History Tidbits: Grey Cup in Vancouver

Comments 1 by Rebecca Bollwitt

They 99th Grey Cup Championship is coming to Vancouver at the end of this week with a parade, festival, and final game in which our BC Lions are participating. The Lions had a bumpy start to their season at Empire Field but moved into their renovated home at BC Place and stormed up the ranks to win the Western championship.

1955 – Grey Cup sign in Vancouver. VPL Accession Number: 43903.
Photographer: Province Newspaper.

Vancouver hosted the Grey Cup game in 1955, 1958, 1960, 1963, 1966, 1971, 1973, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1994, 1999, and 2005. With the season starting out at Empire, this generation had a small taste of what games would have been like in the same location back in the 50’s and 60’s. Fresh air peppered with aromas from the concession stands, north shore mountains in the backdrop, and “Roar You Lions Roar” echoing through the crowd.

1955 – Grey Cup parade. VPL Accession Number: 82932N.
Photographer: Eric DeWitt.

1955 – Miss BC Lions. VPL Accession Number: 82932F.
Photographer: Eric DeWitt.

The 1955 Grey Cup game in Vancouver was the first to be held outside of Ontario.

1960 – Grey Cup crowds. VPL Accession Number: 43958.
Photographer: Province Newspaper.

1963 – Half time at the Grey Cup in Vancouver. VPL Accession Number: 43989.
Photographer: Province Newspaper.

1963 – Grey Cup game, Hamilton vs BC. VPL Accession Number: 43973.
Photographer: Province Newspaper.

1963 – Grey Cup crowds at Georgia & Granville. VPL Accession Number: 41893.
Photographer: Province Newspaper.

1963 – Grey Cup game. VPL Accession Number: 43994.
Photographer: Province Newspaper.

In 1964 the BC Lions defeated the Hamilton Ti-cats in Toronto to win their first Grey Cup.

1966 – Miss Grey Cup is crowned. VPL Accession Number: 43886.
Photographer: Province Newspaper.

After the 1966 Grey Cup game between Saskatchewan and Ottawa, the parade went through downtown Vancouver. It was the CFL’s first night-parade. The crowds grey on the streets and a riot broke out. Vancouver Police arrested 300 people.

1966 – Grey Cup night riot. Photographer: Province Newspaper.
(Left) VPL Accession Number: 42736 (Right) VPL Accession Number: 42731C

1966 – Grey Cup night riot. Photographer: Province Newspaper.
(Left) VPL Accession Number: 42743 (Right) VPL Accession Number: 42742

The first Grey Cup game at BC Place stadium was played in front of a crowd of 59,345 in 1983.

1966 – Grey Cup game. VPL Accession Number: 43890.
Photographer: Province Newspaper.

In 1994 the BC Lions won their first Grey Cup in nine years against the Baltimore CFL Colts.

1968 – Photographers at the Grey Cup game. VPL Accession Number: 43894.
Photographer: Province Newspaper.

1968 – Players at the Grey Cup game. VPL Accession Number: 43893.
Photographer: Province Newspaper.

1968 – Grey Cup crowd at Empire Stadium. VPL Accession Number: 43892.
Photographer: Province Newspaper.

Aside from our outstanding players, coaches, and staff, you can’t mention Grey Cup history in Vancouver without a shout out to Dal Richards. Dal’s band played at the opening of Empire Stadium in 1954, they played the ceremony ushering the BC Lions into the CFL in 1954, and have played at BC Lions halftime shows for the last 40 years.

Dal Richards Dal Richards at Summer Live. Photo by Chris Cameron
Dal Richards at Summer Live. Photo credit: Chris Cameron – Vancouver 125

The 99th Grey Cup festival kicks off this Thursday, November 24, 2011 in Vancouver. The parade is Saturday, November 26th and the BC Lions will take on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Sunday at 3:00pm PT.

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1 Comment  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. Bob MooreFriday, November 25th, 2011 — 3:24pm PST

    Oh man, what a time warp some of these black & white photos are! Hard to believe the early 1960s were half a century ago, but as they say time flies when you’re having fun… And the Lions have certainly collected some Grey Cups along the way. Here’s hoping they add another to the collection this weekend! Go Lions Go.

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