History – Canadian University Football

By Robert Watkins

Conference Membership – The East

Atlantic University Sport (AUS)

The AUS football conference has had many different names over the years. The league itself evolved from earlier Canadian-rules football leagues the first of which was begun in Halifax during the Second World War.
These forerunners include the Halifax City Canadian Football League (1947-1950), the Nova Scotia Canadian Football League (1951-1959), the Nova Scotia Junior Canadian Football League (1953-1959), the New Brunswick Intermediate Football League (circa 1949-1959), the Maritime (Junior) Intercollegiate Football League (1958-59) and the two-tiered Atlantic Football Conference (1960-1964).
These leagues typically consisted of university, military and community teams playing at the intermediate and junior levels of football. In 1965, the Bluenose Football Conference came into being with league membership restricted to university varsity teams located in the Maritime provinces which were members of the Maritime Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA). In 1966 the league was officially called the MIAA football conference, in 1969 it became the Atlantic Intercollegiate Athletic Association (AIAA) football conference, in 1974, the Atlantic Univerisities Atheltic Association (AUAA) football conference and finally, in late 1999, Atlantic University Sport (AUS) football conference.
Throughout the years, however, the league has been popularly called by the media and others the Atlantic University Football Conference (AUFC). The Jewett Trophy is awarded to the conference champion each year.

Atlantic University Football Conference (AUFC)

Acadia University Axemen 1965-Present
University College of Cape Breton Capers 1990
Dalhousie University Tigers 1965-1976
Mount Allison University Mounties 1965-Present
University of New Brunswick Red Bombers 1965-1980
University of Prince Edward Island Panthers * 1965-1979
Saint Mary’s University Huskies 1965-Present
St. Francis Xavier University X-Men 1965-Present
* Before 1970, the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) was known as St. Dunstan’s University. St Dunstan’s amalgamated with Prince of Wales College of Charlottetown to form UPEI.

Conference Membership – Ontario

Ontario University Athletics (OUA)

Much of the history of university football in Quebec is irrevocably intertwined with that of Ontario. For ease of organizational structure and because the majority of institutions with football programs in the early years were located in Ontario, the early years of Quebec varsity football are also included in this section.
The oldest interuniversity football league was the Canadian Intercollegiate Rugby Football Union (CIRFU) formed in late 1897 and commencing competition in 1898. The Yates Cup was donated by Dr. H. B. Yates of McGill University in 1898 to be awarded to the league champion each year.
Canadian Intercollegiate Rugby Football Union (CIRFU) *
McGill University Redmen 1898-1970
McMaster University Marauders 1952-1953 **, 1968-1970
Ottawa College 1905-1912
Queen’s University Golden Gaels 1898-1970
Royal Military College 1913
University of Toronto Varsity Blues 1898-1970
University or Waterloo Warriors 1968-1970
University of Western Ontario Mustangs 1929-1970
* Following the Second World War, the CIRFU became known as the Senior Intercollegiate Football League (SIFL), from circa 1956 onward it was known as the Ontario-Quebec Athletic Association (OQAA) football conference.
** McMaster was granted probabitionary playing privileges (exhibition games) in the SIFL for the 1952 seasion with full participation in league competition and standings to apply in the 1953 season.
A second senior-level university football conference was established in 1957–the Ontario Intercollegiate Football Conference (OIFC)–consisting of a combination of newly created post-secondary institutions as well as established institutions which had previously played football at the intermediate level in the South-Western Conference of the Intercollegiate Intermediate Football Union (IIFU) and the West or “A” Division of the Ottawa-St.Lawrence Intercollegiate Athletic Association (OSLIAA) football conference.

Ontario Intercollegiate Football Conference (OIFC)
Carleton University Ravens * 1957-1966
Laurentian University Voyageurs 1966
Loyola College Warriors * 1963-1966
McMaster University Marauders 1957-1966
Université de Montréal Carabins 1966
Ontario Agricultural College Aggies 1957-1966
University of Ottawa Gee-Gees * 1957-1966
Royal Military College Redmen * 1957-1966
University of Waterloo Warriors 1957-1966
Waterloo Lutheran University Golden Hawks 1963-1966
* These four teams, in addition to being charter members of the OIFC, concurrently constituted the West Division of the OSLIAA football conference (see below for details).
Existing before and then concurrently with the OIFC was a group of football-playing post-secondary institutions in Ontario and Quebec which originally had made up the Ottawa-ST. Lawrence (OSL) football conference of the IIFU and, later, the OSLIAA football conference. The level of play might be described as a mixture of intermediate and senior although this distinction was fast disappearing. For the 1958 season, the OSLIAA was reorganized along eastern and western divisional lines with the West Division initially consisting of mainly Ontario-based colleges (see table above) and the East Division consisting largely of Quebec-based institutions (see Quebec section following). By 1960, the OSLIAA instituted a league championship game between the two divisional winners.
In 1967 a new university football conference was created–the twelve-team Central Canada Intercollegiate Football Conference (CCIFC). This league was made up of the ten members of the OIFC plus two teams from the East Division of the now defunct OSLIAA football conference. In 1968, with the addition of two more members (plus another in 1969), the conference was split into two divisions.

Central Canada Intercollegiate Football Conference (CCIFC)
Bishop’s University Gaiters ** 1967-1970
Carleton University Ravens *** 1967-1970
Sir George Williams University Georgians ** 1968-1970
Laurentian University Voyageurs *** 1967-1970
Loyola College Warriors ** 1967-1970
Macdonald College Aggies ** 1967-1970
McMaster University Marauders 1967
Université de Montréal Carabins ** 1967-1970
OAC Aggies * / University of Guelph Gryphons *** 1967-1970
University of Ottawa Gee-Gees *** 1967-1970
Royal Military College Redmen ** 1967-1970
University of Waterloo Warriors 1967
Waterloo Lutheran University Golden Hawks *** 1967-1970
University of Windsor Lancers *** 1968-1970
York University Yeomen *** 1969-1970
* The Ontario Agricultural College became the University of Guelph in 1968.
** Denotes members of the CCIFC East Division after 1968.
*** Denotes members of the CCIFC West Division after 1968.
A major reorganization of intercollegiate sport in Central Canada took place in 1971 with the division of intercollegiate athletic associations along provincial lines, that is, the Ontario University Athletic Association (OUAA) and the Quebec University Athletic Association (QUAA). The OUAA football conference was a twelve team league organized in the following manner. The Yates Cup was awarded to the league champion.

Ontario University Athletic Association (OUAA)

Eastern Section
Northern Division Capital Division
Laurentian 1971 Carleton 1971-1973
Ottawa 1971-1973 Queen’s 1971-1973
York 1971-1973 Toronto 1971-1973

Western Section
Central Division West Division
Guelph 1971-1973 Waterloo 1971-1973
McMaster 1971-1973 Western 1971-1973
WLU 1971-1973 Windsor 1971-1973

Following the 1973 season, with the collapse of the QUAA football conference, another major reorganization of football conferences in Ontario and Quebec took place. The remaining football programs from the two provincial associations were folded into the new Ontario-Quebec Intercollegiate Football Conference (OQIFC) consisting of two groupings–the East and West Divisions. During the 1974 and 1975 seasons, teams in one division played a partial interlocking schedule with teams from the other division. Following the 1975 season, the partial interlocking schedule was dropped. From 1974 to 1979, the Yates Cup was awarded jointly to the two divisional winners.

