Raising the value of ‘kitties’

Nelson comedian Lucas Myers gets in touch with his inner cat in preparation for  hosting a special Internet Cat Film Festival at Nelson’s Civic Theatre. The event is a fundraiser for the local SPCA. - Tamara Hynd
Nelson comedian Lucas Myers gets in touch with his inner cat in preparation for hosting a special Internet Cat Film Festival at Nelson’s Civic Theatre. The event is a fundraiser for the local SPCA.
— image credit: Tamara Hynd

It's not often you meet a grown man who unironically uses the word “kitties”, but Rob Andrew from the Nelson SPCA is one of them.

“We’re looking to raise the value of cats,” said Andrew, about the upcoming Internet Cat Film Festival, which is playing at the Civic Theatre for one night on June 12. Doors open  at 6:30 p.m. with the show starting at 7:30.

The event will feature a “kitty corral” for on-site adoptions, a number of feline-themed live performances and a short selection of local videos. The host will be comedian Lucas Myers.

“You have to figure about 50 per cent of people are cat people. But cats, in general, their value in society is way too low,” said Andrew. “This is a way for cat people to come together, socialize, and celebrate kitties.”

Whereas dog-lovers have a whole variety of ways to socialize with one another, he noted that cat people are often more isolated. He said this film festival will be an opportunity for cat people to commiserate and to have fun raising money while doing it. All proceeds from the evening will go to the Nelson SPCA.

“Who doesn’t love watching cat videos?” asked June McEwen, who helped organize the event. She said the event is unique because people will be experiencing the videos in a communal setting rather than in the privacy of their homes.

And though the evening will be light-hearted, there is a serious element to the fundraising. Andrew said that he’s experienced firsthand the callousness of some owners towards cats.

Dogs seem to have an intrinsic value to the populace, cats are abandoned more often, spend more time waiting for adoption and are euthanized in disturbing numbers.

But none of that has to be the case, and if the popularity of kitten videos online is any indication, there is no shortage of affection for our furry compatriots.

Jason Asbell, manager of the Civic Theatre, said they jumped at the chance to host the Internet Cat Film Festival.

He noted that the next smallest city to host the film was Charlottetown and he credits the fact that they’re a unique independent theatre, and have less restrictions than the larger chains, for giving them the opportunity to host this unique event.

“It’s definitely part of our mandate,” he said, to support local initiatives and non-profit societies.

McEwen said the evening will be a “variety show of sorts”, and all ages friendly.

There will be live painting by local tattoo artist Avrell Fox, a theremin show by Canadian recording artist Clara Venice and a dance number by the Showcats. DJs from the all-female collective Meow Mix will supply some beats.

Andrew said the SPCA is currently in the midst of “kitten season”, and though the older cats won’t be able to attend, there will be plenty of their younger counterparts to frolic with and take pictures of.

The deadline for submitting your own cat video is Monday, June 9.

Tickets are $15, $12 for seniors and $10 for kids. To find out about tickets and to submit your own cat video, visit civictheatre.ca.

For more information contact the Civic Theatre at 250-352-5833 or the Nelson BC SPCA at 250-352-7178.

“This is purr-fect for us,” said Andrew.

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