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2016 Jasper Dark Sky Festival Lineup

Author: Katherine Speur, Tourism Jasper

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Jeff Bartlett

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Coming into its 6th year, the Jasper Dark Sky Festival was created to celebrate the Dark Sky Preserve designation that Jasper received in 2011 by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. Since that time, the festival has grown into a celebration throughout the entire Dark Sky month, highlighting two featured weekends packed with events, speakers and activities that promote science, space and conservation. 

From October 14th to 15th, Jasper invites visitors to power down and look up with world-renowned scientist and educator, Bill Nye. 

Nye, best known for his popular educational program, “Bill Nye the Science Guy”, has remained a fixture in the scientific community since his days as television’s favourite teacher. This year’s festival will feature two separate days with Bill Nye: an adults-only engagement and VIP event on Friday, October 14th and a family-friendly afternoon on Saturday, October 15th.

Also on October 15th, gather under one of the world’s largest dark sky preserves for Jasper’s Symphony Under the Stars. Witness the magic of the outdoor Edmonton Symphony Orchestra Strings as they perform Vivaldi: The Four Seasons.

Spend two nights at the luxurious Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge and dine on delectable cuisine prepared by talented chefs.

That's not all! On October 21st, actor, social justice activist and social media powerhouse, George Takei, will be taking command of audiences.

Best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu in Star Trek, Takei is also recognized world-wide as a leader in social justice, LGBTQ rights and marriage equality. With nearly 10 million likes on Facebook, 1.81 million followers on Twitter and an increasingly popular YouTube channel, Takei’s strong social media presence allows him to advocate for the causes he cares about, and keeps him connected to the digital generation. Along with his heavy cyberspace involvement, Takei is also an accomplished author and Broadway actor.

Do you like space, planets, astronomy, conservation and education? Well we have another show for you! Come to SPACEtalks on October 22nd.

Join us for two hours of entertaining and informative space talks and debate from some of North America’s brightest astronomy and media professionals, starring Canadian Scientist Alan Nursall, science journalist Nadia Drake, Astronomer Phil Plait and NASA’s Bobak Ferdowsi. 

Other exciting events happening at this year’s festival include a presentation with Canadian Astronaut Jeremy Hansen on October 15th,  stargazing at Beyond the Stars at Lake Annette on October 21st, and The Big Bang Expo presented by the TELUS World of Science on October 21st.

For more information about the 2016 Jasper Dark Sky Festival presented by Rocky Mountaineer lineup, please visit: jasperdarksky.travel.

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