- One player from each CFL team nominated for the 2023 Jake Gaudaur Veterans’ Award
- Award ceremony to be held on November 16 at Fallsview Casino & Resort, part of the 2023 Grey Cup Festival
- The award embodies virtues like strength, courage, and community involvement, inspired by its namesake Jake Gaudaur
The Canadian Football League (CFL) has announced its 2023 nominees for the Jake Gaudaur Veterans’ Award. The annual honor, which dates back to 2010, commemorates Canadian players who resonate with the values of Canadian veterans such as courage, strength, perseverance, comradeship, and community contribution. The award is a tribute to the late Jake Gaudaur, a Second World War veteran and the longest-serving Commissioner in CFL history.
The committee responsible for choosing the recipient comprises notable figures including Robert Loken and Jeff Thompson from Veterans Affairs Canada, Glen Suitor of CFL ON TSN, Brian Ramsay, the Executive Director of the CFL Players’ Association, and CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie.
The winner will be declared on November 16 at the CFL Awards ceremony, located at Fallsview Casino & Resort in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The announcement will be part of the broader 2023 Grey Cup Festival running from November 13-19, offering a week of over 40 varied events. The festival culminates in the 110th Grey Cup at Hamilton’s Tim Hortons Field on November 19.
Honoring Outstanding Contributions: The Nominees
ANDREW PEIRSON – BC LIONS
Peirson, in his fifth year with the BC Lions, demonstrates strong leadership skills through his team-building activities, commitment to anti-racism initiatives, and extensive community outreach involving over 500 school visits and charity work.
J-MIN PELLEY – EDMONTON ELKS
Pelley has faced personal tragedy but returned as a stronger community and locker room leader. He is a dedicated supporter of Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation and Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services.
CHARLIE POWER – CALGARY STAMPEDERS
Power has shown resilience and a solid work ethic, especially after recovering from an Achilles injury. He actively contributes to Kids Up Front, Brown Bags for Kids, Calgary Food Bank, and Canadian Blood Services.
BRAYDEN LENIUS – SASKATCHEWAN ROUGHRIDERS
Lenius battled severe injuries to remain an active part of the team and community. He travels across Saskatchewan to educate youth on mental well-being and healthy relationships while supporting football development programs.
BRADY OLIVEIRA – WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS
Oliveira excels on the field and is a strong locker room presence. He, along with his partner, has saved over 1,500 dogs and continues to contribute to animal rescue initiatives.
SEAN THOMAS ERLINGTON – HAMILTON TIGER-CATS
Thomas Erlington has overcome career-limiting injuries to serve as a locker room leader and community advocate. He is active in anti-bullying programs and local football coaching initiatives.
DEIONTE KNIGHT – TORONTO ARGONAUTS
Knight has played every game this season and maintains a strong commitment to self-improvement and mentorship. He has also engaged with Indigenous communities and participated in youth football clinics.
JACKSON BENNETT – OTTAWA REDBLACKS
Bennett provides a calm presence in the locker room despite facing injuries. He and his wife actively support various team and community initiatives.
RÉGIS CIBASU – MONTREAL ALOUETTES
Cibasu is a dedicated team player, frequently organizing activities for team bonding. He remains involved in community outreach, specifically in the Pointe Saint-Charles neighborhood.
While the competition is fierce, each nominee is a testament to the qualities Jake Gaudaur so valued. As we lead up to the award ceremony and the much-anticipated 110th Grey Cup, the stories of these remarkable athletes offer a compelling narrative of resilience, leadership, and community service.
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