Canada Soccer announces 2024 TELUS Canadian Championship Format

Canada Soccer confirms the format, key dates, and draw details for the 2024 TELUS Canadian Championship

Featuring fourteen clubs, including reigning winners Vancouver Whitecaps FC and three first-time participants, the 2024 TELUS Canadian Championship is set to kick off this April as clubs compete across four rounds in the annual “Battle of the North” for the right to be crowned Canadian Champion and raise the Voyageurs Cup.

2024 Competition Format & Schedule

The 2024 TELUS Canadian Championship will be played across nineteen total matches culminating with the Final in late September. The fourteen participating clubs represent five different leagues: Major League Soccer (MLS), Canadian Premier League (CPL), League1 BC (L1BC), League1 Ontario (L1O), and Ligue1 Québec (L1Q).

The opening stage Preliminary Round will be played in a single-match format with twelve clubs entering into West and East regionalized brackets. The six Preliminary Round matches will be played between 23 April and 1 May.

The six winning clubs from the Preliminary Round will advance to the Quarter-Final stage where they will join 2023 champions Vancouver Whitecaps FC and 2023 finalists CF Montréal who receive first round byes. The Quarter-Final phase will be played in a two-match home and away series format with matches scheduled throughout the month of May.

The four remaining clubs will advance to the Semi-Final stage which will also be contested in a two-match home and away format, with the first leg played between 9-10 July and the second leg played 27-28 August.

The 2024 TELUS Canadian Championship Final will be played as single match on 24 or 25 September.

2024 Competition Draw

The official Preliminary Round draw for the 2024 TELUS Canadian Championship will be completed on Friday 23 February with representatives from all participating clubs invited to attend and participate in the virtual closed-door draw process.

The 14 Canadian clubs will be drawn from different pots with knock-out matches to be played across the First Round (12 clubs) and the two-legged Quarter-Final (eight clubs).

Clubs will be placed in the following pots for the Preliminary Round draw:

Western Clubs (3): Pacific FC, Vancouver FC, Cavalry FC, ​
Western Non-Hosting Clubs (2): ​ ​ Valour FC, Victoria Highlanders FC
Eastern Clubs* (5): Forge FC, York United FC, Atlético Ottawa, Toronto FC, Halifax Wanderers FC ​
East Semi-Pro Clubs (2): Simcoe County Rovers, CS St-Laurent ​ ​
*One club from the Eastern Clubs pot will be drawn over to the West to balance the pots, to ensure six clubs in both the East and West brackets. ​

2023 Finalists* (2): Vancouver Whitecaps FC, CF Montréal ​ ​
*The 2023 Finalists will receive byes through to the Quarter-Final stage, with the Vancouver Whitecaps FC placed into the West bracket and CF Montréal placed into the East bracket.

Specific parameters have been added to the draw to achieve the following competition goals:

  • Regionalization is maintained throughout the Preliminary and Quarter-Final Rounds as best as possible
  • The Club drawn from the East Pot into the West Group will automatically play Valour FC in the Preliminary Round (the Eastern-most Club in the West Group)
  • Semi-Professional Clubs are ineligible to play against one another in the Preliminary Round

Following the completion of the Preliminary and Quarter-Final Rounds, Canada Soccer will conduct a secondary draw to determine the matchups for the Semi-Final Round and determine the Host Club for the Final Match. This additional draw has been added to remove structural regionalization for the Semi-Final and Final rounds of the competition.

Competition Hosting Duties & the 2024 TELUS Canadian Championship Club Ranking Index

For the first time, Canada Soccer has introduced a TELUS Canadian Championship Club Ranking Index in 2024. The Ranking Index is based on the last three editions of the competition (2021, 2022, 2023), with the 2023 edition of the competition weighted the heaviest. The Index will be used to determine the allocation of hosting duties for the Preliminary through Semi-Final Rounds. ​

Further, the team drawn from the West pot to join the East pot will automatically host Valour FC (the Eastern-most team in the West group) in the Preliminary Round to ensure regionalization as best as possible.

For the Preliminary Round, the highest ranked club in the match-up will host the single match. For the Quarter-Final and Semi-Final rounds, both of which will be played as two-match home and away series, the lower-ranking club will host the first leg of the series, with the higher-ranking club hosting the second leg of the series.

Following the completion of the Quarter-Final stage, a secondary draw will determine both the Semi-Final matchups, as well as which Semi-Final series winner will go on to host the Final Match. The Ranking Index will not be used to determine the Host of the Final Match, allowing every club within the competition the chance to host. ​

Professional Clubs in Membership of Canada Soccer are ranked in positions one (1) through eleven (11). Points are awarded for performance in the Quarter-Final, Semi-Final, and Final Rounds, with 0 points awarded to Clubs who do not advance out of the Preliminary Round. The Quarter-Final, Semi-Final, and Final combined record is used for tie-breaking. ​ ​

1. Vancouver Whitecaps FC ​

2. CF Montréal ​

3. Toronto FC ​

4. Pacific FC ​

5. Forge FC ​

6. York United FC ​

7. Cavalry FC ​

8. HFX Wanderers FC ​

9. Atlético Ottawa ​

10. Valour FC ​

11. Vancouver FC ​

Semi-Professional Clubs are ranked in positions twelve (12) through fourteen (14). The ranking is assigned to the respective League rather than to a club, as it is based on the results of all previous league representatives. Points are awarded for performance in the Preliminary Round, and combined score records are used for tie-breaking ​

12. Representative of League1 British Columbia (Victoria Highlanders FC) 

13. Representative of Ligue1 Québec (CS St-Laurent) ​

14. Representative of League1 Ontario (Simcoe County Rovers) ​

About the TELUS Canadian Championship ​ ​
​Canada Soccer’s TELUS Canadian Championship, also known as the Battle of the North, is the nation’s highest men’s domestic competition featuring clubs from coast to coast across the country, notably professional teams in Major League Soccer and the Canadian Premier League as well as league winners in League1 BC, League1 Ontario and Ligue1 Québec. Winners of the 2024 TELUS Canadian Championship lift the Voyageurs Cup and qualify to the annual international competition, ​ Concacaf Champions Cup. Winners of the ​ Concacaf Champions Cup qualify for the FIFA Club World Cup.