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.
The Canadian Association for Interventional Radiology wishes to acknowledge the remarkable contribution of the following leaders who have been instrumental in making the CAIR the vibrant and strong association it is today:
Dr. Lindsay Machan and Dr. Marty Simons (who introduced the idea of creating a Canadian association for Interventional Radiologists)
Ms. Mary Holley (the Association’s first President’s wife who played a key role in the founding of the Association)
Dr. Larry Stein, President, and Mr. Normand Laberge, CEO, of the Canadian Association of Radiologists in 2005 (they supported the CIRA’s efforts to become legally incorporated)
Dr. Steve Millward (the Association’s first President 2000-2003)
Dr. Murray Asch (the Association’s second President 2003-2005)
Dr. Peter Collingwood (the Association’s third President 2005-2007 and sixth President 2010-2011)
Dr. Marie-France Giroux (the Association’s fourth President 2007-2009)
Dr. Brian Hardy (the Association’s fifth President 2009-2010)
Dr. John Kachura (the Association’s seventh President 2011-2013)
Dr. Andrew Benko (the Association’s eight President 2013-2015)
Dr. Bob Abraham (the Association’s ninth President 2015-2017)
Dr. Jason Wong (the Association’s current President)