Dogtrotting.net interview with meowfest 2019 organizer Sarita Fichtner.
I don’t talk about this enough, but I was first a cat-lady before my dog Victor dropped in my lap. Suddenly, one of my fur-babies was portable and he and I hit the road. Dogtrotting.net was born.
However, cats are my first love. I grew up with one from the time I was 5 until I was 22 (yes, the same cat). Later, I shared my world for 17-years with my tuxedo soul-mate. Currently, Victor shares his home with his two feline, fur-siblings: Sally and Daisy.
No surprise, I’m excited to attend meowfest 2019 this weekend, July 6, 2019, at Brickworks in Toronto, Ontario. But first, I was fortunate to speak with meowfest event manager Sarita Fichtner about this second-annual feline-focused fun day snowballing in popularity.
So many festivals include all pets. Why start meowfest specifically about cats?
Meowfest is the passion project of meowbox, a cat subscription box company based in Vancouver, BC. We have put on smaller community events in the past and felt ready to take things to the next level last year, which is when we hosted the first ever meowfest. Our team members love all animals, but we definitely have a special place in our hearts for cats. We’re all cat owners, have two office kitties and foster cats and kittens from local shelters when possible. Cats are so unique, hilarious, extremely intelligent and relatable!
Is this event focused on fundraising?
With the homeless cat crisis being so prevalent in North America, we do what we can to bring awareness to this issue. The goal of meowfest is to raise funds and awareness of feline rescue, fostering and adoption, all while having a fabulous time and connecting the online cat community together, offline. meowfest 2018 was able to raise over $10,000 for the BC SPCA, Langley Animal Protection Society, The Pet Education Project and New Westminster Animal Shelter.
I understand meowfest started in British Columbia, but this year moved to Toronto. Why a different location each year and will the festival stay in Toronto?
We are based in Vancouver, so it was the obvious choice for the location of our first event. As soon as we announced meowfest, the nationwide – even worldwide – demand for our event was instant! We wanted to host the second annual event in Toronto to spread our efforts and give people (and cat shelters) across the country a chance to participate and attend, if they weren’t able to last year.
Will there be a meowfest 2020? If so, where?
At this point, we aren’t sure where our next location will be, but we do hope to return to Vancouver sooner than later!
What can someone new to meowfest expect to experience? What is the highlight?
The highlight of the event will be different for everyone, depending on what (or who) they’re interested in. Festival goers can expect a day full of feline-focused merchandise vendors, an adoption room with cats rescued from Toronto Cat Rescue, educational workshops and meet & greets featuring the biggest names of the cat community such as Kitten Lady, The Cat Photographer, iAmMoshow, Venus the Two Face Cat, Nala Cat, Pudge, Klaus & Juno and The Dark Lord, unique food vendors, an onsite bar, live music, a “gLitter Box” photobooth and more!