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History

Canadian Acoustical Association

The history of the Canadian Acoustical Association (CAA) dates back to a meeting of 18 persons interested in acoustics, held at the National Research Council in Ottawa, Ontario, on March 29, 1962. The discussions there indicated that activities in acoustics within Canada should be structured and coordinated. The following year, a second meeting was held, and the group adopted the title Canadian Committee on Acoustics for its activities. Tom Northwood was appointed chair and Tony Embleton was appointed secretary. The group continued its activities for the next nine years, and held regular annual meetings at different locations in the Provinces of Ontario and Quebec.

The year 1972 was a major milestone for the committee. During a meeting at McGill University, in Montreal, Quebec, the question was raised: “Where do we go from here?”  Two items that arose were the publication of a newsletter and a change in the name of the organization. The first issue of the newsletter was published, and a guest article dealt with the question of how the organization should be structured: as a committee, an association, or a society. Regular annual meetings continued, and at the meeting in 1974, the name Canadian Acoustical Association /Association Canadienne d’Acoustique (CAA/ACA) was adopted. The CAA Newsletter continued to be published, and, by 1975, the number of copies in circulation exceeded 250. The incorporation process was initiated in 1976 by Hugh Jones, and the organization was officially incorporated on April 22, 1977. In 2014, Articles of Continuance were filed by Frank Russo under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act along with an update to the By-law, and later approved on May 29, 2015.

The CAA became a Member Society of International INCE in 1978 with John Hemingway appointed as the first CAA representative. Work continued on the improvement and upgrading of the newsletter; its format was changed in 1978, and in 1983 it became more of a technical journal with news and its name was changed to Canadian Acoustics / Acoustique Canadienne. The journal is currently published quarterly, including refereed papers in both of Canada’s official languages (English and French), with Umberto Berardi serving as Editor-in-Chief.

A major event in the history of the CAA was the organization of the 12th International Congress on Acoustics which was held in Toronto, Ontario in July, 1986, in conjunction with the 25th meeting of the CAA. The meeting was a great success with 954 participants from 36 countries.

The CAA holds its general conference, Acoustics Week in Canada, in the fall of each year at different locations across the country. Conferences generally draw 100–200 participants, and consist of special plenary seminars, a symposium of two or more days of organized sessions on all aspects of acoustics, laboratory or concert-hall tours, presentation of products by their manufacturers and a social program (reception, banquet, awards ceremony). Summary papers are published September, in a proceedings issue of Canadian Acoustics. Recent meetings have been held in Winnipeg (2014), Montreal (2013), Banff (2012), Quebec City (2011), and Victoria (2010).

The CAA actively encourages and supports excellence in students and young professionals studying/working in acoustics in Canada, with student travel subsidies available for CAA conferences and other acoustics conferences, student and young-professional paper and presentations awards, a major post-doctoral award (the Edgar and Millicent Shaw Postdoctoral Prize in Acoustics), graduate student awards in a number of specialized areas of acoustics, an undergraduate award, and a high-school award for science fair projects in acoustics. Hugues Nelisse is presently serving as the CAA Awards Coordinator.

The CAA currently has more than 300 members. The Association is administered by a Board of Directors, with eight elected directors serving four-year terms, and an Executive presently consisting of President (Frank Russo), Past President (Christian Giguère), Executive Secretary (Roberto Racca), Treasurer (Dalila Giusti), and Editor-in-Chief (Umberto Berardi).