Ontario-Quebec Intercollegiate Football Conference (OQIFC)

West Division East Division
Guelph 1974-1979 Bishop’s 1974-1979
McMaster 1974-1979 Carleton 1974-1979
Toronto 1976-1979 Loyola/Concordia ** 1974-1979
Waterloo 1974-1979 McGill 1974-1979
Western 1974-1979 Ottawa 1974-1979
WLU/Laurier * 1974-1979 UQTR 1977-1979
Windsor 1974-1979 Queen’s 1974-1979
York 1974-1979 Toronto 1974-1975
* Waterloo Luthern University became Wilfrid Laurier University in 1974.
** Loyola College and Sir George Williams University merged in 1974 to become Concordia University.
For the 1980 season, the OQIFC West Division was renamed the OUAA football conference, in 1997 the OUAA became simply Ontario University Athletics (OUA) and the football conference the OUA football conference. The Yates Cup became emblematic of the OUAA/OUA championship each year.

Ontario University Athletics (OUA)
University of Guelph Gryphons 1980-Present
McMaster University Marauders 1980-Present
University of Ottawa Gee-Gees 2001-Present
Queen’s University Golden Gaels 2001-Present
University of Toronto Varsity Blues 1980-Present
University of Waterloo Warriors 1980-Present
University of Western Ontario Mustangs 1980-Present
Wilfrid Laurier University Golden Hawks 1980-Present
University of Windsor Lancers 1980-Present
York University Lions * 1980-Present
* York University changed the nickname of its varsity teams from the Yeomen to the Lions for the 2003 season.
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Conference Membership – Quebec

Quebec Student Sports Federation (QSSF)

In 1988, the governing body of university sport in Quebec, the Quebec Universities Athletic Association (QUAA), became part of the QSSF which assumed responsibility for all levels of scholastic sport in the province–secondary, CEGEP and university.
As noted above, much of the earlier history of Quebec university football has been included in the Ontario section. However, when football conferences were structured along strictly provincial athletic association lines or where the majority of the teams in a conference were Quebec-based, these conferences are included here rather than elsewhere. The first such conference was the “B” Division of the OSL conference, later (in 1958) called the East Division of the OSLIAA conference.
OSL “B” Division/OSLIAA East Division
Bishop’s University Gaiters 1953 to 1966
Collège Militaire Royal 1953-1957, 1965-1966
Loyola College Warriors 1953 to 1962
Macdonald College Aggies 1953 to 1966
St. Patrick’s College * 1953 to 1966

* Amalagated with the Carleton University Ravens football program
following the 1966 season.
Aside from McGill, which was a member of the CIRFU/SIFL/OQAA from 1898-1970 and those noted immediately above as participating in the OSL/OSLIAA, all other Quebec-based varsity football programs existing at the time participated in the OIFC which lasted until 1966. All but McGill participated in the CCIFC which existed from 1967 to 1970 (see Ontario section above for details).
The next solely based Quebec university football conference was the eleven-team Quebec University Athletic Association (QUAA) football conference which had a rather short-lived existence from 1971 to 1973.

Quebec University Athletic Association (QUAA)
Blue Division White Division
Bishop’s Gaiters 1971-1973 Collège Militaire Royal 1971-1972
Loyola Warriors 1971-1973 Macdonald College 1971-1973
McGill Redmen 1971-1973 UQAM Citadins 1971-1972
Montréal Carabins 1971 UQTR Patriotes 1971-1973
RMC Redmen 1971 Sherbrooke Vert & Or 1971-1973
SGW Georgians 1971-1972
From 1974 to 1979, following the collapse of the QUAA football conference after the 1973 season, Quebec-based university football programs competed in the East Division of the OQIFC (see Ontario section above). As a result of the reorganization and renaming of the West Division of the OQIFC in 1980, the OQIFC East Division became known simply as the OQIFC with no division appellation. Also, the new OQIFC now had a championship trophy of its own to play for–the Dunsmore Cup.

Ontario-Quebec Intercollegiate Football Conference (OQIFC)
Bishop’s University Gaiters 1980-2000
Carleton University Ravens 1980-1998
Concordia University Stingers 1980-2000
Université Laval Rouge et Or 1996-2000
McGill University Redmen 1980-2000
University of Ottawa Gees-Gee 1980-2000
Queen’s University Golden Gaels 1980-2000
Following the 2000 season, the University of Ottawa and Queen’s University withdrew from the OQIFC in order to join the OUA football conference. As a result, in 2001 the OQIFC became simply the QSSF university football conference, more commonly known as the Quebec Intercollegiate Football Conference (QIFC). The Dunsmore Cup continues to be emblematic of the conference championship.

Quebec Intercollegiate Football Conference (QIFC)
Bishop’s University Gaiters 2001-Present
Concordia University Stingers 2001-Present
Université Laval Rouge et Or 2001-Present
McGill University Redmen 2001-Present
Université de Montréal Carabins 2002-Present
Université de Sherbrooke Vert & Or 2003-Present

Conference Membership – The West

Canada West (CW)

The CW football conference began life as the Western Intercollegiate Rugby Football Union (WIRFU) in 1927. Originally, the WIRFU was a loosely structured organization. Regular season competition between all the member institutions did not occur on an annual basis. Long distances between member sites, cost of travel and established rivalries with community and other teams closer to home and with American colleges south of the border often prevailed over league play. It wasn’t until the mid-1960s that the conference featured regularly scheduled competition involving all league members within a given season.
The league has been variously known as the Western Canada Intercollegiate Athletic Association (WCIAA) football conference, the Western Intercollegiate Football League (WIFL) and the Canada West Universities Atheltic Association (CWUAA) football conference. It became simply the Canada West (CW) football conference in 1999. The Hardy Trophy, donated by Professor Evan Hardy of the University of Saskatchewan who was known as “the father of western inter-collegiate football”, is awarded annually to the conference champion.

Canada West (CW) *
University of Alberta Golden Bears 1927-Present
University of British Columbia Thunderbirds ** 1928-Present
University of Calgary Dinos/UAC *** 1964-Present
University of Manitoba Bisons **** 1927-Present
University of Regina Rams 1999-Present
University of Saskatchewan Huskies 1927-Present
Simon Fraser University Clan***** 2002-2009
* No competition for the Hardy Trophy in 1932, 1940 and from 1949 to 1958.
** UBC withdrew from league play in the years 1935, 1941-42, 1946-1948, 1964- 1965, 1968-69.
*** In 1967, the University of Alberta at Calgary (UAC) became an autonomous degree granting institution whose name was then changed to the University of Calgary.
**** While Alberta and Saskatchewan re-established their football programs in 1959, Manitoba did not do so until 1962.
*****Simon Fraser will be competing in the NCAA division 2 starting in 2010.

