Well that was doggone fun.
Last week Buster the Labradoodle and I were invited to join several other “Celebrity Dogs” in a photo shoot over at Champion Pet Foods, for the Dog City Festival 2020, which will run July 11th at the Whitemud Equine Learning Centre. The Fest is a day long celebration of everything DOG….with live music, great eats, craft beers, wine and healthy treats for the pooch.
There will be dog experts on hand, workshops and plenty of free samples, toy testing, and even dog massages.
My media pals Chris Scheetz from CISN and Sean Burke from The Breeze were there with their canines along with a cute pooch that is owned by a fairly hot local hockey player who we will identify only as #97.
The dogs were all dressed up in their finery, and many will be choosen for a feature article in Avenue Magazine in the near future to help promote this years Dog City Festival.
Our invite came courtesy Rona Fraser who explains the event.
“Dog City Festival is a unique fundraiser in support of Wellspring Edmonton. Dogs have become such a part of our families and lives. They are being welcomed and incorporated into more events and Dog City Festival is a one-day music festival that you can bring your pup to. The event features an array of music from top Alberta musicians in a fully licences site. The best part though is the many activities designed for the dogs at the event. The Dogtopia Wagzone is a large off-leash area with a splash zone, agility area, toys and a photo booth. There is also a vendor village, dog treats and eats to sample and dog performances including a Disc Dog Show and Dog Trick Performers from BC. The very popular Dog (dog yoga) class will be offered again as well. Last year the event broke a Guinness World Record for the largest ever Dog Yoga class with 408 participants!”
Champion Pet Foods is an incredible local success story. They started back in 1985 and have just opened a huge new operation on Highway 60 just west of town.
Marketing Co-ordinator Candice Sawchuk tells me “Champion Petfoods, makers of the award-winning ORIJEN and ACANA dog and cat food brands, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate their new 421,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art NorthStar Kitchen. The new Kitchen will support Champion’s global position of pet food innovation and will help the company meet the brands’ growing demand in nearly 100 countries.”
The company is very connected to the local community and proud to help support the Festival by raising funds for Wellspring here in town.
Head Wellspring namesake Martin Dugas tells me “At Wellspring we build cancer support communities. We bring our community together, activating experts in the field of supportive cancer care, volunteers, talented local professionals to educate, encourage and empower people impacted by cancer. Our goal is to build confidence and resilience to everyone that is facing cancer. What we have learned is that our four-legged family members and friends play a critical role in so many of our members lives. They greet us at our worst, with the enthusiasm and love, like we are perfect precisely how we are. Dog City Festival is Wellspring’s way of celebrating the furry family members that always show up, comfort us when we need them most and remind us what unconditional love really mean.”
Rona Fraser has a personal connection to Wellspring herself which shapes part of her inspiration to be involved in Dog City.
“The event evolved after my mom passed away from cancer in 2018. She always wanted to write and after she passed I learned that Wellspring offered free writing classes to those living with cancer and those who support them. I wanted everyone to know about the amazing music, art, excercise and nutrition classes that they offered. My husband Brett and I had worked with Marty (Dugas) previously at the Ronald McDonald House helping with their block party fundraiser so we had that connection. Last year the event hosted 1932 attendees and this year we hope for 3000. It is an incredible day of fun and very family friendly with children under 12 being free.”
You can learn more and see photos at http://www.dogcityfestival.com and you can check them out on Facebook or follow on Twitter at @dog_festival.