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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 Federation (QSSF).



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 Great Plains Athletic Conference) was absorbed into Canada West.

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.

Member schools

Institution Team City Province Founded Affiliation Enrollment Endowment Division
University of British Columbia Thunderbirds Vancouver BC 1908 Public 43,579 $1.01B Pacific
Trinity Western University Spartans Langley BC 1962 Private-Christian 2700 --- Pacific
University of Victoria Vikes Victoria BC 1903 Public 19,500 $155.4M Pacific
Simon Fraser University Clan Burnaby BC 1965 Public 28,207 $176.9M Pacific
University of the Fraser Valley Cascades Abbotsford BC 1974 Public 21,500 --- Pacific
Thompson Rivers University WolfPack Kamloops BC 1970 Public 13,072 --- Pacific
University of Calgary Dinos Calgary AB 1966 Public 28,196 $444M Central
University of Alberta Golden Bears Edmonton AB 1908 Public 36,435 $751M Central
University of Saskatchewan Huskies Saskatoon SK 1907 Public 19,082 $136.7M Central
University of Lethbridge Pronghorns Lethbridge AB 1907 Public 8000+ $24.5M Central
Brandon University Bobcats Brandon MB 1890 Public 3383 --- Great Plains
University of Regina Rams Regina SK 1911 Public 12,800 $25.9M Great Plains
University of Winnipeg Wesmen Winnipeg MB 1871 Public 9219 --- Great Plains
University of Manitoba Bisons Winnipeg MB 1877 Public 27,599 $303M Great Plains

Scholarships, UBC, Simon Fraser University, and the NAIA

In May 2005, UBC made a formal bid to join the NCAA. The NCAA has not yet made a decision on whether to admit UBC. 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. The status of the SFU programs in Canada West remain uncertain during the transition time.

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. The NCAA limits membership to schools based in the U.S.. Some Simon Fraser teams still compete in the U.S., and their men's wrestling program competes in both organizations.

UBC also has their men's baseball program compete in the NAIA.


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
UBC Thunderbird Stadium 3500 UBC War Memorial Gymnasium 2222 Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre 7200 Thunderbird Stadium 3500
TWU No Football -- Langley Event Centre 2000 No Hockey
@CIS Level
-- yes
Victoria No Football -- McKinnon Gym -- No Hockey -- Centennial Stadium 5000
Simon Fraser Swangard Stadium 5288 SFU West Gym
SFU Central Gym
SFU East Gym
No Hockey at CIS level -- Terry Fox Field
UFV No Football -- Envision Athletic Centre 1700 No Hockey -- Bateman Park 1000
Thompson Rivers No Football -- T.C.C. 2200 No Hockey -- Hillside Stadium 1060
Calgary McMahon Stadium 35,650 Jack Simpson Gymnasium 2700 Father David Bauer Olympic Arena 1750 West Varsity Soccer Pitch 500
Alberta Foote Field 3500 Universiade Pavilion 5500 Clare Drake Arena 3000 Foote Soccer Field 1500
Saskatchewan Griffiths Stadium 4997 U of S PAC 2426 Rutherford Rink 700 yes
Lethbridge No Football -- 1st Choice Savings Centre 2500 Nicholas Sheran Arena 1100 University Field
Brandon No Football -- Brandon University Gym 1000 No Hockey -- No Soccer
Regina Mosaic Stadium 28,800 UR CKHS 2000 Sherwood Twins Arena 1000 No Soccer
Winnipeg No Football -- Duckworth Centre 1780 No Hockey -- No Soccer
Manitoba University Stadium 5000 Investors Group Athletic Centre 3100 Max Bell Centre 1400 University Stadium

Thompson River 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 University of Manitoba is deep in negotiations with David Asper on a deal that will build a new 30,000 seat football stadium (expandable to 45,000) at the intersection of University Crescent and Chancellor Matheson Drive at the University of Manitoba, Fort Garry Campus. Asper will assume ownership of the community-owned Winnipeg Blue Bombers as part of the deal and the Bisons will play in this new stadium.[1]

(Data mined from the CIS homepage's member directory[2] and[3]. The members directory numbers seem to be ballpark figures in some cases.)

Future Expansion

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


External links



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