Churchill Bowl
SportCanadian football
Awarded forWinning the CIS Semifinal Championship
First award1953
Final award2002
First winnerMcGill Redmen
Most winsWestern Mustangs (9)
Most recentSaint Mary's Huskies (2002)

The Sir Winston Churchill Bowl was one of two semi-final bowl games played in Canadian Interuniversity Sport football that would determine a participant in the Vanier Cup national championship.[1] The trophy was originally donated and managed by McGill University to serve as an annual, often pre-season, invitational football contest between the sister universities of McGill and UBC in aid of the Canadian Paraplegic Association. The Churchill Bowl was retired in 2003 and replaced by the Mitchell Bowl.[1]


The Churchill Bowl was originally created for Canadian University football invitational competition in 1953.[2] The trophy was a sculpture created by R. Tait McKenzie entitled "The Onslaught".[2]

Many of the games were regarded as an unofficial national championship of Canada, although three other university football leagues were not invited to play and disputed this claim.[2] From 1953 through 1958 the game was a pre-season interconference exhibition. In 1959 and 1960, the Churchill Bowl was switched to a post-season game, pitting the Yates Cup and Hardy Trophy champions against each other in the first attempt in an unofficial national championship.[2] There were eleven unofficial national championship or challenge games played between 1953 and 1964.

Staging games could prove to be difficult at times. In 1961 the Queen's Golden Gaels were the Yates Cup champions scheduled to play the Western Canadian Hardy Cup champion Alberta Golden Bears. However, the Ontario Intercollegiate Football Conference champion McMaster Marauders challenged Queen's to a post-season match which the Gaels were forced to play. With no game scheduled, the McGill Redmen hosted the Jewett Trophy champion St. Francis Xavier X-Men.[2]

In 1963, the Hardy and Yates champions again faced off in the "Golden Bowl" between the Alberta Golden Bears and Queen's Golden Gaels,[3] but McGill chose to hold onto to Churchill Bowl and play the Atlantic champion St. FX for a third consecutive year. Alberta's 25-7 victory marked the first major western victory over an eastern team, with McGill also losing to the X-Men in the Churchill. These events spurred an effort to create an official national championship.[4]

When the Vanier Cup was staged as an official national championship in 1965, the trophy was retired. From 1968 to 1988 one of the national semi-final games was variously named Western Bowl, Forest City Bowl and Central Bowl.[1]

In 1989, the CIAU requested and were given permission by the trustees of the trophy to reinstate the award for annual presentation to the winner of the National semi-final game, the Churchill Bowl. The trophy was taken out of storage at McGill and presented as the winner of this game. The winner of the Atlantic Bowl would meet the winner of the Churchill Bowl for the Vanier Cup.[5] In 2003, the Churchill Bowl game was renamed the Uteck Bowl in honour of Larry Uteck. The trophy was retired for the second time.[6]

