8 Ways to Celebrate Celiac Awareness Month

  1. Try a new GF recipe.
  2. Share the Celiac Symptoms Checklist available on the Kelowna Chapter website. Did you know that people with CD experience different symptoms and that some individuals with CD have Silent CD in which there are no obvious signs.
  3. Talk to your family about celiac testing. Did you know that there is a higher incident of CD in family members?
  4. Donate. Make a donation to the CCA.
  5. Share your favourite gluten-free recipe with friends, family or the celiac community. Send us your recipe to share with our membership.
  6. On May 16th, wear green in support of the May Awareness Green Ribbon Campaign.
  7. Pass on information about the GFFP to the managers or owners of your favourite restaurants.
  8. Post a link or article from Kelowna Celiac to your favorite social media account

Celiac Awareness Month Events

By CCA National Office

May is recognized internationally as Celiac Awareness Month. This year, CCA will be building awareness around the atypical (non-classic) signs and symptoms of the celiac to encourage more people to recognize the early signs of the disease.

It’s estimated that one percent of the world’s population has celiac disease and another five to six percent have gluten sensitivity. Unfortunately, only 20 percent of at-risk Canadians have been diagnosed.

Throughout the month, watch for the following events, along with our social posts, media outreach and website, for information on the atypical or non-classic signs of celiac disease. This campaign is so important because while you may know a lot about celiac disease as a member of CCA, thousands across Canada don’t and they may be unaware that their symptoms could be signs of the disease or gluten sensitivity.

We encourage you to participate in various activities being held by the national organization or at the chapter level. Share social media posts with your friends and family to increase their understanding of the disease.

Our local chapters across Canada will be helping us promote this important month.

  • May 1 – House of Commons Members of Parliament asked to wear green celiac ribbons and make statements to kick off the month.
  • May 10 – Schar Facebook Live Day – Join our experts and friends at Schar on our CCA Facebook page (public) throughout the day, as they’ll be talking about the atypical signs of celiac disease and how to recognize symptoms.
  • May 14 – CN Tower Lighting – Join CCA National staff after dusk in Toronto to take ‘CN Selfies’ as the tower is lit up in green to commemorate the month. Be sure to tag @tourcntower and @CCAceliac and watch for the meet up time and location. Can’t be there?  Share our social posts!
  • May 16 – Celiac Awareness Day & Giving Day – Help us reach our $500,000 goal for the year by making an online donation to CCA National.
  • May 16 – 9-10 p.m. EDT – Could my child have celiac disease? – Free webinar. Click here to register.
  • May 23 – 10-11 p.m. EDT – Gluten Free 101: Getting Started on the Gluten-Free Diet – Free webinar
  • May 27 – Join us at the Gluten-Free Garage in Toronto at Artscape Wychwood Barns. CCA’s Sue Newell will be a featured speaker. Stop by the CCA booth!
  • May 29 – Poor Bone Health: Could it be celiac? A free webinar presented by CCA and Osteoporosis Society of Canada. Two times available: 6 pm – 7 p.m. and 9 – 10 p.m. EDT. Note: Limited to 100 participants for each time slot. Click here to register.

Celiac Month: Go Beyond The Gut

may 2018 celiac awareness monthMay is Celiac Awareness Month and the Canadian Celiac Association (CCA) is urging people to #GoBeyondTheGut and to be alert to the “atypical” (non-classical) features of celiac disease. While most people associate celiac disease with diarrhea, gas and bloating after eating gluten, many Canadians are unaware of the atypical or less common warning symptoms and signs of the disease.

It is estimated that about 80 per cent of Canadians with celiac disease remain undiagnosed – and could be suffering from debilitating “mystery” symptoms. Research has shown that while one percent of the world’s population is suffering from celiac disease, the lack of awareness and testing is severely delaying diagnosis.

“Many people look to classic clinical features like diarrhea and bloating as a sign of gluten intolerance but do not realize that this disease, which is an autoimmune condition, can impact the whole body,” says Dr. Mohsin Rashid, a professor of Pediatrics, Gastroenterology & Nutrition at Dalhousie University.

The best-known symptoms or celiac disease are digestive in nature – chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain, and unintended weight loss. However, celiac disease is much more than a digestive problem. Some of the top atypical features are anemia, bone disease, elevated liver enzymes neurological problems like migraines, short stature and reproductive problems.

“Iron deficiency anemia is now one the most frequent presenting problems in adults with celiac disease,” notes Dr. Rashid. “It is important for patients and family doctors to check for celiac disease when there is anemia and iron levels are low.”

“Delays in diagnosis can have serious health implications,” says Irene Wiseman of the Kelowna Chapter of the Canadian Celiac Association. “In severe cases, there could be fractures due to weak bones and even cancer of the bowel.”

