne Canyon Wilderness Kitchen
Join the stars of the Dark Sky Festival for an exclusive evening at the newly renovated Maligne Canyon Wilderness Kitchen. Stargaze through telescopes and learn more about the wonders of the night sky from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. Mingle over delicious cocktails (each ticket includes 2 drink tickets) and hors d’oeuvres created by renowned chef Stuart Allen. Share smores and swap space and science stories with some of the most interesting minds in STEM. Note: The VIP Reception does not include admission to the Keynote event.