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Hip hop for kitties

Royal Kitty Music Fest goes Thursday night in downtown Guelph
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Royal Kitty Music Fest will benefit Guelph Humane Society.

It’s Royal Kitty in the Royal City Thursday night.

The Royal Kitty Music Fest, a showcase of socially relevant rap and hip-hop music, hits the Guelph Concert Theatre stage and dance floor Thursday night, 166 Wyndham St. N.

All proceeds will benefit the Guelph Humane Society, as the organization works to find and raise funds to purchase and renovate a new location.

Angela Nosal, who works in the veterinary field, is an organizer of Royal Kitty Music Fest. The event, she said, caters to a younger crowd that doesn’t often get catered to by other music events in the area.

“We’re trying to raise money for the Guelph Humane Society,” Nosal said. “They are needing a new location, and I thought it would be a great way to get the entire city out for a great night of music, and show that we’re all supportive of the cause.”

She said there aren’t a lot of music events that target the younger student crowd in the city. She has put together a strong roster of hip-hop musicians, some local, others from Toronto an Victoria, B.C. including D-Sisive, Pigeon Hole, Muneshine, Noah 23, Baracude Fishgang, and Babylon Warchild. The doors open at 7 p.m., the tunes start at 8 p.m.

The event also brings much needed awareness to the plight of cats in the city. Too many of them are stray, abandoned to the streets, or turned into the animal shelter by owners who don’t want them. Guelph Humane Society’s cat shelter is often filled to capacity.

“Cats just tend to get the short end of the stick,” Nosal said. “Cats rule the Internet. They are a very viral thing. But as far as their medical care, and from what you see at the shelter, where they have a very high intake rate, they aren’t well treated. This is a great way to put the spotlight on them.”

Guelph Humane Society has spent 45 years at 500 Wellington Street W., in a building on city-owned land shared by Guelph’s wastewater treatment plant. The city has expansion plans for the plant and the animal shelter has to move.

An extensive search for an appropriate and affordable new location turned up what was thought to be a good fit for the organization last summer. But deficiencies were uncovered during the planning process for renovations. The site turned out not be a good choice, and the search continues.

On the GHS website, acting executive director Lisa Veit recently stated that the organization continues to actively investigate new properties, adding that the city has been “supportive and very cooperative in helping us to meet our goal.”

There is a donation tab on the organization’s website at www.guelph-humane.on.ca.

Veit is also looking for the public’s assistance in identifying potentially viable locations. The ideal site would increase the visibility of the shelter (the current location is on the west edge of the city and out of the way), would be close to public transit, have green space for dog walking close at hand, and have enough space to accommodate current operations, while permitting future expansions.

“We are at another crossroads in our history where the support of our community is critical to our success,” said Shane Bateman, chair of the GHS board of directors, in the statement. “We invite you, our supporters, friends, and our community to dream with us and to contribute whatever you can in our mission to innovate animal care for another century.”

Anyone with suggestions, or wanting to contribute to finding a new home for the organization can contact GHSnewhome@guelphhumane.ca.

“We want to help them build a new home and get a better environment for those animals, which will hopefully lead to more adoptions,” said Nosal.

Gift bags will be given out to the first 50 people to arrive at Royal Kitty, and there are raffles and merchandise giveaways.

Tickets are $20 for students and those who work in the field of animal care, and $23 for others. Tickets are available at Guelph Animal Hospital, 110 Gordon Street, at the Guelph Humane Society, or at the door. Nosal hopes to raise several thousand dollars through the event.

Check out some of the music on YouTube. Hear Noah 23’s Fame at www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jsr82js-yj8, Babylon Warchild’s The System at www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPYJFvovP4k, and Muneshine’s In Transit at  www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwBFb3aNsYw.


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Rob O'Flanagan

About the Author: Rob O'Flanagan

Rob O’Flanagan has been a newspaper reporter, photojournalist and columnist for over twenty years. He has won numerous Ontario Newspaper Awards and a National Newspaper Award.
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