Queen’s to host Vanier Cup football championship games
March 30, 2023
Queen’s will soon provide the stage for the biggest event in Canadian university athletics. U SPORTS has announced that Queen’s will host the 2023 and 2024 editions of the Vanier Cup at Richardson Memorial Stadium. The announcement was made at an event at the stadium, where Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane gave remarks along with Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson and representatives from U SPORTS and Queen’s Athletics & Recreation. The 2023 championship game will be held Saturday, Nov. 25.
“U SPORTS is thrilled to partner with Queen's University to present this 58th edition of the Vanier Cup,” says Lisette Johnson-Stapley, U SPORTS Chief Sport Officer. “Kingston is one of Canada's premier university sports cities, and Queen's has a long track history of hosting great U SPORTS championships. We know that the teams and fans travelling to the 2023 Vanier Cup will have a memorable experience, and we can't wait for kickoff on Nov. 25.”
When the redevelopment of Richardson Memorial Stadium is completed later this year, it will be an ideal venue of a game of this magnitude. With the new Lang Pavilion, the field will be fully enclosed, enabling attendees to walk around the full stadium at the concourse level. This new addition to the stadium will be the finishing touch on the redevelopment of Richardson and will complete the vision for a rejuvenated stadium. More than 300 alumni donors contributed gifts to make the project possible, with the lead gift coming from Stu (Sc’74) and Kim Lang (Artsci’76).
“Queen's Athletics & Recreation is thrilled to be awarded the 58th and 59th Vanier Cups. In tandem with the 2023 U SPORTS Women’s Soccer Championships and the 2024 U SPORTS Men’s Volleyball Championships, we are looking forward to our campus and city becoming a hub for the best student-athletes in Canada,” says Linda Melnick, Executive Director, Queen's Athletics & Recreation. “When the revitalization of Richardson Stadium began in 2014, the vision was for a venue capable of bringing the Vanier Cup to Kingston, and with the completion of the Lang Pavilion this summer we feel there's no better stadium in Canada to host this championship. We are incredibly grateful to our community partners within the City of Kingston, the support of the National and Provincial football organizations, Queen’s University, and our own Queen’s Football program for its support of our bid. We are excited to welcome fans and alumni from across Canada to Richardson Stadium for a celebration of Canadian Football in November 2023 and 2024.”
A big moment for Queen’s and Kingston
The legacy of Queen's football is a part of Kingston's cultural fabric, and the long-standing community support of the university’s athletics is one of the reasons the 2023 and 2024 championships are heading to the city. Queen's Football has won four Vanier Cups (1968, 1978, 1992, 2009) and three Grey Cups (1922, 1923, 1924) before the creation of the Canadian Football League, which now holds the competition for that trophy.
The 2023 Vanier Cup will air on CBC Television (English) and TVA Sports (French) and be available on both broadcasters' digital platforms.
“Queen's University is delighted to be hosting the Vanier Cup in 2023 and 2024,” says Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane. “Queen's is home to many traditions, and among our most beloved and celebrated is Queen's Football, which dates back to 1882. We look forward to welcoming the student-athletes and coaches, as well as fans from across the country to Richardson Stadium, our campus, and city.”
The Vanier Cup games will also make a significant positive impact on the broader Kingston community and economy.
“We are certainly excited to host what I’m sure will be many visitors from across the country,” said Mayor Paterson at the announcement event. “We will make sure that not only is the Vanier Cup an amazing event on the field but an incredible experience off the field as well. And we do know that there will be millions of dollars in economic impact coming to Kingston, so we’re excited about that. We will be ready to be able to host everyone.”
The 2023 championship will be the first Vanier Cup game played in Kingston. Kingston will be the eighth city to host the championship since its inception in 1965, with Toronto hosting on 41 occasions, Quebec City seven times, Hamilton five and once in London, Montreal, Saskatoon, and Vancouver.
U SPORTS has also unveiled the 2023 and 2024 Vanier Cup championship logos, which integrate a local landmark into the visual identity of the championship. This year's emblem features historic Kingston City Hall, a national historic site. The building, completed in 1844, was built to reflect the city's status as the Capital of the Province of Canada (1861-1864) and features a distinct neoclassical look designed by legendary architect George Browne.
The path to the championship
The Road to the 2023 Vanier Cup begins the weekend of Aug. 25-27 and continues through the four conference championships games on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023.
The 2023 Uteck and Mitchell Bowl U SPORTS national semifinals take place Saturday, Nov. 18, with the winners advancing to the Vanier Cup. The Uteck Bowl pits the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Yates Cup champions against the host Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) Dunsmore Cup champions. At the same time, the 2023 Mitchell Bowl will see Atlantic University Sport (AUS) Jewett Trophy winners travelling to face the Canada West (CW) Hardy Cup champions.
Watch the announcement event on the Queen’s Athletics & Recreation YouTube channel.