News / Edmonton

What's happening this weekend

Famous and not-so-famous cats will fill NAIT for the year's furriest festival

Cat lovers take in last year's Edmonton International Cat Festival.

Nanc Price Photography / Supplied

Cat lovers take in last year's Edmonton International Cat Festival.

Instagram’s most famous cat will be in Edmonton this weekend.

Nala, a grey five-year-old Siamese and Tabby mix who has nearly three million followers on the social media platform, has flown all the way from Los Angeles to be the guest of honour at the third annual Edmonton International Cat Festival.

“Every year we try to up the celebrity cat game,” said festival founder Linda Hoang.

Nala will be available for photos and meet-and-greets, but she won’t be the only cat on site.

There will be close to 100 felines at this year’s festival, running Saturday at NAIT (11762 106 Street.), including many that are up for adoption.

“We’re encouraging all of our vendors and rescue organizations to bring in lots of cats. Because that’s the biggest feedback we got in previous years – we thought we were offering lots of cats to pet and cuddle and adopt, but they wanted more,” Hoang said.

Other entertainment at Saturday’s festival will include a yoga class that welcomes cats, a space to pet kittens, cat story time courtesy of the Edmonton Public Library, a visit from the Edmonton Valley Zoo’s serval, Kitten TV – which Hoang describes as “kind of like the fire log channel but with cats” – and various cat-related vendors and crafts.

“Basically, anything and everything to do with cats will probably be there,” Hoang said.

The event doubled in attendance from 2014 to 2015, going from 600 to 1,200 people. Hoang hopes to more than double those totals again this year, aiming for 3,000 attendees. All proceeds raised will go to Little Cats Lost, Zoe’s Animal Rescue, and the Edmonton Humane Society.

Last year’s festival raised more than $30,000 for rescue agencies.

But even with all those cats, Hoang said watching bewildered humans is her favourite part.

“For a lot of the people, they are cat people, but the idea of going to a physical cat festival is weird for them. So it’s really fun for me to kind of just stand back and watch as everyone takes it in,” she said.

The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door, and kids 12 and under get in free.

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FRIDAY


WHAT: Jim Cuddy Benefit Concert
Cuddy, who has won 11 Juno Awards with the iconic Canadian band Blue Rodeo, will play for the Edmonton Public Schools Foundation to raise money for a full-day Kindergarten class at Riverbend School. Former Canadian Idol star Martin Kerr will open the show with a set featuring Kindergarten singers from Tipaskin School.
WHERE: The Citadel’s Shoctor Theatre
WHEN: Doors at 6:30 p.m., show at 7 p.m.

SATURDAY

WHAT: Pokemon Spring Championship
Heads up, anime fans. The Pokemon Spring Regional Championships are being held in cities across North America this month, and Edmonton’s event is coming right up. Players will compete for the title of regional champion and an invitation to the 2016 Pokemon World Championships in San Francisco in August. The entry fee is $20 per player for all age divisions, and competitors are asked to pre-register by e-mailing the organizer at corinnes-biz@telusplanet.net
WHEN: Registration starts at 8:30 a.m.
WHERE: Radisson Hotel South, 4440 Gateway Blvd.

WHAT: Medieval May
The Knights of the Northern Realm will take you on a trip to the bad old days with a 14th Century fashion show, medieval history displays, combat in real armour, period dancing, weapon demonstrations, a medieval market and a silent auction.
WHERE: King Edward Hall, 7708 85 Street.
WHEN: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

WHAT: Brother Octopus CD release
Edmonton’s only aquatic-themed electro-indie pop group, Brother Octopus, will make a splash with the release show for its fourth studio album, Connected Through the Corals. The album includes 12 songs with a different Edmonton musician featured on each one, including members of White Lightning, Two Bears North and Kickupafuss. This continues the band’s efforts to unite the local music scene – its last album featured 18 tracks, each recorded at a different Edmonton studio. A Gentleman’s Pact and Ego the Jackal will warm the stage Saturday.
WHERE: The Almanac, 10351 Whyte Avenue (enter through the back alley)
WHEN: 8:30 p.m.

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