Kluane's Annual Dark Sky Festival

September 21 and 22

Location: Kathleen Lake Day Use Area

This will be our third annual Northern Nights Festival celebrating the wonders of the northern night sky. As the midnight sun fades away, this is the perfect time to join Parks Canada and the Yukon Astronomical Society to gaze up and discover the wonders of the night sky.

Registration for workshops will start being accepted on Tuesday, September 4.

To register for the workshops, or for more information, contact Parks Canada at 1-867-634-7207.

Schedule of activities

Friday, September 21

Indoor Planetarium

When driving through Haines Junction make sure to stop by the Daku Cultural Centre for an incredible experience! Fly over Canada, explore different National Parks, and look at the stars in our indoor planetarium! Knowledgeable staff will guide you through a fun 20 minute program.

Painting Colorful Nights

5:30 to 7:30 pm

During this workshop you will have the opportunity to paint a landscape of the night sky inspired by beautiful Kathleen Lake. Using acrylic paint and canvas students will capture the mountains, lakeside reflections, northern lights and the night sky with Maya Rosenberg. The workshop is available to all levels, the minimum age to participate is 10 years of age.

Cost of the workshop is $40 (to cover supplies).

Traditional Stories

6 pm to 7:30 pm

Gather around the fire and listen to traditional First Nations stories with Daniel Tlen from Kluane First Nation.

Music at Mät'àtäna Mǟn

8 pm to 10 pm

Come listen to our local musical talent while cozying up by the fire with some hot chocolate. Our lineup will feature bluegrass, folk and even some rock. There’s something for every musical taste. If you want to play you can come to the Kathleen Lake Day Use Shelter armed with your guitar or your vocal chops and we’ll give you a stage.

Star Gazing

10:30 pm to midnight

Bring a camping chair and a cozy blanket and learn about the stars and planets that surround us. The Yukon Astronomical Society will be on hand, equipped with high powered telescopes to explore the wonders of the northern night sky.

In case of rain we will show a movie in the day use shelter.

Saturday, September 22

Pancake Breakfast

9 am to 11 am

After a long night of stargazing nothing fills you up better than delicious starry pancakes! Bring a plate, your favourite toppings and an empty stomach. We’ll fill them!

Young Astronaut Program

12:30 am to 3:30 pm

Come build your very own Martian, or a telescope, or a spaceship with our Parks Canada staff! All supplies are provided, just bring your imagination and creativity!

Everyone is welcome!

Bat House Building Workshop

12:30 pm to 3:30 pm

By installing a bat house on your property you can give bats a safe place to live while benefiting from their insect control services. In this workshop you will assemble a bat house that is tailored to meet the needs of Little Brown Bats in Yukon’s cool climate. All materials and tools are provided. Parks Canada woodworking enthusiasts will help you to properly assemble your bat house and knowledgable staff will tell you more about these little creatures!

Cost of the workshop is $19.60 (to cover supplies).

Yukon Astronomical Society Presentation

4:30 pm to 6 pm

Learn from the experts about star-gazing, light pollution and aurora viewing in the North. They can answer any spacey questions you might have.

Traditional Stories

6:30 pm to 7:30 pm

Gather around the campfire and listen to traditional First Nations stories with John Fingland from Champagne and Aishihik First Nations while enjoying some delicious bannock on a stick.

Nighttime Photography Workshop

7 pm to 10 pm

Join Neil Zeller, award winning photographer, to learn more about dark sky photography!

The first hour of this fun and informative workshop will be spent in the classroom learning about camera settings, focusing, and composition for making the best night sky photos possible. Neil will work with each of you individually to ensure you get a memory card full of amazing photos! To make the most of this workshop you will need a camera with full manual setting capabilities and a sturdy tripod. A cable shutter release and wide angle lens is highly recommended.

Cost of the workshop is $20.

Starlight Concert

7:30 pm to 10:30 pm

Let Ryan McNally and Brigitte Desjardins sooth your soul while marshmallows warm it. This amazing duo will play in the Day Use Area while the sun sets behind the mountains and the stars come out to play.

Star Gazing

10:30 pm to midnight

Didn’t get to see the stars last night? You might get lucky tonight! The Yukon Astronomical Society will show us some more constellation and planets through their powerful scopes.

In case of rain we will show a movie in the day use shelter.