Sunday, 29 May 2016


As I have mentioned before in an earlier post relating to the Saskatchewan Roughrider's 1989 Collector Series , posters are one of the most ephemeral of ephemera for a variety of reasons and as such relatively few survive long and that means many are forgotten and uncatalogued. This post will examine a few of the posters that have come to light since the publication of Collecting Canadian Football Volumes 1 and 2. All of these will hopefully make their way into a catalogue update or one of the proposed Volumes 3 or 4 at some point in the future. 

Early 1970's Generic Saskatchewan poster at left and
 early or mid 1970's B.C. Lions team helmet poster at right

The Roughrider poster is probably (but not certainly) unique to that franchise as it was issued by Al Benecick Enterprises which would obviously have been a venture of Hall of Famer Roughrider player Al Benecick. His career lasted until 1969 so the seventies date assignment is an educated guess. This item bounced around ebay for a while before finding a home. The Lions helmet poster is one of three western team half size posters that were on ebay a few years back, all western teams so presumably a set of 5 were available at one time. Nice item and unusual to see the single bar helmet graphic of this era facing left instead of right.

Late 1970's All-Pro Countdown poster at left and
close up of some of the player vignettes at right 

All-Pro countdown was a sponsored promotion of General Tire in the late seventies and various promotional items were produced in conjunction with a weekly TV show where CFL stars would compete in physical football related challenges, hosted by then CFL play-by-play TV announcer Pat Marsden. Interestingly the small player images obviously all come from the same posed photographic sessions and some of these exact same images (only wider in scope) were used for the extremely rare Nalley's 1976 Chips cards for the Calgary and Edmonton players.

Rothmans 1981 CFL Stars poster in English at left and
same Rothmans 1981 Les Etoiles LCF in French at right 

Gotta love tobacco sponsored issues and the above pictured Rothmans posters were issued in both French and English as standalone posters on white glossy stock (above left) and as center pages on magazine newsprint (above right) and for multiple years so there are lots of variations to collect of this interesting uncatalogued issue.

Late 80's or possibly early 90's Hamilton Tiger-Cats Molson Cup poster at left and
mid or late 80's Toronto Argonauts action poster at right

While a lot of poster action happened out west the Eastern teams were not completely dormant as the above two team specific items show. The Molson Cup was promoted for every team (and hockey teams, of course) so there many be similar or related posters available for the other CFL franchises but the Toronto poster was probably team issued. Whether the players represent recognizable athletes or are completely generic, has not been elaborated yet. 

CBC Winnipeg Blue Bombers 1992 Get On-Side poster at left and
CBC Calgary Stampeders 1993 In Your Face! poster at right

CBC issued at least two promotional poster sets celebrating their participation in CFL broadcasting in the early nineties. I have seen posters of these designs for other teams as well so presumably both sets include items for each franchise.

CFL 1994 All-Star Ski Team poster at left and
Family Funfest 1995 Grey Cup Activity poster at right

Sometimes CFL posters are not at all what you might expect as the multi sponsor Ski poster nicely illustrates. The Grey Cup activity poster shows the league at its all time maximum franchise level (13) that is certainly not likely to be surpassed anytime this century or possibly not in the next either. One notable aspect that has not yet found its way into any of the Collecting Canadian Football volumes are the official Grey Cup posters that were produced for each season's championship game from an indeterminate year forwards.

2000s Reebok What's Your Colour? League Wide promotional poster at top
2000's or early 2010's Reebok Reediscover Saskatchewan Roughriders poster at bottom

Some of the more difficult to get your hands on posters are those issued starting earlier this century by the league's promotional equipment and jersey partners.These were typically displayed at team stores and promotional league events and besides the posters there were other types of ephemera made over numerous years of the sponsorships. These sets and items are not well documented at the present time. The pictures above are not to scale and the Durant is a much larger stand-up style of hard backed poster than the top item.

2014 Geroy Simon B.C. Lions tribute night poster at left and
2014 Nick Moore Winnipeg Blue Bombers Co-op promotional poster at right

Player specific posters are also still being produced, but you have to be at the right place at the right time if you want to score them for free. The Simon poster was handed out at a specific Geroy Simon night at B.C. place stadium after he had retired and the Moore poster was part of a set of promotional items manufactured to popularize specific co-op products in a program that has been running in the west for three or four years now and spans all of the prairie teams where co-op grocery stores operate.

One thing is for sure, even in this digital age CFL posters continue to proliferate, and when you see one it will be here today and gone tomorrow.