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Dark Sky Festival draws viewers outside city limits

Jasper celebrates 10 years enjoying the dark sky. Photo: Metro Creative Connection

The tenth anniversary of the Dark Sky Festival (October 16-25) will attract legions of amateur astronomers to the world’s second largest accessible dark sky preserve in a new, physically distanced way.

With this year’s theme – Venture Beyond Earth – visitors will have endless ways to power down, look up and enjoy the enthralling Jasper sky. Events may be smaller to adhere to COVID-19 regulations, but the self-guided opportunities remain.

Science journalist Niki Wilson, Jasper’s Dark Sky Festival host, said “Jasper National Park is a special place where it’s actually dark enough to see the milky way, or glimpse the aurora. These are important experiences for many people, so I'm glad we can provide an opportunity to celebrate them.”

Headlining the event, celebrated astronauts Robert Thirsk and Nicole Stott will share their personal experiences aboard the 2009 mission on the International Space Station, and speculate on the future of space exploration. Next up, founder and CEO of Delalune Space, Rob Meyerson, and NASA engineer, Adam Stelzner will talk about why we should go to Mars, and what it will take to get there.

Other activities include Stars and Smoke at Maligne Canyon, a two-course dinner followed by the opportunity to peek at the galaxy through some of the Canadian Rockies’ biggest telescopes. Events continue with Symphony Under the Sun and a family-friendly Animals of the Night Hike – all while maintaining two metres between guests.

For those looking to enjoy the Dark Sky Preserve all month long, the Jasper Planetarium will be hosting several events throughout the entire month of October.

To find more information about Jasper’s Dark Sky Festival, visit