The Vanier Cup (French: Coupe Vanier) is the championship of Canadian university football. It is organized by U Sports football and is currently played between the winners of the Uteck Bowl and the Mitchell Bowl. It is named after Georges Vanier, the former governor general of Canada and was first awarded in 1965 to the winner of an invitational event contested between two teams that were selected by a panel. In 1967, the trophy was declared the official "CIAU National Football Championship" and a playoff system was instituted. From its creation until 1982, it was known as the Canadian College Bowl. The game typically occurs in late November, although it is occasionally played in December.
|League||U Sports football|
|Awarded for||Winning the U Sports football championship|
|First winner||Toronto Varsity Blues (1965)|
|Most wins||Laval Rouge et Or (10)|
|Most recent||Western Mustangs (2021)|
The Laval Rouge et Or have won the most Vanier Cups (10), while the Western Mustangs have the most appearances (15). Eighteen teams have won the Vanier Cup, while three others have played for the championship but never won. There are six active teams that have never appeared in the championship game. The most recent game, the 56th Vanier Cup, was played on December 4, 2021, at Stade Telus in Quebec City. In this game, the Western Mustangs defeated the Saskatchewan Huskies 27–21 to win their eighth championship.
The Vanier Cup was created in 1965 as the championship trophy of the Canadian College Bowl. For the first two years of competition, the Canadian College Bowl was an invitational event, with a national panel selecting two teams to play, similar to other U.S. collegiate bowl games. In 1967, the Canadian College Bowl was declared the national football championship of the Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union, later Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) and now U Sports, with a playoff system determining the two participants.
The Vanier Cup was played in Toronto, Ontario, from its inception in 1965 through 2003. However, after the CIS opened the game to host conference bids in 2001, the possibility arose to have games held outside Toronto. As of 2016, 41 of the 52 Vanier Cups have been played in Toronto, five in Quebec City, four in Hamilton, one in Saskatoon, one in Vancouver and one in Montreal. No games have been staged in the Atlantic region. Four times, the game has been played in the same city and during the same weekend as the Grey Cup: 1973, 2007 and 2012 in Toronto and in 2011 in Vancouver at BC Place Stadium.
The Vanier Cup is played between the winners of the Uteck Bowl (formerly Atlantic Bowl) and the Mitchell Bowl (formerly the Churchill Bowl). The Uteck and Mitchell Bowls, in turn, are contested by the Loney Bowl (AUS), Hardy Cup (Canada West), Dunsmore Cup (RSEQ), and Yates Cup (OUA) champions.
The Vanier Cup's most valuable player is awarded the Ted Morris Memorial Trophy. It was first awarded at the first championship in 1965 and named in honour of Teddy Morris, who died the same year. Morris, a Hall of Fame former Toronto Argonauts player and coach, was an organizer of the first bowl and champion for developing Canadian players.
The Bruce Coulter Award was first awarded in 1992 and is dependent on what position the winner of the Ted Morris Trophy played. If the winner is from the offence, then the Bruce Coulter Award winner will be the most outstanding defensive player or vice versa. It was named after Bruce Coulter, long-time Head Coach of the Bishop's Gaiters and former offensive and defensive player with the Montreal Alouettes in the 1950s. Coulter was inducted as a builder in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1997.
The Vanier Cup final game is regularly broadcast nationally. From 1965 though 1976 it was broadcast on CBC Television, from 1977 through 1988 it was broadcast on the CTV Television Network. In 1989, TSN acquired rights to the game, lasting through to 2012 (besides a one-year stint on The Score in 2008).
In November 2010, the rights to the Vanier Cup were purchased by sports marketing company MRX. The 2011 game was held in Vancouver, on the same weekend as the 99th Grey Cup and for the first time it was fully integrated into the Grey Cup Festival as a festival event.
In 2012, the 48th Vanier Cup, played between Laval and McMaster at Rogers Centre in Toronto became both the most attended and most watched Vanier Cup ever. Held the same weekend and in the same city as the 100th Grey Cup, the game was attended by 37,098. The previous record was set in 1989 at the 25th Vanier Cup, when 32,847 watched the game between Western and Saskatchewan that was also played at SkyDome (now Rogers Centre). The game, broadcast on TSN and RDS was watched by 910,000.
In February 2013, the CIS terminated the option years on their agreement with MRX opting for an open bid process for the hosting of the game. Laval University, in Quebec City, was the only bidder for the game and won the right to host the 49th Vanier Cup. In May, CIS terminated its agreement with TSN, and entered into a six-year deal with Sportsnet to broadcast its championships, including the Vanier Cup.
The switch in venues, the decoupling of the Vanier Cup from Grey Cup week, and the change in broadcaster, led to a precipitous drop in attendance and viewership. A total of 301,000 viewers watched Laval defeat the Calgary Dinos 25-14 Saturday, November 23, 2013, which was a decline of 64 per cent from the previous year. A standing room crowd of 18,543 were on hand at the Telus Stadium which was a decline of 50 per cent from the previous year in Toronto (although a sellout in that venue). In 2019, after several more years of declines, the Vanier Cup returned to CBC.
