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

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. Seen by more than 1.5 million people since it launched in 2015, Northern Lights is beginning its final season bringing to life the people, events and milestones that shaped Canadian history.

This year, the show includes two new segments to mark important anniversaries that have had an impact on the country: the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Immigration Act and the 100th anniversary of Jean-Paul Riopelle’s birth.

Dates and times

Northern Lights is on five nights a week from Thursdays to Mondays (there are no shows on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and note that 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 for its final season from July 7 to September 4, 2023.


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 21, August 12, and August 25.

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.

Northern Lights is the 6th edition of the free sound and light show on Parliament Hill. 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. Bring some blankets and snacks!

More info at canada.ca…

(Modified from Canadian Heritage)