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What are panic attacks and what causes them? A look at the issue


TORONTO — Supreme Court Justice Clement Gascon, who briefly went missing in Ottawa last week, recently explained that his disappearance was caused by a panic attack. Here’s a look at the science and the stigma around the issue:


Andrew Jacobs, a psychologist with the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre, said panic attacks are “a sudden surge in anxiety or an uncomfortable feeling that go from zero to 60 within a few minutes.” Panic attacks are defined by a certain set of symptoms that can include increased heart rates, nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath, sweating and a fear the person is dying. Jacobs said a person must experience four out of 13 symptoms as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.


The Canadian Mental Health Association says panic attacks can be brought on by stress, fatigue or even excessive exercise. Jacobs says there are two types of panic attacks: cued and uncued. “Cued attacks happen as a result of someone already being very worried or fearful of something that can escalate into panic,” he said. “Uncued, which feels like the panic attacks come literally out of nowhere — it can even happen in the middle of sleep.” Gascon said in his statement that on the afternoon he went missing, he was affected by both a change in medication and a “heart-rending career decision.” He announced in September he plans to retire.


There are many options for treating anxiety and panic attacks, including medication and counselling. One in particular is called cognitive behavioural therapy, or CBT. According to St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton, CBT can include such methods as confronting a feared situation, as well as breathing techniques and replacing anxious thoughts with realistic ones. In Gascon’s case, he said his recent episode had been “taken care of and treated with the necessary medical support.” 


Gascon said in his statement that he is “fully capable” of performing his duties as a judge, and Chief Justice Richard Wagner said in his own statement that Gascon continues to have his “full support and confidence.” Jordan Friesen, the national director of workplace mental health at the Canadian Mental Health Association, said it should be “relatively simple” for Gascon to return to work, given that panic attacks tend to be time-limited. “I think the question becomes, for him and for his employer, is to understand what to do if a situation like that happens again,” said Friesen. “My hope would be that if he’s experiencing symptoms of a panic attack again that he’s able to go and identify this to his employer and seek appropriate support — much like you would if you were at work and started feeling ill with the flu.”


Last year, the family of late Supreme Court justice Gerald Le Dain went public with the story of his departure from the court in 1988, saying then-chief justice Brian Dickson forced Le Dain out after he was hospitalized with depression. A former top aide to Dickson had previously written that the decision was made because the Supreme Court had a heavy load at the time and could not handle being short a judge, but Le Dain’s family told CBC he would have returned after a short time off to recuperate. In contrast to the way Le Dain was allegedly treated, the response to Gascon’s public statement has been overwhelmingly positive. Wagner said Gascon’s explanation took courage, while Independent MP Jody Wilson-Raybould thanked him for sharing his struggle. Doron Gold, a former lawyer who now works as a psychotherapist with Homewood Health, said the response illustrates the way attitudes have shifted — though he added there’s still much work to be done. “Things are so much better than they used to be, and they’re so far away from where they should be,” said Gold.

Adam Burns, The Canadian Press


The most valuable trees up for auction at the 2019 Festival of Trees – And you can buy them online!



The 2019 Festival of Trees begins Thursday evening with the Preview Dinner.   Hundreds of Central Albertans will see the beautiful tree room and enjoy an evening celebrating together.   Part of the fun is being among the first to see and bid on the incredible decorated trees.

This year the festival is moving online as well, so you can check out all the trees (and much more) and actually make your bids on your phone or computer!

ReadySetAuction, our online bidding system which allows you to bid via computer, tablet or smartphone. To view our exciting auction line-up boasting 150 items, easily filtered by category, click the link below.

The silent auction opens for bidding on Thursday, November 21st @ 4:00pm and closes on Sunday, November 24 @ 2:00pm.

*Please note that your name may show up on media, including various television screens, at the event if you are the highest bidder on an item. If you would prefer not to have your name be displayed, please select “Yes” under the Anonymous Bidding section during account creation.

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Now here’s a sneak peak at the 8 most expensive (in value) trees going into the live auction.   Enjoy and click here if you want to bid (after Thursday at 4 pm).

Wintergreen – Value $2,000.00

Catalog #: 5318
Value: $2,000.00
Starting Bid: $600.00
Donated By: JMAA Architecture Ltd.

9′ tall Christmas tree to fill your home with beauty over the Christmas season.

Pick up items under tree and/or tree top Mon 9-4.

Golden Glow – Value $2,000.00

Catalog #: 1304
Value: $2,000.00
Starting Bid: $600.00
Donated By: Garnet and Crystal Horne

9′ willow pine decorated tree with oversized ornaments and beautiful ribbon.