Origins of the Canadian Intercollegiate Game

Evolution of Canadian Football from English Rugby Union and Association Football (Soccer) 1865-1897
– 1865 – record of an English rugby game played between officers of a British army garrison in Montreal and a group of locals, (some of whom were students at McGill University) which led to the adoption of the game by McGill students and the subsequent, gradual adaptation (or Canadianization) of the rules over the years
– 1874 – McGill University versus Harvard University exhibition series – two games at Harvard (May 14 & 15, 1874), one at McGill (Autumn, 1874)
– these games are considered by many to be the beginnings of the two strains of North American football (Canadian and American) as sports distinct from English rugby and soccer
– 1879 – a match between the University of Toronto and the University of Michigan was played in the United States in 1879; the return match was played in Toronto in 1880, indicating further cross-fertilization of American and Canadian rugby football rules which were becoming increasingly different from those of English rugby
– 1881 – McGill visited Toronto for the first Canadian intercollegiate rugby football game; the two schools subsequently played each other once a year, the site of the game alternating between Toronto and Montreal except for the years 1890, 1893, 1896 and 1897; Toronto also played Queen’s University in 1887, 1890, 1891, 1893, 1895, 1896 and 1897 with the site of the games alternating between Toronto and Kingston
– the University of Ottawa, the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC) and Royal Military College (RMC) also played Canadian rugby football during the 1880’s and 1890’s
– no intercollegiate league existed as such during this period, university teams, as well as playing against each other, played in provincial unions and in community leagues
– the evolution of the Canadian rugby football game from English rugby, is illustrated by the fact that, by the mid-1890s, the eight-man, huddle-like scrum of the latter had evolved to become a ten or eleven-man, laterally extended, line of scrimmage in Canadian rugby football; the front row of the English rugby scrum (the centre or hooker and the two props) had become, on the line of scrimmage, the centre, who heeled the ball to the quarter, and two scrim supports closely supporting and protecting the centre on either side; the second and third (or back) rows of the scrum now lined up laterally on either side of the scrim supports as inside, middle, outside and flying wings with a quarter, two or three half-backs and a fullback in the backfield