- (#) Number of times that team has won the Vanier Cup.
Note: All Ted Morris Trophy and Bruce Coulter Award winners played for the winning team, unless otherwise noted.
|Game||Date||Champion||Score||Runner Up||Stadium||City||Ted Morris Memorial Trophy
|Bruce Coulter Award|
(starts in 1992)
|1st||November 20, 1965||Toronto||14–7||Alberta||Varsity Stadium||Toronto||Gerry Sternberg||—|
|2nd||November 19, 1966||St. F.X.||40–14||Waterloo Lutheran||Varsity Stadium||Toronto||Terry Gorman||—|
|3rd||November 25, 1967||Alberta||10–9||McMaster||Varsity Stadium||Toronto||Val Schneider||—|
|4th||November 22, 1968||Queen's||42–14||Waterloo Lutheran||Varsity Stadium||Toronto||Don Bayne||—|
|5th||November 21, 1969||Manitoba||24–15||McGill||Varsity Stadium||Toronto||Bob Kraemer||—|
|6th||November 21, 1970||Manitoba (2)||38–11||Ottawa||Varsity Stadium||Toronto||Mike Shylo||—|
|7th||November 20, 1971||Western||15–14||Alberta||Varsity Stadium||Toronto||Bob McGregor[A]||—|
|8th||November 25, 1972||Alberta (2)||20–7||Waterloo Lutheran||Varsity Stadium||Toronto||Roger Comartin
|9th||November 24, 1973||Saint Mary's||14–6||McGill||Exhibition Stadium||Toronto||Ken Clark||—|
|10th||November 22, 1974||Western (2)||19–15||Toronto||Exhibition Stadium||Toronto||Ian Bryans||—|
|11th||November 21, 1975||Ottawa||14–9||Calgary||Exhibition Stadium||Toronto||Neil Lumsden||—|
|12th||November 19, 1976||Western (3)||29–13||Acadia||Varsity Stadium||Toronto||Bill Rozalowsky||—|
|13th||November 19, 1977||Western (4)||48–15||Acadia||Varsity Stadium||Toronto||Bill Rozalowsky||—|
|14th||November 18, 1978||Queen's (2)||16–3||UBC||Varsity Stadium||Toronto||Ed Andrew||—|
|15th||November 17, 1979||Acadia||34–12||Western||Varsity Stadium||Toronto||Don Ross||—|
|16th||November 29, 1980||Alberta (3)||40–21||Ottawa||Varsity Stadium||Toronto||Forrest Kennerd||—|
|17th||November 28, 1981||Acadia (2)||18–12||Alberta||Varsity Stadium||Toronto||Steve Repic||—|
|18th||November 20, 1982||UBC||39–14||Western||Varsity Stadium||Toronto||Glenn Steele||—|
|19th||November 19, 1983||Calgary||31–21||Queen's||Varsity Stadium||Toronto||Tim Petros||—|
|20th||November 24, 1984||Guelph||22–13||Mount Allison||Varsity Stadium||Toronto||Parri Ceci||—|
|21st||November 30, 1985||Calgary (2)||25–6||Western||Varsity Stadium||Toronto||Lew Lawrick||—|
|22nd||November 22, 1986||UBC (2)||25–23||Western||Varsity Stadium||Toronto||Eric Putoto||—|
|23rd||November 21, 1987||McGill||47–11||UBC||Varsity Stadium||Toronto||Michael Soles||—|
|24th||November 19, 1988||Calgary (3)||52–23||Saint Mary's||Varsity Stadium||Toronto||Sean Furlong||—|
|25th||November 18, 1989||Western (5)||35–10||Saskatchewan||SkyDome||Toronto||Tyrone Williams||—|
|26th||November 24, 1990||Saskatchewan||24–21||Saint Mary's||SkyDome||Toronto||David Earl||—|
|27th||November 30, 1991||Wilfrid Laurier||25–18||Mount Allison||SkyDome||Toronto||Andy Cecchini||—|
|28th||November 21, 1992||Queen's (3)||31–0||Saint Mary's||SkyDome||Toronto||Brad Elberg||Eric Dell|
|29th||November 20, 1993||Toronto (2)||37–34||Calgary||SkyDome||Toronto||Glenn McCausland||Rob Schrauth[C]|
|30th||November 19, 1994||Western (6)||50–40 (OT)||Saskatchewan||SkyDome||Toronto||Brent Schneider[D]||Xavier Lafont|
|31st||November 25, 1995||Calgary (4)||54–24||Western||SkyDome||Toronto||Don Blair||Rob Richards|
|32nd||November 30, 1996||Saskatchewan (2)||31–12||St. F.X.||SkyDome||Toronto||Brent Schneider||Warren Muzika|
|33rd||November 22, 1997||UBC (3)||39–23||Ottawa||SkyDome||Toronto||Stewart Scherck||Mark Nohra|
|34th||November 28, 1998||Saskatchewan (3)||24–17||Concordia||SkyDome||Toronto||Trevor Ludtke||Doug Rozon|
