National Conference Kelowna – A GRAND Experience

by Cheryl Richmond, Calgary Chapter

dolphins sculptureCould it get any better than to be in postcard beautiful Kelowna, at the end of May, when the sun shines and the water sparkles? Trust me, it can.

When you are staying at the charming Delta Grand Resort, being treated to a great line up of interesting and informative speakers, offered the chance to shop at vendor booths for gluten free products from across Canada, and served delicious gluten free food for an entire weekend… it’s the BEST!

Congratulations to Irene Thompson, David Fowler and all the dedicated volunteers who made our conference experience so memorable.

Thanks to the great presenters: who held our attention with new and fascinating topics regarding celiac disease. For those of you who could not attend, I will do my best to share highlights:

Keynote speaker Dr. Sheila Crowe’s presentation focused on how celiac disease has changed over the years. There are so many more people being diagnosed today, and so many different ways that the disease presents/ We are seeing advancements in detection, dietary treatment and research resulting in new therapies. It was good to hear that lymphoma resulting from CD is very rare in treated persons, and that in future we could have access to assistance drugs currently being tested. Dr. Crowe is the co author of the book, “Celiac Disease for Dummies”. Her conference notes can be accessed on the Kelowna Chapter website.

Dr. Ian Blurrier spoke about celiac disease and its relationship to other autoimmune diseases. It is evident that a number of people diagnosed with celiac disease, also present with other autoirnmune diseases such as diabetes and thyroid disease. He offered information to increase the awareness of symptoms and explained how these diseases are affected by undiagnosed celiac disease. Persons with celiac disease should be aware of the possibility that they could also develop another autoimmune condition.

Dr. Hardy Limeback is the head of preventative dentistry at the University of Toronto. He spoke about alternate detection of celiac disease: which can show up as white spots or lines on teeth. Although other conditions like dental fluorosis may look similar, dentists are now learning that they should consider the possibility of a patient having celiac disease. Pictures show this much better than I could explain: so I suggest seeing Dr. Limeback’s notes linked to the Kelowna Chapter website.

Dr. Moshin Rashid gave us a fascinating overview of celiac disease in other parts of the world. I was shocked and saddened to see the statistics on the screen. Did you know that in 2010 there were over 2.2 million children under the age of 5 with celiac disease; and of those – it is estimated that there were 42,000 celiac related deaths? Dr. Rashid’s presentation is also available on the Kelowna Chapter website.

For the first time we heard from a Naturopathic Physician. Dr. Brent Barlow talked about celiac disease with the entire body in mind. There are many following the gluten free diet and still feeling unwell. Could there be other issues independent of, or linked to the condition? Choosing certified naturopathy could help to indentify and treat these issues. This presentation is also available on the Kelowna website.

Interesting presentations were also made by Dr. Diana Mager, whose focus was vitamin D deficiency in Canadians, and Michelle Wiepjes (winner of the JA Campbell Award in 2011) who spoke about her studies dealing with reactions when gluten crosses barriers.

Such diversity in topics, and so many interesting facts; the conference was a well rounded program. Special recognition was given to two wonderful Ladies who have contributed many dedicated years to our Association; Marion Zarkadas and Mavis Malloy. They will certainly be missed by all. Also, farewell and thanks to Executive Director Jim McCarthy.

My recommendation for the future: plan to attend the National Conference 2013 in Mississauga June 7 – 9!

Kelowna 2012 Photo Gallery

Mary Beth LaffertyBelow are some of the best photos we have from Kelowna 2012. Thanks our official volunteer photographer Mary Beth Lafferty for taking them!   Just click on a thumbnail image below for our full-screen photo viewer. For more photos, see our full conference photo gallery on Facebook:

Dr. Brent Barlow presentation notes

Dr. Brent Barlow Presentation Title SlideAt Kelowna 2012 Dr. Brent Barlow spoke on naturopathy and celiac disease. Dr. Barlow is a Naturopathic Physician practicing at the Kelowna Wellness Clinic in downtown Kelowna.  Naturopathic Doctors are licensed in the province of British Columbia as primary care physicians, which means they are licensed to diagnose and treat medical conditions primarily with natural medicines. As of 2010, NDs have also been granted pharmaceutical prescription rights which Dr. Barlow uses as part of his integrative and holistic approach.

Many of those attending his presentation have asked for copies of his notes.  Dr. Barlow has generously provided these.

Dr. Brent Barlow Kelowna 2012 Presentation Notes (PDF)

Kelowna 2012 on Shaw TV


Thanks to host Jessica Samuels and camera Valerie McTavish for putting together this segment for Shaw TV.

While the segment is just 4 minutes, 27 seconds, it literally takes hours and hours on the scene and editing booth after to put together such a highlight package like this.

Thanks to Shaw TV for airing and raising awareness of Celiac Disease and the gluten-free diet!  Thank you Kelowna for attending our first gluten-free expo!