Intercollegiate Football in Central Canada
The Canadian Intercollegiate Rugby Football Union (CIRFU) 1898-1914
– the CIRFU was established at a meeting held at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Nov. 24, 1897
– the charter senior members of the union were McGill, Queen’s and Toronto
– there were three levels of play in the Union – senior, intermediate and junior; the senior and intermediate series began play in the Autumn of 1898, the junior series in 1906:
• the senior series: McGill, Queen’s and Toronto firsts;
• the intermediate series: McGill, Queen’s and Toronto seconds, other colleges’ firsts (e.g., Ottawa, Bishop’s College, OAC, and McMaster College);
• the junior series: senior teams’ thirds, other colleges’ (of the intermediate series) seconds, and collegiate institutes’ firsts (i.e., public and private secondary schools which were members of the Union).
– the University of Ottawa was a member of the senior series from 1905 to 1912; RMC played in the senior series in 1913
– 1898 – the Yates Cup, emblematic of the senior series championship, was donated by Dr. H. B. Yates of McGill – the Cup has been up for competition continuously ever since (excepting the war years of 1915-1918 and 1940-1945)
– the intermediate champion was awarded the RMC Cup (first donated for intercollegiate intermediate play in 1906)
– 1906 – the Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union (later to be called the Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union Central [CIAUC] as its members were located in Ontario and Quebec only) was formed and became the umbrella athletic organization for all university sport in central Canada
– by 1903, one version of the Canadian-rules football game had twelve men per side, the centre snapped the ball rather than heeled it to the quarter, putting the ball into play via a throw-in from the sidelines (typical of English rugby) was eliminated, and a team was given three plays to gain ten yards or lose possession of the ball
– the CIRFU champions competed against the winners of other rugby football unions for the Dominion championship; in 1909, 1910 and 1911 Toronto won the Grey Cup; it was thought by many that the McGill Yates Cup teams of 1912 and 1913 would also have won national honours but McGill declined to participate in the Grey Cup game due to the lateness of the season, the approaching exam period and the consequent pressure of studies
– play was suspended in the CIRFU after completion of the 1914 season due to the war effort
Post First World War Era (CIRFU) 1919-1939
– 1919 – play in the CIRFU resumed
– 1929 – the University of Western Ontario, after playing in the intermediate series for several years following the First World War, joined McGill, Queen’s and Toronto in the senior series; this series (league) would continue unchanged as far as participating schools until the 1952-53 season
– 1930s – a typical alignment for the intermediate series, now known as the Intermediate Intercollegiate Football Union (IIFU, 1934), consisted of three divisions with following membership:
• West Division: OAC firsts, McMaster firsts and Western seconds;
• Central Division: RMC firsts, Queen’s seconds and Toronto seconds;
• East Division: Bishop’s firsts, Loyola College firsts and McGill seconds.
– other post-secondary institutions which may have played intermediate football in the IIFU at this time or earlier and which later became, or merged with, existing universities some time after the Second World War include Assumption College (University of Windsor), Macdonald College (McGill University), St. Patrick’s College (Carleton University) and Waterloo College (Waterloo Lutheran University and the University of Waterloo)
– 1931 – the forward pass was incorporated into the rules of the intercollegiate game
– 1934 – the CIRFU withdrew from competition for the national championship; Toronto had won the Grey Cup in 1920, Queen’s in 1922, 1923, and 1924 while the 1919 McGill Yates Cup team was considered a shoo-in for the Grey Cup but the school again refused to play the game due to the pressure of studies
– 1935 – the CIRFU junior series was discontinued; those schools which fielded junior teams (or thirds) beyond this point entered their teams in regional or local community leagues
– play was again suspended in the CIRFU after completion of the 1939 season due to the war effort
Post Second World War Era (SIFL/OQAA) 1946-1954
– 1946 – play in the CIRFU resumed
– the senior series was now called the Senior Intercollegiate Football League (SIFL)
– in the late 1940s and early 1950s three university football conferences existed in central Canada: the senior series (SIFL or OQAA) and two conferences of the Intercollegiate Intermediate Football Union (IIFU), the South-Western Conference and the Ottawa-St. Lawrence Conference:
• SIFL/OQAA: McGill, Queen’s, Toronto and Western;
• IIFU South-Western Conference: McMaster University, OAC and Waterloo College plus the intermediate teams from Western and Toronto;
• IIFU Ottawa-St. Lawrence (OSL) Conference: Bishop’s University, Carleton University, Loyola College, Macdonald College, University of Ottawa, RMC, and St. Patrick’s College plus the McGill seconds and the Queen’s seconds.
– 1952 – McMaster was admitted to the SIFL for a two-year trial period; their 1952 season was played as an exhibition series against the other members of the league, the games of the 1953 season counted in the league standings
– 1953 – the OSL conference divided its football league into “A” and “B” divisions; although membership varied from year to year, the most frequent alignments were:
• “A” Division: Carleton, Ottawa, Loyola (1953 to 1955), RMC firsts, St. Patrick’s College (1953 and 1954), McGill seconds and Queen’s seconds;
• “B” Division: Bishop’s, Collège Militaire Royal (CMR), Macdonald College, RMC seconds and St. Patrick’s College (from 1955).
– 1954 – the SIFL reverted to a four-team league for the 1954 season amidst much controversy over the league’s decision to exclude McMaster from permanent membership; this decision is reported to have contributed substantially to the eventual breakup in 1955 of the Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union Central (CIAUC), the umbrella intercollegiate athletic organization for central Canada which had been formed in 1906
1955-1966: New Era for Senior Intercollegiate Football in Central Canada
– 1955 – upon the disbanding of the CIAUC, the Ontario-Quebec Athletic Association (OQAA) and the Ottawa-St.Lawrence Intercollegiate Athletic Association (OSLIAA) were established as independent intercollegiate athletic organizations
– the SIFL became known officially as the OQAA football conference although the SIFL tag lingered for many years afterward; the OSL football conference became the OSLIAA football conference
– the number of university football programs seeking competition at the senior level mushroomed during this period
– upon becoming an autonomous intercollegiate athletic association, the OSLIAA football conference decided to play exhibition games only against the “seconds” of McGill and Queen’s rather than incorporate the latter teams into their league; this decision was taken in order to reinforce the perception that the OSLIAA was now playing “senior” level, not intermediate level, football
– 1957 – the desire for senior football competition also led to the creation of the Ontario Intercollegiate Football Conference (OIFC); this conference provided the opportunity for competition at a “senior” level for those universities and colleges which did not belong to, or who were not granted membership in, the SIFL/OQAA senior series
– the original members of the OIFC were:
• Carleton, McMaster, OAC, RMC, Ottawa and the University of Waterloo (formerly Waterloo College).
– the OSLIAA football conference continued as before although the two sections or divisions by 1958 were called “Western” and “Eastern” rather than “A” and “B”:
• Western Division: Carleton, RMC and Ottawa (note: all three members of this Division were also simultaneously members of the OIFC);
• Eastern Division: Bishop’s, Loyola (from 1958), Macdonald College, RMC seconds (who were asked to withdraw following the 1959 season) and St. Patrick’s (note: CMR withdrew from competition following the 1957 season, the program later returned to senior competition in 1965).
– 1960 – the OSLIAA football conference established a championship series between the winners of the Eastern and Western divisions; thus the teams in the Western division could be both OIFC champions and overall OSLIAA champions in the same season, a feat the Ottawa team achieved in 1960, 1961 and 1965
– this period, as well as being noteworthy for the growth in the number of schools which took up the intercollegiate game, is also noteworthy for the frequent realignment of teams and leagues and, in its later stages, for the number of schools which dropped their football programs for various economic, competitive and/or philosophic reasons
