1 November 2023

2023 CFLPA Players’ HQ, Powered by Saskatchewan Polytechnic Official Details

November 1, 2023

CFLPA AND SASKATCHEWAN POLYTECHNIC OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCE THE 2023 CFLPA PLAYERS HQ.

CFLPA Players HQ, powered by Saskatchewan Polytechnic will run from Friday, November 17th to Sunday, November 19th at The Gown and Gavel, in Hamilton, Ontario. 

Mississauga, ON - Today, the Canadian Football League Players’ Association (CFLPA) and Saskatchewan Polytechnic announced the details of the CFLPA HQ during the 110th Grey Cup week in Hamilton, Ontario.

The 2023 CFLPA Players’ HQ, powered by Saskatchewan Polytechnic, will be a great opportunity for Canadian football fans to meet and interact with both current and former CFLPA members. The annual CFLPA Grey Cup week party is free to attend and invites fans to enjoy autograph signings, games, giveaways, pictures with the Grey Cup, and much more!

“We are overjoyed to bring together Canadian Football fans from all over the country during our 2023 CFLPA Players Headquarters”, said CFLPA Executive Director Brian Ramsay. “Our members are always excited to interact with our fans, and we are greatly looking forward to hosting a memorable event for all CFL fans to enjoy during the Grey Cup Festivities.”

The 2022 CFLPA Players’ HQ, powered by Saskatchewan Polytechnic, will be free of charge and open to everyone on a first come, first serve basis.  

The event will be held at The Gown and Gavel, 24 Hess Street S, L8P 3M8, on: 

  • Friday, November 17th, 3:00-7:00 PM 
  • Saturday, November 18th, 1:00-5:00 PM 
  • Sunday, November 19th, 1:00-5:00 PM 

More details regarding specific events will be released in the days and weeks leading up the 110th Grey Cup Festival! 

About the CFLPA: The Canadian Football League Players’ Association (CFLPA) is the union for professional football players in the Canadian Football League (CFL). Since 1965, the Association has worked to establish fair and reasonable working conditions while protecting the rights of all CFL players. In addition to negotiating and enforcing the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), the CFLPA provides a variety of member services, builds corporate and community partnerships, and works diligently for the betterment of its membership. For the latest news regarding the CFLPA, please visit www.cflpa.com or follow us on social media @CFLPA. 


CFLPA Media Contact: 
Brendan Heisler, CFLPA Office | b.heisler@cflpa.com | 1-800-616-6865 

31 October 2023

CFLPA ANNOUNCES SASKATCHEWAN POLYTECHNIC RETURNS AS OFFICIAL SPONSOR OF THE CFLPA PLAYERS’ HQ THROUGH 2024

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 31, 2023

CFLPA ANNOUNCES SASKATCHEWAN POLYTECHNIC RETURNS AS OFFICIAL SPONSOR OF THE CFLPA PLAYERS’ HQ THROUGH 2024

CFLPA Players’ HQ, powered by Saskatchewan Polytechnic, will run from Friday, November 17th to Sunday, November 19th in Hamilton during the 2023 Grey Cup Festival


Mississauga, ON – Saskatchewan Polytechnic will continue as the official sponsor of the Canadian Football League Players’ Association (CFLPA) Players’ HQ during this year’s 110th Grey Cup Festival in Hamilton, ON, and at next year’s 111th Grey Cup Festival in Vancouver, BC.

The CFLPA Players’ HQ, powered by Saskatchewan Polytechnic, is an engaging and fun opportunity for Canadian football fans to meet and interact with both current and former CFLPA members. This annual event is free to attend and invites fans to meet, chat with and take a photo with players from our League.

“We are thrilled that Saskatchewan Polytechnic has once again stepped up as the proud sponsor for the CFLPA Players Headquarters for the 2023 and 2024 Grey Cups,” said CFLPA Executive Director Brian Ramsay. “Their continued support is a testament to the strength of our partnership both on and off the field as they also remain a leader within our CFLPA Academy. We look forward to working with Dr. Larry Rosia and his team at Saskatchewan Polytechnic to produce an entertaining event for all CFL fans in Hamilton this November and Vancouver during next year’s Festival.”

No tickets are required for the 2023 CFLPA Players’ HQ, powered by Saskatchewan Polytechnic, which will be open to everyone on a first-come, first-serve basis. More event details will be made available via official CFLPA channels over the coming weeks.

“We are honoured to once again sponsor the CFLPA Players’ HQ and contribute to the celebration of Canadian football,” said Dr. Larry Rosia, Saskatchewan Polytechnic president and CEO.  “We are committed to supporting the CFLPA and to providing educational opportunities for CFL players and their spouses.  This partnership allows both the CFLPA and Sask Polytech to showcase our profound commitment to lifelong learning and career development for athletes beyond their playing days.”  

