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University of Regina to host 2025 Vanier Cup

24 November 2023
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There was an exciting announcement for Saskatchewan football fans prior to the kickoff of the annual Vanier Cup game in Kingston, Ontario today. U SPORTS, the organization that governs university athletics in Canada, announced that the University of Regina will host the 2025 Vanier Cup game, emblematic of Canadian university football supremacy. 

"We are honoured and incredibly excited that the University of Regina has been selected to host the 2025 Vanier Cup in Saskatchewan,” said Dr. Jeff Keshen, the U of R’s President and Vice Chancellor. “This is only the second time it has ever been held on the prairies. Saskatchewan is a great football province, with everything needed to help profile university athletics in Canada: the fans, the volunteers, the corporate support, and the most spectacular football venue in the country – Mosaic stadium. The Vanier Cup will be a wonderful opportunity for our University and our province to shine on the national stage, and we look forward to working with U SPORTS, and our key partners to make it a tremendous success."

The University’s bid topped applications from across the country. Bolstered by the support of its partners, City of Regina, Tourism Saskatchewan, Tourism Regina, Regina Rams Football Club, and the Regina Hotel Association. 

The Vanier Cup will be a wonderful opportunity for our University and our province to shine on the national stage. — Dr. Jeff Keshen, U of R President and Vice Chancellor

“The Government of Saskatchewan is proud to support the 2025 Vanier Cup. Events like this build the visitor economy and bring significant profile to the city and province,” said Jeremy Harrison, Minister Responsible for Tourism Saskatchewan. 

The Vanier Cup was established in 1965 as the championship trophy of the Canadian College Bowl. The game was played in Toronto for the first 39 years and in its entire 58-year history has been played predominantly in Ontario and Quebec. 2025 will mark only the third time the game has been played in Western Canada. 

"The City of Regina is thrilled to have been selected to host the Vanier Cup for the first time in our city's history,” said Regina’s mayor, Sandra Masters. “Football holds a special place in the hearts of our residents, and we continue to witness its positive influence on young athletes as a channel for skill development and personal growth. We celebrate the importance of sport in our community and will ensure that every athlete, coach, and fan visiting our city for the 2025 Vanier Cup has an exceptional and welcoming experience."

U of R President Jeff Keshen wearing Cougars gear holding a U of R Rams helmet.
It’s no secret that U of R President, Dr. Jeff Keshen, is pulling for a U of R Rams appearance in the 2025 Vanier Cup. Photo Credit: U of R Photography.

 Dr. Keshen noted that there would be nothing better than if the hometown Rams were playing in the Vanier Cup two years from now. They haven’t played in the Vanier Cup since 2000, the team’s second full season playing Canadian university football. That year, the team scripted a fairy tale season when it squeaked out playoff wins over Calgary, Manitoba, and Saint Mary’s. The team came up short however in the Vanier Cup game, losing a close one to the Ottawa Gee-Gees 42-39. 

“Hosting the 2025 Vanier Cup is a tremendous honor for Tourism Regina and our city,” said Tara Osipoff, Vice President, Tourism, Marketing and Communications, Tourism Regina.This exciting opportunity will showcase our incredible venues, renowned Saskatchewan hospitality, prevalent volunteer spirit, and solidify Regina as a sought-after destination for major events. With our expertise in handling large-scale events, we're eager to welcome attendees with our prairie charm.”

Volunteer Capital of Canada

A number of factors helped secure the bid for 2025, including Saskatchewan’s well-earned title of Volunteer Capital of Canada and the fact that Saskatchewan is a frenzied football province.  

“We are delighted to join our provincial and municipal governments in providing sponsorship to support the University host the Vanier Cup,” said Tracy Fahlman, President & CEO of the Regina Hotel Association. “As a champion of events at all levels, our hotel members are looking forward to working with the U of R to shine a spotlight on our community and extend our well-known prairie hospitality to U Sports in 2025.” 

Hosting the game is also good for the bottom line. Last year’s Vanier Cup game, played in London, Ontario, a city similar in size to Regina, generated $2.4 million in overall economic activity. 

Learn more about the storied history of the Vanier Cup

"The Regina Rams Football Club is thrilled at the U of R’s successful bid to host the 2025 Vanier Cup,” said Aaron Picton, President of the Regina Rams Football Club. “We look forward to sharing the top amateur football championship in Canada with the energetic football fans of Saskatchewan and displaying our renowned prairie hospitality on the national stage. The Vanier Cup will be an event to unite our diverse community and bring pride to the alumni of the University of Regina as well as alumni of the historic Regina Rams program."

About the University of Regina

Set in the heart of the Canadian prairies we are a comprehensive, mid-sized university where the opportunities are as limitless as the horizon. Our campuses are on Treaty 4 and 6 - the territories of the nêhiyawak, Anihšināpēk, Dakota, Lakota, and Nakoda peoples, and the homeland of the Michif/Métis nation. It is our responsibility to strengthen relationships with Indigenous communities to build a more inclusive future for all. Our three federated colleges, 10 faculties, 25 academic departments, and 18 research centres foster innovative research with practical and theoretical applications. We are committed to cultivating the potential of our 16,000 students and supporting their health and well-being. We take learning beyond the classroom through work and volunteer experiences to develop career-ready graduates.

Let’s go far, together.