Churchill Bowl Games

Date Champion Score Runner Up Location
1953 McGill Redmen 22-7 UBC Thunderbirds Percival Molson Stadium/Montreal, PQ
1954 McGill Redmen 8-5 UBC Thunderbirds Percival Molson Stadium/Montreal, PQ
1955 UBC Thunderbirds 0-0 McGill Redmen Varsity Stadium/Vancouver, BC
1956 Western Mustangs 38-13 UBC Thunderbirds Varsity Stadium/Vancouver, BC
1957-09-21 Western Mustangs 54-0 UBC Thunderbirds J.W. Little Stadium/London, ON
1958 McGill Redmen 9–6 UBC Thunderbirds Percival Molson Stadium/Montreal, PQ
1959-11-14 Western Mustangs 34–7 UBC Thunderbirds Varsity Stadium, Toronto, ON[7]
1960 McGill Redmen 46–7 Alberta Golden Bears Percival Molson Stadium, Montreal, PQ
1961 McGill Redmen 21-7 St. Francis Xavier X-Men Percival Molson Stadium, Montreal, PQ
1962 McGill Redmen 13-6 St. Francis Xavier X-Men Percival Molson Stadium, Montreal, PQ
1963 St. Francis Xavier X-Men 14-7 McGill Redmen Oland Field, Antigonish, NS
1964 Queen's Golden Gaels vs. Alberta Golden Bears, not played
1965 No competition
1966 No competition
1967 No competition
1968 Queen's Golden Gaels 29–6 Manitoba Bisons Winnipeg, MB
1969 Manitoba Bisons 41–7 Windsor Lancers Winnipeg, MB
1970 Manitoba Bisons 24–20 (OT) Queen's Golden Gaels Winnipeg, MB
1971-11-13 Alberta Golden Bears 53–2 Bishop's Gaiters Edmonton, AB
1972-11-18 Alberta Golden Bears 58–6 Loyola College Edmonton, AB
1973-11-17 McGill Redmen 16–0 Manitoba Bisons
1974-11-16 Western Mustangs 41–17 Saskatchewan Huskies London, ON
1975-11-15 Ottawa Gee-Gees 45–6 Windsor Lancers Ottawa, ON
1976-11-13 Western Mustangs 30–8 UBC Thunderbirds London, ON
1977-11-12 Western Mustangs 24–22 Calgary Dinos London, ON
1978-11-11 UBC Thunderbirds 25–16 Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks Vancouver, BC
1979-11-10 Western Mustangs 32–14 Queen's Golden Gaels London, ON
1980-11-15 Alberta Golden Bears 14–4 Western Mustangs Edmonton, AB
1981-11-21 Alberta Golden Bears 32–31 Western Mustangs Edmonton, AB
1982-11-13 Western Mustangs 17–7 Concordia Stingers London, ON
1983-11-12 Queen's Golden Gaels 21–7 Toronto Varsity Blues Kingston, ON
1984-11-17 Guelph Gryphons 12–7 Calgary Dinos Guelph, ON
1985-11-23 Calgary Dinos 56–14 Carleton Ravens Calgary, AB
1986-11-15 UBC Thunderbirds 32–30 Bishop's Gaiters Lennoxville, PQ
1987-11-14 UBC Thunderbirds 33–31 Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks Vancouver, BC
1988-11-12 Calgary Dinos 34–15 Western Mustangs London, ON
1989-11-11 Saskatchewan Huskies 30–10 Queen's Golden Gaels Saskatoon, SK
1990-11-17 Saskatchewan Huskies 41–13 Bishop's Gaiters Montreal, PQ
1991-11-16 Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks 42–22 Queen's Golden Gaels SkyDome, Toronto, ON
1992-11-14 Queen's Golden Gaels 23–16 Guelph Gryphons SkyDome, Toronto, ON
1993-11-13 Toronto Varsity Blues 26–16 Concordia Stingers SkyDome, Toronto, ON
1994-11-12 Western Mustangs 41–24 Bishop's Gaiters Lennoxville, PQ
1995-11-18 Calgary Dinos 37–7 Ottawa Gee-Gees Calgary, AB
1996-11-16 Saskatchewan Huskies 33–9 Guelph Gryphons Waterloo, ON
1997-11-15 Waterloo Warriors (*) 37–44 Ottawa Gee-Gees (*) Ottawa, ON
1998-11-21 Saskatchewan Huskies 33–17 Western Mustangs Saskatoon, SK
1999-11-20 Laval Rouge et Or 27–21 Saskatchewan Huskies Ste. Foy, PQ
2000-11-18 Ottawa Gee-Gees 20–15 McMaster Marauders Hamilton, ON
2001-11-17 Manitoba Bisons 27–6 McMaster Marauders Winnipeg, MB
2002-11-16 Saint Mary's Huskies 36–25 McMaster Marauders Hamilton, ON


(*) Note: The Ottawa Gee-Gees were forced to forfeit all of their post-season titles in 1997 because they had ineligible players on their roster.


  1. ^ a b c d "Mitchell Bowl History". U Sports. Retrieved June 28, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e "A History of Canadian University Football, Churchill Bowl (and other early inter-league play) 1953-1964". 2006. Retrieved June 28, 2020.
  3. ^ The Gateway November 19, 1963 –
  4. ^ TSN's history of the Vanier Cup, 2010. –
  5. ^ Watkins, Robert (2004). "Brief historical overview of Canadian University Football". Football New Brunswick. Retrieved June 28, 2020.
  6. ^ History of the Uteck Bowl Archived 2011-10-02 at
  7. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "1959 Churchill Cup: UWO Mustangs vs. UBC Thunderbirds". YouTube.