In the spring of 2003, I traveled to Europe where I took in four football matches at four stadiums over the course of a week. It was a collection of experiences that transformed my understanding of the role football supporters play to lift their sides to victory. The singing, chanting, clapping, flag waving, pyro, and overall unity of the fans was infectious. I had never experienced anything like it before in the various North American sporting events I had attended, but I knew I wanted it to be a part of soccer in Canada.
I was also aware that I could hope for this to just happen or I could try and play a role to make it happen. Fast forward a few weeks and my spouse and I were attending our first A-League game of the year at Swangard in Burnaby. Instead of sitting in the grandstand, we went behind the goal in the south end of the stadium where the most passionate of local supporters had already been congregating for a few seasons. They were actively supporting in a number of the ways I had witnessed across the pond.
I am not typically a nervous person nor do I mind meeting and getting to know people who had previously been strangers. However, on this occasion I was at least a bit apprehensive. What took place next alleviated any fears I was doing my utmost to conceal and set a new trajectory for my involvement with the sport of football and the culture that surrounds it. A couple – Nazz and Minna – approached my wife and I and introduced themselves to us and began to share a bit of who they were. Over the course of the remaining matches that season we got to know them much better and they helped us get to know most of the others who called the Southside home and become a part of this unique fraternity. I am continually grateful to Nazz and Minna for going out of their way to include us in this community of supporters. All it took was their willingness to extend a welcoming invitation.
Canadian soccer has never been more welcoming and attractive to new supporters than it is right now and it continues to reach new heights. We continue to develop and discover exciting players like Jonathan David, Jesse Fleming, Jordyn Huitema, and Alphonso Davies – to name a few. The Canadian women’s national team won the Gold Medal at the 2020 Olympics, the Canadian men’s national team is co-hosting the 2026 World Cup and giving their all to qualify for the 2022 version of the tournament, and our domestic League, the Canadian Premier League, continues to grow in both quality and quantity. As of today, the League has extended both its quality and quantity as it has announced the advent of its 9th member club. This club will take root in the communities of Vancouver and the Fraser Valley here in the lower mainland of BC. It is my hope that those roots will grow deep and strong.
The formation of a new football club is a special moment that brings with it many possibilities. One element of this is the creation of a new community that will shape the supporter culture that will spur the team on to achieve its goals on and off the pitch. To that end a number of people are coming together to form Fraser Valley Fanatics.
This name and logo are ones that may be augmented or altered as things progress and the club identity takes shape. Fraser Valley was chosen because this is meant to be a team for the region, but once a home for the side is established that part of the name could change. The Fanatics was selected as this is a term used in various parts of the footballing world to describe passionate supporters who do all they can to actively support their players and club in a variety of ways. The short form of this term is “fans” which is commonly used in this part of the world to refer to those who love their team and its players.
Like the name, the logo you see here is likely to change with time, especially as our club makes decisions about the colours that will represent it. Flexibility will be essential as the framework of the club is established and the structure and focus of this supporter movement is simultaneously solidified.
Is this a community you would like to be a part of? I am not Nazz or Minna, but I do hope you receive this welcome to be a part of community in the same spirit they offered it to my family so many years ago. Please take this as an invitation to get involved in the early stages of the supporter culture that will be central to what this club is all about. To do so, comment in the section below, follow us on Twitter (@FV_Fanatics), or send us an email email@example.com.