Solar Eclipse viewing event attracts hundreds

Over a thousand people crowded around the Curling Club in Kelowna this morning to get a good look of the solar eclipse.

The Okanagan Royal Astronomical Society of Canada hosted a viewing event, providing solar eclipse glasses and a peak into telescopes.

“We are overwhelmingly surprised, it’s a great turnout,” says volunteer Penny Nile “We weren’t expecting this many people, maybe a couple hundred, not in the beyond thousands.”

The society had about 250 solar eclipse glasses up for grabs, all of which were snatched up within a half hour.

Teagan Stead, who happens to turn 8 years old today, had a solar-eclipse themed birthday party over the weekend. She was at the Curling Club with her family.

“It’s like a sliver and then in the very beginning it looked more like Pac-man,” she says, describing the eclipse.

Bruce Shoch was at the event to see his second ever solar eclipse, which did not dissapoint.

“I enjoyed the temperature change, and the light change was quite dramatic because I noticed I actually got quite cool after a while and the lighting changed substantially.”

He says his first solar eclipse was a full one, but because it was at night time he didn’t get the full experience like he did today.  

The event also attracted tourists like Ryan Wada and his wife and two young sons, who are from Calgary.

“We just happened to be on vacation and heard about it and I heard that Kelowna was one of the better places in Canada to check things out,” says Wada “so we decided to pop down and see what was happening.”

The moon started to cover the sun at 9:13am, with maximum coverage reached at 10:25am.

The next solar eclipse to cross North America will be in 2024, however it will be most visible in eastern Canada.