The CFLPA Academy has established a longstanding relationship with Saskatchewan Polytechnic, enabling CFL players and their spouses to further their education through the School of Continuing Education. Educational opportunities include diplomas, certificates, degrees and micro-credential offerings. CFLPA members also have access to proactive career counseling and preparedness to prepare them for their careers after football.

About the CFLPA: The Canadian Football League Players’ Association (CFLPA) is the union for professional football players in the Canadian Football League (CFL). Since 1965, the Association has worked to establish fair and reasonable working conditions while protecting the rights of all CFL players. In addition to negotiating and enforcing the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), the CFLPA provides a variety of member services, builds corporate and community partnerships, and works diligently for the betterment of its membership. For the latest news regarding the CFLPA, please visit www.cflpa.com or follow us on social media @CFLPA.

About Saskatchewan Polytechnic:
Saskatchewan Polytechnic serves students through applied learning opportunities on Treaty 4 and Treaty 6 Territories and the homeland of the Métis. Learning takes place at campuses in Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Regina and Saskatoon and through extensive distance education opportunities. Programs serve every economic and public service sector. As a polytechnic, the organization provides the depth of learning appropriate to employer and student need, including certificate, diploma and degree programs, and apprenticeship training. Saskatchewan Polytechnic engages in applied research, drawing on faculty expertise to support innovation by employers, and providing students the opportunity to develop critical thinking skills.

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CFLPA Media Contact: 
Brendan Heisler, CFLPA Office | b.heisler@cflpa.com | 1-800-616-6865 

Saskatchewan Polytechnic Media Contact: 
Brianna Bergeron, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Communications | brianna.bergeron@saskpolytech.ca | 306-250-3978

2 October 2023

CFLPA Mourns the Passing of Former President and Canadian Football Hall of Famer, George Reed

[Mississauga, Ontario] – It is with profound sadness that the Canadian Football League Players' Association (CFLPA) shares the passing of our esteemed former President, George Reed, who served as a dedicated advocate for the rights and well-being of Canadian football players.

George Reed's leadership and tireless efforts significantly contributed to the growth and success of the CFLPA. Reed's impact will not be forgotten and will leave a lasting legacy that will continue to shape the future of Canadian Football.

Reed held the distinguished position of CFLPA President from 1972 to 1981, and again from 1986 to 1993 leaving an indelible mark on our organization and the Canadian football community as a whole. Reed's unwavering commitment to the betterment of members' lives, both on and off the field, exemplified his passion for the sport and its athletes.

Reed's CFL playing career began when he joined the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 1963, and would go on to have an incredible 13-year career with the Riders, up until his retirement in 1975. Reed's commitment to being on the field with his teammates every day was exemplary as he played in 203 of his teams 208 games during his tenure. The Mississippi born Running Back was able to rack up an impressive 16,116 yards and 137 touchdowns over the course of his career, on route to helping the province secure their first Grey Cup Championship in 1966.

The CFLPA wishes to extend our heartfelt condolences to George Reed's family, friends, and all those who were fortunate enough to know and work alongside him. We mourn the loss of a great pioneer in Canadian football, and are forever grateful for his lasting impact on our game.

23 September 2023

CFLPA Player Rep Profiles – Derek Wiggan

Derek Wiggan is a Canadian Football League Players’ Association (CFLPA) Player Representative for the Calgary Stampeders. Wiggan, a native of Toronto, Ontario, played his university Football with the Queens University Gaels of the OUA, before eventually joining the Calgary Stampeders in 2015. Derek is now in his 8th season with the Lions, having racked up 18 sacks over the course of his career.

As he entered his second season as a Player Representative for the CFLPA, we sat down with Derek and asked him the following questions:

Photo By: Calgary Stampeders
  1. Why did you want to become a CFLPA Player rep? 

I wanted to become a CFLPA Player Rep to be a voice for my locker room and to have the opportunity to help out my teammates.

  1. This is your 8th season playing in Calgary. How do you like living in Calgary and how does it compare to living in Toronto? 

These 8 seasons in Calgary have flown by. I love living in Calgary. It has definitely become home for me. The main things I miss about Toronto is my parents and friends. 

  1. What is your favorite memory from playing football at Queens? 

My favourite memory from playing for Queen’s would be winning the semi-final playoff game vs Guelph in 2013. We had lost to them in the 2012 semi-finals in a heartbreaker. That entire week of practice and everything coming together on gameday was special. 

  1. What are some of your favorite things to do away from football and in the offseason? 

 I play a lot of videogames during my off time. I like to read and watch movies as well. I really enjoy trying out new restaurants. 

