History of the CCAA

This timeline was created for the CCAA's 40th Anniversary, highlighting key moments from the Association's history.

1972-06-10 00:00:00

In The Beginning

Don Stouffer (Mount Royal), Wayne Halliwell (Dawson), Al Hoffman (St. Clair), and Jack Costello (St. Clair) meet in Quebec City in conjunction with a CIAU meeting to discuss the possibility of a national college athletic association. The meeting results in the establishment of an ‘Ad Hoc Steering Committee on the Formation of a National Association to Promote College Athletics.’ Don Stouffer agrees to serve as chair of the committee.

1972-10-10 00:00:00

Increasing Interest

The committee follows up their initial meeting a few months later by convening in Toronto (at the ACCC AGM) with 14 representatives from the regional conferences in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec. The Royal York, with its historic ties to the CP Railway and nation building, serves as a symbolic and appropriate location to discuss the possibility of linking the provincial conferences under a national association.

1972-10-12 00:00:00

Establishing a Framework

Several essential components are deliberated upon during the October meetings, including the suggestion of a name – the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association. Another key decision is the designation of the four regional conferences (4-West, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia) which will go on to serve as the founding membership and framework for the association.

1973-01-15 00:00:00

First Official Meeting

Sport Canada assists with funding for the first official meeting between regional representatives to develop the guidelines for a national association. Delegates from the four identified regions, 4-West (BC, AB, SK, and MB), Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes plan to meet in Calgary in June.

1973-06-10 00:00:00

The Executive

The CCAA’s original Executive members are selected at the June meeting. The members include: Don Stouffer, President; Wayne Halliwell, First Vice-President; Jerry Lloyd, Second Vice-President; Al Hoffman, Secretary; Ken Marchant, Treasurer; John Rostron, Four-West Rep; Jack Costello, OCAA Rep; Jean-Marc Lalonde, FASCQ Rep; and Doug Grant, Maritime Rep.

1973-06-12 00:00:00

National Championship Priority List

The regional delegates are asked to present their preferences for the sports which should be introduced at the national championship level. The combined results become the National Championship Priority List: 1. Men’s Basketball; 2. Badminton; 3. Women’s Basketball; 4. Men’s Hockey; 5. Curling; 6. Women’s Volleyball; 7. Men’s Volleyball.

1974-01-30 00:00:00

Official Recognition

The CCAA Executive is informed that the association meets the objectives of Sports Canada’s mandate and interest in developing athletic excellence. Sport Canada offers funding to assist with the initiation of national championships in Men’s Basketball and Men’s Hockey with the potential to phase in other sports over the next several years.

1974-03-29 00:00:00

Canadian Sport Community

While meeting together, the CIAU acknowledges that “the CCAA is indeed a unique and viable organization, representing post-secondary and non-university institutions and their respective student-athletes”. The two associations agree that through dialogue and the exchange of information they can enhance and promote each other’s programs.

1974-06-15 00:00:00

Internal Workings

Deliberations are initiated at the AGM regarding the CCAA’s Constitution and by-laws, membership, eligibility, and the sharing of regional sports rules and regulations. Issues surrounding these subjects, which are fundamental to the CCAA’s structure, become ongoing topics for discussion and revision.

1975-03-01 00:00:00

The National Championships

The first CCAA National Championships are held simultaneously on March 21 and 22 in Men’s Basketball and Men’s Hockey. The conference champion from each of the four regions competed to be crowned the CCAA National Champions in their respective sport.

1975-03-21 00:00:00

Men's Basketball

The inaugural CCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship is hosted by Mount Royal College in Calgary, AB. The four competing conference champions were Vancouver City College (4-West), George Brown College (OCAA), Dawson College (FASCQ), and Nova Scotia Agricultural College (NSCC). A dominant George Brown team takes home the first National Championship title.

1975-03-22 00:00:00

Men's Hockey

Sydney, NS is the host site of the inaugural CCAA Men’s Hockey National Championship. The regions were represented by Camrose Lutheran College (4-West), St. Clair College (OCAA), Cegep St. Laurent (FASCQ) and the hometown College of Cape Breton. Camrose defeated St. Clair for the gold medal while the hosts claimed the bronze. Fans in Windsor and Cape Breton were treated to live radio broadcasts of their teams’ games.

