New Year Greetings and CAP Program Updates

On behalf of the CAP, we would like to thank you for your support in 2020 and to wish you the very best in 2021. In this news bulletin, you can find updates on the following:



President’s Message

As we undertake the start of a new year it is traditional for the President to take a summative look back to the previous year and an anticipatory look forward to the coming year for the Association.  This seems particularly a propos for the 2020 to 2021 transition as we deal with unique and, I am sure you will agree, challenging times.

2020 arrived full of anticipation and exciting intentions.  However, as February rolled into March the CAP was faced with dealing with the pandemic challenges along with the rest of the world.  Moving the CAP office to work from home and the Board and Council Meetings to a virtual environment, suspending the Lecture Tour, and cancelling the in-person Congress were just the most visible impacts.  As we settled into this new reality, a partial on-line Congress was undertaken, covering the important business aspects, holding some scientific talks, and running an engaging and successful Student Competition were all achieved for our community largely working from home.  As the year progressed, our emphasis on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion was enhanced through a massively well-attended EDI session at Congress and the Black in Canadian Physics Networking Event in the Fall.  Highly deserving medal and prize recipients were announced and a wonderful Medal Talk session was held to wrap up the year and set a positive tone heading into 2021.

The new year has begun as 2020 ended, with the pandemic still present and restrictions growing tighter, but we do see a longer-term return to something more closely mirroring our old reality, hopefully towards the end of the year.

As we continue in our virtual operating model for the coming months, the CAP membership has much to which we can look forward.  We will shortly kick off the 2021 Lecture Tour as a series of a half dozen talks, each available to members from coast to coast to coast.  The CAP Undergraduate Prize Exam will run in a virtual format at the beginning of March.  CAP Medal and Award calls for nominations will be out around the end of this month, as will the call for Abstracts for the virtual 2021 CAP Congress.  The Congress promises to be a highlight of the coming year.  In its virtual format, with fascinating online platforms to allow and encourage interaction and discussions, this will be a Congress like no other.  Further, with its low registration costs, and no travel or accommodation expenses, this is a tremendous opportunity for many more attendees than usual to participate.  Suddenly, the possibility of sending entire research groups from across the country becomes feasible.  Manu Paranjape, the CAP Vice-President, his Virtual Organizing Committee, and the Program Committee are putting together a wonderful Congress, and I look forward to seeing you all there from June 7 to June 11, just five short months away.

As we move into 2021, I hope that you are all in good health and encourage you all to stay safe.  COVID times can be difficult, especially for those living alone and our student population, so please look out for and support each other as we continue to move the fields of physics forward.

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The CAP Celebrates 70 Years since incorporation

Although the CAP was founded 76 years ago – in July 1945 – with F.E.Coombs serving as the inaugural president, it was on June 9, 1951 that the CAP was officially incorporated.  CAP thanks and acknowledges the many physicists and members who have supported and provided leadership to the association since 1945.   We look forward to many more years of serving the physics community.

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2021 CAP Lecture Tour

The current situation has presented us with an opportunity to offer a national lecture series which will be delivered virtually over six weeks in February and March, with one talk per week.  The slate of speaker choices offers a broad diversity of topics and speakers – see  Each physics department has been invited to poll their undergraduate students to determine their top three speaker preferences; a challenging task to complete by January 21st given the exciting list of 54 possible speakers.

Look for a News Flash in early February announcing the lecture series details or visit our 2021 Lecture Tour website.

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2021 CAP Virtual Congress – June 6-11
Core part of the congress will take place from June 7-10

Planning has started for the 2021 CAP Congress which will be held as a virtual event from June 6-11.  A general outline of the 2021 Congress can be seen here.

This year, the CAP has contracted with an online congress services provider, Underline, for the actual Congress event.  Use of their services allows the CAP to offer networking opportunities (e.g. virtual poster and exhibitor sessions) in addition to the presentation of plenary, invited, and contributed talks and symposia.  Registration fees have been set at $150 for regular members and invited speakers and $180 for non-members, with reduced rates for students, retirees, and HS Teachers.

The deadline for abstracts has been set for February 28th.  The abstract submission system will open on February 1st.  If you are planning to submit an abstract for this conference and don’t already have an account in our Congress abstract system, we invite you to set one up now by going to

Please mark your calendars and look for the call for abstracts NewsFlash which will be issued around February 1st. Bookmark and visit our 2021 Congress webpage to stay informed.

We look forward to connecting with everyone at our 2021 CAP Virtual Congress.

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2021 CAP Medals, Awards, Scholarships, and Exams

2021 Medals, High School Teacher Awards, and Scholarships  – Nominate your colleagues for recognition

The full suite of CAP medals and awards will be offered in 2021.   As announced in December, the review and enhancement of the medal and award nomination documentation is underway to ensure that this program properly embeds the values outlined in our strategic plan.

We plan to open our system for nominations by February 1st, with a deadline for the submission of nomination packages of March 8th (Medals and HS Teacher Awards), and March 15th (Scholarships).  In the meantime, a list of the medals, awards, and scholarships, including what is needed for each nomination package, can be found at .

For the 2021 CAP medals, the CAP will be holding a Medals Talk and Awards Ceremony Day in the latter half of June to celebrate our 2021 medalists.  

