EDMONTON -- The Edmonton Cat Festival is getting another life. Even though the physical edition of the local event has been cancelled, it’s going to proceed as an online event on Saturday, May 30th.

The move was made due to COVID-19 restricting large gatherings, but the organizer of the festival says cats and the internet have always been a popular combination.

“Watching cat videos online was cool to do before COVID,” says Linda Hoang. “And now it’s even more so!”

Hoang says the focus year will be on things you can do to enrich your cat’s life at home.

“There will be tips on making cat treats, taking better cat photos, we’ve got a vet showing us cat care, nails and teeth cleaning, kind of what to check at home.”

The seven hour long online event will also feature activities you can do with your cat, like cat yoga. There will also be musical performances, cat story time and cat show and tell, where you can you’re your furry friend up to the camera for everyone to see. Attendees can go back and forth between festival programming to and watch replays of their favourite sessions.

This year will also feature a virtual appearance by a celebrity feline. Gary the Adventure cat from Banff, who has over 200,000 followers on Instagram. The famous cat and his owner will be live streaming a kayak ride through the Rocky Mountains.

“It will be like you are on a kayak with Gary,” says Hoang. “You can do a Q and A with Gary the cat as well.”

Tickets to the virtual festival can be purchased online for $10 “per computer”, with 100 per cent of the proceeds going to charity .Since 2014, the Edmonton Cat Festival has raised $112,000 for animal rescue organizations in Alberta. Hoang says it’s more important than ever to continue to fundraise.

“The pandemic doesn’t change the need for the important work that local cat rescues are doing” she says. “We hope by putting on a virtual event, we can still celebrate our favourite felines while raising money to support these rescues who need it the most.”