Pick up items under tree and/or tree top Mon 9-4.  Give delivery info to cashier at time of purchase.


A Shimmering Copper Christmas – Value $2,000.00

Catalog #: 3406
Value: $2,000.00
Starting Bid: $600.00
Donated By: Fairland Cattle Co.
Opens In: 4 hours 31 minutes

8′ pine with 2′ topper with copper highlights and matching items under tree. This tree will be delivered.


Rose Gold Blush – Value $2,000.00

Catalog #: 6317
Value: $2,000.00
Starting Bid: $600.00
Donated By: Drs Lawrence and Alayne Farries

7′ Christmas tree with stunning rosegold ornaments set on a cloud of white feathers – soft and billowy. Includes elegant 20″ matching wreath decorated with white stag hanger.

This tree will be delivered.  Please pick up items Mon 9-5.  Give delivery info to cashier at time of purchase.


Christmas in the Forest – Value $2,500.00

Catalog #: 2418
Value: $2,500.00
Starting Bid: $750.00
Donated By: Barry and Cheryl Simpson
Opens In: 4 hours 29 minutes

7′ Christmas tree decorated with stuffed moose, 3 suitcase accent tables with luxurious red throw and stuffed moose.

Pick up items under tree and/or tree top Mon 9-4.


Here Comes Santa Paws – Value $2,500.00

Catalog #: 1403
Value: $2,500.00
Starting Bid: $750.00
Donated By: Cedarwood Veterinary Hospital

Wooden doghouse with cedar shingles (33″Hx30″Wx34″L). Decorative animal themed Christmas tree on top measures 55″H.

Includes various cat & dog treats, chew toys, blanket, stuffies and two $250 Visa gift cards. Pick up all items Monday 9-5.


Escape to the Mountains – Value $2,500.00

Catalog #: 5407
Value: $2,500.00
Starting Bid: $750.00
Donated By: Johnston Ming Manning LLP

Your escape to the mountains includes a stunning 7′ Christmas tree, Sunbeam fire table, $300 Banff Lodging certificate and a $250 Banff Adventures certificate.

Top this getaway off with Prosecco and glasses and hot cocoa and mugs.  There is a toboggan for the kids with mitts and hats and 2 adorable stuffed polar bears.

Pick up items under tree and/or tree top Mon 9-4. Give delivery info to cashier at time of purchase.


The Nightmare Before Christmas – Value $3,000.00

Catalog #: 1408
Value: $3,000.00
Starting Bid: $900.00
Donated By: Katz Meow Hair Salon

7.5′ tree with decorations based on “The Nightmare Before Christmas”.

Pick up items under tree and/or tree top Mon 9-4.

Give delivery info to cashier at time of purchase.


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Check out the 8 incredible Live Auction Experiences available at the 2019 Festival of Trees Preview Dinner



If you’ve ever been to the Preview Dinner at the Festival of Trees you’ll know they offer a number of incredible auction prizes exclusively at this event.   The 2019 Festival of Trees allows a sneak peak!   Here are the eight live auction experiences!   You might want to forward this to your significant other to make sure they’re as excited as you are!

Item #1 – Track for a Day Experience – An unforgettable experience for the drivers and their besties..  Up to 15 cars and 30 people!

Value: $8,500.00
Donated By: Bob Ronnie Catering, Vibe Car Audio, Central Alberta Racewaydd to Favorites

Exclusive November 21 Preview Dinner Live Auction item #1: Feel the Need for Speed!

Bring your own cars for a day of racing! 2 tracks for 10-15 cars, safety crew, flag person & catered lunch for 30 included. Prizes for first, second, and third place racers.

Item #2 – Fly and Glamp – Sometimes you need a special word because camping and glamour aren’t normally experienced at the same time!   Did we mention the private jet?

Value: $20,750.00
Donated By: Wildpod Luxury Waterfront Glamping, AirSprint Aviation Inc.vorites

Exclusive November 21 Preview Dinner Live Auction item #2: A Luxury Experience!

Return flights for 4 departing from Red Deer to Tofino, BC aboard your private jet. Flight must be used before November 2020; subject to availability. Two nights stay at Wildpod Luxury Waterfront Glamping.

Item #3 – Live Edge Dining –  Buy this “remarkable” table and benches, and we’ll help you break it in with an unbelievable catered dinner for 8!

Value: $8,599.00
Donated By: Eat Catering, Shawn Moore, Central AB Woodturners Guildtes

Exclusive November 21 Preview Dinner Live Auction item #3: Artful Decor & Exquisite Dining!

Hand crafted live edge dining table and benches. In-home catered dinner for 8, based on caterer’s availability. Gift card for $500 from the Liquor Hutch for beverage selections. Selection of hand-turned wooden creations by local artisans.