Dr. Mohsin Rashid presentation notes

Dr .Rashid Title SlideAt the Kelowna 2012 National Canadian Celiac Association conference, Dr. Mohsin Rashid spoke on “Celiac Without Borders: A Global Perspective”. Dr. Mohsin Rashid is a paediatric gastroenterologist and an Associate Professor of Paediatrics & Medical Education at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.  He did his Pediatric Residency training at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Gastroenterology& Nutrition Fellowship at the Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto.  He is a member of the national Professional Advisory Board, Canadian Celiac Association and Medical Advisor to the Canadian Celiac Association Nova Scotia Chapter.

Many of those attending his presentation have asked for copies of his notes.  Dr. Rashid has generously provided these.

Click to download Dr. Rashid’s Kelowna 2012 presentation (PDF)

Dr. Hardy Limeback presentation notes

Dr. Hardy Limeback spoke on dentistry and celiac disease at this year’s national conference in Kelowna.  Dr. Limeback, PhD, DDS, is an associate professor and head of preventative dentistry at the University of Toronto, as well as a part-time dentist. He is the former President of the Canadian Association of Dental Research. He received his PhD in in collagen biochemistry and his DDS from the University of Toronto. He has authored or co-authored over 80 publications on dentistry.

Many of those attending his presentation have asked for copies of his notes.  Dr. Limeback has generously provided these.

Click to download Dr. Limeback’s Kelowna 2012 Presentation (PDF)

We’ll post other speakers’ notes as they are made available.

Dr. Sheila Crowe presentation notes

Our keynote speaker at the Kelowna 2012 Canadian Celiac Association national conference was Dr. Sheila Crowe.

Dr. Crowe is a Professor of Medicine and Director of Research, Division of Gastroenterology at the Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego. Dr. Crowe was educated at U of  T and McMaster and has over 25 years of experience in Gastroenterology and is the co-author of Celiac Disease for Dummies.

Many of those attending her keynote presentation have asked for copies of her notes.  Dr. Crowe has generously provided these.

Click to download Sheila Crowe Kelowna 2012 Presentation (PDF)

We’ll post other speakers’ notes as they are made available.

500 attend Kelowna’s first Gluten-Free Expo

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About 500 people attended Kelowna’s first gluten-free expo held at the Delta Grand Hotel yesterday.

The Expo was part of the Kelowna 2012 National Conference and from 1:30 pm – 5:00 pm the general public was invited inside.  A further 32 took part in the onsite Celiac Disease testing sponsored by CeliacSure.

46 Vendors were in attendance with lots of free sampling, draws, and discounted product.

A big thank-you to the volunteers who manned the doors and help with the Celiac Disease testing centre.  Your efforts are greatly appreciated.

The Kelowna 2012 conference wraps up today, where the conference host flag will be passed to Mississauga.

Delegates: We will be posting speakers conference notes on the this site when they are ready.

May potluck meeting a spring delight!

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It was a beautiful Okanagan Sunday that brought 35 to attend our regular Kelowna potluck lunch at the Winfield Seniors’ Activity Centre.

The spring weather dictated the gluten-free dishes that were offered: fresh salads and yummy chocolate squares for dessert.

For the business portion of the get-together we were updated on the conference preparations (going well) and asked members to volunteer to help out.

Celiac Testing Volunteers Needed

We are in the biggest need for volunteers to help with administering the Celiac test kits.  If you have some time to help out May 26th 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm please email Irene at:  You need not have any medical training.  Just be able to follow the simple instructions in this video.


Pizza Party June 10th

Our next meeting is Sunday June 10th, noon, at the Winfield Seniors’ Centre.  It’s not a potluck; it’s our annual pizza fundraiser!  No need to bring a dish.  Members are $10 each and non-members are $15 each.  Contact Eleanor Beattie at to register and for additional details.

Volunteers needed for Kelowna 2012

by Irene Thompson – President Kelowna Chapter
Once again “hello” to everyone!

Irene ThompsonI hope that you are enjoying the nice days that we have had. May is here and as you all know this is Celiac Awareness Month. This year our awareness is focused on getting information out to all the dentists.

Marie has sent out the information via e-mail to you and I would request that you take this information to your dentist ASAP along with information about the conference. We have a dentist speaking at our conference and this would be a great opportunity to hear just how celiac disease affects our teeth. I will also print off the information so that the members that do not have e-mail can have a copy.

We will need your help with the Conference so please we need you to volunteer to help. I will have sign-up sheets at the potluck as will Moyra so please pitch in and help.

David, Moyra, Jessica, Ann and I as well as others have been working very hard to make this conference a success however we can’t do it all we are counting on you.

I am looking forward to seeing everyone once again Sunday (May 6th) as well as looking forward to our potluck lunch it is always a treat.

A friend is a present which you give yourself (Robert Louis Stevenson)