  1. What is your favorite part of the CFLPA AGM meetings? 

My favourite part of the CFLPA AGM last year was meeting Upper Deck. You could really tell the passion for sports that they have in their company.  I also really enjoyed getting to know about the business side of sports cards.

  1. What is your ideal bye week during the season. 

My ideal bye week would be eating a lot of food and playing a lot of video games. 

  1.  What did it mean to you to win the Grey Cup? 

Winning the Grey Cup meant that dreams do come true. I had lost two grey cups in a row so to finally win one was incredible. All that hard work paid off. 

  1. What advice would you have for any players who want to pursue a career in pro football? 

My advice for young players would be… if you really want to pursue this profession, you have to develop positive habits and have discipline following those habits. 

Photo By: Larry MacDougal/3DownNation
  1. Who has inspired/helped you the most in your Football career? 

My teammates. When you have a great group of guys that want the best for you and push you, it can help grow your game. I could write a whole chapter on the teammates who I learned from that inspired me and helped me get to where I am today. 

7 September 2023

JOINT STATEMENT WITH THE CFL ON THE AIR QUALITY POLICY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

September 7th, 2023 

JOINT STATEMENT WITH THE CFL ON THE AIR QUALITY POLICY

Third party organization to test air quality
 

TORONTO (September 7, 2023) – The Canadian Football League (CFL) and the CFL Players’ Association (CFLPA) have jointly released the following statement after a meeting to discuss their Air Quality Policy.

   After a productive meeting, we will maintain our existing Air Quality Policy. We have agreed to engage an independent third party organization to test air quality and provide measurements in real time.

​   The decision on whether to play – or to continue playing if a game is in progress – will be based solely on these air quality measurements.

​   Any measurement above an Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) reading of 7 will halt play.

Randy Ambrosie
​Commissioner
​Canadian Football League

Brian Ramsay
​Executive Director
​Canadian Football League Players’ Association

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About the CFLPA:  

The Canadian Football League Players’ Association (CFLPA) is the union for professional football players in the Canadian Football League (CFL). Since 1965, the Association has worked to establish fair and reasonable working conditions while protecting the rights of all CFL players. In addition to negotiating and enforcing the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), the CFLPA provides a variety of member services, builds corporate and community partnerships, and works diligently for the betterment of its membership. For the latest news regarding the CFLPA, please visit www.cflpa.com or follow us on social media @CFLPA. 
 

CFLPA Media Contact:   
Brendan Heisler, CFLPA Office | b.heisler@cflpa.com | 1-800-616-6865  

25 August 2023

CFLPA Player Rep Profiles- T.J. Lee

T.J. Lee is a Canadian Football League Players’ Association (CFLPA) Player Representative for the BC Lions. Lee, a native of Seattle, Washington, played his university Football with the Eastern Washington Eagles of the NCAA, before eventually joining the BC Lions in 2014. T.J. is now in his 9th season with the Lions, having racked up an impressive 478 tackles and 24 interceptions over the course of his career.

PHOTO BY GERRY KAHRMANN /PNG files

As he enters his first year as a Player Representative for the CFLPA, we sat down with T.J. and asked him the following questions:

  1. Why did you want to become a CFLPA Player rep? 

I wanted to become a PA rep to extend my role as a leader of the team. I also wanted to expand my knowledge on player relations and protocol. 

  1. This is your 9th season playing in BC. How do you like living in Vancouver and how does it compare to Seattle where you grew up? 

I was born in Houston and raised in Seattle. I am actually living in the states - Blaine, WA. It’s very similar to Seattle though and has pretty quickly become my home. It is nice to be able to go to Seattle whenever we desire and be able to visit with family.

  1. What is your favorite memory from playing football at Eastern Washington?

 I met my wife in college so that’s one of my favorite memories. From a football perspective, it would have to be playing on the red turf and winning a National Championship.  

  1. What are some of your favorite things to do away from football and in the offseason?

I love to go on vacations with my family, hang out with my kids, and play frisbee golf. I love teaching my kids new things in my free time. 

Photo courtesy: Paul Yates/B.C. Lions
  1. What is your ideal bye week during the season. 

My ideal bye week is being somewhere close to water with my family. I will also receive treatments such as physical/mental therapy sessions, and massages. 

  1. What advice would you have for any players who want to pursue a career in pro football? 

Attack your goals. Always believe in yourself and dont doubt yourself if you are putting in the work. Hard work builds confidence. 

  1. Who has inspired/helped you the most in your Football Career? 

Some people who have inspired me during my football career would have to be, Coach Torey Hunter, Aaron Grymes, current CFLPA President Solomon Elimimian, and Ryan Phillips. 

