Trevor Kasteel to stage mental health production in Yellowknife


After a business failure, Trevor Kasteel went bankrupt. He now he wants to talk about it.

Yellowknife-based Kasteel construction company went bankrupt in October of last year.

She says she needed mental health treatment afterward as the pressure of dealing with a failing business combined with many other factors, including the sexual abuse she suffered when she was younger.

On Tuesday this week, he will host a free event at the DND gymnasium of the city’s multiplex titled “It’s Time for Silence to Suffer.” No ticket required. Doors open at 5:30 pm and the event begins at 6:00 pm

“I am finally following my dream and devoting myself to inspirational and motivational speaking work. “I will share all of my personal and professional life experiences, stories and learnings to date, no matter how uncomfortable,” Kasteel wrote in an email explaining what to expect.

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“I will be vulnerable,” she wrote, adding that she will “talk about all the failures and weaknesses through various traumatic abuses, daily mental battles, suicidal thoughts, depression, bullying, anxiety, physical ailments, medications, etc.”

“The goal is to spread love, courage and trust, to help build people,” he concluded.

Kasteel joined Afternoons at the Cabin to explain more about how she found a way to move on from the recent events in her life, why she wanted to talk about it in a public setting, and what she hopes her audience takes away from the experience.

Listen to the interview on Monday, June 10 on the Afternoons at the Cabin edition from 12 to 3 p.m., or read the transcript below.

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This interview was recorded on June 7, 2024. The transcript has been edited for length and clarity.

Ollie Williams: Tell us about this event and what people should expect.

Trevor Kasteel: People may know me mainly from Kasteel Construction and Coatings, and from the insolvency and bankruptcy we filed for on October 17 last year, just after the evacuation.

I love helping people. I tried to do the best I could with the company, and one of the problems with the company’s downfall (with my downfall) is that I was leaning too much on heart instead of profits. The construction company has taught me a lot. I kept going, no matter what.

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What I try to do in my life is, even if it’s a very, very bad situation – and I know I’ve hurt people, whether they’re family, friends, clients, subcontractors or whatever – I know that I need to acknowledge my responsibilities. and face it, and I need to accept it and learn from it to be better.

When the insolvency occurred, what was happening to you at the same time?

That one is very big. What happened to me? That’s complicated. I think that’s the problem in life right now. You become almost robotic every day. You are conditioned and programmed. Everyone is moving so fast that we are almost dehumanizing ourselves and the people around us. I have apologized to certain people. I still have more people to apologize to, but I’m doing the best I can.

I have been suicidal in the past. In fact, in January I participated in a Department of Health panel on suicide, mental health and addictions, for all their counselors in all the Territories. I was at my breaking point. There were a number of events, including personal triggers for my sexual abuse that happened to me in the past. I laid charges against the man while I was a Yellowknife councilor in 1996. I was sexually abused over a period of six to seven years as a child. Without going too far into it now, with all the different things that were exacerbated by the evacuation, I got to a point where I was visualizing my own funeral at the DND gym and someone speaking for me.

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I was fighting those suicidal thoughts for about four or five days. I walked into my sister’s condo and said, “I need help.” I finally broke down. It was simply the weight of restructuring talks with the company. I was admitted into a mental health emergency and saw a psychiatrist that night, and I let it out, man. He was like a machine gun, I just gave him everything that happened to me.

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They sent me to Alberta Hospital. They took me to building number 10, ward 2A. It’s a psychiatric ward. I was in that facility for about four weeks.

How do you find things now?

Life has been brutal, but I only have two options: either do something about it or sit there wallowing in self-pity. I have to move and do something about it.

My heart was tied to my company, so that’s emotional. I love this community. I love the North. I love people. I never wanted to hurt anyone and I did the best I could, but there is still suffering because of me and I hate it.

Every day is a monster that you fight, to some extent, every day because you are infected with something that you didn’t even want: you trusted the person and so it is the psychological battle that you face, and it is very complex. .

When did you decide you wanted to address this in a public format and hold an event?

June 11 is my birthday and the day my father died in 1982. So June 11 means a lot. One day it came up: “I should do it on my birthday and give a gift to the people I love, give a gift back to the North.”

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I want to spread love and I also want to talk about humility. I think people today consider love and humility to be weak. It is much stronger and much more powerful than the negativity that exists out there. I want to spread courage and confidence.

What should people expect? As will be?

It’s in the DND gym at the multiplex. I am working with Pido Productions, who I have to thank from the bottom of my heart. And also Event Rentals Yellowknife, they have been fantastic. There are about 280 seats, there are no reservations. The stage is in the center because I want to be completely vulnerable. I’ll bring things like empty pill bottles to show that I’m taking antidepressants and all that kind of stuff. I’ll also bring my dad’s recliner and sit in the middle of the stage, have headphones on, and walk around and talk to people.

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I’m just going to share my experiences. We are human beings and part of being human is being human. To have a conversation, you need to connect. And if I went in there just talking about Trevor, giving a speech and walking out, what the hell is that? I need to build trust, I need to connect with people and the way we connect is through stories. I don’t want to just talk about anxiety, I want to put an end to that fool. What is anxiety? Let’s slow down and look at anxiety. When we talk about bullying, let’s look at what a bully is. Let’s analyze what the victim of a stalker is.

What do you want people to get out of this?

I’m not ashamed to talk about my bankruptcies… and my personal bankruptcy now. And during the process, people may have questions. If people want to ask me what happened to the lawyers, if people want to ask me what happened to the trustees, if people want to ask me what happened to the auctions? Hey man, I’m an open book.

I have to be careful with responsibility and cannot answer questions that will harm other people or provoke other people. This is PG-13, so I have to be very, very careful with the words I use.

What I’m doing is taking advantage of all the skills and tools that I’ve gathered (through my diploma in journalism, television and radio, both in business and in city hall, all that kind of stuff) to build this production. and do your best while being considerate of others.

It almost sounds like a production of your life.

That is absolutely correct, which is very difficult to do… and strange.



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