“We encourage those who believe they might have a condition related to gluten to NOT simply stop eating gluten. It is important to know the exact problem and to get screened for celiac disease with a blood test. Celiac disease is a serious autoimmune disorder that can impact one’s health in many ways. Speak with your doctor and get tested FIRST,” urges Wiseman.

May is Celiac Awareness Month

National CCA Release

Join the Canadian Celiac Association as we host several public outreach and education initiatives and encourage your support during our donor drive. Our goal this campaign is to raise $45,000. These funds will help us offer member-only education, increase counselling support and develop programs for safer places to eat.

Twitter Party — May 1

  • May 1 we’ll be hosting our first Twitter Party! Join us at @CCAceliac
  • Follow #AskTheCeliac from 8–9 pm EDT
  • Join us to learn more about celiac disease, gluten intolerance, and the gluten-free diet
  • Test your knowledge to win one of 10 prizes including a $100 Catelli prize pack
  • Thank you to Catelli Foods for generously sponsoring this party

2017 twitter party header


International Celiac Awareness Day — Tuesday, May 16

  • All federal Members of Parliament will be sent a letter with a Celiac Awareness ribbon and will be asked to wear it on May 16 to show their support
  • Watch your mail for a little something to help us spread awareness in your community on this day!
  • Help us reach our goal of $45,000. Watch your social media, share #CeliacAware and ask your friends and colleagues to donate to CCA.

CCA Education webinar — Wednesday, May 17

  • CCA will be offering two one-hour webinars on labelling
  • 5–6 pm EDT and then 8–9 pm EDT to accommodate time zones

Facebook Day — May 31

  • We’ll be hosting an “AskTheCeliac” Day on our public Facebook page on May 31 to round out the month of activities. Post your questions! Share with friends

Volunteers still needed

Hi everyone! I now have firm details about duties, dates and times for Celiac Awareness Month.

Nature’s Fare:

I need volunteers from 10-2 on the following dates:

May 4

May 12 – Eleanore Beattie has volunteered for this spot.  If someone would like to join her please let me know.

May 18

May 27

The awareness box (pamphlets, membership kits, banner (to be confirmed)) will be waiting for you at Nature’s Fare.  You will need to set up the table and possibly the banner, answer questions and take down the table at 2 pm.  A demo table will be right beside you to bring people to the table to get info.

Poster Distribution (comments from Christine at Choices)

“It would be very helpful if you could have some volunteers take posters around the community and put them up where ever possible, for example on any community notice boards you can think of.  If you are able to help with this, please coordinate with Nadene to make arrangements to get copies of the posters.”   I would like to hear from people by April 18 – who can do it and how many posters you need.  I will then order the correct number from Nadene and make arrangements to get the posters to you.

GF Fair at Choices May 8 (comments from Christine at Choices)

“Once you have your volunteer group organized, could you please forward their names to us?  The event starts at 8:30; this is when we are asking participants to start signing in so that we can get things rolling at 9:00am sharp.  If your volunteers show up at 8:00am they should have plenty of time to get their table set up.  We have advertised that the event runs from 8:30-4:00.  If you are able to have volunteers at the table for the duration of the event, it may be easiest to have two sets of volunteers so that one group covers the morning shift and one group stays until 4:00.”   I would like 5-6 volunteers for the morning shift 8-12 and 4 volunteers from 12-4.  If there is some overlap in times that would be great.    We need 2-3 people at the table at all times to help with cook book and pocket dictionary sales, membership sign up and availability to talk to people.  2-3 other people could help with store tours.  I know that there will be ‘lull’ times; however, it would be best to have a lot of coverage.

Morning volunteers so far are:

Tammy Craig  – 8 am – 2 pm

Jodie Stevens – 8 am until ?

Angela Petrie – 8 am until ?


Clara Hare – 12ish (once seminar is over) until ?

Let me know what works for everyone ASAP.  Thank you to those that have come forward already to help out.

Angela Petrie Chair Awareness

Call me at 250-868-3830 or email me Angela Petrie  [email protected]

Volunteers needed for Celiac Awareness Month

By Angela Petrie

Hello everyone!

It is that time of year again.  I am looking for volunteers for awareness month.  We will need people on May 8th for the GF Fair at Choices and Nature’s Fare has said we are welcome any day during the month of May.

Regarding Nature’s Fare will be a 4 hour shift.  Times are flexible but she said the busiest time in the store is between 10-2.  Their busiest days are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  We can do it any day you choose, those are just the busiest days.  We will have the demo lady on hand to demo products so that people will actually approach the table.  I already have 1 person set to do a Wednesday.