1976-03-15 00:00:00

Hosting Hurdles

Two key “Hosting” issues are identified following the National Championships – diminished local interest without a home team and the costs of running the event. It is decided that future hosts will have the opportunity to “play-in” versus the fourth seed in a qualifying game and the costs of accommodations, meals and local travel will be the responsibility of participating teams.

1976-06-10 00:00:00

Recognition of Accomplishments

Following the Olympic model, the members approve the presentation of gold, silver and bronze medals for the following season’s National Championships. The fourth place team also receives a participation certificate and the first place team receives a National Championship banner to display in their institution.

1976-06-15 00:00:00

New Conference Structure

The CCAA switches its representation structure from regional – which includes the Four-west, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia – to a provincial based system. The new structure divides the Four–west into smaller conferences based in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The regional structure remains for competition purposes.

1977-03-15 00:00:00

Supporting Women's Rights to Play

Al Hoffman, as CCAA Secretary, leads a study examining the participation of women in intercollegiate sport programs and seeks funding from Sport Canada for championship expansion. The research shows that the ‘level of activity in women’s intercollegiate sport programs loosely approximates that of the existing men’s programs’ (64 basketball and 84 volleyball teams), which supports the CCAA’s plans to include Women's National Championships in the upcoming season.

1977-06-01 00:00:00

Wild Cards

After only one season with a five team format, which eliminated one team before the “final four”, the CCAA delegates elect to expand the National Championships to include six teams. The new format includes the four regional conference champions, the host team and a wild card team selected by the sport’s convenor, championship host and regional representatives.

1977-06-15 00:00:00

The Constitution

After four years of research and fine tuning an official CCAA Constitution is provisionally accepted at the AGM. With most members keen to discuss the National Championships, drafting the document and its by-laws was not a particularly popular endeavour and the associated Committee receives very little interest or participation.

1978-02-01 00:00:00

Introduction of Women's National Championships

The CCAA increases its number of annual events from two to four with the introduction of the first two Women’s National Championships. Pat Blundy of Sheridan and Judy Smith of NSAC also reflect change at the administrative level of the CCAA, becoming the first female convenors in the Association for women’s volleyball and basketball respectively.

1978-03-01 00:00:00

Festival of Sport

Quebec’s conference hosts all four National Championships simultaneously over the course of a week in and around Montreal. Without an official host institution the FASCQ organized the unique event and held the competition in former Olympic sites including both the men’s and Women’s Basketball National Championships at the Velodrome.

1978-03-15 00:00:00

An Invitational Championship

During the CCAA’s ‘Festival of Sport’, the FASCQ hosted a Men’s Volleyball Invitational Championship simultaneously with the Women’s National Championship. Although not officially recognized by the CCAA, the event was seen as a step in the development of men’s volleyball at the national level. Quebec’s College de Maisonneuve defeated Olds College of Alberta in the final.

1979-03-01 00:00:00

Festival of Sport: Part Two

Despite the lack of a true host college, the CCAA conducts a second consecutive Festival of Sport, once again hosted in Montreal by Quebec’s FASCQ. Men’s volleyball is added as an official sport and is held at the former Olympic venue, Claude Robillard Centre, along with the women’s event and the two basketball championships. Hockey is held out of Montreal in the town of Ste. Georges de Beauce.

1979-03-15 00:00:00

An Underdog Victory?

The Men’s Hockey National Championship pitted Alberta Champions, SAIT Polytechnic, against their conference rivals, Red Deer College. Red Deer becomes the first wild card team to win a CCAA National Championship and the result suggests that the expansion to six teams improves competition and produces a legitimate National Champion.

1979-06-15 00:00:00

An Executive Director

Peter Fraser is announced as the CCAA’s first Executive Director and the CCAA’s first national office is established in the National Sport and Recreation Centre in Ottawa. As an official staff member, this new role assists the association with its affairs provides expertise to direct the business of the CCAA.

1980-03-15 00:00:00

Bona Fide Conferences

Manitoba teams are declared ineligible to compete at the 1980 National Championships as they did not meet new criteria set in a motion from the 1979 AGM. Although considered a CCAA provincial member the new rule stated that: “representation to the CCAA National Championships shall be from bona fide college athletic conferences rather than individual provinces”.

