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The 2023 Canadian Championship will kick off April 18 with 14 clubs including the defending champion Vancouver Whitecaps and three first-time participants.

Canada Soccer says the four-round tournament features teams from Major League Soccer, Canadian Premier League, League1 BC, League1 Ontario and Quebec’s Premier League (Première ligue de soccer du Quebec or PLSQ).

New to the tournament are the CPL’s Vancouver FC, League1 BC’s TSS Rovers FC from Richmond, and Quebec’s FC Laval.

Returning clubs are: Vancouver, Toronto FC and CF Montreal from MLS; Pacific FC, Cavalry FC, Valour FC, Forge FC, York United FC, Atletico Ottawa and HFX Wanderers FC from the Canadian Premier League; and Vaughan SC Azzurri from League1 Ontario.

The official draw is scheduled for Jan. 31.

Vancouver and Toronto, as the 2022 champion and runner-up, will receive first-round byes.

The remaining 12 teams will play first-round matches April 18-20, with the quarter-finals scheduled for May 9-11, the semi-finals for May 23-25, and the final in early June.

The Canadian Championship winner gets to hoist the Voyageurs Cup as well as qualify for the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League, the elite club competition in the region.

Toronto has won the Canadian Championship eight times, compared with five for Montreal and twice for Vancouver.

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