Starfest 2016 Activities

Art Easel

Starfest Astronomy Art Display

This fun activity is one of the many ways you can be involved at Starfest 2016!  Show us how your interest in astronomy has inspired you to express your artistic talents.

Whether you are a budding Van Gogh, moon sketcher or sculptor, share your creative side and bring along your best sketches, paintings, drawings or mixed media to Starfest 2016’s Astronomy Art Display.  Tables and chairs will be set up in the Rec Hall on Saturday from 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm for you to come and display your own artwork.  Each participant will receive a beautiful, frameable, Certificate of Appreciation for sharing their combined passion for astronomy and art.

Nicole DeBond


Astronomy is a fun hobby for the entire family!  Kidfest will have activities to suit youngsters aged 4 to 12.  From art projects, designing the next generation space craft or playing space science games, there is something for all kids!  This is an hour of fun and informative activities for young future scientists.

Nicole DeBond was introduced to astronomy as a youngster and is a Kidfest alumna. She has participated in astronomy outreach for many years.  She was on the executive of the U of Toronto’s Astronomy & Space Exploration Society, a tour guide and research assistant at the David Dunlap Observatory and taught in Taiwan for a year following completing her MSc.

Astrophotography Competition

The Starfest Astrophotography Competition is open to all registrants of Starfest.  Images are to be submitted well in advance of the Star party for judging.  All images will be judged and shown during Saturday night’s program, and prizes will be awarded to the top ranking images.  Please see the Imaging Contest tab for rules and deadlines.  To contact the Chairman click here.

We encourage all registrants to apply, as this is a friendly competition to recognize talent in our midst.  As long as the theme is astronomy, you can use any kind of digital equipment - cell phone, point and shoot camera, DSLR, CCD, Malincam, Stellacam, webcam, spycam, GoPro etc ...

Remember to sit near the front during the show .... your name might be called!

Observing Sessions

Enjoy stargazing under amazing skies with your fellow astronomy enthusiasts.  Bring your telescope and binoculars and join us for our evening observing sessions.  Don’t have your own telescope?  Come along and look through some of ours.  We are always happy to share.

Informal Astro-Rap

On Thursday night, you are invited to join us in the Main Tent to talk about astrophotography and astronomy in general.  Bring your images and share your experiences with others.

Door Prizes

On Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. the door prize draw will be held in the Main Tent.  Thousands of dollars of astronomical merchandise, provided by the astronomical retailers and manufactures participating in Starfest, will be given away.  You must claim your prize at the time your name is drawn.  If you are not present when your name is drawn, another name will be drawn until the prize is given away.  Your name is automatically entered into the draw if you paid a registration fee as follows: One draw ticket per individual registration, two draw tickets for each family registration, and one draw ticket for each youth registration.

Star Chart

Sky Tour

Join us for a tour of the night sky on Friday at 10pm. The Sky Tour will be conducted in the field just west of the main tent.  You don’t want to miss this event! (Saturday night if cloudy)

Solar Observing Session

Join us for a solar viewing session on Friday 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. next to the Baseball Field.  A variety of telescopes and filters will be used to observe the sun.

Perseid Meteor Shower

This year, one of the best meteor showers of the year peaks on the night of August 12th however you may be able to see some early meteors during Starfest.

Optics Cleaning Station

On Friday afternoon from 1:00pm until 3:00pm and again on Saturday afternoon from 1:30pm until 3:30pm bring your eyepieces, mirrors, and lenses to our optics cleaning station.  We provide solutions and a work area on the north end of the Main Tent in the Baseball field for you to clean your glass.

ATM Forum

You are invited to join us in the Rec Hall to talk about your amateur telescope making projects, as well as building your own instrumentation, sheds, observatories, etc.  Bring your ATM telescopes, images of your projects and share your experiences with fellow ATMers and home-builders.

Swap Tables

Swap Table

Participants will have the opportunity to buy, sell or trade astronomical articles on Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  The swap tables will be located on the basketball court.  These tables are not for commercial sales. Individuals will be responsible for their own property at the tables.

Friday Night at the Movies

On Friday night at 7:00 p.m. a movie with an astronomical theme will be shown in the Rec Hall for the kids.  If it’s cloudy on Friday or Saturday night the movie will be shown in the Main Tent for everyone.

Saturday Night Banquet

A buffet style dinner will be served in the Main Tent on Saturday evening by the staff of Harleys Pub and Perk, from Mildmay On.  The following food items will be available:

  • BBQ Pork Ribs
  • Bruschetta Chicken
  • Meatballs — Sweet and Sour
  • Mini Potatoes
  • Tossed Chopped Salad
  • Rice Pilaf (for the vegetarians) will have Edamame, Black Beans & vegetables
  • Hot Mixed Vegetables (no cheese or nuts)
  • Desserts
  • Coffee/ Tea / Pop / Water

All are welcome to purchase a ticket for the buffet.  To avoid disappointment, order your banquet tickets with your pre-registration.

Starfest Merchandise

A limited quantity of Starfest T-shirts, sweatshirts, baseball caps, toques and pins will be available.  To avoid disappointment, order your promotional items with your pre-registration.


Get into the Club

Astronomy is a community activity.  The North York Astronomical Association is an organized group of amateur astronomers who enjoy observing, astrophotography and many other astronomy related activities.  To satisfy the needs and interests of our members the club maintains two observing sites, and holds monthly meetings and observing sessions.  Membership in the NYAA is open to all.  Membership: $50 individual, $65 family.  In addition, there is a $25 site access fee which allows unlimited access to our two observing sites, one near Schomberg (approx. 45 mins. North West of Toronto) and the other at Oak Heights (1 hour east of Toronto).

Starfest Co-ordinates

Longitude: 80° 50′ 27″ W, Latitude: 44° 40′ 280″ N, Elevation: 400 metres.

Starfest 2017

Starfest 2017 will be held July 20 - 23.