History of the Vanier Cup

Prior to the 49th Vanier Cup game between the Calgary Dinos and the Laval Rouge et Or in Quebec City on November 23rd, I’d like to discuss the history of the Vanier Cup.

The Vanier Cup is the top title of the University football in Canada.   It was created in 1965 and named after George Vanier, the 19th Governor General of Canada.  For the first two years it the game was played by two teams who were invited to play, but since 1967 it has been the top title in Canadian University football.   While it was originally called the Canadian College Bowl, the cup was named after Mr. Vanier, and the game’s name was officially changed to the Vanier Cup in 1982.

Currently, the Vanier Cup is played between the winners of the Uteck Bowl and the Mitchell Bowl.  Going into this year’s Vanier Cup, the Laval Rouge et Or are the winners of the Uteck Bowl having defeated the Mount Allison Mounties 48-21, and the Calgary Dinos are the winners of the Mitchell Bowl thanks to beating the Western Mustangs 44-3.

In all, 20 different teams have played for the Vanier Cup, with 17 winning at least one Cup.  The Laval Rouge et Or have the most Cup wins with seven.  The Western Ontario Mustangs have the most appearances with 12.  In total, seven active teams have never played in the Cup game.

Toronto had the distinction of being the host city of the Vanier Cup for every year from 1965 to 2003.  Starting in 2004, various cities have hosted the Vanier Cup game, thanks to the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (C.I.S.) opening up bidding to host the game.

The most outstanding player of the Vanier Cup game is awarded the Ted Morris Memorial Trophy, named in honour of the late Ted Morris who died in 1965.  Starting in 1992, the Bruce Coulter Award has been presented to either the top offensive or defensive player in in Vanier Cup game, dependant on the winner of the Ted Morris award winner.  If the winner of the Ted Morris Memorial Trophy is an offensive player, then the Bruce Coulter Award goes to the top Defensive player, or vice-versa.

The winners of the Vanier Cup are as follows:

Laval Rouge et Or, 7 times
Western Mustangs, 6 times
Calgary Dinos, 4 times
Queen’s Golden Gaels, 4 times
Alberta Golden Bears, 3 times
Manitoba Bisons, 3 times
Saint Mary’s Huskies, 3 times
Saskatchewan Huskies, 3 times
UBC Thunderbirds, 3 times
Acadia Axemen, 2 times
Ottawa Gee-Gees, 2 times
Toronto Varsity Blues, 2 times
Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks, 2 times
Guelph Gryphons, 1 time
McGill Redmen, 1 time
McMaster Marauders, 1 time
St. Francis Xavier X-Men, 1 time

Teams that have appeared in the Vanier Cup, but never won, are Concordia Stingers, Mount Allison Mounties, and Regina Rams.

The seven teams never to appear in the Vanier Cup are:

Bishop’s Gaiters
Carleton Ravens
Montréal Carabins
Sherbrooke Vert-et-Or
Waterloo Warriors
Windsor Lancers
York Lions/Yeomen

I want to wish all the best to the Calgary Dinos and Laval Rouge et Or in the 49th edition of the Vanier Cup.

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