Canada West Universities Athletic Association
(CWUAA/Canada West)
AssociationCanadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS)
Sports fieldedBasketball
Cross country running
Field hockey
Track and field
Wrestling (men's: Basketball
Cross country running
Track and field
Wrestling; women's: Basketball
Cross country running
Field hockey
Track and field
RegionWestern Canada

The Canada West Universities Athletic Association (CWUAA) is a regional membership association for Canadian universities which assists in co-ordinating competition between their university level athletic programs and providing contact information, schedules, results, and releases about those programs and events to the public and the media. This is similar to what would be called a college athletic conference in the United States. The CWUAA, which covers Western Canada, is one of four such bodies that are members of the country's governing body for university athletics, Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS). The other three regional associations coordinating university-level sports in Canada are Ontario University Athletics (OUA), Atlantic University Sport (AUS), and the Quebec Student Sports Network (RSEQ).

History[edit | edit source]

The Canada West Universities Athletic Association was founded as the Western Intercollegiate Athletic Association (WIAA) in 1920, but regular competition between schools at the time were often unfeasible due to the high costs of travel and existing rivalries with American colleges.

In 1971, the WIAA was split into the Canada West Universities Athletic Association and the Great Plains Athletic Association, the latter consisting of schools primarily from Manitoba. In 1988, the GPAA (also known as the GPAC or Plains Athletic Conference) was absorbed into Canada West.

Recent membership changes[edit | edit source]

In 2005, Thompson Rivers University, based in Kamloops, BC began competition in the conference.

In 2006, the University College of the Fraser Valley, based in Abbotsford and Chilliwack, BC started competition in the conference. The school has since changed its name to the University of the Fraser Valley.

On Sept. 1, 2010, the University of British Columbia at Okanagan (UBC Okanagan) was accepted as a member and commenced play in four sports the fall 2011. Also on Sept. 1, 2010, Thompson Rivers and UFV became full members.

On May 4, 2011, Mount Royal University was granted membership, effective Sept. 1, 2011. After receiving CIS approval on June 21, 2012, the Cougars started competition in men's and women's basketball, hockey, soccer and volleyball in the 2012-13 season.

On Sept. 20, 2011, the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) was granted membership, effective immediately. After receiving CIS approval on June 21, 2012, the Timberwolves started competition in men's and women's basketball and soccer in the 2012-13 season.

Member schools[edit | edit source]

Current members[edit | edit source]

Institution Nickname City Province Founded Affiliation Enrollment Endowment Joined Division
University of Alberta Golden Bears (men's)
Pandas (women's)
Edmonton AB 1908 Public 36,435 $751M 1971-72 Prairie
Brandon University Bobcats Brandon MB 1890 Public 3,383 --- 1999-2000 Prairie
University of British Columbia Thunderbirds Vancouver BC 1908 Public 43,579 $1.01B 1971-72 Pacific
University of British Columbia Okanagan Heat Kelowna BC 2005 Public 8,307 --- 2010-11 Pacific
University of Calgary Dinos Calgary AB 1966 Public 28,196 $444M 1971-72 Prairie
University of the Fraser Valley Cascades Abbotsford BC 1974 Public 21,500 --- 2006-07 Pacific
University of Lethbridge Pronghorns Lethbridge AB 1907 Public 8,000+ $24.5M 1971-72 Prairie
University of Manitoba Bisons Manitoba MB 1877 Public 27,599 $303M 2001-02 Prairie
Mount Royal University Cougars Calgary AB 1910 Public 14,175 --- 2001-12 Pacific
University of Northern British Columbia Timberwolves Prince George BC 1990 Public 4,183 $78.5M 2011-12 Pacific
University of Regina Rams (football)
Cougars (other sports)
Regina SK 1911 Public 12,800 $25.9M 2001-02 Prairie
University of Saskatchewan Huskies Saskatoon SK 1907 Public 19,082 $136.7M 1971-72 Prairie
Thompson Rivers University WolfPack Kamloops BC 1970 Public 13,072 --- 2005-06 Pacific
Trinity Western University Spartans Langley BC 1962 Private/Christian 2,700 --- 1999-2000 Pacific
University of Victoria Vikes Victoria BC 1903 Public 19,500 $155.4M 1971-72 Pacific
University of Winnipeg Wesmen Winnipeg MB 1871 Public 9,219 --- 2001-02 Prairie

Former member[edit | edit source]

Institution Nickname City Province Founded Affiliation Enrollment Endowment Joined Left Current Conference
Simon Fraser University Clan Burnaby BC 1965 Public 35,204 $209M 2000-01 2009-10 GNAC
(NCAA Division II)

Facilities[edit | edit source]

Canadian athletic facilities are often listed by their "maximum capacity", which is often an estimate of their largest recorded crowd in the facility. These maximum capacities can and often do include standing room patrons and attendees seated on grass surrounding a playing field. Seated Capacity is the actual number of permanent seats, be they grandstands or permanently in use bleachers. This is why you will sometimes see larger capacities listed for these sites when searching for them on line. When capacity numbers have mismatched on source sites, unless the larger capacity could be confirmed as a seated capacity, the smaller capacity number has been listed here.

