Canadian leaders in football announced that they will come together for a two-part Canadian Football Summit Meeting Series. The first of two-discussion series will be held remotely throughout the month of October. Stakeholders have identified five key areas of focus for the initial series of discussions. Within each area of focus, the group will review the current state of the game and collaboratively identify and explore key opportunities to further grow and develop the sport.

Leadership from Football Canada, Canadian Football League (CFL), Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL), U SPORTS and leadership from the Canada West, OUA, RSEQ and AUS have confirmed their participation for the first of two-round meeting series.

“We have the opportunity to do something which is long overdue and that’s to bring this game together as a unified force,” said Football Canada President, Jim Mullin. “I get the sense from the isolation of phone and Zoom calls we are all sharing, that the desire to work cooperatively is at an all-time high. We have a unique opportunity for the sport to emerge with a renewed energy, organization and purpose. I want to ensure football is ready for Canadians when we fully step back into our communities and the game.”

The second set of discussions will seek further detailed discussion and alignment on female tackle football, high school football, flag football, specific diversity issues and regional relationships. The second round will follow a similar format and will run over two weeks early this winter.

“As we anticipate a hopeful safe return to football in 2021, it is important we all work together towards a renewed pathway for the sport in our country,” said Lisette Johnson-Stapley, Chief Sport Officer at U SPORTS. “We look forward to taking part in these discussions with other Canadian football stakeholders and continuing our collaboration to create a meaningful experience for our student-athletes and members.”

Key topics that will be on the agenda this month include:

  1. Programming and New Engagement
    Focus on enhancing, supporting, and promoting the existing grass roots youth football programming being delivered across the country. While also exploring ways to further introduce the game of football (contact and non-contact) to new populations of youth. The group will also discuss paths to coaching, officiating and diversity.
  2. Competitions and Events
    The group will review the current calendar of Canadian Football events and discuss opportunities to align operations that will build stronger revenue streams, increase media attention & broaden audiences.
  3. International
    Discussions will focus on how the Canadian Football ecosystem can further align to solidify Canada’s position as global leader in the sport while also supporting the globalization of the game.
  4. Information and Visibility
    Stakeholders will address opportunities to enhance the promotion and recognition of Canadian Football endeavours.
  5. Alignment
    Leaders will assess the possibility of streamlining and standardizing various processes to create resources that are beneficial to multiple parties.

This marks the first Football Summit Series since 2006.