Regarding Choices The fair is from 9-4, on May 8th [Sat]. The seminar is from 9-12.  We will need someone to be at the store by 8:30 to help with set up (I will be one of those people) and available for the rush before the seminar begins.  We will need at least 2 people to be at the table at all times.   I would like 3 or 4 people at the table at peak times: just before the seminars begin, lunch break (if they have one) and at the end of the seminars.

Also, I have asked Choices, but not received a response about, store tours.  Whether they need someone to do that we really determine the number of volunteers needed.

Please contact me with your availability and by that point I hope to have heard from choices about exactly what their  needs are.  You can call me at 250-868-3830 or email me with your availability Angela Petrie [email protected].

I look forward to hearing from you!


May is Celiac Awareness Month

By Angela Petrie

What can YOU do? Who can YOU talk to?

Our goal for Celiac Awareness month is to promote EATING OUT AND FEELING SAFE. We are asking members of our Chapter to contact places like-Restaurants (target restaurants you usually cannot go to and expand our “places to eat” list, Cooking schools and Child and senior care facilities in your area to give out information and educate their employees about the Gluten Free diet, hidden sources of gluten and cross contamination.

We have 200 current members who reside from Revelstoke, through the entire Okanagan, the Kootenays, Princeton and Hope. If EACH member arranges to educate 1 or 2 of the above facilities TOGETHER we can promote a lot of awareness.

My daughter took in a box of gluten free cookies to her Grade 1 class and explained Celiac Disease to her classmates. Her teacher had never heard of CD, took all my information and did her own research on it to help Julia during the class discussion.

George Arthur is always promoting awareness at the senior residence where he resides. The chefs all know about his needs and accommodate him. Do the other care staff know about the hidden sources of gluten that can cause cross contaminate and illness?

Jodee Stevens, who joined our Chapter late last year, has offered to attend as many restaurants she can and educate staff about the GFD and cross contamination for a couple of weeks in April and possibly May.  Executive has made arrangements for a GF lunch at Okanagan College at 1000 KLO Road (off Gordon) in Kelowna to raise awareness for new chefs. It will be at 11:30 on May 14, 2009. The cost is $14.00 per person (this includes GST and a tip). We are looking for members to attend to support the lunch as well as have people on hand to assist in educating chefs. Please RSVP to Ann Paterson at [email protected] or by telephone at 250-763-6105.

Mary Hicks, who is a dietitian that works in senior residential care facilities and mother of one of our younger members, Alan recently put on a GF baking workshop for the cooks, residents and family members of one of the facilities. The response was tremendously positive especially for the celiac residents who received fresh GF baked goods! Mary has since spoken with her boss and we now have access to a kitchen for GF cooking demos. She has arranged for Nana the spaetzel maker to set up a GF cooking class. ! Details: Time: May 9th 2 pm at Village at Mill Creek in the Bistro, Address: 1450 Sutherland Ave. Cost: free (optional purchase of spaetzel maker – $18) RSVP to Mary Hicks at: [email protected] or 250.717.3639 ASAP

Nadene Shirtliff of Choices Market, also a newer member to our Chapter, has made arrangements for a GF cooking  class planned for May 12, 2009. The class will be upstairs and their own Chef Antonio will be coming fromVancouver. Chef Antonio is a great chef and story teller! Don’t miss out.  Cooking classes: Date/Time: May 12/09 at 6:00-7:30 at Choices Market in Kelowna. Cost: $15.00 per person with proceeds going to a local charity register Register at Choices ASAP

Jackie Gee of Osoyoos has offered to take the information packet to the new care home in Osoyoos.

David & Sharron Reed of Sicamous are planning to get the information out. Sharron works with parents & families through the local resource centre and in the elementary school in Sicamous

The Penticton satellite group is very busy for several days in May at Whole Foods – thanks to Heather Quinn for organizing! Is there anyone from Penticton that can take materials to care homes/day cares etc?

Heather Quinn is organizing an information table at Whole Foods Market here and has 8 volunteers to man the table on 2 Saturdays in May, 9th and 16th.

The above are just 8 examples of people willing to step up and spread awareness for OUR disease.

Osoyoos has a seniors care facility that is about to open. I am looking for a volunteer(s) to go to the new and existing homes in the Oliver/Osoyoos area to tell them about Celiac Disease. It doesn’t matter whether there is a current celiac resident at the home.

I have plenty of pamphlets and brochures for you! You can call me at 250-868-3830 OR email me at [email protected] and let me know your plans and what information you need. We need some volunteers from the Princeton/Hope/Merritt areas as well as the Kootenays.

Angela Petrie
Chair Awareness Committee May 2009