Item #4 – CMA Fest in Nashville – Going to Nashville at any time is amazing… During the CMA’s… That’s a whole other thing!

Value: $8,185.00
Donated By: Arrow Limousine & Sedan and KFC/Taco Bells

Exclusive November 21 Preview Dinner Live Auction item #4: Country’s Night to Shine!

4 tickets to CMA Fest June 4-7, 2020. 4 days of live music and more! 4 nights accommodation at the Fairlane Hotel in Nashville, located in Nashville’s downtown business and art district. Return limo to the airport. Flights are not included.

Item #5 – Oilers Get Wild – 10 people, limousine, Rogers Place, luxury suite, food & beverages, safe ride home… It’s one night in hockey heaven.

Value: $11,000.00
Donated By: Arrow Limousine & Sedan Services Ltd., Canadian Western Bankes

Exclusive November 21 Preview Dinner Live Auction item #5: It’s Hockey Night in Edmonton!

Arrow Limousine will pick you up in Red Deer and transport you and 9 guests to Rogers Place to watch the Oilers take on the Minnesota Wild on Friday, February 21, 2020. Enjoy the game from a luxury suite, complete with food & beverages throughout the night. At the end of an exhilarating evening you will be safely returned to Red Deer.


Item # 6 – Luxury Sun Family Vacation (Get away this winter with your whole crew! 7 nights for 14 people.)

Value: $5,000.00
Donated By: The Volk Sim Families

Exclusive November 21 Preview Dinner Live Auction item #6: Beautiful Home Accomodations in Phoenix, Arizona!

This gorgeous property sleeps 14 people with 4 baths, and 2 sets of bunks. Enjoy a large gourmet kitchen, relax in the resort style back yard featuring a salt water pool with waterfall and a hot tub/spa. 7 night stay with many flexible dates (blackout Christmas and Easter). Deadline for use is May 31, 2020. Damage deposit of $1000 is required.


Item #7 – Gourmet Dinner at the Beach – An evening for 12 that you’ll never forget…

Value: $5,800.00
Donated By: Corine & Al Sim, Kristi & Shea Volk, Arrow Limousine & Sedan

Exclusive November 21 Preview Dinner Live Auction item #7: A private residence dining experience!

Six course gourmet dinner for 12 in Sylvan Lake hosted by Corine & Al Sim and Kristi & Shea Volk. Includes a gift bag for each dinner guest and wine pairing with each course. Return limousine service from Red Deer. Seasonal activity to be determined between the purchaser and hosts.

Item #8 – Grey Cup 2019 – Yesterday you didn’t know you were going to the big game… Now you and 3 friends are going and you’ll be arriving in style!

Value: $3500.00
Donated By: High Performance Coatings

Exclusive November 21 Preview Dinner Live Auction item #8: Four tickets to Grey Cup 2019:

Hamilton Tiger-Cats vs Winnipeg Blue Bombers in Calgary November 24th. Featuring the half-time show with Keith Urban! Seats are in section one row 25. Kickoff at 4pm. Limo transportation provided.


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november, 2019

thu21novAll Daysun24Festival of Trees(All Day)

thu21nov6:00 pm11:00 pmFestival of Trees - Preview Dinner6:00 pm - 11:00 pm MST Westerner Park, 4847A-19 Street

fri22nov8:00 pm11:00 pmFestival of Wines8:00 pm - 11:00 pm MST Westerner Park, 4847A-19 Street

sat23nov9:00 am12:00 pmFestival Family Bingo - 1st time ever!9:00 am - 12:00 pm MST Westerner Park, 4847A-19 Street

sat23nov6:00 pm11:00 pmMistletoe Magic !6:00 pm - 11:00 pm MST Westerner Park, 4847A-19 Street

sat23nov8:00 pmRed Deer Nov 23 - Calgary's THIRD CHAMBER - EP release show "Harvesting Our Decay"8:00 pm

sun24nov9:00 am12:00 pmBreakfast with Santa9:00 am - 12:00 pm MST Westerner Park, 4847A-19 Street

mon25nov1:30 am2:30 pmPlanning A Calmer Christmas1:30 am - 2:30 pm

mon25nov6:30 pm8:30 pmRustic Succulent Box WorkshopUnique Workshop to create Succulent Box6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

tue26nov1:00 pm3:00 pmDiabetes Discussion Drop InDiabetes Discussion Drop In1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

thu28nov7:30 pm11:00 pmA special Christmas Musical Event at The KrossingBig Hank's Tribute to the Blues Songs of Christmas7:30 pm - 11:00 pm MST The Krossing, 5114 48 Avenue