– the Université de Montréal (circa 1960) and the Université de Sherbrooke (circa 1960) established football programs which played exhibition games against teams of the OSLIAA Eastern Division during the 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964 and 1965 seasons
– 1963 – Waterloo Lutheran University (WLU) joined the OIFC; Loyola transferred from the Eastern Division to the Western Division of the Ottawa-St.Lawrence Athletic Association (OSLAA, formerly the OSLIAA) and also began competition in the OIFC:
• OIFC: Carleton, Loyola, McMaster, OAC, RMC, Ottawa, Waterloo and WLU;
• OSLAA Western Division: Carleton, Loyola, RMC and Ottawa;
• OSLAA Eastern Division: Bishop’s, CMR (1965 and 1966 only), Macdonald College and St. Patrick’s.
– 1966 – Laurentian University and the Université de Montréal joined the OIFC swelling the league’s membership to ten teams:
• OIFC: Carleton, Laurentian, Loyola, McMaster, Montréal, OAC, RMC, Ottawa, Waterloo and WLU.
University Football in Ontario and Quebec from 1967 to 1980
– following completion of the 1966 season, St. Patrick’s College and CMR withdrew from senior competition leaving the OSLAA Eastern Division with only two teams: Bishop’s and Macdonald College; the CMR football program moved to junior varsity status while St. Patrick’s College became a constituent college of Carleton University resulting in the merger of the two football programs
– 1967 – for the 1967 season, the OIFC and the OSLAA football conferences merged to form the twelve-team Central Canada Intercollegiate Football Conference (CCIFC):
• CCIFC: Bishop’s, Carleton, Laurentian, Loyola, Macdonald College, McMaster, Montréal, OAC, RMC, Ottawa, Waterloo, WLU.
– 1968 – McMaster and Waterloo withdrew from the CCIFC and joined the OQAA football conference; two new programs joined the CCIFC– the University of Windsor and Sir George Williams University of Montreal–the CCIFC split into East and West divisions for the 1968 season:
• OQAA: McGill, McMaster, Queen’s, Toronto, Waterloo, and Western;
• CCIFC East Division: Bishop’s, Loyola, Macdonald College, Montréal, RMC and Sir George Williams;
• CCIFC West Division: Carleton, the University of Guelph (formerly OAC), Laurentian, Ottawa, WLU and Windsor
– 1969 – York University joined the CCIFC West Division
– 1971 – a second significant realignment of teams and leagues took place: the OQAA football conference and the CCIFC were folded into two football conferences structured along provincial intercollegiate athletic association lines–the Ontario University Athletic Association (OUAA) and the Quebec University Athletic Association (QUAA)
– the OUAA football conference consisted of twelve teams divided into two sections and four divisions:
• Eastern Section, Northern Division: Laurentian, Ottawa and York;
• Eastern Section, Capital Division: Carleton, Queen’s and Toronto;
• Western Section, Central Division: Guelph, McMaster and WLU;
• Western Section, West Division: Waterloo, Western and Windsor.
– the QUAA football conference consisted of eleven teams divided into two sections, the Blue Division and the White Division:
• Blue Division: Bishop’s, Loyola, McGill, Montréal, RMC, and Sir George Williams;
• White Division: CMR, Macdonald College, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Université du Québec à Trois Rivières (UQTR) and Sherbrooke.
– at the time of reorganization, four of the QUAA White Division programs were playing football at the junior varsity level only: CMR, UQAM, UQTR and Sherbrooke
– early 1970s – the administration of athletics at the francophone universities of Quebec underwent a major philosophic change during this period, emphasis was being placed on community involvement and intramural athletic activities as opposed to intercollegiate athletics (now considered somewhat elitist), this shift in emphasis effected all the major intercollegiate sport programs at these schools (e.g., basketball, football, hockey, soccer, volleyball, etc.)
– 1971 – following the 1971 season, the decline in the number of universities football programs participating at the senior level began: Laurentian of the OUAA withdrew (mainly for competitive and economic reasons); Montréal of the QUAA withdrew (philosophic reasons); while RMC of the QUAA withdrew in order to participate in the short-lived Ontario (Community) College Athletic Association (OCAA) football conference
– 1972 – following the 1972 season CMR, UQAM and Sir George Williams of the QUAA folded their football programs
– 1973 – following the 1973 season in the QUAA, the football program at Macdonald College, a constituent college of McGill University, was merged with that of its parent institution and played under the McGill banner, Sherbrooke disbanded its program while UQTR stepped down from senior level football to play at the junior varsity level leaving the conference with only three participating schools for the next season: Bishop’s, Loyola, and McGill
– 1974 – consequently a third major conference realignment took place in time for the 1974 season, the OUAA and QUAA football conferences were folded into the Ontario-Quebec Intercollegiate Football Conference (OQIFC) consisting of two divisions:
• OQIFC West Division: Guelph, Laurier (now Wilfrid Laurier University, formerly Waterloo Lutheran University), McMaster, Waterloo, Western, Windsor and York;
• OQIFC East Division: Bishop’s, Carleton, Concordia University (created by an amalgamation of Loyola College and Sir George Williams University in 1974), McGill, Ottawa, Queen’s and Toronto.
– 1976 – for this and subsequent years, Toronto transferred from the OQIFC East Division to the OQIFC West Division:
• West Division: Guelph, Laurier, McMaster, Toronto, Waterloo, Western, Windsor and York;
• East Division: Bishop’s, Carleton, Concordia, McGill, Ottawa, and Queen’s.
– 1977 – UQTR re-established its senior football program and joined the OQIFC East:
• East Division: Bishop’s, Carleton, Concordia, McGill, Ottawa, Queen’s and UQTR.
– 1979 – following this season, UQTR of the OQIFC East Division ceased football operations
– 1974 to 1979 (inclusive) – the historic Yates Cup was awarded jointly to the winners of the OQIFC East and West Divisions
University Football in Central Canada from 1980 to 2000
– 1980 – one change in league names took place, the eight-team OQIFC West Division was renamed the OUAA football conference while the now six-team OQIFC East Division became simply the OQIFC without a division appellation, the conference alignments were as follows:
• OUAA: Guelph, Laurier, McMaster, Waterloo, Western, Toronto, Windsor and York;
• OQIFC: Bishop’s, Carleton, Concordia, McGill, Ottawa, and Queen’s.
– 1980 – the Yates Cup was now awarded solely to the OUAA champions while a new trophy–the Dunsmore Cup–was presented to the champions of the OQIFC
– 1988 – the governing body of university sport in Quebec, the Quebec Universities Athletic Association (QUAA) became a part of the Quebec Student Sport Federation (QSSF) which assumed responsibility for all scholastic sport in the province at the secondary, CEGEP and university levels
– the twenty-one year period from 1980 to 2000 was characterized above all by stability with only two changes in participating programs having taken place
– 1996 – Laval University joined the OQIFC:
• OQIFC: Bishop’s, Carleton, Concordia, Laval, McGill, Ottawa, and Queen’s.
– 1997 – one more conference/athletic association name change took place, the Ontario Universities Athletic Association (OUAA) changed its name to Ontario University Athletics (OUA) thus the OUAA football conference became the OUA football conference
– 1999 – Carleton folded its football program following the 1998 season, once again leaving the OQIFC with six teams:
• OQIFC: Bishop’s, Concordia, Laval, McGill, Ottawa, and Queen’s.
University Football in Central Canada from 2001 to the Present
– 2001 – Ottawa and Queen’s left the OQIFC to joining the OUA making this latter a 10-team football conference; the OQIFC shortened its name to the Quebec Interuniversity Football Conference (QIFC):
• OUA: Guelph, Laurier, McMaster, Ottawa, Queen’s, Waterloo, Western, Toronto, Windsor and York;
• QIFC: Bishop’s, Concordia, Laval and McGill.
– 2002 – the QIFC welcomed the Université de Montréal Carabins as a fifth member of the league, this school had not had a varsity football program since 1971; the QIFC and the Atlantic Universities Football Conference (AUFC) agreed to begin interlocking play for the 2002 season on a two-year trial basis
– 2003 – the Université de Sherbrooke, a school which had not fielded a football team since 1974, joined the QIFC
• QIFC: Bishop’s, Concordia, Laval, McGill, Montréal and Sherbrooke

