CCA Elects a New President

Treena-DuncanMy name is Treena Duncan and I am honoured to have been elected as the President of the CCA. It is a tremendous honour and privilege to serve in this way. I live in Surrey, British Columbia, and am a member of the amazing Vancouver Chapter. I have been on the National board for four years. I have celiac disease, as do my two teen-aged children. The CCA has been a source of support and education on our celiac journey and I am thankful that they have been there for us. I have particularly benefited from the Facebook group, which is a great source of information and support moderated by the CCA. Check it out if you haven’t already!

I want to take a moment to acknowledge the gift of leadership offered to us by Anne Wraggett, now past president. Anne has led the organization through some challenging times, and her skill and commitment have ensured that the association will be there to advocate for Canadians with celiac disease or gluten intolerance for years to come. The national board is made up of committed volunteers, and I welcome new members, Janet Bolton and Tamara Close. We will benefit greatly from their amazing gifts and skills. Mark Johnson has completed his term on the board. We are truly grateful for all he has brought to the board table, and know that he will continue to offer leadership as president of the Ottawa Chapter, and as a dedicated national volunteer.

As we look to the coming year, the board is working toward fulfilling our three-year strategic plan. Top priorities for us are working closely with the chapters, evaluating our organizational structure to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in the services offered and creating a plan for financial sustainability. As you know, we are a not-for-profit organization and depend on membership and donations in order to continue our work. Our Executive Director, Melissa Secord has been a wonderful resource to the association and we are benefiting from her leadership in many ways. There is exciting research being conducted that will hopefully lead to major medical breakthroughs in the future. The CCA is proud to be able to support this research through our JA Campbell Research fund.

We have been engaging in work to improve access to safe foods. You are likely all aware of our Gluten-Free Certification Program which identifies through our trademark, safe foods in grocery stores. Just over one year ago, we partnered with the Gluten-Free Food Program (GFFP) which offers training and third party verification for food establishments serving gluten-free food. I know I find eating out very challenging, and this program will make finding safe places to eat so much easier! I was at the check-in desk of a hotel recently and listened as a celiac guest tried to identify safe restaurants in the area by asking a front desk clerk, who had no idea! I look forward to a time when this program is so prevalent that we will be able to point them to GFFP restaurants! We have also been busy advocating in Ontario, with great support from the community, to have the diagnostic blood screening test covered by provincial health insurance. Unfortunately, Ontario is the only province not cover the test. We hope that together our voice will motivate the new Ontario government to correct this injustice.

Finally, we are proud to have worked with the Canadian government and Frank Massong of the Allergen Control Group to complete research in the area of the delivery of safe grains and related products. This was a major three-year project which was recently completed. Delegates at the Ottawa conference were provided an overview. Watch for a special recording sharing the results and what this will mean for consumers. Thanks to David Congram, board member, who has been the lead on this project. David along with a number of other volunteers and staff have dedicated many hours to this project, which will serve to benefit us all.

I would love to hear from you about the ways in which the CCA can be of service to you. Please contact me at [email protected] with your ideas and suggestions.

Treena Duncan
President, CCA Board of Directors

Check out Treena’s new monthly video message!
We’re finding new ways to connect with you and keep you up to date on CCA news and activities. Watch for Treena’s message on our CCA Facebook Group or YouTube Channel. Her first one is now available. While you are there, check out some of our other topics and education sessions.

Kelowna Chapter President’s Report – July 2018

I wanted to touch base with everyone and let you all know what is happening regarding the next meetings. The executive agreed that we cancel the meeting scheduled for October 7th as that is the Thanksgiving weekend and we did not want to interrupt any plan that you may have. We will now only have our meeting on November 4th as planned. We hope to make this a special meeting for everyone and at this point we do not have those plans completed but will keep you in the loop as to what will be happening.

I am in the middle of a move and will be away from August 16th to September 15th while we move into our new home. I will be in Kamloops September 1st until the 15th so will be in the area. Marie is also busy and Marilyn will be on holidays as is Susan. As you can see we are all very busy.

I also want you to think about taking on the following positions so that this chapter can continue to grow and support members. We will need someone to take on these positions: President and Secretary-Treasurer. These are positions that need to be filled, at a minimum, in order for this chapter to move forward. It would be nice to have all the positions filled but a chapter can continue with just the above positions filled. We also need to have at least two meetings a year as well.

I will be asking for nominations to fill these positions at the meeting on November 4th so please think about serving and keep this chapter going. Contact me for more information.

I want to thank the members that have served on the executive of the Kelowna chapter for many years. GOOD JOB AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR DEDICATION AND HARD WORK!

Irene Thompson Wiseman,
President Kelowna Chapter

Don’t Try So-Called Gluten “Digesters”

By Adrianna Smallwood
Registered Dietitian, owner of Newfound Balance and member of CCA’s Professional Advisory Council

If I take a gluten ‘digester,’ can I eat a little bit of gluten and not get sick?”

adrianna-smallwoodFollowing a gluten-free diet can be extremely difficult. From missing our favourite foods to feeling left out at social events, it can sometimes be challenging and discouraging. But once symptoms have subsided and blood work returns to normal, a lot of people wonder whether can they add just a little bit of gluten back to into their diet, or if can they can “cheat” periodically?

Unfortunately, the answer right now is no. The only cure for celiac disease is complete avoidance of all gluten in the diet. Currently, the market boasts several forms of gluten ‘digesters.’ Often found in the vitamin aisle of drugstores, these products promise to break down gluten so that you don’t feel as sick when you’ve been “glutened”. But don’t get your hopes up. Gluten digesters have not been shown to work for people who have celiac disease and so should not be used to let you “cheat” or as a substitute for the gluten-free diet. At the moment, there are products being tested that might, one day, allow those with celiac to ingest gluten safely, but they aren’t approved or available yet. The Canadian Celiac Association is the trusted source for all information pertaining to celiac and the gluten-free diet, so you can be sure that when such products are proven safe and effective and come to the market, the CCA will make a big announcement.

