We the West Basketball Festival is a one-of-a-kind, three-week festival celebrating the community and culture of basketball in Canada. Taking place throughout Victoria and the Capital Region from June 15 to July 4, 2021, fans of basketball in all of its forms, from sport to art to music and beyond, are invited to participate and celebrate together.
So how did We the West come to fruition? Back in 2019 (feels like years ago, doesn’t it?), a dedicated group of Victoria business and sport leaders secured the city’s bid to host the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament—a last-chance tournament for competing countries to earn a berth at the Tokyo Summer Games. Once the FIBA Tournament was confirmed, the idea to tie it into a larger celebration was conceived.
The six main elements within We the West Basketball Festival are:
- FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament
- Indigenous Basketball Tournament
- Capital City 3X3 Tournament
- Wheelchair Basketball Tournament
- Celebrate Canada & We the West Concert
- Outside the Lines: Court Mural Project
Originally scheduled for June 13-28, 2020, We the West Basketball Festival would have culminated yesterday with the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament Finals at a jam-packed Victoria Memorial Arena. Instead, today marks one year until the tournament tips off in 2021.
We recognize the myriad of challenges that may lay ahead—both as a society and as a new festival in a time of recovery. As BC, Canada, and the world continue their work and fight against COVID-19, we will be working closely with governments and health authorities to ensure that guidelines are followed in order to provide safe environments and experiences for everyone involved.
In continuing to plan and organize this event over the next 12 months, Friends of Victoria Basketball hopes to unite a community on a path towards social and economic recovery for our region and beyond. Just as society has learned to adapt, this event inevitably will as well, in rising to meet the challenges that COVID-19 presents. And today, we invite you to come on this journey with us!
Just close your eyes and imagine this:
It’s early July, you’re sitting on a patio in Victoria’s Inner Harbour, and perhaps enjoying a cold beverage with your Capital City 3X3 Tournament teammates and friends, and you learn that Team Canada has just secured its spot in the Qualifying Tournament semifinals. You take another sip of your beverage as you hear the first band being introduced for the We the West Concert. You and your whole group head over to the show as another day of festival fun continues.
Sounds good, doesn’t it?