11 August 2023

CFLPA Player Rep Profiles- Mike Benson

Mike Benson is a Canadian Football League Players’ Association (CFLPA) Player Representative for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Benson, a native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, played his university Football with the Acadia Axemen of the CIS, before joining the then named Edmonton Eskimos in 2012 to begin his professional Football career. Benson is now in the 12th season of his CFL career, after becoming a Grey Cup champion with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2021

Photo: Michael Scraper/3DownNation.

Now, in his third year as a Player Representative for the CFLPA, we sat down with Mike and asked him the following questions:

Why did you want to become a CFLPA Player rep? 

I became a player rep to help Better represent my teammates, and to help foster growth and opportunities for future players.

This is your 3rd season playing in Winnipeg. How do you enjoy living and playing in the city in which you were born?

Being able to play for the team I grew up watching is truly a dream come true. To be able to play in front of family and friends is a blessing. I’m very fortunate to be able to go home to my family ever night and help be a part of my sons pivotal first few years of life.

What is your favorite memory from playing football at Acadia? 

Homecoming is always an amazing game and event. I was lucky enough to have some family watching while I played one of my best games of my university career where I received defensive player of the week in the Sue. 

What are some of your favorite things to do away from football and in the offseason?

I’m a big fan of the outdoors. Being able to spend time with my family and two huskies, go on adventures and head to the cabin in northwestern Ontario to spend some much needed rest time off grid. 

What is your favorite part of the CFLPA AGM meetings? 

The best part of the AGM meetings is really getting to know the other reps and who they are off field. 

What is your ideal bye week during the season. 

Heading out to the cabin with my two huskies, my son and partner to spend some time fishing, swimming, boating and relaxing in nature.

What did it mean to you to win the Grey Cup? 

I was fortunate enough to win a grey cup in my 10th year in the CFL. I understand more than most how tough it is to win a championship, it’s no guarantee. Being able to win a championship for my hometown, infront of my family and friends was an amazing experience. 

What advice would you have for any players who want to pursue a career in pro football?

Being a pro athlete is the ultimate dream for any athlete, however, it’s extremely hard to reach that goal. If you can use your athletic gifts to propel your academic career then I strongly advise you to do so. Being a pro athlete doesn’t last forever, but the tools you’ll learn from your time in school will help you for the rest of your life.

Who has inspired/helped you the most in your Football career? 

Easy question, my mother. Her hard work and sacrifice allowed me to be where I am today. Working hard and saving money allowed me to attend a great high school, to go to college and beyond. She constantly encouraged me to try new things and to work hard. Without her showing me firsthand what to do and how to make the right decisions, I wouldn’t be where I am. My mom's the best.

4 August 2023

CFLPA Player Rep Profiles- Jake Thomas

Player Rep Profiles

Jake Thomas

Photo: David Mahussier/3DownNation

Jake Thomas is a Canadian Football League Players’ Association (CFLPA) Player Representative for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Thomas, a native of Douglas, New Brunswick, played his university Football with the Acadia Axemen of the CIS, before eventually being drafted by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, 29th overall in the 2012 CFL Draft. Thomas is now in his 12th season with the Bombers, having racked up 148 tackles in 176 career games. Jake Thomas is also a 2-time Grey Cup champion, having won the trophy in 2019, and 2021.

Now, in his third year as a Player Representative for the CFLPA, we sat down with Jake and asked him the following questions:

  1. Why did you want to become a CFLPA Player rep? 

Just being someone who had been in the league for awhile, I thought I had a responsibility to become a rep for my locker room especially during a cba year. 

  • This is your 12th season playing in Winnipeg. How do you enjoy living in Winnipeg and how does it compare to living in New Brunswick? 

I love Winnipeg it has so many nice restaurants, and it has a lot of major musical acts and entertainment come to the city. Also, the people are friendly like they are on the East coast.

I would say the biggest difference from home is just the number of headliners concerts that come to the area. 

  •  What is your favorite memory from playing football at Acadia? 

I would say that it would have to be winning the 2011 Aus championship. 

  •  What are some of your favourite things to do away from football and in the offseason? 

I love to spend my time playing with my kids and dog, and to spend time with my family and friends. 

  •  What is your favorite part of the CFLPA AGM meetings? 

I really enjoy the comradely between the reps and getting to meet the guys and create relationships with them away from the Football field.

  •  What is your ideal bye week during the season. 

I like to lay low and just spend my time being around family and friends with good weather. 

  •   What did it mean to you to win the Grey Cup? 

It was an unbelievable experience. It was well worth the wait. Winning the Grey Cup helps create friendships, bonds and memories that will last forever.

PhotoTHE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
  •  What advice would you have for any players who want to pursue a career in pro football? 

Work hard and enjoy the process. It goes by fast.

  •  Who has inspired/helped you the most in your Football career?

The people who inspired me to get in the game would have been my older brothers Josh and Billy and my Grandfather Joey George.

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