Intercollegiate Football in Western Canada

The Western Intercollegiate Rugby Football Union (WIRFU) 1927-1963
– 1920 – the Western Canada Intercollegiate Athletic Association (WCIAA) was formed with the Universities of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta as charter members
– 1922 – inter-university exhibition football play began; the Hardy Trophy, donated by Professor Evan Hardy of the University of Saskatchewan (known as “the father of western inter-collegiate football”), was awarded to the winner of the annual series between Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta
– 1923 – the University of British Columbia (UBC) joined the WCIAA
– 1927 – the WIRFU consisting of three of the four WCIAA universities and featuring regular scheduled league play was established with the Hardy Trophy awarded to the league champion, UBC joined the league in 1928
– all four universities fielded Canadian rugby football teams before 1927, certainly in the early 1920s if not before–Alberta first established a varsity football program in 1910, Saskatchewan in 1914, UBC in 1924, while Manitoba is known to have won the Hardy Trophy in 1923 and 1924 and had fielded a varsity team in 1920
– the WIRFU was not strictly an intercollegiate league until the mid-1960s; because of the economics of travel, the teams competed against intermediate, senior and professional teams within their respective provinces or aligned themselves with leagues south of the border (e.g., UBC) as well as playing against each other
– there was no competition for the Hardy Trophy in 1925, 1932, 1940, 1942-1943 and during the period 1949 to 1958
– UBC did not participate in WIRFU play during the years 1935, 1941 and from 1946 to 1948
– each of the four western provinces had their own autonomous Rugby Football Unions, the WIRFU teams were required to compete against other (e.g., city) teams in their respective provincial Unions in the quest for the provincial championship, the right to move on to the Western Canadian championship and subsequently, to challenge for the Grey Cup
– unfortunately, no WIRFU member was ever successful in the quest to represent the West in the Grey Cup game; they did come close however, for example, in 1926 Alberta narrowly lost to the Regina Roughriders in the Western Canadian championship game; in 1927, UBC lost a two-game, total points series against Regina for the championship; in 1934, Alberta lost in the semifinals of the Western championship
– several times over the period between 1920 and 1952, the western universities (UBC in particular) challenged the CIRFU/SIFL of central Canada to a national intercollegiate championship game but were rebuffed by the latter ostensibly due to the lateness of the season and the pressure of studies
– 1930 – UBC participated in the first Canadian football game ever played at night under lights when they traveled to Hamilton to play a pre-season game against the Hamilton Tigers of the Ontario Rugby Football Union (ORFU), UBC lost the game 38-1
– 1949 to 1958 – Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba disbanded their football program during this time period, UBC maintained its football program playing a schedule featuring American schools
– 1949 – an interesting piece of trivia concerns the ceasing of football operations by Alberta coinciding with the re-establishment of the professional Edmonton Eskimos football franchise–the university donated their football jerseys to the Eskimos thus establishing the tradition of wearing green and gold colours by the professional club
– 1953 – the first inter-conference game between a western Canadian university team and a CIRFU/SIFL representative took place; it was an invitational pre-season match between McGill and UBC for the newly established Churchill Bowl and was played at McGill’s Molson Stadium, McGill won the game 22-4
The Western Intercollegiate Football League (WIFL) 1964-1971
– 1959 – Alberta and Saskatchewan re-instated football as a varsity sport for the 1959 season
– 1960s – the league was variously called the Western Canada Intercollegiate Athletic Association (WCIAA) football conference and the Western Intercollegiate Football League (WIFL)
– 1962 – Manitoba re-instated football as a varsity sport
– early-to-mid-1960s – UBC played half of their schedule against the three other WIFL teams with American college competition making up the other half
– 1964 – the WIFL welcomed the University of Alberta at Calgary (UAC) as a league member; the school later became the University of Calgary (1967)
– in the 1964, 1965, 1968 and 1969 seasons, UBC withdrew from participation in WIFL league play, the program continued to compete against American college teams during that time and did play some exhibitions games against Canadian university opponents
– 1970 – UBC rejoined the WIFL for the 1970 season and has participated fully in league play every season since
The Canada West Universities Athletic Association Football Conference (CWUAA) 1972 to 1998
– 1972 – the WCIAA split into two intercollegiate athletic associations organized along geographic lines: the Canada West Universities Athletic Association (CWUAA) and the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC)
– all schools of the WIFL except Manitoba were members of the CWUAA, this latter institution was immediately granted playing privileges in the CWUAA football conference
– the league remained a stable five-team organization until 1998
The Canada West Football Conference (CW) 1999 to the Present
– 1999 – the CWUAA and the GPAC re-integrated into one athletic association now called Canada West (CW)
– the league had remained a stable five-team organization from 1970 until the 1999 season at which time it was joined by the University of Regina Rams (enabling the playing of a balanced schedule for the first time in its modern history)
– 2002 – the league expanded to a seven teams with the addition of the Simon Fraser University (SFU) Clan; the Clan had previously (1965 to 2001) played American four-down football in a college football conference south of the border
• CW: Alberta, UBC, Calgary, Manitoba, Regina, Saskatchewan and SFU

