Canada hosts an annual soccer tournament called the Canadian Championship. When a team from Major League Soccer or the Canadian Premier League wins the Canadian Championship, that team is awarded the Voyageurs Cup.
The Voyageurs Cup is a prestigious soccer trophy awarded to Canadian male and female soccer teams. A Canadian men’s national team called the “Voyageurs” came up with the idea for the cup in 2002.
According to reports, the Canadian Soccer Association said they would develop a sports cup for Canadian soccer players. Unfortunately, the association never followed through on their promise. The Voyageurs got tired of waiting for the association to fulfil their promise, so they went ahead and commissioned a Canadian trophy on their own.
The team initially sought the assistance of the Canadian Soccer Association to develop this national soccer cup in Canada. But the Voyageurs were not happy with the slow progress of the commission. There was a money issue where the association was not taking aggressive action to fund the completion of the trophy cup.
As a result, the Voyageurs raised money for the commission by asking for donations on their internet forum. After raising close to $4,000, the cup was commissioned for completion. The design of the cup is similar to a handled wine cooler constructed out of solid brass material. There is also sterling silver material electroplated onto the cup as well.
The First Winner of the Canadian Cup
The Voyageurs said they would award the cup to the best performing team in the USL A-League in 2002. This was years before the Canadian Premier League ever existed.
Only four eligible teams had the opportunity to win the first Voyageur Cup. These teams were the Montreal Impact, Calgary Storm, Vancouver Whitecaps, and Toronto Lynx. Throughout the 2002 season, the Voyageurs observed how many points these teams accumulated. The team that got the most points would be declared the winner of the Voyageur Cup.
As it turned out, the Montreal Impact became the first professional Canadian soccer team to win the Voyageurs Cup. In fact, they went on to win the cup approximately seven times in a row. The first six times followed the same requirements, where members of the USL A-League were the only teams eligible to win the cup.
The New Rules
In 2008, the rules for winning the Voyageurs Cup had changed after the Canadian Championship got formed. This would become a separate soccer tournament on a much broader scale across Canada. More leagues and clubs were allowed into the Canadian Championship, including the Toronto FC, CF Montreal, and Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
The Canadian Soccer Association was the governing authority that organized this championship tournament. They no longer wanted the Voyageurs Cup to be awarded to the team with the most points. Instead, they wanted the teams to play in a round-robin format to determine the winner.
Round robin is a special format in a sports tournament where each team has to play an equal number of games against every competing team. The team that wins the most games will win the Voyageurs Cup. But if two or more teams are tied, the winner is whichever team won against the other team in the tournament.
For example, let’s suppose Team A and Team B have a 2-way tie because they won an equal number of games against other teams in the tournament. If Team A had beaten Team B in their match previously, the Voyageurs Cup would be awarded to Team A.
Montreal Impact carried the torch for one more year by winning the Voyageurs Cup in 2008, despite the new rules. But then, Toronto FC went on to dominate for four consecutive years until Montreal Impact reclaimed their cup in 2013. The Vancouver Whitecaps FC achieved one win in 2015, but then no other wins after that.
Currently, the last team to win the Voyageurs Cup was Montreal Impact in 2019.