Kluane's Annual Dark Sky Festival

September 16 - 18, 2022

Location: Mät’àtäna Män (Kathleen Lake) Campground and Day Use Area

Yukon’s only Dark Sky Festival takes place in September at Mät’àtäna Män (Kathleen Lake), in Kluane National Park and Reserve. This is the sixth annual Northern Nights Festival to celebrate the dark northern sky. As the midnight sun fades away, it becomes the perfect time to gaze up and marvel at the infinite night sky. Join Parks Canada, the Yukon Astronomical Society, and Yukon Words this September as we welcome the return of Northern Nights.

Festival goers can attend a variety of events including stargazing with the Yukon Astronomical Society, Yukon Words workshops, astronomy, art, photography, and beading workshops, live music, campfire talks, traditional stories, crafts and activities for kids, and yoga!

 Camping is available nearby at Kathleen Lake Campground.

Registration will be required for some workshops. Registration for workshops will open on Friday, September 9th.
For more information or to register for workshops contact Parks Canada at 1-867-634-5235 or erin.jamieson@pc.gc.ca.

The health and safety of visitors, employees and all Canadians is of the utmost importance and Parks Canada is following the advice, guidance, and requirements of public health authorities and experts and continues to make every effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.


Schedule of activities

Friday, September 16

Campfire talk | Dakwäkäda Dancers | Open Mic | Guided Walk | Star gazing


Campfire Talk – Light, Wildlife, and Northern Nights
6 pm to 6:45 pm

Why is the night sky so important to the environment? How is light pollution affecting the natural world around us? Join Parks Canada staff on the shore of Mät’àtäna Män (Kathleen Lake) to learn more about the night sky and its value to people, animals, and the park.

Free


Dakwäkäda Dancers
7 pm to 7:45 pm

Based in Haines Junction, Yukon, the Dakwäkäda Dancers have been teaching young people in Southern Tutchone and Tlingit cultures through the tradition of song and dance for more than 20 years. Witness the Southern Tutchone culture alive, vibrant, and being passed down to new generations – Indigenous and non-Indigenous.

Free


Open Mic - Everyone is a Star
8pm to 9:30pm

We all have talents – at Northern Nights, everybody is a star! Share a song, a poem, or a story at the Northern Nights open mic inside the day use shelter at Mät’àtäna Män (Kathleen Lake).

Free


Count the Stars Guided Walk
9:45pm to 10:30pm

The stars have a story to tell. Join Parks Canada staff for a short guided walk along Mät’àtäna Män (Kathleen Lake) to discover some of the wonders of the night sky.

Free


Star Gazing with the Yukon Astronomical Society
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 space and everything it has to offer.

Free

Saturday, September 17

Cosmic Kids Crafts | Mät’àtäna Män Plant Walk | We are in Bat Country | Spruce Salve and Tea Station | Rocket Launch | Botanical Drawing Workshop | Yukon Words Workshop | Painting Workshop | Keychain beading | What is a Planet? | Night time photography workshop | Claire Ness | Glow Parade with Parka | Astronomy Walk | Kevin Barr | Star gazing


Cosmic Kids Crafts
12 pm to 2 pm

Hey kids, join us to make some crafts! We will be making glow in dark crafts for the Glow Parade and space themed rockets for the Rocket Launch! Night sky creations will be ongoing for young night sky enthusiasts in the day use shelter.

Free


Mät’àtäna Män Plant Walk
12pm to 1pm

Join Parks Canada staff on the trail connecting the campground and day use area for a short walk to learn about the diverse flora found at Mät’àtäna Män and their traditional uses.

Free


We are in Bat Country
1pm to 2pm

Bats, Bats, Bats! Learn all about how Little Brown Bats thrive in the Yukon. Parks Canada staff will tell you all about these amazing little nighttime creatures!

Free


Spruce Salve and Tea Station
1:30pm to 3pm

Join Parks Canada staff to learn how to make spruce salve while enjoying a nice warm cup of tea, coffee, or hot chocolate.

Free


Rocket Launch
2pm to 2:30pm

Now that we’ve built the rockets, it’s time to launch them into space!

