Emblem of National Lacrosse Association of Canada by John Henry Walker, © McCord Museum
Today we celebrate an important day in the history of lacrosse in Canada, the birth of the National Lacrosse Association of Canada, which was formed 150 years ago today on September 26, 1867, during a lacrosse convention held in Kingston, Ontario.
The National Lacrosse Association of Canada was the predecessor to today’s Canadian Lacrosse Association (CLA), the national governing body for the sport. The CLA is now comprised of 10 Member Associations, representing nearly 80,000 lacrosse players, coaches and officials from across the country.
According to an article entitled ‘Lacrosse Convention at Kingston’, which was printed in the Toronto Globe on September 30, 1867, the delegates accomplished quite a bit during this day-long convention.
“A convention of delegates from the different lacrosse clubs throughout the Dominion was held in Kingston, on Thursday last, and proved a great success. 27 clubs in all were represented; 14 being from Ontario and 13 from Quebec. 42 delegates in all being present.”
The laws of the game, as framed by the Montreal Lacrosse Club and Dr. George Beers, who is often referred to as the ‘Father of Modern Lacrosse’, were discussed by the delegates and later adopted, with several alterations.
The constitution and by-laws for the guidance of the National Association, which were drafted by a committee of delegates earlier in the day, were presented, and after some slight modifications, adopted.
Following their adoption, the gentlemen below were elected office-bearers of the National Lacrosse Association for the ensuing year:
  • President: N. Hughes (Montreal)
  • Vice-Presidents: W. D. Oliver (Toronto); W. Stewart (Kingston); E. Cluff (Ottawa)
  • Secretary: W. G. Beers (Montreal)
  • Treasurer: W. L. Maltby (Montreal)
  • Council: Dr. Parke (Quebec); J. B. Hutchinson (Montreal); J. Stevenson (Montreal); M. Kavanagh (Ottawa); J. M. Walsh (Prescott); A. Falconer (Kingston); O. D. Cowan (Ganonoque); G.H. Leslie (Toronto); Capt. Arthur (Toronto); A. Stuart (Hamilton); D. C. McDonald (London)
There have been several events held in 2017 to celebrate the history of lacrosse in Canada, including the Canadian Lacrosse Foundation’s 150th Anniversary of Lacrosse Celebration, a once-in-a-lifetime festival of activities held in Montreal, Quebec this past summer that helped honour and celebrate the history and cultural significance of Canada’s national summer sport.
Lacrosse in Canada sure has come a long way since the creation of this governing body exactly 150 years ago today.