Dear CRA Members,  

You spoke and we’ve listened!

In response to member feedback, the CRA is making significant changes to our Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) timing and programming.

Please watch the video below to learn about these important changes from CRA President Dr. Trudy Taylor and CEO Dr. Ahmad Zbib, and read below for a summary of the changes.

Changes to the ASM beginning in 2025  

Starting in 2025, the ASM will return to its roots as an in-person ONLY conference. Virtual and/or on-demand options will no longer be available.

This decision has been thoughtfully made as a solution to multiple challenges that we face.

Firstly, the ASM is no longer a small conference. We have grown, and we continue to evolve to meet the needs of our members. Since Covid, we have seen a significant increase in the cost of hosting the ASM, particularly with audio-visual and food and beverage price increases. We feel that ensuring an affordable ASM is a priority for the CRA.

To solve this significant cost increase, we have made the decision to move back to in-person only.

Most members register to attend in person, and we noticed that over the last 2 years, the interest in the virtual ASM has decreased significantly. Considering member feedback, those who attend the ASM in person attend for professional development and networking opportunities, while those who attend virtually, generally attend for professional development exclusively.

For members seeking virtual professional development opportunities, the CRA has a number of opportunities including CRA RheumReview. We truly have something for everyone, while also being fiscally responsible to the association and addressing the cost burden.


Changes to the ASM beginning in 2026 

The ASM will be hosted in April from 2026 and beyond!  

We surveyed members, and we’ve heard you. Multiple member surveys over the years have indicated a desire by the majority to move the ASM to a different time of year. A further survey indicated the month of April as the most preferred month. Our board took these survey results into account, along with considerations for multiple other implications, and made the decision to move the ASM to April for 2026 and beyond.

A springtime conference has a variety of benefits:

  • Given the timing of the Royal College written exam for adult rheumatologists in March, an April meeting will allow for PGY-5 trainee participation.
  • A springtime conference will lessen weather-related travel interruptions that often disrupt travel to the ASM in February.
  • April has been thoughtfully considered and has the least number of conflicts with other national/international rheumatology events. We will work hard to avoid any religious holidays.

Starting in 2026, conference dates will also be shifted to later in the week (Thursday-Saturday) to reduce time away on weekdays for rheumatologists who have overhead costs or who have limited time for conference leave.

Thank you for taking the time to read this update. We appreciate your support as the CRA continues to grow, adapt and nurture our vibrant rheumatology community across Canada.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly at

Thank you,


Trudy Taylor, MD, FRCPC
Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University
CRA President
Chief Executive Officer
Canadian Rheumatology Association