Past Meetings and Events

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2024 Optometric Leaders Forum

January 25-26, 2024

Ottawa, ON

On January 25- 26, 2024 Optometric Leaders from across the country recently convened for the annual Optometric Leaders Forum (OLF). The OLF serves as a platform for representatives from provincial associations and regulators, academics, and industry stakeholders to collectively address the challenges confronting the optometry profession and strategize for its future in Canada.

In 2024, the event was extended by one day and we welcomed guests from Australia, Switzerland, and the U.S., focusing once again on AI and Teleoptometry. The forum, facilitated by Dr. Kim Bugera, Registrar and CEO of the Alberta College of Optometrists, featured presentations by Australian Jeff Dunkel, Optain CEO, and Dr. Zachary Tan, MD Chief Medical Officer of Ascertain, who discussed recent applications of AI retinal imaging in Oculomics,  the new science of identifying biomarkers in the eye to assess whole body health of patients including screening, diagnosis, and monitoring at the point-of-care. Keynote speaker Peter Jones, Healthcare Industry Lead at Microsoft Canada, delved into the application of AI in health, emphasizing its potential but also the need to use a prudent and responsible approach when developing new applications. Dr. Dena Weitzman, Director of Scientific Affairs at Digital Diagnostics, thoroughly reviewed AI applications for optometry and basic concepts of AI.

Breakout discussions explored future scenarios ten years ahead, with a particular focus on Teleoptometry, scope of practice, specialization, and the use of AI in optometry to detect and monitor systemic diseases, as well as advancements in education.

CAO has prepared a comprehensive summary report to review highlights of the event. Read the 2024 OLF Summary Report here.

We extend our gratitude to our 2024 OLF sponsors, Alcon, EssilorLuxottica, Hoya who introduced their latest innovations in the eye care industry.

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Eye Read & Play on the Hill

October 24, 2023

Ottawa, ON

As part of our Children’s Vision Month (CVM) activities, CAO held an event for MPs, senators, and policymakers on Parliament Hill on Tuesday, October 24, 2023. Participants were invited to come and read books by Canadian authors with children and speak with optometrists and CAO staff about the importance of regular eye exams, vision issues with specific implications for children like myopia and amblyopia and the role of preventive care in reducing or preventing vision loss, ensuring children can reach their full potential.


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CAO Congress 2023

July 5-8, 2023

Quebec City, QC

The 38th Biennial Congress held in historic Quebec City on July 5-8, 2023, saw over 860 attendees from across the country come together for an incredible CE program, a bustling tradeshow called Optofair, dynamic industry events, a taste of Quebec culture at social events and an unforgettable closing dinner party. Thank you to all those who attended! A special thank you to our Congress Sponsors whose generous support makes this national optometric event possible.

After back-to-back Congress events the past two summers, the next CAO Congress will follow the usual alternating year schedule and be held July 2-5, 2025 in Halifax, NS.