Toronto, Ontario, November 20, 2012 --On behalf of the Honourable Peter Kent, Canada’s Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, the Honourable Peter Van Loan, Member of Parliament for York-Simcoe and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, today recognized the Grey Cup as an event of national historic significance. Minister Van Loan made the announcement during a Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaque-unveiling ceremony at Varsity Centre in Toronto.
“I am proud to participate in the commemoration of the Grey Cup, which for a century has been a defining and unifying part of being Canadian," said Minister Van Loan. "As we mark the 100th Grey Cup game, we celebrate a uniquely Canadian event that brings us together to celebrate our brand of football, our country, and the bond between them.”
The Grey Cup championship game has crowned a national champion for Canada’s distinctive brand of football, which emerged from a strictly amateur, rugby-like sport developed in the last half of the 19th century and evolved into the highly exciting sport played in communities, schools and professionally across Canada at the dawn of the 21st century. On 25 November 2012, the 100th Grey Cup game will be played in Toronto. Donated in 1909 by Governor General Albert Grey, 4th Earl Grey, the Grey Cup trophy was first won by the University of Toronto and is now awarded to the champions of the Canadian Football League.
Known for its festival flavour and celebratory events that precede the championship game, the Grey Cup brings Canadians together in the host city and across the nation. Today, millions of Canadians follow Grey Cup coverage, making it one of Canada’s biggest television sporting events of the year.
“Our Government is committed to celebrating events in Canadian history that are of importance to our national character and unique identity,” added Minister Kent. “Designating the Grey Cup as a national historic event highlights its significance and underlines its importance in our history, which will be passed on to future generations.”
“It is an honour to host this commemoration of the 100th Grey Cup game,” said David Naylor, President of the University of Toronto. “We have a long and proud history associated with Canadian football and the Grey Cup. In fact, the first three Grey Cups were won by the University of Toronto beginning in 1909 – so Varsity Stadium is a most fitting place for this celebration.”
“We are proud of the fact that the Grey Cup trophy is presented to the champions of our league, but we are prouder still that the Grey Cup has evolved into a true Canadian icon, symbolic of Canadians' ability to come together and celebrate what is truly and uniquely ours,” said Mark Cohon, Commissioner of the Canadian Football League. “We are thrilled that the Government of Canada is officially recognizing in this way the Grey Cup and its place in Canada's culture and history. This makes our celebration of the upcoming 100th Grey Cup championship game all the more special.”
The new designation will be included in Canada’s system of national historic sites, persons and events on the recommendation of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (HSMBC).
The HSMBC was established in 1919 and is supported by Parks Canada. It advises the Minister of the Environment regarding the national significance of places, persons and events that have marked Canada’s history. On behalf of the people of Canada, Parks Canada manages a nationwide network that makes up a rich tapestry of Canada’s historical heritage and offers the public opportunities for real and inspiring discoveries.
For additional information, please see the accompanying backgrounder at www.parkscanada.gc.ca under Media Room.