2012 Star Gazing Festival to be hosted in new venue

Wells Gray Country services committee looking for a new location to hold event

Wells Gray Country Services Committee began hosting the Star Gazing Festival in 2006.  Due to a number of factors, the event was not held in 2011, but the committee is proud to announce that it will once again be hosting the Star Gazing Festival on Aug. 9 of this year. Past events have included large mobile telescopes, presentations on astronomical features by Colin Taylor from the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Thompson Rivers University, kids’ craft tables, concession and the opportunity to view the stars through a number of telescopes located on site.

This year, invitations have gone out to Colin Taylor (TRU), the Okanagan Observatory, and Bill Burnyeat (who provides a Community Astronomy tour through B.C. each summer). Each of these individuals/organizations has a high level of knowledge of astronomical features and provides engaging presentations that enable us to learn about the amazing features in the sky above us.

The organizers of this year’s event are looking for a suitable location to hold the event. It is estimated there will be 100-150 people in attendance. Limited light pollution is the primary reason for choosing a site, but there are other factors that the committee will be taking into consideration. The event may be held on either private or commercial property. The site will be prioritized based on the following criteria: light pollution, sky view, parking, and access/distance from Clearwater. Other factors that will be considered but are not mandatory would be the availability of an on-site concession, washrooms, power and a facility to host the presentations in.

If you have any questions regarding site requirements, or wish to submit your site for consideration before July 9, please contact Sherri Madden at the Community Resource Centre, via phone at 250-674-3530 or via email at smadden@tnrd.ca. When responding, please specify how your site meets the requirements.

We look forward to a very successful event in 2012 and hope to see you all there!

– Sherri Madden is services coordinator for Wells Gray Country and Thompson Headwaters