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Cat lovers – this is for you

Cat lovers better prepare themselves for the second annual Edmonton International Cat Fest presented by Nutrience. It will be purring down doors Saturday, May 30 at the NAIT gymnasium.

Linda Hoang, NAIT television graduate and current digital communications specialist with NAIT’s Marketing and Communications Department, has made Edmontonian cat lovers’ dreams a reality with Cat Fest.

Hosted by NAIT in partnership with the NAIT Animal Health program, it seems the institution has its paws all over this.

With a fiery passion for animals, cats in particular, Hoang set out to create something special for Edmonton residents. When she caught wind of a travelling cat film festival coming to Canada in 2014, an idea started to form.

“I thought it would be a great opportunity to create a festival of our own – that goes beyond just the film-cat video aspect,” Hoang recalls.

“It’s a chance to come together with other cat lovers to celebrate cats and raise money and awareness for non-profit organizations who do such great work helping homeless cats.”

Keeping our feline friends in mind, all ticket sales and donations go to the Edmonton Humane Society, SAFE Team Rescue and Little Cats Lost. These three nonfor-profits focus on improving the welfare of local cats and finding them a suitable family.

Last year’s event drew a crowd of approximately 600 kitty lovers and raised almost $9,000 for the Edmonton Humane Society. How will they raise the bar this year? This year’s event will host even more cats than last year. Visitors can pet and cuddle to their hearts content. There will be adoptable cats and breed/show cats that will melt everyone’s heart. They are even flying in celebrity feline Nala, the most popular cat on Instagram, for a meet and greet.

“Cats dominate the Internet,” said Hoang. “We’re excited to give Edmontonians the chance to meet Nala. She’s got more Instagram followers than Grumpy Cat!”

The festival will include:

• A lineup of international feline footage (Internet Cat Videos)

• A local Internet cat video competition with judging, plus prizes

• A cat photo “beauty pageant” (who will be named Mr. and Mrs. Purr-fect?)

• A photo contest for festival goers – dress up in your best cat-themed clothes!

• Meet and greet with Nala, the most popular cat on Instagram

• Adoptable cats from the Edmonton Humane Society, Little Cats Lost and SAFE Team Rescue • Show cats and unique breeds from the Edmonton Cat Fanciers Club (plus a mock cat ring demo!)

• Fantastic presentations from local cat enthusiasts including presentations on The Crazy World of Cat Entertainment Technology, Cats in Popular Culture and more!

• Vendors featuring cat clothes, jewelry, art, books and accessories.

• The London Drugs CATivities Centre – featuring cat crafts and cat apps

• A “cat cafe” (sip coffee among tons of stuffed animal kitties) Sailin’ On food truck and Atilla the HUNgry food truck.

Whether you have a cat or not, Cat Fest is a great way to kick off your summer break and give to charity. For more information of the event visit, their website at Edmontoncatfest.com, follow them on twitter at YEGCatFest or like their Facebook page EdmontonCatFest.

Tania Boyko

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