Lacrosse Canada SAM


By Pierre Filion

On May 24th 25th and 26th Lacrosse Canada will hold its semi-annual meeting in Montréal.  This meeting will be very important as it will allow the provinces and Lacrosse Canada to adopt the 2024-25 budget and make the needed changes to policies and the corporation’s goals and objectives if ever they are identified.

The approval of the 2024-25 budget could be the most important item on the agenda…if ever it’s on the agenda. As it could possibly not be!

At its 2023 annual meeting in Toronto, six months ago, Lacrosse Canada presented the members with two tentative budgets for the 2024-25 fiscal year starting July 1st. One proposal was ‘’bare bones’’ and the other ‘’very conservative’’. Both proposals were simply drafts as Lacrosse Canada lacked an important quantity of information, six months ago, and did not want the members to vote on budgets without having more information.

But that was six months ago. Today Lacrosse Canada must do more than an exercise in deceit and futility. But let’s allow ourselves to look at the conservative proposal of November last and see the takeaways from the budget proposal. It tells us much about Lacrosse Canada’s intent and relationships with the provinces.

For 2024-25, six months ago, Lacrosse Canada was looking at revenues of 1,510,039$ with the resources coming from the following sources:

  • Membership (the provinces)                              620,425$       (51.7%)
  • The membership will be contributing through membership fees, clinics, transfer fees, funding of meetings and national championships)
  • Sport Canada                                                        463,989$        (30.7%)
  • Lacrosse Canada (its own investment fund)   265,125$        (17.5%)

One can appreciate that this was a conservative effort but one needs to point out areas where Lacrosse Canada elected to not to act in order to show very limited revenues! The message to the members was….’’We are poor; we have no resources and we don’t want to talk about it, so pay up and take this budget for what it is; a conservative budget.’’

Revenues from:                2023 statement         2024 budget             2025 conservative budget

Lacrosse Foundation       495,725$                      530,912$                               0$

National Teams                220,268$                     166,317$                               0$

Sales                                     16,592$                       10,000$                               0$

Sponsors                                1,000$                         1,000$                                0$

Donations                                    0$                               0$                                   0$

It is highly incredible to believe that Lacrosse Canada had, six months ago, no plan to solicit support from the Lacrosse Foundation; had no intent of collecting monies from the National Teams; would receive no money from sales and sponsors and would have no strategy to increase revenues from donations. Clearly Lacrosse Canada was telling the members that it can’t do anything by itself! The Board of Directors (and the staff) can only generate revenues from the members and from Sport Canada. ‘’We are leaders but don’t count on us to raise money’’.

So OK Lacrosse Canada was looking at revenues of 1,510,039$; now what did it want to do with this money as part of a conservative strategy.

Areas of expenditures                          amount                   %

Administration and staff                      635,550$                42%

National Teams                                      500,000$                33.1%

National championships                      250,000$                16.5%         

Democratic life/meetings                      64,000$                 4.2%

Domestic development and                  27,989$                 1.8%


Let’s not be rude here but let’s not be blind either. Lacrosse Canada is a corporation where the staff administers an Office, runs National Teams and supports National championships. That’s about it. And this is paid for up to 51.7% by the provinces and 30.7% by Sport Canada…

Where are the enthusiastic and motivating programs supporting development, women’s lacrosse, increase in membership and penetration of the game within scholastic institutions.? Where are the programs indicating that ‘’we are growing the game together’’.

That was in November 2023; remember it was a conservative budget which was an exercise in futility and poor representation of self.

Now we are in May 2024; the fiscal year starts on July 1st. Surely the Board of Directors and the staff will have had time, in the last six months, to draft a functional, credible and developmental budget in which the provinces will see that there is something there for them. Because in the conservative budget presented in November 2023 anyone could have reasonably asked…’’What’s in it for the provinces?’’

The provinces, at the upcoming semi-annual meeting, should have a serious look at the 2024-25 budget (if it is presented) and see where the monies that they pump into Lacrosse Canada are being spent. Especially since that in 2025-26 they will pump in another extra 210,000$ in membership fees…

The main question, which will probably not be asked, is to clarify who leads Lacrosse Canada. Is it the Board of Directors or the provinces? Who reports to whom? Whose ideas and ideals are dominating the narrative and imposing the directions for the game?

Another question, formulated differently, could be the following. Is Lacrosse Canada a ‘’level of government’’ or ‘’an area of governance’’. Was Lacrosse Canada created by the provinces to act in areas where the provinces could not act collectively or was it created by the provinces in order to create a senior government governing the game above the junior governments (the provinces). How, in their wisdom could the provinces have elected to create a level of government where they would happily take on the role of junior governments being told what to do?

There is an urgent need for the provinces, in my mind, to be more active within the ‘’Members council’’ where they would together, and without Lacrosse Canada’s presence, articulate their needs and their demands if they feel that Lacrosse Canada is an area of governance. If they believe that Lacrosse Canada is a level of government they can then sit down and be told where to go.

This is going to be a very important weekend for the game. If someone speaks up, that is!