Schenley Awards, emblematic of excellence in Canadian professional football, were originally created to honour the most outstanding player in the CANADIAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE in 1953. That year Billy Vessels of the Edmonton Eskimos became the first recipient. New categories were added in 1954 (most outstanding Canadian player) and 1955 (most outstanding defensive player). In 1972 another category was added, the most outstanding rookie, and the most outstanding offensive lineman category was included in 1974.
Russ JACKSON was 3 times outstanding player and 4 times outstanding Canadian. Jackie PARKER was also outstanding player 3 times, while Calgary Stampeder Wayne HARRIS was 4 times outstanding defensive player. The winners are chosen by members of the Football Reporters of Canada. Schenley left the sponsorship of the awards in 1988.