So, what exactly are the consequences of continuing to eat gluten or incorporating it back into your diet after your symptoms have subsided? Firstly, you’re likely to experience a return of symptoms. That said, even if you feel fine, if you were previously diagnosed with celiac disease, you still have it, so eating gluten will cause damage in your intestine. Long-term consequences of continuing to eat gluten when you have been proven to have celiac disease include nutrient deficiencies, intestinal damage, decreased bone mass and even cancer. It’s serious business.

The moral of this story? Celiac disease should be taken seriously. This isn’t like a weight-loss diet, where the occasional “cheat” is acceptable. If you have celiac disease, diagnosed by your doctor or gastroenterologist, then you’ll need to strictly avoid gluten for the rest of your life. There are more and more gluten-free products available every day—having a bite of gluten isn’t worth the risk to your health.

May 6th, 2018 Kelowna Chapter Meeting Minutes

Our meeting was our annual Pizza dinner with pizzas supplied by Jim’s Place in Vernon. As always the 22 members in attendance all enjoyed a variety of pizzas.

Marilyn our Treasurer gave her financial report: We have $2,700.00 in our account and a GIC to come due in July. We will be donating to a research project at our local University.

Marie gave a report about the newsletter she is trying to update members about safe restaurants in the area.

Our membership is down as is happening in many chapters.

The chapter is also having an issue with members not being able to get to meetings. We are all busy with life.

Most of our executive has been on the board for many years and are putting out the word that we need members to come forward and fill the executive position at the Sept meeting. These are the positions that will need to be filled.

President, Secretary, Treasurer, It would be nice to have all the positions filled but you can still have a chapter with only these positions. You would also need to have two (2) meetings a year.

Our September meeting will be a very important meeting so I would encourage members to step up and take on these positions.

Thank you Rachel for taking the minutes for us.

I also want to thank the executive for their many years of hard work and dictation to the Kelowna Chapter.


Irene Thompson / Wiseman


Volunteer For Kelowna Celiac

volunteer in kelowna

April 15-21 is National Volunteer Week and this year’s catchphrase captures the benefits of the activity of volunteering for the recipient organizations and the volunteers: Celebrate the value of volunteering: Building confidence, competence, connections and community.

Typically non-profit organizations rely on volunteers to fill many essential positions. Take the Kelowna Chapter as an example:

  • The chapter is governed by elected volunteer board members who meet routinely through-out the year
  • Celiac ambassadors answer emails, Facebook posts and phone calls
  • Special event volunteers staff booths at community events
  • The chapter website is managed by a tech-savy volunteer
  • The list goes on

A heartfelt thank you to our volunteers. We value your generous donation of time and skills!

Volunteers can also benefit from volunteering. Volunteers can learn new skills, build confidence, make connections with others and build community. Along the way they have fun, meet new people with similar interests and build a community of support.

Celebrate the value of volunteering by helping out with one of the many positions at the chapter. To find out more about how you can help contact Irene Wiseman at [email protected] or call 250-832-7738

CCA National Conference 2018 – Registration Open


CCA Conference 2018

The Ottawa Chapter of the Canadian Celiac Association is proud to be hosting the 2018 national conference, which will take place on June 9, 2018 at the Shaw Centre in downtown Ottawa, just steps from Parliament Hill, the Byward Market, the Rideau Centre and countless other attractions. Registration is now open at and we’re looking forward to an amazing event!

We are presenting not one but two keynote speakers:

  • Dr. Marios Hadjivassiliou, a professor in neurology at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom. Dr. Hadjiovassiliou is a top world researcher in the area of the neurological manifestations of celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. In particular, he has conducted extensive research into gluten ataxia.
  • Dr. Joseph Murray, a gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, and among the world’s leading researchers in the area of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. Dr. Murray will be discussing the latest research breakthroughs.

Along with the keynotes, we’re planning to welcome speakers on the following topics:

  • Psychological issues relating to celiac disease and the gluten-free diet
  • Operating a gluten-free bakery, securing safe supplies, and being aware of other major allergens as well
  • Updates from Health Canada and Canadian Food Inspection Agency
  • Ensuring safe gluten-free beans, lentils and pulses are available in the Canadian marketplace

Space is limited so we encourage you to register today. CCA members can attend for just $80 for the day, which includes breakfast and lunch, access to all speaker sessions, and entrance to a gluten-free vendor market that will be taking place alongside the conference. This early bird rate is good just until the end of March so sign up right away!


CCA 2017 Holiday Survival Guide

holiday survival guide

​Happy Holidays from the Canadian Celiac Association!

This holiday season we are pleased to give you our CCA Holiday Survival Guide.

holiday survival guideClick the link or the image to the right to take you to an online version of the guide. The guide contains tips and recipes from a team of passionate volunteers, who perhaps like you or a family member, face the challenges of celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity during a time of the year when food-centred activities take place.

​If you have enjoyed the support, education and information from CCA over this past year, we hope that you will consider a donation towards our annual Festive Campaign. Donations allow our charity to continue to advocate on your behalf, increase access to safe foods and improve the quality of life of people with CD and NCGS through investing in research and education, and more. To make a secure online donation, please click this link to Canada Helps.

Wishing you all a fun and gluten-free holiday season!

Best wishes,
Anne Wraggett