Spruce Woods Star Party

September 1-5 2022

The Spruce Woods Star Party is a members-only event. Become a member to join us for our most fun-filled event of the year, as well as taking advantage of our other membership perks! Click here to register!

Entry to the Park is from Highway #5 from either the North (off Hwy #1 at Carberry) or the South (off Hwy #2 at Glenboro). The observing site is at latitude 49.6687913N longitude 99.249839W. Once in the park (park pass not required) proceed North to the Star Party field.


Because the equipment on display can’t help but to garner attention, the SWSP Committee conducts a “scope tour” where members have a chance to talk about their particular scope, mount or other piece of equipment for all the see. This year, we will also have a “solar scope tour” where you will get the chance to observe the sun through different scopes.

Probably the most popular feature of the star party is Gerry’s Bino Tour. It’s a must see event and everyone comes away having learned a bit more (actually a lot more) about the cosmos and how valuable a pair of binoculars are to the amateur astronomer.

An observing circle will be open every night for those that wish to observe as a group!

Thursday Sep 1

3:00 PM: Star party opens
• Upon arrival to the star party grounds, follow signage and instructions on where to set up.
• Big campers to be set up at the North end of the observing field.
• If you have a generator let the star party coordinator guide you to where you can set up.
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM: Registration / Meet & Greet at the hospitality tent. Bring a comfy chair and your beverage of choice to get to know your fellow astronomers.
8:00 PM: Announcements
9:00 PM till dawn: Observing/astrophotography/observing circle opens – show us your favorite object!

Friday Sep 2

7:00 PM - 8:00 PM: Registration / Meet & Greet (Hospitality Tent)
8:00 PM: Announcements
9:00 PM till dawn: Observing/astrophotography/observing circle opens – show us your favorite object!

Saturday Sep 3

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM: Registration / Meet & Greet (Hospitality Tent)
1:00 PM - 1:10 PM: Welcome remarks and announcements
1:10 PM: Telescope and equipment tour - Join us for a guided tour of astronomical set ups around the observing field.
3:30 PM: Swap table opens - Bring your astronomical items for swap, trade, or sell! Be on time... don't miss out on a deal!
4:00 PM: Prizes! You must be present to win:

· Bushnell 20 x 80 “Astralis” binoculars with Tripod Mount and case.

· Celestron 20X80 “Giant” binoculars with case.

· Bushnell 10 X 50 “Legacy WP” binoculars with case.

· Bushnell 8 X 42 “Legacy WP” binoculars with case.

9:00 PM till dawn: Observing/astrophotography/observing circle opens – show us your favorite object!
9:00 PM: Gerry Smerchanski's bino tour - Arrive a few minutes early to get comfy... bring your lounger, a blanket, binoculars if you have as Gerry takes us for a guided tour of the night sky!

Sunday Sep 4

Interpretive Centre:

Afternoon Talks:

1:00 PM  Gail Wise:  RASC Observing Programs.
2:00 PM Rick Huziak:  The Importance of Dark Sky Preserves.

6:00 PM RASC representatives open public information booth.
7:00 PM Dark Sky Preserve (DSP) public ceremony & public observing begins.

First Nations Open Ceremony

Park Interpreter , Jennifer Bryson: Introductions and welcome remarks by park staff.

National DSP Representative, Rick Huziak: 15 minute talk and official signing of Dark Sky Preserve Designation.

Local DSP Representative, Tim Kennedy: 15 minute talk and presentation.

8:00 PM: Observing the Moon with RASC volunteer telescopes and at 8:30 PM.... Saturn shows up!
9:00 PM: Green Laser Pointer Tour of the Constellations by Gerry Smerchanski.

Monday September 5

9:00 - 10:00 AM Continental breakfast at hospitality tent.
10:30 AM: Closing remarks followed by group photo - be there!
10:30 AM - 3:00 PM: Tear down and clean up


Richard Huziak


The Importance of Dark Sky Preserves

gAiL Wise


RASC Observing Programs

Richard Huziak is a member of the RASC Saskatoon Centre, the American Association of Variable Star Observers and is Canada’s amateur astronomer representative to the International Astronomical Union since 2021.  He is the Chair of the Saskatchewan Light Pollution Abatement Committee and a previous member of the RASC National Light Pollution Abatement Committee.  He has been involved in the creation of the Cypress Hills, Grasslands, Old Man on His Back and Beaver Hills Dark-sky Preserves. His awards include the RASC Service, Chant and President’s medals and the AAVSO President’s medal.  Asteroid 3134 Huziak is named for him.

Gail’s dad took her to the planetarium when it first opened, and that experience even surpassed the time she went to the circus and a clown talked to her!

Her interest in astronomy stayed with her through the years, and in 1995 she discovered the RASC.  Since that time Gail has gone through the positions of councillor, newsletter editor, vice-presidents and president.  She has served on the awards committee, the SWSP planning committee, the dark sky committee, and received the Winnipeg Centre Outstanding Service Award in 2008.  Gail can be found at many public events sharing her love of the night sky.

Gail’s pink 8-inch Dobsonian has travelled far and wide and has helped her earn several of the RASC’s observing certificates.  On cloudy nights she spends her time with her cat watching old movies on television

Camping and Accommodations

SWSP Observing Field

This is where most members gather to camp and set up their scopes for a weekend of observing and your camping cost at this spot is included in your registration fee. It is an open field in the “Winter Rec Area” with trees far enough away to give an open dark sky. There is no service but porta-potties and non-modern toilets are available.

Kiche Manitou Campsites

Located about 0.5 km from the observing field.  Electrical and basic sites available.

Visit the camping reservation system or call 204‑948‑3333 (in Winnipeg) or 1‑888‑482‑2267 toll-free to reserve a site.

Camping Reservation System →

Kiche Manitou Yurts

Yurts are currently all reserved.  Check the camping reservation system for availability should someone cancel their reservation.

Camping Reservation System →

Local Lodging

If camping isn’t your style, there are many lodgings nearby for you to rest when you’re done your night under the stars. The following PDF contains some of the places you may be interested in.

List of Local Lodging →


Map to venue


Cover image courtesy of Firstname Lastname shortu.rl/I71gHi54