January, February, March, 2024

Winter Workshops @ Prairie Gardens

Just 1 km north of Bon Accord, Canada’s First Dark Sky Community


Instructor Hugo Ernesto Sanchez Photography - Aurora and Nature Photographer Hugo Ernesto Sanchez was born in El Salvador, and moved to Canada many years ago. He moved to Edmonton in 1991 and his love for nature and the beautiful Alberta skies made him look at the sky all the time, but it was not until one random night that he had an encounter with the Northern Lights. Ten years have passed since that night, but the love for the Northern Lights has only grown stronger.


Elder Bill Bertschy, Rising Thunder,  Knowledge Keeper and Ceremony Chief, Oral Storyteller,  Tipi Teachings and Stars Guide. A guided walk through the forest trails gives opportunity for guests to connect with the land, the medicines of the forest, the trees, our relatives -the ones that fly, the ones that crawl, the rooted nation, the four legged ones such as the bear, moose, deer, coyote and winged relatives, and the star nation in our beautiful night skies. Storytelling, drumming, song and dance connect visitors to the land and each other as we journey together through time and reconciliation.

Farmer Tam Andersen, Horticulturalist, and steward of the land on which the Payhonin National Healing Forest was established as part of the Standing Bear Community Turtle Island Conservation Project.  She has studied the land, skys, creatures and seasons for the past 40 years. 

Choose One Workshop $199 
Choose Any Two Workshop Dates: $349

For up to 2 people for 1 registration! 

2 Session Bundle >

Are you a RTO or Group Tour Operator?
These programs can be booked with custom dates for groups for the travel trade. Net Rates are available >

These workshops involve location changes; you will need your vehicle to travel between locations (approx. 2 -5km).

Workshop One: Dancing Skies Introduction to Camera Basics for Beginners

Saturday, January 27, 2:30pm – 5:30pm : 3 hours

During this 3-hour workshop we will cover basic and advanced techniques for photography with almost any camera.  

Workshop Two: Dancing Skies Intro - Night Sky Photography Class & Tour

Saturday February 10th, 7pm – 10pm : 3 hours

Develop your photography skills in a 3-hour beginner to intermediate photography workshop, to bring your photography to the next level in the beauty the Payhonin National Healing Forest, and expanse of open skies about the farm!  

Workshop Three: Dancing Skies Night Photography Class & Tour 

Saturday, February 24, 7pm – 10pm : 3 hours

Hugo will set you upon your photography goals around the farm, tipis, and forest to improve your night sky photography. Learn basic to advanced techniques to capture the night sky, (weather permitting) northern lights (if we're lucky) and light painting or a ; there will be a jaunt to a stellar silhouette of the local Pioneer Churches, just 5 km down the road - if it's cloudy, to some of the best spots around.

Workshop Four: The Golden Hour Photography Class & Tour

Saturday, March 2, 4:00pm – 7pm – 3 hours

Enjoy a laid-back photography tour of the farm, as we travel to multiple idyllic spots between Prairie Gardens for a visit with the baby goats and lambs, the Payhonin National Healing Forest, and two Pioneer Churches on the Prairies.

Workshop Five: Your Phone - Photography Tour

Saturday, March 9,  1:30pm – 4:30pm - 3 hours $199

You don’t need a big camera to make a great photo. Learn to better use the camera that you always have at hand to capture images wherever you go.   This 3-hour photography workshop tour begins with introductions at Prairie Gardens’ warm and cozy greenhouse with a late lunch with a hot buttered apple cider with smoked sage, fire-roasted appetizer, hearty kabocha chili and farmhouse pie.