Social Program

Welcome Reception at The Vancouver Aquarium – Sunday, July 19
What do you call a group of sea otters and what do they eat1? How do belugas stay warm in ice Arctic waters2? And what are the differences between dolphins and porpoises3? (See answers below.)

Please ensure that your travel plans include joining your friends and colleagues at the beautiful Vancouver Aquarium, home to this year’s Welcome Reception, where you can see these sea creatures and up to 50,000 more, belonging to 796 species.  Massive floor-to-ceiling windows allow viewing up close, and docents will be available to answer any questions and to help guide you through the different exhibits. The aquarium belongs to the symposium for the evening on a private basis.

This year’s reception features mouth-watering desserts and a variety of beverages, including beer, wine and soft drinks.  Please enjoy dinner at your leisure at one of Vancouver’s many and varied restaurants BEFORE you join everyone at the reception.

Note, too, that you’ll have access to the “4D” Theatre, a multisensory show that puts mist, scents and wind into the 3D equation. And, if you arrive before 19:45, you can take a seat for one of the two live shows featuring the beluga whales and the dolphins.

To help you prepare for your visit to the aquarium, please visit their website, including “AquaFacts,” at

Date:Sunday, July 19
Reception: Doors open at 19:30. Please note that this is a dessert reception, and that guests are asked to have dinner at their leisure prior to visiting the Aquarium.
Please note, too, that there will be two shows available, which begin at 19:45, and the 4D theatre will be open to guests throughout the evening with shows beginning at 20:00 and continuing every half-hour.
Transportation:The Vancouver Aquarium is a short walk from The Westin Bayshore, Vancouver along the False Creek Sea Wall. Directions will be provided with your conference materials, and there will be symposium guides on the path. Please advise if you require transportation from The Westin to the aquarium.
Fee: Complimentary for AP-S 2015 registered attendees and their guests. Delegates must indicate attendance during registration in order to receive a ticket.


  1. Sea otters often rest in groups called “rafts” and they eat a seafood smorgasbord, including clams, mussels, snails, prawns, sea urchins, squid and more. They use their sense of touch to find food, as they have poor underwater vision. Go figure.
  2. They are well insulated. Belugas have an insulating layer of blubber that is usually 10-15 cm thick. The thickness of the blubber layer varies with the season and the water temperature. Calves are born with only 2.5 cm of blubber, but they gain weight quickly while nursing on rich milk which ranges in fat content from 15-40% (imagine drinking a thick milkshake!)
  3. There are slight physical differences between dolphins and porpoises. Porpoise teeth are shaped like spades and each tooth has a sharp edge. Dolphin teeth are shaped like cones and are pointed. Porpoises tend to be smaller than dolphins and usually do not have pronounced beaks.

Young Professionals Reception at Science World at TELUS World of Science – Monday, July 20
(included with student and recent graduate registrations; advisors/sponsors must pay a small extra fee; must indicate during registration)
The Young Professionals Reception is open to all Graduates of the Last Decade (GOLD).

Since its inception in 1989, Science World at TELUS World of Science (originally known as Science World) has welcomed nearly nine million visitors through its doors. With its mission to “engage British Columbians in science and inspire future science and technology leadership in our province,” TELUS World of Science continues to grow, expanding its gallery offerings to students, families and seniors through its use of interactive science demonstrations, hands-on classroom workshops and electronic delivery to stimulate excitement and curiosity about science and technology.

During the reception, the AP-S Young Professionals will have private access from the Level 2 Circulation Area to six galleries including Eureka, Body Works, Keva, Kidspace, Search and the Feature Gallery. Visit the Science World at TELUS World of Science webpage for more information.

Date:Monday, July 20
Time:Reception begins at 18:00, but you may enter with your symposium badge and reception ticket at 17:00 to view the full museum collection, then join colleagues at Level 2 Circulation for the reception.
Location:Science World at TELUS World of Science (Second Floor), 1455 Quebec Street, Vancouver (look for the landmark geodesic dome, originally built for Expo ’86)
Fee:Complimentary for Students and Young Professionals, but advance registration is required. Delegates must indicate attendance during registration in order to receive a ticket. $25.00 for Advisors and Sponsors.

