I am finally a MAKER.
I have wanted to “make” something for a very long time. I see so many Edmontonians creating these great events and projects all the time. Oftentimes I’ve done stories about these people and their great work! But in the back of my mind I’ve always wanted to be on the other end – to be the one creating something special, I just really didn’t know what that could be… until now!
I am so excited to be organizing the inaugural Edmonton International Cat Festival!
Inspired by the Walker Arts Centre Cat Video Festival that originated in Minnesota in 2012 (and drew a crowd of 10,000 people!!) the Edmonton International Cat Festival – taking place at NAIT on June 7, 2014 – is at the very core – a celebration of cats. It’s an opportunity for cat lovers (cat people) to come together, watch Internet cat videos, listen in on awesome cat-related presentations, visit cat vendor booths, and much more – all while supporting the Edmonton Humane Society and the incredible work they do to improve cat welfare in our city.
Tickets are only $15 and 100% of ticket sales and any additional donations go directly to the Edmonton Humane Society. We’ve got a great line-up of cat enthusiasts – Omar Mouallem, Marty Chan, Hilary Darrah, Elly & Evelyn (with NAIT, not yet listed on the site!) – all eager to present on paw-sitively purr-fect cat topics. We’re lining up great cat-related vendors – the vendor/booth area is where there will actually be cats! I’ve been wrangling in some of Edmonton’s great food trucks (line-up to be announced soon!) and we’re partnering with the NAIT Animal Health Program as our fantastic venue sponsor.
I’ve also been reaching out to ~celebrity cats~ to see if they can make at the very least a virtual appearance at the festival and so so far I can tell you that it’s looking quite promising!!!!
This festival and the main topic at hand (cats) are very near and dear to my heart. I have two cats – Thor (three years old) & Loki (two years old) – who, while not rescued from the Edmonton Humane Society, were still both rescued. They have brought a ridiculous amount of joy to my life (and my husband Mike’s life) and I could not imagine being without them!
Thor photo collage I created for her third birthday (Loki’s in there too!)
On the other hand – Internet cat videos also have a very special place in my heart. Cats, cat memes, cat videos, and celebrity cats, truly dominate the Internet and being a fairly plugged-in / always-on-the-Internet kind of person, this naturally suggests that cats fill a fairly large portion of my Internet usage and lead me to smile and laugh – a lot. I get very excited when @RealGrumpyCat retweets my stuff. I cried when Colonel Meow died. I regularly send Business Cat memes to people!
I do honestly believe that this festival fills a very special niche in the city. The Shaw Theatre at NAIT has a capacity of about 400 people – so if we can get 400 people out to the inaugural Edmonton International Cat Festival that would be AMAZING. I am trying to stay realistic though and thinking the actual attendance number may not be that high but there’s certainly the potential. Edmontonians love their cats!! Dream big!
Please spread the word about this festival!!
And if you would like to volunteer, donate prizes, or be one of the vendors, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org
I would like to also take this opportunity to thank a ton of people who have helped me get this festival off the ground! Travis & Marissa with the Edmonton Humane Society. All of the presenters – Omar, Marty, Hilary, Elly, Evelyn. Elly (again) and Linda with the Animal Health program at NAIT (securing the venue – SO huge!!!). Mike, Brittney, Scott and Frank for helping me work through the whole festival thought process (I needed to talk to them a LOT). Jeff and Chithra for designing the logo. Sheri for putting me in touch with some pet product/food companies (possible sponsors – still working on it). Perry for working on an animated opener for the film fest. And many, many more people I’ve yet to fully tap into their skills and expertise on (I’ll have an even longer thank you list by the end of this fest!)
I suppose to go back to the starting sentence of this blog post, I haven’t quite become a maker just yet. I’ll be able to truly say that after June 7. But I’m very excited that I’ve found that “thing” I was looking for – that “thing” I wanted to make. Again, I hope you can come to the inaugural year of the Edmonton International Cat Festival! I also hope you can help me spread the word.