|35th||November 27, 1999||Laval||14–10||Saint Mary's||SkyDome||Toronto||Stéphane Lefebvre||Francesco Pepe Esposito|
|36th||December 2, 2000||Ottawa (2)||42–39||Regina||SkyDome||Toronto||Phill Côté||Scott Gordon|
|37th||December 1, 2001||Saint Mary's (2)||42–16||Manitoba||SkyDome||Toronto||Ryan Jones||Kyl Morrison|
|38th||November 23, 2002||Saint Mary's (3)||33–21||Saskatchewan||SkyDome||Toronto||Steve Panella||Joe Bonaventura|
|39th||November 22, 2003||Laval (2)||14–7||Saint Mary's||SkyDome||Toronto||Jeronimo Huerta-Flores||Philippe Audet|
|40th||November 27, 2004||Laval (3)||7–1||Saskatchewan||Ivor Wynne Stadium||Hamilton||Matthew Leblanc||Matthieu Proulx|
|41st||December 3, 2005||Wilfrid Laurier (2)||24–23||Saskatchewan||Ivor Wynne Stadium||Hamilton||Ryan Pyear||David Montoya|
|42nd||November 25, 2006||Laval (4)||13–8||Saskatchewan||Griffiths Stadium||Saskatoon||Éric Maranda||Samuel Grégoire-Champagne|
|43rd||November 23, 2007||Manitoba (3)||28–14||Saint Mary's||Rogers Centre||Toronto||Mike Howard||John Makie|
|44th||November 22, 2008||Laval (5)||44–21||Western||Ivor Wynne Stadium||Hamilton||Julian Féoli-Gudino||Marc-Antoine L. Fortin|
|45th||November 28, 2009||Queen's (4)||33–31||Calgary||Stade du PEPS||Quebec City||Danny Brannagan||Chris Smith|
|46th||November 27, 2010||Laval (6)||29–2||Calgary||Stade du PEPS||Quebec City||Sébastien Levesque||Marc-Antoine Beaudoin-Cloutier|
|47th||November 25, 2011||McMaster||41–38 (2OT)||Laval||BC Place||Vancouver||Kyle Quinlan||Aram Eisho|
|48th||November 23, 2012||Laval (7)||37–14||McMaster||Rogers Centre||Toronto||Maxime Boutin||Arnaud Gascon-Nadon|
|49th||November 23, 2013||Laval (8)||25–14||Calgary||Stade Telus||Quebec City||Pascal Lochard||Vincent Desloges|
|50th||November 29, 2014||Montréal||20–19||McMaster||Molson Stadium||Montreal||Regis Cibasu||Anthony Coady|
|51st||November 28, 2015||UBC (4)||26–23||Montréal||Stade Telus||Quebec City||Michael O'Connor||Stavros Katsantonis|
|52nd||November 26, 2016||Laval (9)||31–26||Calgary||Tim Hortons Field||Hamilton||Hugo Richard||Cédric Lussier-Roy|
|53rd||November 25, 2017||Western (7)||39-17||Laval||Tim Hortons Field||Hamilton||Chris Merchant||Fraser Sopik|
|54th||November 24, 2018||Laval (10)||34-20||Western||Stade Telus||Quebec City||Hugo Richard||Adam Auclair|
|55th||November 23, 2019||Calgary (5)||27-13||Montréal||Stade Telus||Quebec City||Adam Sinagra||Redha Kramdi|
|2020 game cancelled due to 2019 coronavirus pandemic|
|56th||December 4, 2021||Western (8)||27-21||Saskatchewan||Stade Telus||Quebec City||Evan Hillock||Daniel Valente Jr|
^ A. Bob McGregor, Ted Morris Trophy winner in 1971, played for the runner-up team.
^ B. In the 1972 game, the Vanier Cup Committee and Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union officials decided to crown co-winners from the same school.
^ C. Rob Schrauth, Bruce Coulter Award winner in 1993, played for the runner-up team.
^ D. Brent Schneider, Ted Morris Trophy winner in 1994, played for the runner-up team.
Vanier Cup appearancesEdit
|OUA||Ontario University Athletics|
|RSEQ||Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec|
|CanWest||Canada West Universities Athletic Association|
|AUS||Atlantic University Sport|
|OQIFC||Ontario-Quebec Intercollegiate Football Conference 1980–2000|
^ E. The Wilfrid Laurier record includes three games played as Waterloo Lutheran.
Six active teams have never played for the Vanier Cup: Bishop's Gaiters (AUS/RSEQ/OQIFC), Carleton Ravens (OUA), Sherbrooke Vert-et-Or (RSEQ), Waterloo Warriors (OUA), Windsor Lancers (OUA), and York Lions/Yeomen (OUA).
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