Intercollegiate Football in Atlantic Canada

Canadian Football in the Halifax and Nova Scotia 1940-1957
– until the second World War, English rugby and soccer were the predominant “football” games played in the Maritime Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA, founded in 1910) aside from a very brief flirtation with American four-down football in the late 1930s
– with the influx of servicemen from other parts of Canada (where Canadian football was a popular sport) to Armed Forces Bases in the area such as the Stadacona, Shearwater and Cornwallis Naval Bases and the Greenwood Air Force Base, Canadian-rules football gained more prominence in the Halifax area and, not surprisingly, was taken up by some of the local universities and colleges
– 1942 and 1944-46 – Saint Mary’s High School/College fielded a team in the Halifax High School Canadian Football League (HHSCFL)
– 1947 – Dalhousie University first fielded a team in the intermediate Halifax City Canadian Football League (HCCFL), a league consisting of teams from the Stadacona and Shearwater Naval Bases and the Saint Mary’s Grads; the latter team, made up of students from Saint Mary’s College (SMC) and the Saint Mary’s Amateur Athletic Club, lasted only one year in the league
– 1948 – Dalhousie played an exhibition game in Halifax against the McGill seconds (McGill’s intermediate team); score: McGill 12, Dalhousie 5
– 1951 – the Nova Scotia Canadian Football League (NSCFL) is formed replacing the HCCFL, Dalhousie is a member of this new intermediate league along with armed forces and community teams
– 1952 – Saint Mary’s College (SMC) becomes Saint Mary’s University (SMU)
– 1952 – Royal Military College (RMC) of Kingston, Ontario, played an exhibition game against Dalhousie in Halifax; score: RMC 46, Dalhousie 24
– 1953 – St. Francis Xavier University (StFX) fielded a Canadian-rules football team for the first time, the team played exhibition games in their first season
– 1953 – the Nova Scotia Junior Canadian Football League (NSJCFL) was formed; it had varying membership over the years which included SMU, StFX, Armed Forces and Halifax community teams
– 1954 – StFX joined the NSCFL, increasing the number of varsity sides in the intermediate league to two
– 1954 – McMaster University of Hamilton, Ontario, played an exhibition game against the StFX intermediates at Antigonish, N.S.; score: McMaster 35, StFX 13
– 1956 – Acadia University fielded its first Canadian-rules football team; two exhibition games in that inaugural season against an Armed Services team from Halifax and the University of New Brunswick
– 1957 – Acadia joined the NSJCFL
Canadian Football in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island 1948-1958
– similar to the situation in Nova Scotia, Canadian-rules football gained prominence in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island following the second World War; as the number of MIAA schools playing English rugby in Nova Scotia declined and the opportunities for competition therefore became limited, some New Brunswick MIAA schools (and later St. Dunstan’s University of PEI) decided to take up the “new” Canadian game
– 1948 – the University of New Brunswick (UNB) fielded a Canadian-rules football team which played exhibition games during its first year
– 1949 – St. Thomas College of Chatham (later, in 1964, of Fredericton) fielded its first Canadian-rules football squad as did St. Joseph’s College of Memramcook (which subsequently evolved into the Université de Moncton in 1963)
– 1949 – the first intercollegiate Canadian football game played in New Brunswick took place between UNB and St. Thomas
– 1949 – formation of the New Brunswick Football League (NBFL) consisting of teams from UNB, St. Thomas and two city teams
– 1952 – St. Thomas (STU) represented New Brunswick in the first, though unofficial, Maritime football championship, the game was played in Halifax against the Nova Scotia champions, the Shearwater Flyers (an Armed Forces team), STU lost 14-6
– 1953 – UNB played Dalhousie for the Maritime football championship
– 1955 – Mount Allison University fielded a Canadian-rules football team which played an exhibition schedule during its first year
– 1956 – Mount Allison joined the NBFL and represented it in the Maritime Football Championship against the winners of the NSCFL (i.e., the Greenwood Air Force Base team)
– 1957 – Mount Allison again represented New Brunswick in the Maritime final (played at Moncton) losing 40-18 to the Shearwater Flyers
– 1956 – STU played Saint Mary’s for the Maritime junior championship
– 1957 – St. Dunstan’s University of Prince Edward Island initiated a Canadian-rules football program playing an exhibition
schedule in their first season
University Football in Atlantic Canada 1958-1973
– 1958 – the junior Maritime Intercollegiate Football League (MIFL) was formed; the new league had participants from universities located in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island:
• teams from Nova Scotia: Acadia and Saint Mary’s University (SMU)
• teams from New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island: Mount Allison University, UNB, STU and St. Dunstan’s.
– 1958 – UNB won the inaugural MIFL championship with a 36 to 3 win over SMU
– 1959 – the Atlantic bowl, which was inaugurated in 1956 for competition between the winner of the NSCFL football conference and championship intermediate teams from Central Canada became restricted to competition between the NSCFL champions and the winners of the Ontario Intercollegiate Football Conference (OIFC) in Central Canada; StFX, the NSCFL champion, hosted the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC), champion of the OIFC; this game was the first non-exhibition game involving a university opponent from another region of the country and an MIAA school; score, OAC 14, StFX 26
– 1960 – the two tier Atlantic Football Conference (AFC) was formed replacing the NSJCFL, the MIFL and the intermediate NSCFL, it consisted of the following teams:
• “A” Section: Dalhousie, Mount Allison, UNB, StFX and two Armed Forces teams;
• “B” Section: Acadia, St. Dunstan’s, Saint Mary’s, St. F.X. (Juniors), STU and one Armed Forces team.
– 1960 – the Jewett Trophy (the MIAA championship trophy) was first awarded
– 1962 – Acadia and St. Dunstan’s were promoted from the “B” Section of the AFC to the “A” Section:
• “A” (or Senior) Section: Acadia, Dalhousie, Mount Allison, UNB, Saint Mary’s, St. Dunstan’s, StFX, and two Armed Forces teams;
• “B” Section: became a junior varsity league.
– 1965 – league composition became limited to varsity teams which were members of the MIAA partly in response to the creation of a national intercollegiate football championship (the Canadian College Bowl, later to become the Vanier Cup), the desire of MIAA members to compete for it, and the consequent requirement for them to conform to the regulations of the national governing body of intercollegiate athletics–the Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union (CIAU)–which frowned upon league play with non-CIAU members (in this case the Armed Services teams)
– 1965 – consequently, the Bluenose (Senior) Football Conference was formed consisting of the following teams:
• Acadia, Dalhousie, St. Dunstan’s, Mount Allison, UNB, Saint Mary’s and StFX
– 1966 – the league’s name was changed to the Maritime Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) football conference
– 1969 – another league/athletic association name change–the MIAA became the Atlantic Intercollegiate Athletic Association (AIAA), this latter change in recognition of the addition of Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) as a member of the Intercollegiate Athletic Association; the football conference therefore became the AIAA football conference
– 1970 – St. Dunstan’s University amalgamated with the Prince of Wales College of Charlottetown to become the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI)
The Atlantic Universities Football Conference (AUFC) 1974 to the Present
– 1974 – still another association and conference name change–the AIAA was now called the Atlantic Universities Athletic Association with the football conference becoming the AUAA FC
– over the years the AUAA football conference has been more popularly referred to as the Atlantic Universities Football Conference (AUFC)
– as with university football in central Canada, the decade of the 1970s, for economic, competitive and/or philosophic reasons, took its toll on football programs in the Atlantic provinces:
• 1976 – Dalhousie folded its football program following the 1976 season;
• 1979 – UPEI folded its program following the 1979 season;
• 1980 – UNB folded its program following the 1980 season.
– 1990 – the University College of Cape Breton (UCCB) initiated a football program which played for that one season only
– since 1980 the current alignment of teams has been stable:
• AUFC: Acadia, Mount Allison, Saint Mary’s and StFX
– late 1999 – the governing body of university athletics in the Atlantic region (the AUAA) once again changed its name, this time to Atlantic University Sport (AUS)
– 2002 – the AUFC and the Quebec Interuniversity Football Conference (QIFC) agreed to begin interlocking play for the 2002 and 2003 seasons
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Intercollegiate Football – National and Regional Championships
Introduction
– prior to 1953 – no record of post-season intercollegiate, inter-league play at the senior level; furthermore, there was no national umbrella organization for the governance of interuniversity sport (including football) in Canada under whose auspices a national championship game could be organized and played; it was not until 1961, with the formation of the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union (CIAU) that such a national body whose membership consisted of the various regional intercollegiate athletics associations across the country, was put in place
– 1953-1964 – inter-league invitational and challenge matches, either pre-season or post-season, did occur on a somewhat hit-and-miss basis during this pre-Vanier Cup period
– 1965 – the Canadian College Bowl (for the Vanier Cup), a national invitational championship for Canadian university football, was established; winners of the five existing university football conferences (AUFC, OSLAA, OIFC, OQAA and WIFL) were eligible for selection as contestants in the championship game
– 1968 – a truly national intercollegiate football championship game did not occur until this year when the champions of the now four existing football conferences (AUFC, CCIFC, OQAA and WIFL) met in two semi-final bowl games with the winners advancing to the Vanier Cup game
– following is a brief run-down of the history of these events
Churchill Bowl (and other early inter-league play) 1953-1964
– the Sir Winston Churchill Bowl game was originally established as an annual, often pre-season, invitational football contest between the sister universities of McGill and UBC in aid of the Canadian Paraplegic Association
– the trophy emblematic of the Churchill Bowl is a sculpture created by R. Tait MacKenzie entitled “The Onslaught”
– 1953 – the first Churchill Bowl was played at McGill’s Molson Stadium between McGill and UBC, it was a pre-season match-up with McGill winning 22-4
– 1954 – the second game between McGill and UBC was again held at McGill’s Molson Stadium and again was a pre-season affair, outcome: McGill 8, UBC 5; in this same year, UBC also played a post-season game against Toronto who were the 1954 Yates Cup champion and which the latter won 5 to 3; and McMaster University of the South-Western Conference played a post-season game against StFX of the MIAA at Antigonish, N.S., score: McMaster 35, StFX 13
– 1955 – the third pre-season game of the McGill/UBC series took place at UBC’s Thunderbird Stadium, outcome: McGill 0, UBC 0
– 1956 – this year the Churchill trophy was a pre-season invitational match between Western and UBC played at Thunderbird Stadium, outcome: Western 38, UBC 13
– 1957 – a second pre-season challenge match between Western and UBC, this time played at J. W. Little Stadium, London, Ontario, score: Western 54, UBC 0
