Photo: Dan Carr, Colorblind conversion by EnChroma

The northern lights are one of the most astounding sights that can be viewed on this planet. That is, unless you’re one of the 1.6 million Canadians who have color vision deficiency. While people with typical color vision see over one million colors, people who experience colorblindness only see an estimated 10 percent of hues and shades. Travel Yukon and ENCHROMA, a leading producer of glasses for colorblindness and low vision, came together to make the show-stopping northern lights more accessible than ever before for the colorblind, and provided one Canadian with the chance to see this natural phenomenon in full color for the first time.

Russell Basilio experiences colorblindness. He sees color in dull hues, especially red and green, which leaves him to interpret the beauty of the world through shapes and textures. In order to demonstrate the power of this new accessibility, Travel Yukon took Russell on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to experience the northern lights in their truest colorful form. “Growing up colorblind, I always knew I saw the world differently. My sister would describe things to me like the northern lights, but I never really understood what that meant,” says Basilio. “To experience the northern lights in color with my sister by my side was a gift.”

“With dynamic lights and fantastic hues of greens, purples and reds, the northern lights are one of Yukon’s most beautiful natural phenomena,” says Robin Anderson, global marketing manager at Travel Yukon. “We are grateful for the opportunity to have worked with EnChroma to allow Russell to discover what makes the Yukon one of the best places in the world to experience incredible northern lights viewing.”

Special optical filters in EnChroma glasses expand the range of colors someone who is colorblind can see and make colors more vibrant, clear and distinct to help them experience more of life’s colorful moments and overcome challenges while traveling and in daily life. By coming together, EnChroma and Travel Yukon were able to provide Russell with a week of colorful moments that will last a lifetime. “The Yukon truly is larger than life, but for the hundreds of millions of people with colorblindness across the globe, many of its most spectacular and colorful scenes can’t be fully experienced or appreciated,” says Erik Ritchie, CEO of EnChroma. “We’re so excited to partner with Travel Yukon to give Russell and future visitors the chance to see the northern lights in all their glory.”

Canadians looking to learn more about Russell’s adventure can watch his journey by visiting

–Andrew Karp