Since 2000 I have worked closely with Howard Kelsey. His inspiring vision and initiative to support people, values and sports in our world has been remarkable. The link below summarizes our foundation’s contributions to our society.
Canada One Athletic Foundation (KitsFest Video)
The Canada One Athletic Foundation (formerly The Metro Vancouver Basketball Foundation: “MVBF”) was founded in the year 2000, initially to launch Vancouver’s premier high school pre-season basketball tournament each December.
We have been very fortunate to be blessed with some exceptional Board and staff members, numerous Canadian Olympians / National team members, Hall of Famers and civic leaders serving our organization since inception.
HSBC Bank, Canada, served as title sponsor of The Metro Vancouver HSBC Basketball Classic since inception in the year 2000. The HSBC Basketball Classic enjoyed unprecedented community support, media coverage, participation (over approx. 100 + teams annually) and attendance (virtual ‘sell outs’ on select occaisions at UBC’s War Memorial Gymnasium for our high school basketball Finals).
Our Foundation and this event is unique in many ways, including: Instituting that “all players must play in every game” since day one, ensuring that all team managers are eligible for all related scholarships. We award no MVP’s – rather, Most Outstanding Citizens are elected. Thirty + scholarships were awarded annually for citizenship, academics, community contribution and stated future goals (as opposed to pure athleticism: although athleticism is definitely appreciated and also rewarded).
Our Foundation secured well over one million dollars to support high school sport in B.C., including awarding over eight-hundred-thousand dollars in related scholarships to graduating B.C. high school seniors. Basketball Alberta and The Calgary High School Athletic Association adapted a similar HSBC Classic template and since 2006, have hosted The Calgary Higher Hoops HSBC Basketball Classic, awarding additional post secondary scholarships to Alberta graduating seniors.
In 2005, The BC Boys Basketball Association (BCHSBBA) approached our Foundation to secure the first title sponsor for The B.C. AAA Boys High School Provincial Basketball Championships. From 2006 – 2009, TELUS served as title sponsor of The TELUS-BCHSBBA AAA Boys Provincial Basketball Championships. In 2010, both The B.C. Boys AAA and The B.C. Girls AAA High School Provincial Basketball Championships have been Presented by TELUS. In 2013 TELUS announced a seventy-five thousand dollar annual commitment through our Foundation to serve as The Presenting sponsor of the B.C. Junior and Senior High School Boys and Girls Provincial Basketball Championships for all tiers (A, AA, AAA, and where applicable AAAA).
In 2007, our Foundation’s Senior V.P. and former National team member, Ron Putzi, and Founding Chairman and two-time Olympian, Howard Kelsey, donated funding to enable complete upgrades, including (Flexipave) resurfacing to the fabled Kitsilano Beach basketball courts. Looking to continue community contributions, but expand beyond basketball and into other positive community sports – and healthy living endeavors, MVBF was renamed in 2009 to: “The Canada One Athletic Foundation” and launched “KitsFest” (The Kitsilano Beach summer sports and healthy living festival on Vancouver’s most popular beach, “Kits Beach”: Rated by Forbes magazine as ‘one of the three sexiest beaches in North America’). KitsFest has enjoyed much success and community acceptance. The “Canada One Foundation” recently contributed to additional Kits Beach upgrades, including resurfacing of the (10) south Kits Beach tennis courts and other initiatives envisioned to dovetail with projected City / Park Board upgrades designed to enhance our beloved “Kits Beach”.
The Canada One Athletic Foundation was recognized with a Kitsilano Chamber of Commerce Westside Award of Distinction, as well as Sport B.C.’s President’s Award for outstanding contribution to sports (basketball) in our province.
Our Foundation’s motto is simply: “Under promise, over deliver”. We always look to support sport, kids and deserving coaches, healthy living and active lifestyle initiatives. To quote one of our cherished associates: We simply “give where we live”.
H. Kelsey with Lululemon Founder: Chip Wilson
Chip generously donated funds in support of Canada One’s KitsFest and Kits Beach upgrades (without solicitation).