Explaining The Canadian Premier League Teams, Logos and Uniforms

The Canadian Premier League, heading into its second season, is Canada’s top professional soccer league. With eight teams stretched out across the entirety of the country with clubs both on the shores of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

Running each year from April to October, teams play 28 games during the regular season with the playoff champion getting to qualify for the annual CONCACAF League competition. There they battle with 21 other teams, all of whom are from Central America and the Caribbean — note, despite the similar name, this is not the CONCACAF Champions League. Teams from the CPL also compete in the Canadian Championship against other Canadian clubs including Canada’s three Major League Soccer teams.

The logo of the Canadian Premier League was unveiled in April 2018, a year before the first games were played. The logo is a double-blue and green maple leaf with an eight-sided North Star within it, all placed inside a stylized soccer ball.

“The Canadian Premier League emblem is a bold, fluid and confident stamp of our purpose. It is our identity and represents a seal of our commitment, championing the talent and diversity found in the Canadian soccer landscape” – Canadian Premier League

For the soccer ball design, the two outer lighter blue rings represent the coasts, the dark blue up top for the northern sky, and the green below is the land. The maple leaf is shown in multiple parts to also reflect the diversity of the country.

A special red-and-white version of the logo is used for games played on Canada Day each July 1st, as well as during tournaments in which teams are playing outside the league itself — the CONCACAF League, FIFA Club World Cup, and the Voyageurs Cup.

There are eight teams throughout the league, seven played during the league’s 2019 inaugural season and one new club was just added for the upcoming 2020 season. We’ll do this in alphabetical order of the official team name.

ATLETICO OTTAWA

The league’s first expansion club, debuting in 2020, plays out of the nation’s capital of Ottawa, Ontario at TD Place Stadium, home of the CFL’s Ottawa RedBlacks. The team was awarded on January 29th of this year and is primarily owned by the Spanish club Atlético Madrid, hence the name.

Unveiled on February 11, 2020, the team’s logo is mostly based on that of Atlético Madrid but updated to be relevant to the local market. It’s a shield with the main block of the Canadian Parliament Buildings, including the Peace Tower, in blue above a series of red and white vertical stripes – a nod both to the parent club and to Canada’s national colours. The official team colours are presented bi-lingually as Federal Red, Blanc d’Ottawa, and Rideau Blue.

The team has yet to unveil its expansion season uniform.

CAVALRY FC

Based out of Calgary, Alberta and playing at ATCO Field, a brand new stadium capable of holding 5,288 fans in nearby Foothills County, Cavalry FC joined the league officially on May 17, 2018 ahead of their inaugural 2019 season.

The name was chosen to honour both the military history of Calgary as well as to continue to pay tribute to the first responders and active armed service members throughout the country. The logo carries on that theme, a red-and-white shield consisting of a white chevron, an homage to the crest of the Lord Strathcona’s Horse regiment as well as a nod to the nearby Rocky Mountains.

Official team colours are Calgary red (as seen on the city’s flag), Army green (seen only on their clash kit), and Black-on-Black.

Cavalry FC’s new 2020 home kit was released in February along with the rest of the league’s. A red jersey with a series of diagonal white slashes from the top left to the bottom right paired with white shorts and red and white socks. On the back of the jersey, there’s a horseshoe is turned on its side to form the letter “C”. The kit advertiser is WestJet and the uniforms are made by Italy’s Macron Sports (as is the entire league).

FC EDMONTON

About three hours north of Calgary we find FC Edmonton who plays out of Clarke Stadium, the former home field of the CFL’s Eskimos from 1949-1978 and located right night to their current home, Commonwealth Stadium. Clarke Stadium has both been renovated and at one time almost entirely completely rebuilt over the 82 years it’s been around, at one time holding as many as 20,000 fans, today it can hold just 5,100.

FC Edmonton began in the North American Soccer League in 2010 playing in the league until it ceased to be following the 2017 season. After taking a year off in 2018, FC Edmonton came back in 2019 with the new Canadian Premier League.

The team’s logo was updated upon their move to the CPL though the shape of the shield remained the same as it did in their NASL days. It now features a double-blue colour scheme with a stylized “FCE” design on it in white, the North Saskatchewan River is included in the design of the “E”. At the base of the logo is the founding year of the club 2010 with a rabbit’s footprint in between.

Why a rabbit’s footprint? Well, during a 2011 home game against the Montreal Impact, a rabbit made its way onto the pitch and sat right in front of the Montreal net much to the delight of the local fans. FC Edmonton held on for the victory and the “Rally Rabbit” was quickly adopted as a good luck charm by the team.

Edmonton’s kit is light blue with dark blue trim, the logo for jersey advertiser Swoop Airlines across the chest in white. On the back of the jersey is a Roman numeral X commemorating the club’s 10th anniversary.

