IMAST Past Meeting

Scoliosis Research Society
555 E. Wells Street, Suite 1100 Milwaukee, WI 53202
Phone: + 1-414-289-9107
Fax: + 1-414-276-3349


Airline Travel


The Star Alliance member airlines are pleased to be appointed as the Official Airline Network for the 20th International Meeting on Advanced Spine Techniques (IMAST).
To obtain the Star Alliance Conventions Plus discounts please follow the below steps to access the Conventions Plus online booking tool:

*Should the online booking tool not open, please disable your pop-up blocker. Registered participants plus one accompanying person traveling to the event can qualify for a discount of up to 20%, depending on fare and class of travel

The participating airlines for this event are: Adria Airways, Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Copa Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EgyptAir, Ethiopian Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, SWISS International Air Lines, TAP Portugal, THAI, Turkish Airlines, United, US Airways.

Discounts are offered on most published business and economy class fares, excluding website/internet fares, senior and youth fares, group fares and Round the World fares. Please note: For travel to/from Japan special fares or discounts may be offered
by the participating airlines on their own network. To obtain these special fares or discounts and for booking office information please visit conventionsplus/delegates/ and:

  • Click on “Conventions Plus Booking Contacts” and enter the conventions code: AC16S13
  • Choose one of the participating airlines listed
  • Call the respective reservation contact listed and quote the conventions code

when requesting the special ticket When making your travel plans please present confirmation of your registration or proof of attendance for the 20th IMAST.

About Vancouver

Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Coast Mountain Range, Vancouver is truly Spectacular by Nature.  The city’s unique geographical location has earned it the reputation as a playground for all ages.  You can enjoy activities ranging from rainforest walks and ocean kayaking to skiing and golfing, all done against awe-inspiring natural backdrops.  Given the area’s moderate climate, locals often boast it is possible “to ski, sail and golf all in the same day.”  Since Vancouver has three highly rated mountains only a half-hour drive from the city, locals can enjoy an active winter of skiing throughout the week.

From the 1000-acre lush jewel known as Stanley Park to the chic and fashionable Robson Street, Vancouver is a city of unparalleled beauty.    Its vibrant, pedestrian-friendly streets are filled with individuals of varied ethnic backgrounds and walks of life  – people-watchers, shoppers, celebrities, business people, university students and, of course, visitors.

Like any world-class city, Vancouver’s multicultural cuisine continues to receive international acclaim, thanks in part to a new and exciting breed of award-winning chefs from such diverse places as Austria, Japan and Vietnam.  Between its internationally praised fine-dining restaurants and trendy cafes, the city’s many restaurants offer everything from original seafood fare to unique vegetarian dining.

Vancouver enjoys the best of all worlds: four distinct seasons, snow-capped mountains, ocean-side beaches, outstanding hotels and restaurants, one-of-a-kind entertainment, cleanliness and safety.  With its diverse neighbourhoods, convenient locale and natural beauty, it’s no surprise Vancouverites love their city and we are sure you will too. 

For more information about Vancouver, please log on to:

Time Zone

Vancouver is in the Pacific Daylight Time Zone (PDT), which is six (7) hours behind of Greenwich Mean Time (8 hours behind during Daylight Savings Time).


Vancouver has a mild oceanic climate which is defined by dry summer months in contrast to the rest of the year which is rainy. The average annual temperature in Vancouver is 11.0 °C (51.8 °F) while the average temperature in July is 23°C (74°F).


Similar to the US, Canada operates on 110 volts, compared to the standard 220 volts in Europe.


In Vancouver, it is customary to tip around 15 percent depending on the quality of the service.


Most flights arrive at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) in Vancouver. The airport is located approximately 25 minutes outside of the city center and can be reached by taxi, bus and the Canada Line rail service.  Please click here for directions on how to take the Canada Line from YVR to the City Center.

Traveling to Canada

Citizenship & Immigration Canada (CIC) - Information on Requirements to Visit Canada

Submission of Applications: Canada does not have a visa office in every country so it is important that participants visit the website of the visa office responsible for processing their visa application for information on how to submit an application for a TRV and the documentation required to support the application. To view a list of visa offices and the countries they serve please go to

Visa Application Centres (VACs): In some countries Citizenship and Immigration Canada has engaged the services of a private service provider to assist individuals applying for CIC services.

Visa Application Centres (VACs) agents are available to help applicants fill out their forms and answer questions about the application process. They ensure applications are complete, which reduces the rate of returned applications and ultimately leads to faster processing. This low-cost service lessens the potential for people to fall victim of fraud.

The VAC sends applications to Visa offices and transmits decisions to applicants in a confidential manner.

VACs play no role in the decision-making process. The use of VAC services is completely optional. Applicants can continue to apply directly to the visa office if they prefer.

Participants should be encouraged to submit their visa applications through a VAC if this service is available in their country of residence. They should be invited to check their visa office website ( for information on the services available at the VAC serving their area and the costs.

Instructional Videos on how to complete TRV applications: CIC has available on its internet site instructional videos on how to complete the TRV application on line. Participants should be encouraged to watch the video to ensure the applications are completed correctly. The videos are available in English French and Spanish at the following link:

Visa Applications Processing Times: Processing time for TRVs vary depending on the office and the time of the year (i.e. Ankara 133 days, Beirut 36 days based on a complete application). Summer is normally the busiest time. Participants should be encouraged to apply early for their visa, if one is required, and to submit complete applications including all supporting documents.

Information on average processing times at the various visa offices are available at the following link: For more accurate processing times, delegates should consult the website for the visa office responsible for processing their application.

Other information and helpful links

Refusals: The global acceptance rate for visitor visas is approximately 80% and in the first quarter of 2011 the rate was 82%.

What to do if an application is refused: If an individual’s visa application is denied, the applicant will be informed in writing. If there is new information that was not previously considered or if circumstances have changed since the refusal, the applicant may wish to submit a new application. Please note that unless the applicant provides further information that addresses the concerns raised in the refusal letter, the applicant will likely get the same results. Every person applying for a visa must satisfy the requirements under IRPA in order for the visa officer to approve the applications. Applicants are advised to submit complete applications, including all supporting documents, in accordance with the instructions provided in the visa office website.

For additional information on what to do if an application is refused, visit CIC’s website at

Citizenship and Immigration Canada web site:

Information on Visiting Canada:

Do you need a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to visit Canada (see for list of countries):

Visiting Canada - Important information for visa exempt travellers (including US Citizens):

Visa Offices outside of Canada:

Download the Visit Vancouver iPAD App!

Save the Date

21st IMAST - July 16-19, 2014
Valencia, Spain

IMAST Committee

Christopher I. Shaffrey, MD

Past Chair
Todd J. Albert, MD

Jacob M. Buchowski, MD, MS
Kenneth M.C. Cheung, MD
Samuel K. Cho, MD
Benny T. Dahl, MD, PhD, DMSci
John R. Dimar, II, MD
Patrick C. Hsieh, MD, MSc
Andrew H. Jea, MD
Panagiotis Korovessis, MD, PhD
Toshiaki Kotani, MD, PhD
Morio Matsumoto, MD
Frank J. Schwab, MD
Justin S. Smith, MD, PhD
Daniel J. Sucato, MD, MS

©  2015 Scoliosis Research Society.