|George Takei - photo courtesy Tourism Jasper|
It comes as no surprise that have recently opened up our website (www.starlightmusicchronicles.com) to many facets of the entertainment industry and felt that a 'travel' component was missing. Over the course of a couple years, we have networked with many world-known and seasoned individuals on social media (such as Mr. Scott Eddy - www.mrscotteddy.com) who we feel are the connection between the SMC platform and the destinations that our readers and followers love. We are excited to open this door in order to connect with many celebrity travel bloggers in effort to build the bridge between entertainment and amazing destinations/venues, etc.
We begin our Starlight Travel component by diving right into The Dark SkyFestival in Jasper, Alberta, Canada that kicks off today, October 14th and runs all the way until October 23rd 2016. (see the website to find out more about the festival here: http://jasperdarksky.travel/about-the-festival/) This annual event has been attracting people globally for three years and this time around, there's a star studded line-up which includes: Bill Nye (The Science Guy), George Takei (celebrating Star Trek’s 50th Anniversary), Jeremy Hansen (Astronaut), Alan Nursall (Canadian Scientist), Nadia Drake (Science Journalist), Bobak Ferdowsi & Ross Lockwood (NASA). With a star studded cast of guest speakers, this is an event Tourism Jasper can proudly boast about!
We recently interviewed Lauren Graham, Specialist/Media/Public Relations for Tourism Jasper for this event and here’s what she had to say:
|Bill Nye (The Science Guy) - photo courtesy Tourism Jasper|
Dark Sky Festival
Lauren Graham | Specialist, Media & Public Relations | Tourism Jasper
SMC - Lauren, can you tell us what your role is for this event?
LG - I work for Tourism Jasper, the destination marketing organization that has helped organize and facilitate the Dark Sky Festival since its inception.
SMC - There are a lot of big names attending as speakers for this event (October 14-23, 2016)! How were you able to acquire their presence for this magnificent event?
LG - We work directly with a speaker’s agent or through partnerships to help bring our line-up to Jasper for the festival.
SMC - Which guest speaker are you most excited to see?
LG - It’s impossible to pick one! With Bill Nye, astronaut Jeremy Hansen, George Takei, Canadian scientist Alan Nursall, science journalist Nadia Drake, NASA’s Bobak Ferdowsi and Ross Lockwood each event is going to be amazing, yet different.
|Jeremy Hansen - photo courtesy Tourism Jasper|
|Alan Nursall - photo courtesy Tourism Jasper|
SMC - What can one expect from their stay during this festival as far as accommodations and bookings? I would say it's safe to assume Jasper would receive and influx of visitors for this occasion! Is it too late for people to book now?
LG - Definitely not too late to book! There are still accommodations and tickets available for both Dark Sky Festival weekends. jasperdarksky.travel has a list of accommodations and activities in the area to assist with this planning process.
SMC - What is the long-term vision for this annual event say, 5 and 10 years from now?
LG - We want to continue to inspire explorers of all ages to power down and look up. It is our intention and mandate that the Jasper Dark Sky Festival continue to grow for many years to come, attract visitors to experience a true dark sky, learn about the universe, and visit Jasper at a time of year they perhaps hadn’t considered before.
SMC - Who are your sponsors for this event?
LG - We’ve been extremely lucky with businesses being interested in participating in the Dark Sky Festival this year. Rocky Mountaineer has joined us as Official Festival Partner and Subaru became our first even Exclusive Automotive Sponsor. CN came on board as Official Tent Sponsor, and CTV joined us as Exclusive Media Sponsor. The Official Festival Sponsors are: Sundog Transportation and Tours Ltd. and Servus Credit Union. But there are many businesses who have helped create the Jasper Dark Sky Festival Presented by Rocky Mountaineer. For a full list of sponsors, please check out http://jasperdarksky.travel/events/
SMC - I have personally been a frequent visitor to Jasper since I was a teen and there's no doubt that our National Park is one of the most beautiful places on earth! What makes it so different/special to be there at this time of year as opposed to the summer and winter months?
LG - As a dark sky preserve, Jasper National Park offers a special experience to those visiting in the fall. With night falling a bit earlier each night, visitors are invited to power down and look up at the sky to experience the awesome power of the universe in a way that is only possible in one of the world’s largest dark sky preserves. With hiking and some summer activities still available (like hiking, camping, etc.), fall in Jasper offers both an opportunity to venture beyond and explore as well as to sit back, cuddle up with a warm blanket and hot drink and revel in the natural beauty of the night sky.
|Bobak Ferdowsi - photo courtesy Tourism Jasper|
SMC - We are happy to post your advertising on our website www.starlightmusicchronicles.com over the course of this event on our event calendar as well as help promote it further in this feature on 'The Chronicles', our latest 'news' blog that is the origin of Starlight Music Chronicles. How do you feel about the media reception to this event such as we are offering?
LG - The media reception for the Dark Sky Festival has been increasing every year as the festival continues to grow. This year, we’ve seen media interest from across Canada, into the US and even overseas into the UK. The Dark Sky Festival is spreading out and reaching new audiences each year, and we couldn’t be happier. Tourism Jasper is so grateful to everyone who has helped and continues to help us share the Jasper Dark Sky Festival Presented by Rocky Mountaineer.
SMC - Lauren, can you tell us about the kinds of other community events that will be hosted during the festival aside from the guest speakers?
LG - It’s definitely a jam packed weekend with something to do at any time of day. There are numerous stargazing events to consider with the Jasper SkyTram, Sundog Tours, and the Jasper Planetarium, brew tours at the local brewery – Jasper Brewing Co., photography workshops, fireside yoga, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, the Big Bang Expo where there will be hands on scientific demonstrations and experiments to explore.
For a full list of events, please visit http://jasperdarksky.travel
|Nadia Drake - photo courtesy Tourism Jasper|
SMC - We would definitely be interested in running a segment on our website for next years’ festival in 2017! Where can media partners register for this and what are the kinds of credentials that they require?
LG - Media can submit themselves for consideration for next year’s Dark Sky Festival HERE. Because of the increasing popularity of the festival, we’ve already begun receiving requests for 2017. We’ve realized that it’s most effective to organize full media weekends with a coordinated itinerary to ensure that our visiting media experience everything that the festival has to offer.
We encourage any media interested in the festival to submit a request for consideration, our recommendation is to submit all information possible. Give us specifics about your interest in the festival, your media platforms and your following on each. The more information we receive for your request, the more we have to consider.
SMC - Lauren, I would like to thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. Last question: how do you feel having this event featured on the same website where many entertainment industry high caliber profiles globally have also been featured? This will be our first ever travel feature too! What are your thoughts on that also?
LG - Thank you for the opportunity to share the Jasper Dark Sky Festival Presented by Rocky Mountaineer. We’re thrilled to be included on your website among various high caliber entertainment profiles and we are honoured to lead the travel feature.