FORGE FC

The 2019 league champions, Forge FC play in Hamilton, Ontario at Tim Hortons Field which is also the home stadium of the CFL’s Tiger-Cats. Forge FC was the sixth team to be granted a team in the CPL’s inaugural season getting their club on July 12, 2018. The name Forge FC is a reference to Hamilton’s long ties to the steel industry, the city is home to 60% of all steel produced in Canada.

The logo doubles as both a letter “H” for Hamilton and an “F” for Forge, at the top of the logo are three orange sparks for the community, the city, and the club. Within the white space is a waterfall, a reference to the many found throughout the Hamilton area. Official club colours are Platinum Steel, Spark Orange, and Waterfall White.

Across the front of the 2020 home kit are six horizontal stripes, representing the six regional municipalities, Tim Horton’s double-doubles as both the naming right’s holder of their home stadium and their jersey advertiser. On the back of the jersey is a hammer symbolizing both the name of the team and the nickname of the City of Hamilton. Forge FC will wear a gold patch on the sleeve of their jersey this season in recognition of their 2019 CPL championship.

HFX WANDERERS FC

HFX Wanderers FC (or the Halifax Wanderers) play on the east coast of Canada in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The team is named both for their home stadium of Wanderers Ground and the Wanderers Amateur Athletic Club which was founded in 1882 as the first club of its kind in Halifax.

The logo, designed by Mark Guilherme, is housed within an overhead view of the Halifax Citadel, a historic base topping a large hill in downtown Halifax. Within the shape is a depiction of the Angus L. MacDonald Bridge above the Atlantic Ocean and an anchor. Under the bridge are the words “Ar Cala, Ar Dachaigh, Ar N-Anam” which is Scottish Gaelic for “Our Harbour, Our Home, Our Soul”. Club colours are Harbour Blue, Aqua Ocean, and Naval Grey symbolizing the sky, the ocean, and the Navy.

The Wanderers’ new home kit for 2020 incorporates something I’ve never seen on a jersey before (and I’ve seen a lot of jerseys), the sound wave of the song “Barrett’s Privateers” by Stan Rogers. A “modern folk song sung in the style of a sea shanty” which describes the life of a privateer in the 1700s.

PACIFIC FC

From one coast to the other, Pacific FC plays their home games on Vancouver Island in Langford, British Columbia near the City of Victoria at Westhills Stadium.

The logo shows a shield in the shape of a Douglas fir pine tree divided in half. The right side of the divided tree is meant to mimic the shape of Vancouver Island. Below the logo is a single chevron in the shape of the letter V for both Victoria and Vancouver Island. The club’s initials “PFC” appear above a trident near the bottom. Official club colours are Lagoon Blue, Starfish Purple, and Lighthouse white which was chosen to represent the ocean, a sea star, and the many lighthouses throughout the area.

Kits are Starfish Purple and designed with a gradient meant to represent a sun setting into the Pacific and its crashing waves. The back of the jersey is white (which could be a problem) and incorporates Poseidon’s Trident in the bottom corner.

VALOUR FC

As the logo suggests, Valour FC plays out of Winnipeg, Manitoba, they share the same home stadium as the CFL’s Blue Bombers, the (relatively) massive IG Field and its 33,234 seating capacity.

Valour FC got its name from Valour Road, a local street in Winnipeg which served as the home address for three recipients of the Victoria Cross during the First World War. The logo incorporates both a “V” (for Valour) and a “W” (for Winnipeg) in gold above a red circle in the shape of that Victoria Cross medal. Above the letter is wheat representing Manitoba’s farming community. The entire logo is placed on a folded black ribbon. Team colours are Earth Black, Valour Maroon, and Wheat Gold.

Valour FC’s new home kit for 2020 is maroon with gold pinstripes down the front, white sleeves, and a collar which suggests someone’s tugging them off a stage at all times. On the back of the jersey is a depiction of Winnipeg’s Golden Boy statue, found at the top of the Manitoba Legislative Building next a 150 in reference to the province’s sesquicentennial year.

YORK9 FC

Finally, we have the York9 Football Club, named for both the university campus on which they play (York University) and the region in which it represents (York Region) — try not to pay any attention to the fact that their home stadium is *technically* in Toronto, though it’s right on its border to the north with York Region’s City of Vaughan. The “9” part of the team represents the nine municipalities that makeup Ontario’s York Region.

The logo is a grey and green shield with nine horizontal bars across the top, you already know what those represent. The club name below above a white trillium flower – the provincial flower of Ontario. Official club colours are Charcoal Grey, Electric Green, and Black on Black – the grey and black is a nod to the local Black Creek and the green for all that wonderful nature found throughout the region.

The York9 2020 home kit is white and sponsored by Macron who also makes the jersey. Nine green stripes trimmed in grey run vertically from the collar to the waist and a “Y9”, an abbreviated name for the team, is placed on the back.

That’s it! That’s the Canadian Premier League! The 2020 regular season, the league’s second, kicks off on Saturday, April 11th and concludes on Sunday, October 4th. You can check out all of the team’s logos on our site right here.