Feline festive: 10th anniversary of Edmonton’s biggest cat pawty

By News Staff

Edmonton’s gone to the cats – and that’s a good thing!

Because there’s no kitten around when it comes to Canada’s longest-running celebration of our furry friends (and the non-furry ones too – looking at you, Canadian Sphynx).

Saturday’s 10th anniversary of the Edmonton International Cat Festival saw hundreds of cat people – and dog people who don’t know they love cats yet – gather at the MacEwan Robbins Health Learning Centre downtown.

The milestone anniversary was even more special after Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi declared May 25, 2024 “Cat Day” in Alberta’s capital city.

The all-day event featured activities such as a kitty maze, a cat art exhibit, temporary cat tattoos, a long list of feline-related vendors, cat crafts, a nap zone, cat cafés, and a cat board game lounge.

There were also rescue booths, with cats up for adoption from various rescue shelters, and several talks and workshops (such as feline first aid, FIP awareness, how to run a cat Instagram account, and more).

One of the many talks and workshops at the Edmonton International Cat Festival on May 25, 2024. (Carly Robinson, CityNews)

In attendance were three celebrity cats with online followings totalling several million: L.A.-based One Eared Uno (2.9 million on TikTok); B.C.’s BenBen (685,000 on Instagram); and Alberta’s own Great Grams of Gary (621,000 on Instagram). There were photo ops, meet and greets, and even Q&As with the celebrity cats.

Festival organizers say all proceeds raised will be donated to Community Cats Edmonton, Enoch Animal Services and Greater Edmonton Animal Rescue Society (GEARS).

“Since 2014, the Edmonton Cat Festival has raised $146,000 for rescues, helping improve the welfare of homeless cats, helping them find forever homes and helping to manage the wild cat population in the region,” organizers said.

The event was emceed by CityNews Edmonton’s own Carly Robinson.

The Edmonton International Cat Festival was one of a long list of events celebrating Cat Month in the city that included cat yoga, a cat food cooking class, and a cat block party. Next weekend there will be a cat meetup in the park downtown (June 1) and a sip ‘n purr event (June 2).

More information on the festival and other events can be found here.

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