– 1958 – a return to the McGill/UBC pre-season series this year held at Thunderbird Stadium, McGill 9, UBC 6
– 1959 – for the first time, the Churchill Bowl game was a post-season affair involving two teams which had won their respective conference titles: Western, the Yates Cup (OQAA), and UBC, the Hardy Trophy (WIFL, the first time the trophy had been competed for since 1948); the game was played at Varsity Stadium, Toronto, outcome: Western 34, UBC 7
– although the claim was made by many of those involved in organizing and playing in the 1959 Churchill Bowl that the game was for the national Canadian university football championship, the claim is disputable in that the other three intercollegiate leagues of the day, also claiming to play senior level university football–the OSLIAA, OIFC and MIAA conferences–were not involved and thus not represented; the point is made by supporters, however, that although all five leagues claimed to be playing football at the senior level, the level of competition in the OQAA and the WIFL was, in their eyes at least, superior to that of the other conferences
– interestingly, also in 1959, play for the Atlantic Bowl at the university level was inaugurated; this bowl game was first established in 1956 and was originally competed for by the winner of the MIAA football conference and mostly championship intermediate teams from Central Canada; in 1959 participation became restricted to the MIAA champions and the winners of the OIFC, one of three university football conferences then in existence in Central Canada; the first university inter-conference Atlantic Bowl was won by StFX of the MIAA over the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC, now the University of Guelph) of the OIFC by a score of 26-14
– 1960 – for the second straight year, the Yates Cup winner (McGill) and the Hardy Trophy winner (Alberta) met in the Churchill Bowl, score: McGill 46, Alberta 7
– 1961 – some confusion as to whether a Churchill Bowl game was played or not; one source reports that Queen’s, the Yates Cup winner, was supposed to play UBC, the Hardy Trophy winner, but the game did not take place; McGill did play an inter-conference, pre-season game against StFX which may have been for the Churchill trophy, outcome: McGill 21, StFX 7
– 1962 – the Churchill Bowl game in 1962 was a pre-season affair, McGill challenged St. Francis Xavier, the 1961 Atlantic Bowl winners, to a match at McGill’s Molson Stadium which sources agree was for the Churchill trophy, McGill 13, StFX 6
– 1963 – again, some confusion as to whether or not a Churchill Bowl game was played; McGill, the 1962 Yates Cup champion did play a pre-season game against StFX, the 1962 Jewett Trophy winner, in Antigonish, N.S., which at least one source claims to have been for the Churchill trophy, McGill 7, StFX 14
– 1963 – also in 1963, Alberta (winners of the WIFL Hardy Trophy) challenged Queen’s (that year’s OQAA Yates Cup winners) to a post-season match (but not for the Churchill trophy) which was played in Edmonton, outcome: Queen’s 7, Alberta 25
– 1964 – more confusion as to whether or not a Churchill Bowl game was played; McGill did play an exhibition game against Saint Mary’s in Halifax, score: McGill 31, Saint Mary’s 14; also in 1964, McMaster and UBC played a mid-season exhibition game with UBC winning 47-0
– 1964 – Queen’s (Yates Cup winners) and Alberta (Hardy Trophy winners) seemed destined to meet again in post-season challenge play this year however McMaster (OIFC champions) challenged Queen’s to a post-season match which Queen’s was obliged to accept; Queen’s administration had instituted a rule some years earlier which stipulated that, for academic reasons, Queen’s could play one post-season game only, therefore, the Queen’s/Alberta match never took place; Queen’s did play and defeat McMaster 63-6
– 1965 – another mid-season affair was played between McMaster and UBC with the game ending in an 8-8 draw
Churchill Bowl 1965 to 2002
– 1965 – the Churchill Bowl was retired from competition as a consequence of the establishment of an invitational, national university football championship by the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union (CIAU) in 1965–the Canadian College Bowl–the winner to receive a new trophy donated by the incumbent Governor General of Canada: the Vanier Cup
– 1967 – the Canadian College Bowl for the Vanier Cup became potentially a truly national championship game with the winners of the four university leagues at the time–AUFC, CCIFC, OQAA and WIFL–meeting in two semi-final games, the Atlantic Bowl and a second bowl game
– 1967 – while an Atlantic Bowl game was played this year, the other semi-final bowl game did not take place due to the fact that Toronto (the Yates Cup winner), which was to play Alberta (the Hardy Trophy winner), declined to participate citing scheduling problems and academic pressures
– 1968 – the inaugural game of the second semi-final bowl game which was later to become known as the Churchill Bowl took place; Queen’s of the OQAA played Manitoba of the WIFL for the right to advance to the Vanier Cup
– 1989 – the Churchill trophy, which had been in storage at McGill for more than twenty years, was resurrected, at the request of the CIAU, for presentation to the winner of the semi-final bowl game heretofore known variously as the Western Bowl, the Central Bowl, the Prairie Bowl and the Forest City Bowl; in the CIAU record book (i.e., the CIAU Almanac), these previous bowl games (from 1968 to 1988) have been retroactively listed as Churchill Bowl games
– 2003 – the Churchill Bowl and its trophy were retired before the commencement of the 2003 football season upon the establishment of a new semi-final bowl game for the 2003 season–the Uteck Bowl
Atlantic Bowl 1959 to 2001
– 1959 – the Atlantic Bowl, inaugurated in 1956 for competition between the winner of the MIAA football conference and mostly championship intermediate or junior teams from Central Canada, became restricted to competition between university teams–the MIAA champions and the winners of one of the three university football conferences in Central Canada; the first university inter-conference Atlantic Bowl was won by StFX of the MIAA over the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC, now the University of Guelph) of the OIFC by a score of 26-14
– 1959-1961 – the MIAA champions played against the winners of the OIFC
– 1962-1963 – the MIAA champions played against the winners of the OQAA football conference
– 1964 – the Atlantic Bowl game was once again competed for by the MIAA and the OIFC title winners
– 1965-1966 – Atlantic Bowl competition was suspended due to the establishment of the invitational Canadian College Bowl
– 1967 – the Atlantic Bowl was re-established, now serving as one of the two semi-final bowl games leading up to the national championship–the Vanier Cup; McMaster of the CCIFC played StFX of the AUFC for the right to move on to the Vanier Cup
– from 1967 until 2001, with the one exception noted below, the Atlantic Bowl was competed for in Halifax each year by the winners of the AUFC and, on a rotational basis, the winners of one of the other three university football conferences
– 1983 – for this one year only, the Atlantic Bowl featured two teams from the AUAA football conference (StFX and Acadia) with the winner not proceeding to the Vanier Cup; this state of affairs resulted from a dispute between the AUAA and the CIAU over the venue of the Atlantic Bowl game; the CIAU, under pressure from one or more of the other university football conferences, wished to rotate the site of the game, the AUAA refused and withdrew from Vanier Cup competition; the Atlantic Bowl was re-established as a semi-final game for the Vanier Cup for the 1984 season
– 2003 – the governing body of football within Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS, formerly known as the CIAU) decided that the semi-final bowl game formerly known as the Atlantic Bowl must alternate between the Atlantic University Sports (AUS, formerly the AUAA) site and a site located in one of the other three conferences, this decision marked the end of the forty-three year history of the Atlantic Bowl
Mitchell Bowl 2002 to the Present
– 2002 – a new semi-final bowl game and trophy, named the Mitchell Bowl, was inaugurated to replace the Atlantic Bowl
– the Mitchell Bowl constituted the annual easternmost semi-final bowl game held in any given year, the Churchill Bowl the westernmost annual semi-final bowl game
– the first Mitchell Bowl game was played at Montreal, Québec, between McGill and Saskatchewan
– the trophy and bowl game were named in honour of Doug Mitchell, former CIS (CIAU) player, CFL player, CFL broadcaster, Commissioner of the CFL and the individual mainly responsible for the establishment in 1992-1993 of the Howard Mackie awards which were created to honour the CIS male and female athletes of the year
– 2003 – with the establishment of the Uteck Bowl, the Mitchell Bowl now became emblematic of the of the westernmost national semi-final bowl game
Uteck Bowl 2003 to the Present
– 2003 – a new semi-final bowl game and trophy, named the Uteck Bowl, was inaugurated
– the Uteck Bowl will be awarded on an annual basis to the winner of the easternmost national semi-final bowl game
– the trophy and bowl game are named in honour of Larry Uteck, former CIS (CIAU) player, CFL player, Head Coach of the Saint Mary’s University (SMU) Huskies, SMU Athletic Director and community leader/municipal politician in the greater Halifax Metropolitan Area
Vanier Cup 1965 to the Present
– 1965-1966 – an invitational national championship was inaugurated by the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union (CIAU)–the Canadian College Bowl–the winner to receive a new trophy donated by the Governor General of Canada of the day: the Vanier Cup; the winners of the five existing university football conferences (AUFC, OSLAA, OIFC, OQAA and WIFL) were eligible for selection as contestants in the championship game
– 1967 – the Canadian College Bowl potentially became a national championship game with the winners of the now four university football conferences (i.e., AUFC, CCIFC, OQAA and WIFL) meeting in two semi-final games–the Atlantic Bowl and what was to become known as the Churchill Bowl–for the right to compete for the Vanier Cup
– 1967 – while an Atlantic Bowl game was played in 1967, the other bowl game did not take place due to the fact that Toronto (the Yates Cup winner) declined to participate citing scheduling problems and academic pressures thus allowing the Hardy Trophy winner (Alberta) to advance directly to the Vanier Cup game against the winner of the Atlantic Bowl (McMaster)
– 1968 – the Vanier Cup truly became a national university football championship; both of the semi-final bowl games were played thus ensuring that the two best football teams in the country (Queen’s, the Churchill Bowl champion and WLU, the Atlantic Bowl winner) participated in the Vanier Cup game and that the winner of the game (Queen’s), could truly be called the national championship team of Canadian university football
– 1982 – the name of the national championship game was changed from the Canadian College Bowl to the Vanier Cup, Canada’s University Football Championship
– 1983 – Calgary (the Hardy Trophy winner) advanced directly to the Vanier Cup game against the winner of the Churchill Bowl (Queen’s) because of a dispute between the CIAU and the AUAA over the venue of the Atlantic Bowl; an Atlantic Bowl game was played featuring two teams from the AUAA football conference, however, the winner (StFX) did not advance to the Vanier Cup; the Atlantic Bowl was re-established as a semi-final bowl game for the 1984 season; two semi-final bowl games have been played every year since thus rendering the Vanier Cup game, once again, truly the national championship game
– 2001 – the CIAU, the national umbrella governing body of Canadian university sport (including football) was renamed and became Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS)

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