Please update with verified "seated capacities" only when the institutions release more accurate official seated capacities.

Institution Football
Alberta Foote Field 3,500 GO Centre 2600 Clare Drake Arena 3,000 Foote Soccer Field 1,500
Brandon No Football -- Brandon University Gym 1,000 No Hockey -- No Soccer --
UBC Thunderbird Stadium 3,500 War Memorial Gymnasium 2,222 Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre 7,200 Thunderbird Stadium 3,500
UBCO No Football -- UBC Okanagan Campus Gym 1,000 No Hockey -- No Soccer --
Calgary McMahon Stadium 35,650 Jack Simpson Gymnasium 2,700 Father David Bauer Olympic Arena 1,750 West Varsity Soccer Pitch 500
Fraser Valley No Football -- Envision Athletic Centre 1,700 No Hockey -- Exhibition Field, Chilliwack 2,000
Lethbridge No Football -- 1st Choice Savings Centre 2,500 Nicholas Sheran Arena 1,100 University Field 2,000
Manitoba University Stadium 5,000 Investors Group Athletic Centre 3,100 Max Bell Centre 1,400 Turf East Field
Mount Royal No Football -- Kenyon Court Flames Community Arenas 500 Mount Royal Fields
UNBC No Football -- Charles Jago Northern Sports Centre 2,000 No Hockey -- NCSSL Field
Regina Mosaic Stadium 28,800 UR CKHS 2,000 The Co-operators Centre 1,000 Rams/Cougars Field (Women's only) No permanent seating
Saskatchewan Griffiths Stadium 6,171 PAC 2,426 Rutherford Arena 700 Field 7 in PotashCorp Park (Men's)/Griffiths Stadium (Women's) 400/6,171
Thompson Rivers No Football -- Tournament Capital Centre 2,200 No Hockey -- Hillside Stadium 1,060
Trinity Western No Football -- Langley Event Centre 2,000 Langley Events Centre 5,300 Rogers Park 500
Victoria No Football -- McKinnon Gym 2,500 No Hockey -- Centennial Stadium 5,000
Winnipeg No Football -- Duckworth Centre 1,780 No Hockey -- Winnipeg Soccer Complex / St. Vital 2000 / 500

Thompson Rivers University only plays basketball and volleyball at the CIS level. Soccer, badminton, and men's baseball are also played, but currently not at the CIS level.

The new football stadium for both the University of Manitoba and the CFL's Winnipeg Blue Bombers, now officially named Investors Group Field, was scheduled to be completed for the 2012 football season, but will now be ready for the 2013 season. The 33,000-seat stadium (expandable to 40,000) is at the intersection of University Crescent and Chancellor Matheson Road at the University of Manitoba Fort Garry Campus, beside University Stadium.

Trinity Western University added Canada West teams in swimming, cross country and track & field for the 2010-11 season. Winnipeg has added wrestling for the 2011-12 season. Winnipeg also added baseball (men's) and soccer (men's and women's) but are currently not at the CIS level.

(Data mined from the CIS homepage's member directory[1] and[2] The member directory numbers seem to be ballpark figures in some cases.)

Future Expansion[edit | edit source]

The media has reported that the following institutions are building their athletic programs for potential admission into the association.

In 2012 the conference declared they would not take applications from new schools, as Canada West rejected a bid from Grant MacEwan University. [3]

Scholarships, UBC, Simon Fraser University, and the NAIA[edit | edit source]

In May 2005, UBC made a formal bid to join the NCAA, but decided in April 2011 to remain a part of Canada West Athletics. See the UBC article for more details.

Simon Fraser (known as the SFU Clan) did not compete in CIAU/CIS until 2002, after a failed attempt to join the U.S. NCAA. On July 10, 2009 the NCAA accepted SFU's bid to join NCAA Division II in the 2011-2012 season. Canada West proceeded as a 13-team, 14 member conference for 2010-11, with the inclusion of UBC-Okanagan as a non-competing, probationary member for 2010-11, in time to begin competition (pending summer 2011 CIS approval) for the 2011-12 season. In May 2011 Mount Royal was awarded Canada West membership, effective Sept. 2011, with competition to begin in the 2012-13 season.

From its inception in 1965, Simon Fraser competed in the NAIA to allow "full ride" scholarships. Canadian Schools did not allow any form of scholarships until the late 1980s. SFU was forced to leave the NAIA in many sports due to schools in the Northwest US shifting to the NCAA. Until 2009, the NCAA limited membership to schools based in the U.S. Some Simon Fraser teams still competed in the U.S. before the school moved to the NCAA, and their men's wrestling program competed in both CIS and the NAIA. UBC has its men's baseball program compete in the NAIA.

Awards[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. CIS directory
  2. World
  3. - CUP - March 7, 2012 - University presidents in Canada West push for high performance division

External links[edit | edit source]

Template:CWUAA navbox

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