Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield, attired in a training version of his Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) spacesuit. Photo courtesy of NASA

by Morinville News Staff

The first Canadian astronaut to walk in space will be walking around Bon Accord this fall. The community announced Wednesday that world renowned astronaut Colonel Chris Hadfield will be part of Bon Accord’s Equinox 2016 on Sept. 24.

Col. Hadfield, who has logged 2600 orbits of the earth, lived in space and on the ocean floor, will be the annual festival’s keynote speaker.

Hadfield’s appearance is not the only highlight of this year’s festival, now in its fifth year. The event coincides with Bon Accord becoming Canada’s first International Dark Sky Community.

“We’re a small community doing unique things. We’re thrilled to have Colonel Hadfield, a former Commander of the International Space Station, at this year’s festival,” said Bon Accord Mayor Randy Boyd in a release June 8. “Colonel Hadfield will headline Equinox 2016, as we celebrate the night sky and our designation as Canada’s first International Dark Sky Community, and ensure the festival is a can’t miss event for our town’s residents and the visitors from afar who make it a destination every September.”

Equinox 2016 is a free weekend-long, town-wide event highlighting the summer into autumn equinox.

Previous years activities, including Twilight Tea, Sidewalk Astronomy, Stories of the Sky, and Dark Sky Photography will return to the festival.

New additions include Nighttime Yoga, a paint night and social event with locally produced wines. Participants will also have the opportunity to get autographs and books signed with Colonel Hadfield.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Congratulations on bringing Chris Hadfield to Bon Accord! This is really
    exciting and makes me want to attend this event. I’d also like to
    respectfully suggest organizers further broaden the feature events, and
    create even more draw, by taking advantage of the proximity of a local
    talent.

    International award-winning author Joan Marie Galat lives in nearby Parkland
    County. Besides having written the four book “Dot to Dot in the Sky” series
    (with back cover endorsements from the likes of Chris Hadfield himself, and
    other astronauts—Roberta Bondar and Julie Payette), she offers popular
    storytelling presentations about astronomy, mythology, light pollution,
    history, and nature. Joan has presented at events across the country, as
    well as for groups internationally. In addition to her books on stars, the
    moon, planets, black holes, and supernovas, her upcoming-releases include
    “Dark Matters—Nature’s reaction to light pollution” (Red Deer Press) and
    “Stories of the Aurora” (Whitecap Books). One of her 11 published books
    includes Day Trips from Edmonton, which also offers information on
    sightseeing routes in the Bon Accord area.

    Joan’s knowledge on the Equinox Festival areas of interest makes her an
    ideal resource. I hope organizers will add her to the schedule. She can be
    reached through this website:
    http://www.joangalat.com/presentations/stargazing-with-joan/

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