Jeanine Holowatuik is an aurora-chaser, astrophotographer and speaker at the 2022 Jasper Dark Sky Festival! After participating in the festival last year, she is now sharing her thoughts on why the JDSF is a must-do for any star-lover. Get tickets for her event (Capturing the Wonders of Night: Chasing the Northern Lights in the Canadian Prairies) or access it via the Aurora Package, here (ensure you have 2 nights selected).
Imagine sitting under a blanket of stars, after learning about the night sky all day, looking up to the aurora dancing, while being surrounded by an epic Canadian landscape; that’s the Jasper Dark Sky Festival.
The night sky is something truly special. It connects us all through observation, science and curiosity. For astro lovers of all kinds, the Jasper Dark Sky Festival is THE astro event of the year in Canada you won’t want to miss!
For nearly two weeks every October, Jasper Alberta comes alive with all kinds of cosmic themed events to enjoy.
Photo Credit – Jeanine Holowatuik
The Jasper Dark Sky Festival is Canada’s astro event of the year because it brings together the beauty and science of the night sky at one of the worlds largest dark sky preserves, surrounded by some of the most iconic Canadian scenery.
Jasper Dark Sky Preserve encompasses the entire Jasper National Park. It is the second largest dark sky preserve in the world and the largest accessible dark sky preserve, meaning there’s a town within the limits of the protected area. This small town is Jasper, Alberta and the host of the dark sky festival.
Nothing tops an iconic Canadian experience more than watching the northern lights dance. Watching the sky light up over the mountain landscape is magical. Another reason why the Jasper Dark Sky Festival is Canada’s Astro event of the year.
Jasper is located far enough north and close enough to the aurora oval to experience some breathtaking shows! This makes the dark sky festival a great time to take a chance to see the northern lights in the Canadian Rockies.
One of the best parts of the festival is that if the weather doesn’t cooperate for the northern lights or stargazing (which is what happened last time I attended the festival) there are still so many ways to observe, learn and be inspired by the universe throughout the day during the festival.
Jasper brings together some really incredible events to experience throughout the festival. Check the Jasper Dark Sky Festival website for daily schedules. Some of the highlights of the festival include:
The length and variety of the festival mixed with its special location, makes this the best astro event in Canada!
There are very few places in Canada that can top the epic views and rugged wilderness you can find in Jasper National Park.
Not only does the wide variety of astro activities draw people to the festival each year, but the impressive scenery within Jasper National Park is more than worth the trip on its own. The rugged Rocky Mountains tower over the valley of crystal clear fresh water, as the wildlife roam the breathtaking scenery.
Visiting Jasper at any time is truly special, but when the stars start to shine and the aurora dances, the true magic of the area can leave you speechless.
The Jasper Dark Sky Festival takes place at multiple venues throughout the community during the two week duration. It really does take a community to pull off something this good!
Jasper holds that small town charm, humbly surrounded by breathtaking scenery. The community comes together in the spirit of the festival in ways that really make the dark sky festival a memorable experience. From the cosmic business decor to local dark sky drink and food specials, the entire town comes together for the festival.
The length of the festival along with the variety, and yearly changes, makes this event worth an annual trip. The weather, moon phase and aurora conditions are always changing so the views of the night are never the same, making each festival unique. For astro lovers of all kinds, the Jasper Dark Sky Festival is an adventure worth planning to attend each year.
500 Connaught Drive
Jasper, AB, Canada T0E 1E0