Free


Botanical Drawing Workshop with Maya Chartier (Akassiyah)
2pm to 3:45pm

There is an art to drawing plants! Join local artist Maya Chartier to learn how to draw and sketch some of the beautiful flora near Mät'atäna Män. Maya will have special colouring books that she has created available for children, and exciting materials on hand to share with adults as well. All skill levels welcome - come on out and get creative.

All supplies provided. Registration required.

Free


Yukon Words Workshops: Northern Nights and Winter Words
3pm to 5pm

Join Yukon Words’ published writers and storytellers to practice and discuss the craft of writing about life under northern nights. Bring your preferred writing instrument, digital or vintage, to take notes, share some of your own work, or simply sit back and listen to Yukon wordsmiths talk shop and share their stories. Everyone is welcome!

Free


Painting Workshop with Megan Leung (Kluane Lake Research Station Artist in Residence)
3pm to 5pm

Join Megan Leung, the Artist in Residence at the Kluane Lake Research Station, for a painting workshop. Currently completing her Master’s for Arctic freshwater security, Megan’s research and lifelong love of art drive her passion to create pieces that start a conversation about the beauty and fragility of our natural world.

All supplies provided. Registration required.

Free


Keychain Beading Workshop
4pm to 6pm

Join artist Shelby Jackson in making keychains as you learn the respected art of beading during this two-hour workshop.

All supplies provided. Registration required.

Free


“What is a Planet” with Christa Van Laerhoven (Yukon Astronomical Society)
5pm to 6pm

Join Christa Van Laerhoven, President of the Yukon Astronomical Society, for an hour long presentation on planets. Dr. Van Laerhoven is a planetary scientist and educator. She has significant experience talking about astronomy to audiences of all ages.

Free


Nighttime Photography Workshop with Jason Wolsky
7pm to 10pm

The Yukon in fall offers some of the best night sky photography there is and Kathleen Lake is the ultimate location! Join photographer Jason Wolsky to learn about Dark Sky Photography. Participants will gain a good understanding of how to operate their camera to capture beautiful night sky images in a social and fun environment.

To get the most out of this workshop, bring a camera that has manual settings and a sturdy tripod. A cable shutter release and wide angle lens is recommended but not necessary. The workshop will include a presentation, plenty of time to practice and instruction/coaching while under the night sky. We will be learning no matter what the weather, so bring clothing for whatever the Yukon can throw at us!

Registration required.
Fee: $30 (pay the artist directly at event).


Musical Performance by Claire Ness
7pm to 7:45pm

Claire Ness is a singer/songwriter, actor, children’s entertainer, and clown and circus teacher born and raised in Whitehorse. Never far from her guitar, Claire writes prolifically in both English and French, with jazz and blues influences often wrapped into rootsy folk songs. Her catchy tunes feature poetry, storytelling, imagery and metaphor, and an abundance of humour and imagination.

Free


Glow Parade with Parka!
7:45pm to 8pm

It’s time to get our glow on! Bring your glowing cosmic kids crafts (and glowing personality) and join Parka for a walk along the Kokanee Boardwalk for the Glow Parade. Everyone is welcome.

Free


Astronomy Guided Walk
8pm to 8:45pm

Join Parks Canada staff for a short guided walk along Mät’àtäna Män (Kathleen Lake) to discover some of the wonders of the night sky.

Free


Kevin Barr
9pm to 9:45pm

Kevin Barr is often called the troubadour of the Yukon, singing his folk, bluegrass, and country style of music, along with stories of love and life. He is a renowned Juno-nominated musician and songwriter with a vast and varied repertoire.

Free


Star Gazing
10:30pm to midnight

Didn’t get to see the stars the first night? You might get lucky on the second night. The Yukon Astronomical Society will be on hand to show us some constellations and planets through their incredible high powered telescopes.

Free

Sunday, September 18

Northern Lights Yoga | Music in the Park |

Northern Lights Yoga
10am to 10:45am

Join yoga teacher Amber Berard-Althouse to welcome the Fall equinox and the return of the Northern Nights with this gentle flow. Bring your yoga mat. Everyone is welcome.

Free


Music in the Park
11am to 11:45am

Sing along to original Kluane themed songs while enjoying some complimentary coffee, tea, and hot chocolate around the campfire.

Free