SaturDay Star Parties

The Friends of the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Victoria Centre with the support of Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics, National Research Council of Canada


at the NRC's Dominion Astrophysical Observatory

This year's dates are  April 21st to September 1st inclusive, come rain, come shine!

*** The site will  now be closed on July 28th due to ongoing construction. Canada is building a test facility for the instruments being made for the future generation of world class telescopes, and is installing equipment from July 27th - 29th ***


(this site and the ticket sales site will be updated approximately monthly to make tickets and speaker schedules available for the next month)

April 21st - Astronomy Day at the Royal British Columbia Museum, organized by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada

May 5th - Re-enactment night celebrating the centenary of First Light at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory on May 6th 1918

June 9th - Friends of the DAO fundraiser celebrating the centenary of the Official Opening of the Observatory - Tickets Now Available!

The June 9th event will be one of the rare occasions with a cost to the admission ticket.

Clear Sky Chart


Please refer to our Guide to the Centre of the Universe to find the activities listed below.

Children’s Programmes

7:45 – 8:00 p.m. “Out of this World” Interactive Presentation – Auditorium

8:00 – 8:15 p.m. “Stories in the Skies” – Planetarium

8:15 – 8:45 p.m. “Meet the Telescope” Tour – Plaskett Dome

8:45 – 9:30 p.m. Children’s Activities – Information Area

  • Make and Take Craft Tables
  • Family Scavenger Hunt
  • iPad Interactives
  • Night Sky Viewing


July 14th  2018 – 8:30pm repeats at 9:30pm
Kitt Peak and the Sonoran Desert – David Lee


In May 2018 I travelled to Tucson Arizona to visit Kitt Peak, an epic collection of 24 telescopes in the Sonoran Desert. Twelve miles up a mountain road at an elevation of almost 7,000 feet it was built in the '60s. It was and still is the site of many astronomical discoveries and research. The beautifully dark skies were also my opportunity to photograph the Milky Way away from Victoria's light polluted skies. Come and see the day and night time images from the peak.


David Lee is an avid photographer who over 20 years ago turned his camera upwards to the sky capturing astronomical images of the solar system and beyond. Through the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada he has been an advocate of astronomy and the sciences through its public outreach programs. Recently retired from the Information Technology sector he hopes to become even more of a tourist of the night sky.


July 21st  2018 – 8:30pm repeats at 9:30pm
Zodiac Misfits - Jena Mailloux and directed by Leah McGraw


Find out what happens when Zeus sends the Zodiac on a mission to save the Earth. Will they follow his orders?

Jena and Leah both share a love for site specific theatre. The two cannot wait to stage their first show at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory.

We hope you enjoy Zodiac Misfits—be warned, you may just fall in love with theatre too. 


The pair just recently graduated from the University of Victoria with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Applied Theatre.

Leah is currently working towards a Bachelor of Education to share her passion for drama and history with students in the classroom and beyond. Zodiac Misfits is the second play that Jena has written. Her first, Define Or Defy, was staged at the University of Victoria with the Student Alternative Theatre Company. You can currently find Jena roaming around and working for a lighthouse at one of Parks Canada’s special places.


August 4th  2018 – 8:30pm repeats at 9:30pm
Astrophotography Demo Night – Victoria Astrophotographers


Tonight we will show you how to get started with simple astrophotography. These sessions are for you if you ever wanted to photograph the night sky. You may already have some of the equipment to do it. You won't want to miss this.


We are very fortunate to have a number of accomplished astrophotographers in Victoria. The range of techniques deployed are simple to complex.