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Drone show returning for Dark Sky Festival

The Dark Sky Festival hosted a drone show above Commemoration Park on Oct. 23, 2021. | P.Shokeir photo

Peter Shokeir |

The Jasper Dark Sky Festival will bring back its Drone Light Show this October for an environmentally friendly spectacle above Jasper National Park.

For the second year in a row, hundreds of choreographed drones will move in sync above the mountain town.

The festival will also draw a line-up of space and science stars who will tackle topics such as space tourism and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.

The line-up includes returning fan favourites 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 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.

Other events include 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.

The annual two-week dark sky festival runs Oct. 14–23.

Jasper National Park was designated as a Dark Sky Preserve by the Royal Astronomical Society in 2011 and is the largest accessible Dark Sky Preserve in the world.

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