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Alberta

Celebrate all things feline on ‘Caturday’, June 1st!

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Edmonton’s International Cat Festival is BACK and better than ever, with even more activities and programming and YEG’s very own Instagram-famous Adventure Cat!

The festival is the only event of its kind and is a massive celebration of cats, cat culture and cat people, created to raise money to help cats in need. The event was the first of its kind in Canada when it began in 2014, and today is the only event of its kind in Alberta.

100% of ‘purr-ceeds’ from this year’s Edmonton International Cat Festival will be donated to 5 cat rescues: Little Cats Lost, Zoe’s Animal Rescue, SAFE Team Rescue, GEARS, and A Pet’s Pantry.

Since 2014, the Edmonton Cat Festival has donated $81,000 to rescues helping improve the welfare of homeless cats, helping them find forever homes, and managing the wild cat population in the region.

Activities you (and your cat of course!) can take part in include cat board games, paint-your-cat portrait sessions, kitty play pens, kitten mazes, mock cat show judging, a pop-up cat-themed escape room, cat yoga, giant cat puzzle challenges, cat LEGO, robo-cats, cat photo contest, a cat scavenger hunt and cat-themed Instagrammable Wall!

50 cat vendors will also be on hand and you can take in some cat presentations including ‘Meowtains, Meowdeling and Meowdest Instagram Success: How I Made my Cat Semi-Internet Famous’ and ‘Good Night, Moon: How to Process Grief and Honour Our Pets Who’ve Passed On’.

Click here for a full list of activities and programs.

There will even be meet & greets with Edmonton’s own celebrity cat Suki the Adventure Cat(@sukiicat), who has over 1.4 MILLION FOLLOWERS WORLDWIDE! The Edmonton-based cat and her fur-pawrent will be doing two meet & greets with fans at the festival, along with an on-stage interview.

Suki the Adventure Cat

The 5th Edmonton International Cat Festival takes place in downtown Edmonton at the MacEwan Robbins Health Learning Centre 10910 104 Avenue, Saturday June 1, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Remember, 100% of proceeds from the event go to local cat rescues. This year’s goal is to take the total donated since 2014 from $81,000 up to $100,000!

Tickets are $15 in advance (get them online here), $20 at the door.
Kids 12 and under = FREE!

Stay up to date on festival news and information and enjoy these photos from years’ past!

Even more great photos can be seen here!

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Alberta

Alberta seeing spike in syphilis cases

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Syphilis rates way up in Alberta

Rates of syphilis in Alberta on the rise

Infectious and congenital syphilis rates have escalated across the province over the past five years, with a sharp increase in 2018.

The rapid increase in syphilis cases has spurred Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, to declare a provincial outbreak and encourage Albertans to get tested and protect themselves.

“We need to emphasize for all Albertans: Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are a risk to anyone who is sexually active, particularly people who have new sex partners and are not using protection. I encourage anyone who is sexually active to get tested regularly. Anyone in Alberta can access STI testing and treatment for free.”

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Chief Medical Officer of Health

In response to the sharp rise in 2018, a provincial outbreak coordination committee composed of Alberta Health, Alberta Health Services (AHS) and other provincial health officials has been activated. Over the next three months, the committee will develop a coordinated strategy and determine concrete actions to increase STI testing, promote public awareness and reduce the overall number of syphilis cases in Alberta.

“Sexual health is an important part of overall health. We are working with community partners to remove stigma and increase awareness about STI testing services throughout Alberta. If you are sexually active, make regular STI testing part of your health routine.”

Dr. Laura McDougall, Senior Medical Officer of Health, AHS

 

A total of 1,536 cases of infectious syphilis were reported in 2018 compared to 161 in 2014, almost a tenfold increase. The rate of infectious syphilis has not been this high in Alberta since 1948.

Congenital syphilis, which occurs when a child is born to a mother with syphilis, is a severe, disabling and life-threatening disease. While congenital syphilis cases were rare before the outbreak, there were 22 congenital syphilis cases between 2014 and 2018, one of which was stillborn.

Consistent and correct condom use is important protection against STIs such as syphilis. Like other STIs, the symptoms of syphilis may not be obvious. Health experts recommend sexually active people, regardless of gender, age or sexual orientation, get tested every three to six months if they:

  • have a sexual partner with a known STI
  • have a new sexual partner or multiple or anonymous sexual partners
  • have previous history of an STI diagnosis
  • have been sexually assaulted

Prenatal care including syphilis testing is available for all Albertans. It is critical that anyone who is pregnant seeks early prenatal care and testing for syphilis during pregnancy.

Anyone experiencing STI-related symptoms should seek testing through their local health-care provider. Call Health Link at 811, visit a STI or sexual health clinic or speak to a family doctor to find testing and treatment options.

 

Quick facts

  • 2018 case counts for infectious syphilis by AHS zone:
    • South Zone: 31 cases, an increase of 138.5 per cent compared to 2017
    • Calgary Zone: 206 cases, an increase of 7.3 per cent compared to 2017
    • Central Zone: 88 cases, an increase of 266.7 per cent compared to 2017
    • Edmonton Zone: 977 cases, an increase of 305.4 per cent compared to 2017
    • North Zone: 208 cases, an increase of 324.5 per cent compared to 2017
  • For further breakdown of STI 2018 numbers, see the 2018 STI and HIV Summary Report.
  • Alberta Health works with AHS and community organizations towards prevention, health promotion, outreach testing, education, harm reduction, and addressing stigma. Previous actions include:
    • Grants to the Alberta Community Council on HIV to support community organizations across the province to prevent and reduce STIs, reduce harm associated with the non-medical consumption of substances and support health in their own geographic locations.
    • Alberta Health has provided three one-time grants totalling a combined $2 million since 2017 to combat the rising rates of STI, including syphilis, focusing on raising awareness and education, reducing stigma and increasing testing and treatment.
    • Since 2016, Alberta Health Services and Alberta Health have been working with over 100 provincial partners to develop innovative approaches to increasing access to STI services across the province.
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Alberta

Semi Rollover on Highway 2 north causing delays

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Semi rollover on highway 2 near Leduc

From Leduc RCMP

Leduc RCMP on scene of a single vehicle semi roll over on Highway 2

On July 8, 2019 at 6:45AM Leduc RCMP along with emergency personnel responded to a single semi vehicle roll over at highway 2 Northbound near highway 2A.  

 A single male occupant of the semi sustained minor injuries and was transported to hospital in Edmonton via ground ambulance. 

Traffic on highway 2 is reduced to a single lane northbound major delays are expected in the area. A detour route onto Glen Park Road to highway 2A has been set up at this time.  The cause of the collision is still under investigation. 

Semi rollover on highway 2 near Leduc

At a later time today highway 2 will be closed for vehicle recovery.

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