The first-ever Calgary Cat Festival and Market took place downtown on Sept. 24 and 25, raising $4,573 for local animal shelters. The vision was to promote the cat community while fundraising for local animal shelters, according to event organizer, June Wong.

Many local animal shelters were present, as were booths highlighting different companies and businesses to raise money for the cause. 

The first-ever Calgary Cat Festival and Market took place downtown on Sept. 24 and 25. Video: Isabella West

Shaila Khan, owner of Mumu Beads, said that although her jewelry business has no association with cats, she has always loved felines and was more than willing to participate in the event in order to spread some joy.

Some of the animal shelters that were being fundraised for, like Pawsitive Match Rescue Foundation, attended the event.

“The market is great exposure for our adoptable cats,” said Roisin Kerr, communications and media director at the foundation.

Groups like Pawsitive Match Rescue Foundation are most animals’ last hope when they arrive at the shelter.

“We’re saving their lives, we’re getting them out of the cold, we’re getting them out of situations that aren’t great for them, and we get them fully all their medical care and get them into loving forever homes,” said Kerr.  

Most animal shelters depend heavily on donations in order to provide life-saving care to animals – that is why fundraising events like the Calgary Cat Festival and Market are so meaningful and impactful for the animal rescue community.

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Isabella West is a fourth-year Journalism student at MRU. She completed her work term over the summer of 2023 at LiveWire Calgary in partnership with the Calgary Journal.