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The Canadian Go Association is the governing body in Canada for the game of Go. It is affiliated with the International Go Federation in Tokyo.

There are clubs in many Canadian cities, large and small. Newcomers and beginners are always welcome.

The Canadian Go Association sponsors and sanctions tournaments and selects participants to represent Canada at the World Amateur Go Championship, the Prime Ministers Cup, the International Pairs’ Tournament, the World Youth Tournament and other international tournaments.

In addition the CGA promotes the growth of Go within Canada through the labour of CGA volunteers and grants.


The game of Go came to Canada over 100 years ago from a number of different sources. First, Japanese immigrants from Japan and California brought the game along the West Coast. Second, a European engineer names Edward Laker, who studied at a German University learned to play Go from Japanese students who also studied in Germany. Edward later came to North America where he spread the game in both Canada and US. Third, in 1929 a small group of Chinese Go players gathered at YMCA in Montreal. Between 1935 and 1938, Go was introduced at McGill University by Harry Schwartz, who, in 1948, founded the Montreal Go Club. There are details on the history of the Montreal Go club here. Meanwhile, the American Go Association (AGA) was formed in 1934. The AGA began to publish their quarterly Go Journal in 1949, which was circulated in both the US and Canada. In the late 1930s, John Williams made acquaintance with Mr. Laker in New York and started fervent activities between Go players in New York for 15 years. In 1952, Mr. Adachi Tadashi, then President of Nihon Ki-in and also the Finance Minister in the Japanese Cabinet, started friendly visits, periodically with professional players to New York. After 1960, a number of those visits were extended to Canada. In the province of Manitoba, following the lead of John Williams, in 1953, a small group of people in the Mathematics Department trying to computerize the game. In Hamburg, Mr. and Mrs. Williams maintained their Go contacts by playing at the Japanese Consulate. In 1959, after returning to Canada, Mr. Williams and his Go friends formed the Toronto Go Club. In the mid-1960’s, Mr. and Mrs. Williams witnessed the start of the London Go Club (England) by John Barrs. In 1969, the club grew into the British Go Association. Late in the 1960’s, Dr. Yoshio Tsuchiya, started the Ottawa Go Club. In 1970, the three fervent Go promoters : Tsuchiya, Schwartz, and Williams founded the Canadian Go Association (Canadian Go Association), a loose federation of all clubs across Canada. Cross-border visits between New York and Toronto were frequent and the Toronto’s mid-winter tournament turned into the first Canadian Open Championship in 1978, where the winner represented Canada at the first World Amateur Go Championship (held in Tokyo the following spring). To this date, the Canadian Open Championship tournament is always held on labour-day week-end, and is still a great occasion for Canadians to compete for many titles and representations. To help communication among Go players across Canada (in the late 1970’s), the Canadian Go Association published newsletters which later expanded into the existing Canadian Go Gazette. Go has taken a firm hold in the major Canadian cities with their own local clubs. Canadians participate in many international tournaments:

the World Amateur Go Championship
the World Amateur Women Go Championship
the World Youth Wei-Chi (Goe) Championship
several others at the continental (North American) level.

The World Youth Championship, in particular, prompted the teaching of Go, started with Ottawa Chinese Go Club and later many other clubs, to youngsters. The age range of the Go players dropped down to 8-10 years old, and in many of the local tournaments the trophy winners are in the 12-18 age group. With this teaching initiative, we envision a bright future for Go in Canada.

Chuck Elliott has added a writeup of Go history in Alberta 1970-2008.