Home #WHERETONEXT Canada Jasper Dark Sky Festival returns with drone light show, star speakers, Indigenous...

Jasper Dark Sky Festival returns with drone light show, star speakers, Indigenous events

4 meteors in one shot
Photo Credit Jack Fusco

Levitating movie magic will soon dazzle the Rockies for the second year in a row. This October, the Jasper Dark Sky Festival will have a hypnotizing light show of hundreds of choreographed drones moving in sync above the mountain town.

The annual two-week dark sky festival (Oct. 14–23) will also draw a stellar line-up of space and science stars who will tackle the hottest topics of the day, like space tourism and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. The line-up includes returning fan favorites like Delalune Space founder Rob Meyerson, SETI Institute senior astronomer Seth Shostak, scientist-astronaut candidate Dr. Shawna Pandya, and science communicator Jay Ingram. Musical performances will feature the lunar loving Dark Sky Band, including an original song to accompany the Drone Light Show.

New to the festival this year (and coming from around the planet) are spaceflight author Emily Carney, astrophysicist Emma Louden, and award-winning artist and occupational diver Dr. Sarah Jane Pell. Meanwhile Edmonton’s own artificial intelligence expert Patrick Pilarski will bring his research into how bionic limbs can help amputees.

Indigenous events will include Fireside Chats with Warrior Women, pahkisimon sunset ceremony at Lake Annette and guided plant walks. Also don’t miss: a symphony under the stars with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, kid-friendly rocket launches, live and interactive science demonstrations with TELUS World of Science – Edmonton, stargazing using the most powerful telescopes in the Rockies, trivia night, astrophotography workshops, guided night hikes, foodie experiences, and more.

About the festival

Jasper National Park was designated as a Dark Sky Preserve by the Royal Astronomical Society in 2011; it is the largest accessible Dark Sky Preserve in the world. The Jasper Dark Sky Festival is entering its twelfth year and is presented by Rocky Mountaineer. Learn more at jasperdarksky/travel.