Canadian National Exhibition Pin (1927)
In Canada, the cat fancy developed more slowly than in the United States. Records indicate that the Royal Canadian Cat Club (CFA) held the first organized show in Toronto in 1906. As in most of the world, cat shows were sparse during the war years, ie. 1939-1945.
Agricultural fairs were held in Canada as early as 1840's. The City of Toronto leased lakefront land as a permanent fairground in 1878 for its own exhibition, originally called the Toronto Industrial Exhibition.1
In 1912, the Toronto Industrial Exhibition was renamed the Canadian National Exhibition. For years, cat shows held in conjunction with the exhibition were organized by the Canadian National Cat Club, affiliated with the American Cat Association(ACA(, and by the Royal Canadian Cat Club, a Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) club. The Canadian National Cat Club disbanded in 1968. Management of the exhibition cat shows then passed to the Royal Canadian Cat Club.1 Over the years, the cat shows at the CNE have been managed by clubs affiliated with both ACA and CFA, and are now managed by a club affiliated with Canadian Cat Association(CCA).
The 1926 cat show was held at the CNE after an absence of seven years3. A report by Mrs. F.E. Hewitt, who judged the show, was printed in The Cat Courier:
"The Toronto Show is distinctive, even as the Canadian National Exhibition is distinctive, the largest permanent exhibition in the world. There were 240 cats entered, 216 present and competing....3
About the 1926 show, Mrs. Hewitt also noted:
"Now to those who visit the Royal Canadian Cat Club Show as a visitor, exhibitor, or judge, I want to say you will find a cordial welcome, courteous treatment, and you will meet some of the best sports in the cat fancy. I know, for I have worked with them for years. Next year I think they will have their long promised new building, affording an appropriate setting for such a splendid show.3
During 1927, the cat show was but one event at the exhibition, but the highlight of the CNE that year was the opening of the Princes' Gate on August 30th. HRH Prince Edward, Prince of Wales, and his brother Prince George were in attendance to officially open the new east entrance to the exhibition.
The November 23rd, 1927 edition of Cat Gossip provides the following look at classes at the Royal Canadian Cat Club's 1927 cat show, presumably held at the CNE as it had been in 1926.
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