For more information on IEEE Young Professionals Program activities, benefits and career resources, please visit their webpage

Women In Engineering Dessert Reception – Monday, July 20
The IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE) Dessert Reception is open to all conference participants, but pre-registration is required. The scopes of interest of the WIE include increasing the participation of women within IEEE, gathering and disseminating information regarding the status of women, and initiatives for, by and on behalf of women in engineering and science.

Date:Monday, July 20
Time:20:00 – 21:00
Location:Currents Restaurant at The Westin Bayshore, Vancouver (please note that outdoor space will be available during this reception, so you may want to bring a sweater or light jacket)
Fee:Complimentary, but advance registration is required, and will be limited to the first 300 registrants.

Amateur Radio Breakfast Meeting – Tuesday, July 21

In recognition of the role of amateur radio in the development of wireless technology, APS/URSI 2015 has made room to print amateur radio callsigns on attendees’ badges. The Amateur Radio Breakfast Meeting is open to all conference participants who hold an amateur radio callsign, but pre-registration is required. The intent of the gathering is to gather support for AP-S student, outreach and educational initiatives involving amateur radio.

Date:Tuesday, 21 July
Time:07:00 – 08:00
Location:Seawall Bar & Grill at The Westin Bayshore, Vancouver
Fee:Complimentary, but advance registration is required.

Awards Presentation and Banquet: NEW DATE – TUESDAY, JULY 21
The 2015 Awards Banquet will take place at The Westin Bayshore, Vancouver in the Grand Ballroom and it is open to all conference registrants, but requires a separate ticket purchase. The event honors the distinguished accomplishments of the society’s professional community, and includes recognition of the 2015 IEEE AP-S Fellows.

Please remember to add a Banquet Ticket, when you register for the conference. If you need to add one at a later date, please e-mail us at

Date:Tuesday, July 21
Banquet:Doors open for dinner at 18:45
Location:Grand Ballroom, The Westin Bayshore
Fee$50 (Advance Rate); $75 (On-Site Rate*)
  • Please note that a limited number of tickets will be available for sale at the On-Site Rate. Attendees are encouraged to purchase their tickets prior to the close of Advance Registration.

Reviewers’ Dinner Reception at Grouse Mountain – Wednesday, July 22
With the extraordinary scenery available in North Vancouver, what better way for AP-S to show their appreciation to the many volunteers who participated in review of papers for the technical sessions than to take them to Vancouver’s most visited, four-season venue and the highest point in the area – Grouse Mountain.

With your colleagues, you’ll board motor coaches at The Westin Bayshore, Vancouver for the half-hour transfer to Grouse Mountain. Board the gondola to the top for spectacular views and a dinner reception in the chalet, with exclusive access to the upper level and its scenic overlook patios.

Date:Wednesday, July 22
Bus Departures:17:30; 17:45; 18:00
Reception Begins:18:00
Bus Returns to Westin:First motorcoach departs Grouse Mountain at 8:00pm (20:00)
Fee:Complimentary for all registered attendees, who participated in the review process for APS/URSI 2015. Advance registration is required.

For more information about Grouse Mountain and its activities, please visit

Set Sail Aboard The Magic Charm – Thursday, July 23
Magic Yacht Charters tells us that “Vancouver is a city built for this type of group experience. All the elements of the gleaming metropolis, and its surrounding natural wonder, come together in spectacular harmony to provide a boating experience like no other. Gliding through the tranquil waters of Coal Harbour, up Indian Arm, or past Stanley Park in to False Creek enroute via Granville Island; these journeys offer a new perspective of a superlative destination that has been voted the world’s most liveable city several times over.
Gather together for a smooth sail from the Marina at The Westin Bayshore, and enjoy a buffet dinner with extraordinary harbor views, both inside and out on the decks. A cash bar will be available.

Seating is limited, so be sure to reserve your seats at the time of your program registration.

Date:Thursday, July 23
Location:The Marina at The Westin Bayshore, Vancouver
Board Time:Promptly at 18:00 for an 18:30 departure
Return to Westin:21:30
Fee:$90.00 per person