By Troy Patterson

Toronto’s Inside Optics 2017 was a day of networking and high-level optical education.

Put on by the Ontario Opticians Association (OOA), the event kicked off with a cocktail party, followed by a day of speakers, food and an optical industry trade show at the Sheraton Parkway in Richmond Hill this spring.

With over 800 attendees and dozens of industry trade booths, the event was well-received.

“We definitely tried to offer higher-level education so they can come back to their patients and educate their clients as well,” said OOA president Martin Lebeau, who noted topics ranging from blue light to sunwear were featured during the event.

Speakers included Professor Ed August on ‘Sunwearology’ and ‘Astigmatism and the Rx,’ Dr. Diana Mornea offering ‘New Facts on Blue Light,’ the Foundation Fighting Blindness, Speciality Lenses with Anthony Caporali, Corneal Collagen Crosslinking with Jonathon Mo, and the keynote speech ‘Cataract Surgery and Intraocular Lenses’ with Dr. Nav Nijhawan.

Lebeau said their goal is to make conventions like Inside Optics a significant value to the membership that takes part, so they can be better at the business and caring for patients.

“Where can you get this quality of education in one day?” Lebeau said. “The networking aspect alone is worth a lot. Seeing everyone out there and raising different conversations on each topics that are discussed, that’s how you know.”

He said he enjoys meeting the diversity of people that attend the events and says he continues to learn at each one he attends.

He said the event also shows that opticians care about each other professionally and the community wants its members to grow and succeed in business and eyecare.

“It brings us up on a pedestal a bit,” he said. “It makes me proud to be an optician.”

National Bank, which recently announced a new partnership with the Opticians Association of Canada, also took part in the event.

“This is the first time we’ve ever had a bank partner with any kind of [optical] association in Canada that I’m aware of,” said Robert Dalton of the OAC. “We’re very excited about it because they have a number of programs designed specifically for opticians. So we think it’s definitely something to grow for the future and an opportunity for the bank and for our members, entrepreneurs and students to have access to funds.”

Kien Hua, the marketing development co-ordinator for National Bank Financial Group, said his organization wants to offer opticians a “more accessible” option for banking needs that cater to the optical industry.

“We’re very honoured to be a partner,” he said.

The event also featured the executive meeting of the OOA and dozens of trade show booths set up by companies from across the optical industry.

For more information on the next Inside Optics visit