Written by: Adam Lachacz CTVNewsEdmonton.ca Digital Journalist
An online festival is raising money to help local cat rescue organizations and celebrate all things feline.
The Edmonton International Cat Fest — Alberta’s biggest celebration of cats, cat culture, and cat people — began Saturday and continues Sunday with online programming from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on both days.
Thirty different interactive online activities, speakers, and educational events are scheduled for the two days. Some of the events include virtual cat yoga, how to make cat food, and local rescue panels, and live kitten cameras.
To take part in the cat-themed festivities visit the Edmonton International Cat Fest page.
Tickets are based on a pay-what-you-can model, where any donation of $20 or more will give you access to both days of online programming.
The festival will have some on-demand programming for people to enjoy for three weeks after, and it has Alberta’s first and only cat-themed online market for cat products.
All of the proceeds from the event will be donated to three local cat rescue organizations, including Little Cats Lost, Second Chance Animal Rescue (SCARS) and the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society.
Since 2014, the Cat Festival has raised $117,000 to aid cat rescue organizations.
“The pandemic won’t stop this paw-ty,” said Cat Festival founder Linda Hoang, in an email statement.
“During the last 14 months, cats have proven to be a source of happiness and comfort for many,” she added. “We hope our virtual weekend event will give cat lovers a brief paws, and inject some pawsitivity into their days.”
To help mark the occasion, Mayor Don Iveson proclaimed May 29, 2021 as “Cat Day” in the city of Edmonton.
“38 purrcent of Canadian households are home to at least one feline family member, and there are more than 33,000 licensed cats registered in Edmonton,” the declaration read.
“Cats are great companions to many, and have had a pawsitive impact over the past 14 months on the mental health and wellbeing of their humans.”
In an interview with CTV News Edmonton, Hoang said this is the second time the festival has been hosted online.
“Normally we have thousands of people packed in a room,” she said. “But this year we are spread out from all over the world.
“We are hoping with the virtual cat fest is that the year has been a bit of a downer and pretty negativity. With this virtual cat fest weekend we are hopefully giving people a positive break.”