Kluane's Annual Dark Sky Festival

September 17 and 18

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

Yukon’s only Dark Sky Festival takes place in late September at Mät’àtäna Män (Kathleen Lake), in Kluane National Park and Reserve. This is the fifth annual Northern Nights event created 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 yoga, dance, art, song writing, storytelling, beading and photography workshops, and crafts and activities for kids!

COVID protocols will be in place and registration will be required for some workshops. Registration for workshops opens on Friday, September 3rd.

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

 Camping is available nearby at Kathleen Lake Campground.


Schedule of activities

Friday, September 17

Campfire talk | Star gazing


Campfire Talk - Kluane’s Nightlife
8 pm to 8:45 pm

Why is the night sky so important to the environment? Join a Parks Canada interpreter at the Kathleen Lake Campground interpretive circle to learn about the nocturnal creatures that live in Kluane National Park and Reserve. Find out how owls, bats and flying squirrels survive in the land of the midnight sun.

Free


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 space and everything it has to offer.

Free

Saturday, September 18

Dark Sky Kids Club | Bat house building workshop | Yukon words workshops | Northern lights yoga | Beading workshop | Dark sky art workshop | Bhangra dancing | Traditional stories |Night time photography workshop | Star gazing


Dark Sky Kids Club
12 pm to 2 pm

Hey kids, join us for some creative craft time. Night sky creations and some fun movement will be ongoing for young night sky enthusiasts.

Free!



Bat house building workshop
12 pm to 3 pm

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 of the pieces and tools are provided. Parks Canada woodworking enthusiasts will help you to properly assemble your bat house and knowledgeable staff will tell you more about these amazing little nighttime creatures!

10 spaces (1 or 2 people in the same bubble per space) available. Registration required.
Free.

Face mask required.


Yukon Words workshops

Join Yukon Words, a society connecting storytellers, writers, and readers from around the territory, for some inspiring workshops. This event is part of the Words Out Loud September Reading Series and is funded by the Great Yukon Summer.

Session 1: Song Writing for the Young and Young at Heart
1 pm to 1:45 pm

10 spaces available. Registration required.

Session 2: Reading and Storytelling Inspired by Northern Nights
2 pm to 2:45 pm

10 spaces available. Registration required.

Session 3: Music of the Night Sky and Words It Inspires
3 pm to 3:45 pm

10 spaces available. Registration required.

All Yukon Words workshops are free.

Face mask required.

Afterwards: Participants to share ideas and inspiration in discussion outside (weather-permitting.)


Northern lights Yoga
3 pm to 4:15 pm

Join yoga teacher Joëlle Haché to welcome the Fall equinox and the return of the Northern Nights with this gentle flow. Bring your yoga mat and dress for the weather. Everyone is welcome.

Free.

This workshop will take place outside.


Beading workshop
4:30 pm to 6:30 pm

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

10 spaces available. Registration required.
Free.

Face mask required.


Night Sky Arts
4 pm to 6 pm

Reconnect with nature through art! Artist Deanna Bailey will help you create your own personalized modelling clay painting to take home. During this workshop you will have the opportunity to play with oil-based, non-toxic soft clay to create a night sky themed piece of art. Participants will cover a 5"x7” canvas board or jewellery case with clay using their fingers, rollers and tools. This fun workshop is available to all levels, the minimum age to participate is 10 years of age.

10 spaces available. Registration required.
Fee: $15 (pay the artist directly at event).

Face mask required.


Bhangra dancing
5 pm to 6 pm

Gurdeep’s classes are an entertaining introduction to Bhangra dance and culture, as well as a great fitness activity. Gurdeep teaches the Bhangra moves and breaks them down into smaller pieces to aid the learning process. When all the moves are well-practiced, everybody joins together to dance to uplifting Bhangra music.

Free

This workshop will take place outside.


Traditional Stories
8 pm to 9 pm

Gather around the fire and listen to traditional stories with John Fingland, a Champagne and Aishihik First Nations citizen.

Free



Nighttime Photography Workshop
7 pm to 10 pm

The Yukon in fall offers some of the best night sky photography there is and Kathleen Lake is the ultimate location! Join Yukon based photographer Mark Kelly 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.

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

Face mask required.

  • Workshop details

    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!


Star Gazing
10:30 pm 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 more constellation and planets through their incredible scopes.

Free