For those who missed the 2020 medal talks, the presentations were recorded and videos of each talk will be linked to the schedule page found on this website as they become available.

2021 University Prize Exam:

The 2021 exam will be held as a virtual competition on 2021 March 9th at 1 pm EST.  Details will be circulated once available.

2021 High School Prize Exam:

At this time, we anticipate that the 2021 High School prize exam will be offered in early April. Once a final decision has been made, details will be posted on the High School/Cegep Prize Exam webpage.

2021 Professional Practice Examination:

The CAP will be, once again, offering the Professional Practice Examination for physics students (fourth year undergraduate or graduate), as well as anyone holding a physics degree who wants to obtain the certification but does not yet have the seven years of physics-related experience required to qualify for an exemption from the exam.  As the exam cannot be held using the traditional in-person process, the exact date for this exam will be announced as soon as the committee has finalized the exam process, giving a minimum notification of four weeks.

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2021 CAP Membership Renewals

The 2021 membership renewals have been underway since the beginning of November (for memberships that ended December 31st).

There were some technical issues encountered with the issuance of the 2020 membership renewals which we understand have been resolved for the 2021 renewals; however, if your membership typically runs starting any time between January 1st and March 1st and you haven’t received a renewal notice e-mail, you can either contact or you can log in to member services at and access your membership renewal through your member dashboard.

We thank our members for their support and look forward to continuing to represent the interests of the physics community through 2021 and beyond.

Expanded Categories to help graduate students stay engaged

The CAP is excited to announce two new categories of membership for graduate students that have been introduced starting with the 2021 membership year.

Graduate Student Lab Memberships (for Supervisors):

Supervisors can now apply to the CAP to create a lab membership for the graduate students within their groups. The base fee of $120 provides for up to four graduate student memberships, with the ability to add additional graduate students for $30/student. Full details can be found here.

Joint CAP/CASCA Graduate Student Membership:

CAP Graduate student members who are also members of CASCA can now renew their membership in each organization at reduced rates, subject to meeting the graduate student eligibility criteria for each association.  Students who are eligible for this rate can activate it when they process their next membership renewal with each organization.

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Physics in Canada issues resuming soon

The Covid-19 pandemic and the cancellation of the CAP 2020 in-person congress created challenges that delayed the production and release of Physics in Canada as resources that could be dedicated to this program could not be sustained.

We have continued to move forward with the production of Physics in Canada as resources permitted.  We anticipate the release of several of our backlogged issues over the upcoming 6 months.  Starting immediately, we will be releasing these issues in electronic format only to both meet our targets of reducing our carbon footprint and cutting expenses to help us recover from the impact of the Covid-19 shutdowns on our finances

As each issue is finalized it will be posted to our online PiC-PaC interface (  Members will be able to log in using their CAP member services login information and access the full issue before it is publicly available.   For members who prefer hard copies, they will be able to download and print either the entire issue or choose individual articles/contributions.   For subscribers, the Information on how to access these files will be distributed shortly.

Look for these upcoming issues over the next few months:

  • The History of TRIUMF’s Future / L’Histoire de l’avenir de TRIUMF  – to be released by mid-February 2021
  • Physics vs. Pseudoscience and Fake News / La physique face aux pseudosciences et aux fausses nouvelles – to be released by mid-March 2021
  • Inclusion for Excellence in the Physics Community in Canada / Inclusion pour l’excellence dans la communauté de la physique au Canada – to be released by mid-April 2021

Watch for our e-mail notifications as each issue is posted to our PiC-PaC website.

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The CAP Foundation works for the promotion of physics

In 2020, the CAP Foundation obtained support from the Allan Carswell Family Foundation to create an endowed fund to award up to two Physics Educator Scholarships annually.  The first scholarships were awarded in 2020. See here for details.

The CAP Foundation funds many of the activities undertaken by the CAP in support of physics education and physics student activities, including support for student travel to the graduate and undergraduate physics conferences (CUPC, CCUWiP, CAM, WiPC). See the full list here.

The fund derives its income for the base of programs from individual member donations. We thank the numerous members who contribute to ensure the success of these programs.

As we start this new year, all members are invited to make a charitable (tax-receipted) contribution to the CAP Foundation to ensure the continued health of our programs.  Donations can be either one-time or set-up to be monthly contributions and can be made by going to Tax receipts are issued directly by Canada Helps.

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CAP Office News

Best wishes to Chantal Éthève-Meek as she moves on to a new career opportunity

After nine years of exceptional service to the CAP in managing our membership services and being the point of contact at the CAP registration desk at Congresses, Chantal Éthève-Meek has accepted a position with Environment and Climate Change Canada and will be leaving the CAP around January 22nd.  Her contributions have been considerable, particularly through these last three very challenging years as we introduced an upgraded website followed immediately by a new contact and membership management system.   We thank Chantal for her dedicated support and wish her all the very best as she embarks on this new phase in her career.

Need to contact the CAP staff?

With the onset of Covid-19 in early January, the CAP office staff have been working remotely since early March 2020.  This situation will be continuing indefinitely so we remind members that the best way to contact staff is to send e-mails.  We will aim to respond within three of our working days (see below).  Note:  If you would like us to call you back, please provide a contact phone number a preferred timeframe during the day for a call (clearing noting applicable time zone).

The full list of staff working hours and distribution of projects can be found at

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