Canadian Astronomical Instrumentation Workshop

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Purpose of the Meeting

Canadian astronomers and engineers are renown around the world for their expertise and important contributions to astronomical instrumentation projects of all scales. Ongoing and future instrumentation missions will continue to cement Canada’s reputation in the field and ensure that the next generation of Canadian astronomers will have continued and improved access to observatories and telescopes, both on the ground and in space.

The Canadian Astronomical Instrumentation Workshop, organised by the Observatoire du Mont-Mégantic (OMM; UdeM and U Laval), the Trottier Institute for Research on Exoplanets (iREx; UdeM) and the NRC Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics, intends to bring together Canadian astronomers and engineers of all career levels that are currently involved or have an interest in astronomical instrumentation projects with significant Canadian contributions. This two-day event, taking place on August 31st and September 1st 2023 at the Université de Montréal’s (UdeM) new MIL campus, will include a day of presentations and discussion showcasing Canadian instrumentation projects and an additional day of smaller group work sessions for ongoing projects. Current Day 1 confirmed invited speakers include:

  • René Doyon (UdeM/iREx/OMM) on the First Year of Canadian Science with JWST
  • Christian Marois (NRC Herzberg/U of Victoria) on the New Earth Laboratory
  • Suresh Sivanandam (Dunlap Institute/U of Toronto) on the GIRMOS Instrument (Gemini Observatory)
  • Kristine Spekkens (RMC) on the Square Kilometer Array (SKA)
  • Kim Venn (U of Victoria), on Canadian Optical and Infrared (OIR) spectroscopic facilities
  • Pat Côté (NRC Herzberg) on the Surveys and Instrumentation for the CASTOR Mission
  • Matt Dobbs (McGill) on CHORD and CHIME – Technology for a new era of radio astronomy

The community is invited to propose work sessions (e.g. science team meetings) during the registration process. An appropriate room on the UdeM Campus MIL will be provided for accepted sessions. The Day 2 schedule will conclude no later than 3PM (Eastern Time) to allow in person participants to return home for the long Labor Day weekend. Day 2 confirmed work sessions are:

  • Small CanDIAPL (Canadian Data Intensive Astrophysics Platform) team meeting
  • Canadian ANDES technical team meeting
  • Brainstorm session on “Canadian Contributions to the Habitable Worlds Observatory and LIFE missions”
  • Community discussion on the “Future of Canadian Space Telescopes”

Both virtual and in-person participation will be possible for both days, and participants will be able to attend a single day of their choosing or both days, according to their preference. We strongly encourage participation from early-career researchers, including undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, for whom such ongoing discussions will shape the terrain in which they will pursue their research careers in the future.

N.B.: The deadline to propose a Day 2 work session has now passed.


Important Details

Event Dates: August 31 – September 1 2023

Location: Campus MIL, Université de Montréal, 1375 ave Thérèse-Lavoie-Roux, Montréal, QC

Registration Link (includes work session proposal submission):

Deadline to submit a work session proposal: August 7, 2023 NOW CLOSED

Deadline to register (in-person participation): August 15, 2023 NOW CLOSED
Deadline to register (virtual participation): August 29, 2023 NOW CLOSED

Registration to this event is free of charge. We do ask all participants who have registered for an in-person participation who can no longer attend to please notify the LOC Chair, Nathalie Ouellette ( as soon as possible. Health break coffee and snacks and lunches will be provided to in-person participants.


Workshop Program

The block schedule of the workshop is now available:

Day 2 sessions in GREEN are open and do not require any registration to attend. Day 2 sessions in RED are closed.

Here is the detailed program of Day 1 (click on the image to see a larger version):


Details for In Person Participants

All Day 1 talks and Day sessions will be taking place at the Université de Montréal’s new MIL campus at 1375 ave Thérèse-Lavoie-Roux. Please note that this is NOT the UdeM mountain campus where the Department of Physics was located prior to 2020. The campus MIL is easily accessible via the Montreal subway, from either Acadie Station or Outremont Station, both on the blue line.

The majority of the talks and sessions will be taking place in Pavillion A (where the Science Library is located) in the 2nd floor auditorium, room A-2521. Two Day 2 sessions will be taking place in Pavillion B in smaller meeting rooms. On-site signage will direct you to where you need to go.

Your name badges will be available in front of room A-2521 when you arrive. For those of you who requested a guest account to access the UdeM wifi network, your account information will be included with your badge. Simply connect to the network “UdeM-avec-cryptage” with this information. The “eduroam” network is also available for those of you who have a university account.

Coffee will be provided both mornings and during the Day 1 health breaks. Snacks will also be provided during the Day 1 health breaks. Lunchboxes will be provided on both days. You can pick them up around 12pm in front of room A-2521 on each day.

Masking is no longer required at the Université de Montréal, but all participants are free to do so during the workshop and are encouraged to exercise caution and responsible behaviour. If you are experiencing any symptoms associated with COVID-19, we ask you to please isolate and test yourself. If you test positive for COVID-19 during the workshop, we ask you to please contact Nathalie Ouellette ( ASAP and continue isolating yourself.

If you registered to be an in-person participant but can no longer attend, please let Nathalie Ouellette ( know ASAP so we may adjust our meals accordingly.


Details for Remote Participants

All Day 1 talks and all open Day 2 sessions will be hybrid. Zoom links for the different sessions will be made available to all participants a few days before the workshop. To participate in the restricted Day 2 session (on CanDIAPL), please contact the session organiser directly (see above).


Public Talk

On the evening of August 31st, we invite the general public and all workshop participants to attend a special public event celebrating the 15th anniversary of the direct imaging of the HR 8799 exoplanetary system.

Title: Celebrating 15 Years of Exoplanet Imaging: A Discussion with the 2008 Scientists of the Year

Time: 7:30PM to 9:00PM

Date: Thursday, August 31, 2023

Location: Main Auditorium (A-1502), Campus MIL, Pavillon A, Université de Montréal, 1375 ave Thérèse-Lavoie-Roux, Montréal, QC

This panel will bring together the three astronomers behind this revolutionary discovery: Christian Marois (NRC Herzberg/U of Victoria), David Lafrenière (UdeM/iREx), and René Doyon (UdeM/iREx/OMM). All three astronomers will share the behind-the-scenes story of how they captured the very first direct image of an exoplanetary system in 2008, a feat that won them the title of “Scientists of the Year” from CBC/Radio-Canada. They will also talk about how the field of direct imaging and exoplanets have evolved over the last 15 years and what they look forward to for the future of Canadian astronomy and astrophysics. The panel discussion, which will be in French and hosted by Nathalie Ouellette (UdeM/iREx/OMM), will end with a Q&A session with the public.

This public event is free of charge and requires no prior knowledge of astronomy and no registration or reservations. Doors will open at 7:00PM and seats will be assigned on a first come-first served basis.


Scientific Organising Committee

  • René Doyon (UdeM/iREx/OMM), Chair,
  • Laurent Drissen (U Laval)
  • Sébastien Fabbro (NRC Herzberg/U of Victoria)
  • Christian Marois (NRC Herzberg/U of Victoria)
  • Simon Thibault (U Laval/COPL)


Local Organising Committee

  • Nathalie Nguyen-Quoc Ouellette (UdeM/iREx/OMM), Chair,
  • Frédérique Baron (UdeM/OMM)
  • René Doyon (UdeM/iREx/OMM)
  • Marie-Ève Lapierre (UdeM/iREx/OMM)
  • Heidi White (UdeM/iREx/OMM)