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Northern Lights, the free Parliament Hill sound and light show, returns for 2022

Centre Block illuminated in blue light, with the image of gears as part of the Northern Lights sound and light show. Photo via Canadian Heritage.

Head down to Parliament Hill one night this summer for a one-of-a-kind sound and light experience of Canadian culture and history, presented by Canadian Heritage. Northern Lights is beginning a new summer-long season on July 7, bringing to life in spectacular detail the people, events and milestones that shaped Canadian history.

Dates and times

Northern Lights is on five nights a week from Thursdays to Mondays (there are no shows on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and shows may be cancelled when weather conditions warrant.)

  • In July, shows start at 10 p.m.
  • In August, shows start at 9:30 p.m.
  • In September, shows start at 9 p.m.

Northern Lights runs from July 7 to September 5.

About Northern Lights

Using five artistic techniques to tell stories in five books, Northern Lights explores themes of nation-building, partnership, valor, pride and vision – all against the backdrop of the Parliament Buildings.

The free bilingual show launched in 2015, initially for a five-year run. Now it’s back after a two-year break! More than one million people have seen Northern Lights since its debut.

The previous show, Mosaika: Canada Through the Eyes of its People, ran from 2010 to 2015. More than 1.1 million people saw Mosaika and it received 13 national and international awards. The creative producers, Montreal-based Idées au cube, use state-of-the-art technology in the presentation. Light projected on the buildings creates incredibly lifelike pictures – the projectors used are capable of displaying 35,251,200 pixels (17 times more than an HD TV.) Over 25,000 feet of fiber optic cables and 15 km of lighting control cables are deployed to run the show.

Northern Lights is universally accessible, with a designated area for wheelchair users along the centre walkway of Parliament Hill, between the projection trailer and the building. There are also presentations where simultaneous interpretation will be available in American Sign Language and Quebec Sign Language: July 15, July 29 and August 12.

Bring some blankets and snacks!

More info at canada.ca…

(Modified from Canadian Heritage)