The Western Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union (WCIAU - later renamed Western Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Association) was formed in 1919-20 as the first recognized western-based post-secondary athletic organization in Canada, with the University of Manitoba winning the first-ever league championship, a men's hockey title, in 1920.
In the spring of 1972, the WCIAA was split into the Canada West Universities Athletic Association (CWUAA) and the Great Plains Athletic Association (GPAA - later renamed the Great Plains Athletic Conference).
CWUAA consisted of schools spanning from Victoria to Saskatoon (Victoria, British Columbia, Calgary, Alberta, Lethbridge and Saskatchewan), while GPAA's member institutions stretched from Regina to Thunder Bay (Regina, Brandon, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Lakehead).
In 1985-86, Canada West offered playing privileges to men’s hockey teams from the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) with other sports following over the years, culminating with the 2001-02 merger of basketball.
Since 1999, 11 additional schools have joined the Canada West's six charter members. Trinity Western joined in 1999-00 and, in 2000-01, all schools from the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) except for Brandon were provided full membership in Canada West including Manitoba, Regina and Winnipeg. Brandon joined as an associate member at the time, until full membership was granted in 2005.
Simon Fraser joined Canada West for the 2000-01 season, followed by Thompson Rivers in 2005 and Fraser Valley in 2006.
Simon Fraser withdrew from the conference as a member after the 2009-10 season, while both Thompson Rivers and Fraser Valley were awarded full membership in 2010 and, at the same time, UBC Okanagan received probationary membership.
In 2011, Mount Royal University and the University of Northern British Columbia were voted in as probationary members and began active competing in 2012-13.
In 2013, UBC Okanagan was awarded full membership, while Mount Royal University and the University of Northern British Columbia were awarded full membership in 2014.
Full membership was granted to MacEwan University in the spring of 2015, after the Edmonton-based university fulfilled their probationary membership requirements and was accepted by Canada West membership as the conference's 17th member.
Canada West has 11 different sports and awards a total of 19 conference championships.
Canada West is one of four conferences within Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS), the others being Ontario University Athletics (OUA), Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) and Atlantic University Sport (AUS). Schools representing each conference compete annually for national supremacy.
Schools, team officials and individual student-athletes must abide by posted Canada West and CIS policies, including bylaws, regulations and eligibility requirements.
About Canada West:
Canada West is the premier athletic conference in the country and is home to champion student-athletes that excel on the field, in the classroom and in their communities. Canada West and its 17 member institutions commit to a student-athlete experience where competitive excellence, scholarship and sportsmanship contribute equally towards moulding outstanding graduates and community leaders.
Canada West – Training leaders, building champions.
CANADA WEST MEMBERS
CANADA WEST SPORTS
|SPORT||FIRST CW TITLE||FIRST CIS TITLE||RECORD BOOK|
|Basketball – Men||1972-73||1962-63||Click here|
|Basketball – Women||1972-73||1971-72||Click here|
|Cross-country - Men||1972-73||1964-65|
|Cross-country - Women||1972-73||1980-81|
|Curling – Men (CW inactive)||1965-66||2007-08|
|Curling – Women (CW inactive)||1965-66||2007-08|
|Field Hockey - Women||1972-73||1975-76|
|Football – Men||1922-23||1965-66||Click here|
|Ice Hockey – Men||1919-20||1962-63||Click here|
|Ice Hockey – Women||1997-98||1997-98||Click here|
|Rugby - Women||1999-00||1998-99|
|Soccer – Men||1972-73||1972-73|
|Soccer – Women||1983-84||1972-73|
|Swimming - Men||1972-73||1964-65|
|Swimming - Women||1972-73||1970-71|
|Track & Field - Men||1967-68||1980-81|
|Track & Field - Women||1967-68||1980-81|
|Volleyball – Men||1972-73||1966-67|
|Volleyball – Women||1972-73||1969-70|
|Wrestling – Men||1972-73||1968-69|
|Wrestling - Women||1999-00||1998-99