The first steps leading to the creation of the Canadian Association for Interventional Radiology (CAIR), previously known under the name CIRA, started at a meeting of the Society of Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology (SCVIR), later to become The Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR), in San Diego. Canadian interventional radiologists felt the need to create an association devoted solely to the interest of interventional radiology, later to become a recognized subspecialty of radiology.
CIRA was formally structured at a meeting of the Canadian Association of Radiologists (CAR), held in Vancouver in 2001. Dr. Steve Millward, then from London, Ontario, became the first President of CIRA.
CIRA’s first Annual Meeting took place in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, in June, 2002. The resounding success of the event confirmed in the eyes of its founders the pertinence of creating the Association.
In 2004, Annie Bilodeau, a CAR staff member, became CIRA’s first Executive Director. CIRA was able to grow tremendously during the following years, thanks to the support of a full time employee.
CIRA became independent of CAR in 2007 and established its first head office, led by Annie Bilodeau, in Montreal in 2008.
CIRA continues to grow during the following years, opening up its membership to residents, fellows, technologists and nurses.
In 2012, CIRA’s longstanding advocacy efforts are finally successful when interventional radiology is recognized as a full-fledged subspecialty by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
In 2018, CIRA becomes CAIR and adopts a new vision for the future.
Led by Dr. Jason Wong of Calgary and a new Executive Director, Mr. Daniel Lapointe, the Association launches the CAIR Initiative, a multi-stakeholder endeavor aimed at making patient-friendly, minimally invasive interventional radiology treatments widely accessible to Canadian patients.