1980-06-01 00:00:00

Marketing and Sponsorship

Newly appointed Executive Director Peter Fraser is given the task of developing a marketing and sponsorship program to supplement the CCAA’s funding base. Along with President Al Hoffman, Fraser negotiated and secured the CCAA’s first sponsorship – a one year, $10,000 agreement with Labatt’s Brewing Company.

1980-06-15 00:00:00

An Evolving Executive

Laurel Goodacre of Red Deer College in the ACAC becomes the first female member of the CCAA Executive. Goodacre assumes the role of Treasurer following an election process in which all five executive members are acclaimed.

1981-02-01 00:00:00

The MCAA’s Return

Following a one year exclusion, the Manitoba Colleges Athletic Association (MCAA) is reinstated as a bona fide conference, despite only having three member institutions. The decision was subject to debate due to the low membership and subsequent lack of competitiveness but it was decided that all colleges should have the opportunity to compete for National Championships.

1981-05-15 00:00:00


The CCAA continues its active role in the development of female athletics and is represented by Laurel Goodacre at a planning workshop for the Advancement of Women in Sport at McMaster University. The outcome of the workshop was the creation of a new national organization – the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport (CAAWS).

1981-06-01 00:00:00

Badminton’s Status

Centennial College had hosted a Badminton invitational tournament in the spring of 1980 followed a year later with a similar event at the Collège St. Foy. At the AGM, Roland Drolet (Collège St. Foy) speaks to the success of these events and is selected to serve as convenor for the first Badminton National Championships to be held in 1982.

1982-03-01 00:00:00


The first CCAA All-Canadians are announced at the conclusion of the 1982 Men’s and Women's Basketball seasons. Recipients were honoured in all other sports during the subsequent years. The CCAA All-Canadian Awards recognize student-athletes for their performance and contributions to both their sport and team over the course of the season. Thank you to former 2x All-Canadian Lori (DIamond) Peters for alerting us to the fact that Women's Basketball was recognized in that same initial year as Men's Basketball.

1982-06-01 00:00:00


Student athlete eligibility is a primary focus at the CCAA AGM where fifteen motions are introduced related to the topic. A “Four Year Rule” is established limiting the number of years that a student is eligible to compete in an approved sport at the post-secondary level.

1982-06-15 00:00:00

Hosting Standards

Minimum standards for hosting a CCAA event are discussed due to the notion that National Championships are the highest level of competition and a certain level of quality is required to reflect the importance of these events. A list of mandatory and recommended practices is created, which reflect previous hosts’ experiences, while it is also acknowledged that the member institutions have varying levels of access to resources.

1983-03-15 00:00:00


Assiniboine College of Brandon, MB hosts the first national curling event which features a round-robin structure in women’s, men’s and mixed competition. The event was highly regarded and the first official CCAA National Championship for curling is held the following year at Cariboo College in Kamloops, BC.

1983-04-30 00:00:00

Coaching Excellence

The “Coaching Excellence Award” is established and presented to recipients in Men’s Hockey, Men’s and Women’s Basketball, and Men’s and Women’s Volleyball. The award recognizes a Coach’s contributions to their sport and team based on their degree of success and through the display of good sportsmanship, leadership, and a commitment to educational goals. The honour is later renamed the “Coach of the Year Award” and is given out annually in all sports.

1983-10-15 00:00:00

Men’s Soccer

A six team invitational tournament is hosted by Capilano College, in North Vancouver, BC marking the first soccer championship in the CCAA. Although travel costs to the west coast were an issue, the event was considered a success with representation from four conferences. Malaspina College defeated Seneca College to be crowned as the first National Champion.

1984-03-01 00:00:00

A Brief Interruption

Following six years of domination by FASCQ (RSEQ) members Collège Jonquière and Collège Sherbrooke, the Red Deer College Queens win the Women’s Volleyball National Championship. This feat is worth noting, as Red Deer College would be the only non-Quebec institution to win this championship between 1978 and 2006.

1984-06-01 00:00:00

Introducing New National Championships

Using curling and soccer as examples, it is decided that the development of a national championship for a new sport would require that it first be offered as an invitational championship. The advantage of this strategy was to allow new sports to be introduced without being burdened by the existing criteria which regulated the National Championships. By offering the event at a national level, sports would be encouraged to grow naturally rather than mandating that the provinces participate.

1984-10-30 00:00:00

The Host with the Most

After taking the silver medals at the inaugural men’s soccer event, Seneca College becomes the first host institution to win a CCAA National Championship. The win on home soil marked the first of three consecutive gold medals for Seneca College who dominated the sport during its initial championship years.

1985-04-20 00:00:00

An Unexpected Challenge

Following the announcement of federal budget cuts the CCAA is informed that Sport Canada’s contribution to national championship travel was being instantly eliminated. CCAA President Mal Stelck demands an immediate meeting with the Minister of Sport Otto Jelinek, during which a compromise is reached to phase out the contributions over three years, allowing the CCAA more time to adjust and plan for the change.

1985-06-15 00:00:00

A Changing of the Guard

Executive Director Peter Fraser announces he will be stepping away from his role after a little more than five years with the CCAA. David Hershkowitz is hired initially but is replaced a year later by Clare Gillespie who serves as the CCAA’s first female Executive Director.

1985-11-01 00:00:00

Drawing a Line in the Snow

In the second half of the men’s soccer gold medal game, snow begins to fall in Montreal’s Molson Stadium, dusting the field enough to obscure the lines. With only minutes remaining in the game an attacking Seneca player is brought down near Dawson’s (the host team) goal and both teams wait anxiously as the ref tries to determine the exact spot of the foul. Brushing away the snow reveals that the foul occurred just inside the penalty area and the resulting penalty shot breaks the tie game, securing another National Championship for Seneca.

1986-03-12 00:00:00


Gino Brousseau of Collège Limoilou is selected as the Most Valuable Player of the men’s volleyball national championship for the second consecutive season. After his time at Limoilou and the CCAA, Brousseau became a key member of Canada’s national team, including at the Barcelona Olympics, followed by a 13 year period as a professional player internationally.

1986-06-10 00:00:00

Farewell to a Conference

At an Executive meeting in Brandon, MB it is announced that the Manitoba Colleges Athletic Association (MCAA) will no longer be able to compete in the CCAA. A combination of challenges including funding and membership led to the withdrawal of the MCAA which subsequently required a restructuring of the national championship format.

1986-11-01 00:00:00

Indoor Soccer

After the snowy finish in Montreal it is decided that the men’s soccer national championship, hosted by Grant MacEwan in Edmonton, AB, will be held indoors at the University of Alberta’s Universiade Pavilion. Holding the matches inside the “Butterdome” proved to be a wise decision as the championship began just as a blizzard and -17°C temperatures hit the area.

1987-01-31 00:00:00

A Hosting Scramble

Manitoba had been selected at the 1985 AGM to be the host conference of the 1987 National Championships. However with the MCAA’s withdrawal, a change of venues was required with less than a year to plan. Several OCAA and ACAC members stepped forward and were commended for hosting exceptional national championships despite the shortened preparation time.

1987-03-01 00:00:00

A Curling Legend Gets His Start

A young Kevin Martin leads the Nait Ooks men’s curling team to a silver medal at the CCAA Curling National Championship. Martin has since referred to NAIT’s Jules Owchar as “Canada’s best curling coach”, which is high praise from an Olympic gold and silver medalist, world champion, four-time Brier champion and 17-time Grand Slam curling championship winner.

1987-10-01 00:00:00

A Crack in the Ice

The College of Cape Breton announces it is departing the CCAA to compete in CIAU hockey despite being the perennial contender from the Nova Scotia College Conference (NSCC). Without this founding member and first host of the hockey National Championships the NSCC decides it cannot compete at the national level and will no longer participate in CCAA hockey.

1988-01-10 00:00:00

The Sport Canada Review

The CCAA agrees to conduct a full review of its membership and mandate for Sport Canada through a survey and report process. To determine the allocation of funds, Sport Canada plans to assess the entire domestic sport landscape and the CCAA’s participation would help determine what role collegiate athletics plays in the Canadian sport system.

1988-03-15 00:00:00

Another Host Wears the Crown

Collège Sherbrooke earn their sixth gold medal in women's volleyball and become the first host of a women’s national championship to win on home court. However their FASCQ rivals, Collège Jonquière, may contest this claim having won the first two women's volleyball national championships which were hosted by Quebec on neutral Olympic sites in Montreal.

History of the CCAA

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