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July 22, 2015 13:10 ET

BMO Financial Group Contributes $1.5 Million to Vancouver's Cultural Community

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - July 22, 2015) -

Editors Note: There are two photos associated with this release.

BMO Financial Group today announced a $1.5 million contribution to The Arts Club Theatre Company and Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival. The donation will ensure the completion of construction of their new theatre facility, to be named BMO Theatre Centre. The new theatre is scheduled to open this fall at 162 West 1st Avenue, and will enable both organizations to serve the community while operating more effectively.

"We are truly grateful to these generous corporate citizens at BMO who have proven their vision and community leadership by helping us realize this dream project, which will enrich our arts community for years to come," said Claire Sakaki, Managing Director, Bard on the Beach. "With BMO's support, we can now inspire and entertain a broader cross-section of our community," continued Peter Cathie White, Executive Director, Arts Club Theatre Company.

The new BMO Theatre Centre will provide the Arts Club and Bard on the Beach with expanded possibilities for the development of new productions, as well as allowing both companies to grow their current education and training programs. The theatre will also be available for other non-profit arts organizations to rent at cost.

"Our contribution to the BMO Theatre Centre is the most significant theatre sponsorship we've made in B.C. and it greatly enhances our support for the staging of entertaining, culturally relevant, and award-winning local theatre in Vancouver," said Mike Bonner, Senior Vice-President, BC & Yukon, BMO Bank of Montreal. "This gift also fits in nicely with BMO Financial Group's support of arts and culture, and in particular theatre, across Canada."

BMO Financial Group has supported The Arts Club as a Presenting Sponsor through numerous productions over the 12-year relationship. In addition, BMO is the current Mainstage Naming Sponsor for Bard on the Beach and a longtime Education Program sponsor.

BMO Donations

For more than 195 years, BMO Financial Group has believed in community reinvestment and corporate and social responsibility in the communities it serves. In 2014, BMO contributed more than $57 million in community donations to charitable, not-for-profit and community based institutions and organizations that help build and sustain resilient, vital and healthy communities.

About The Arts Club

The Arts Club Theatre Company, founded in 1964, is the largest not-for-profit organization of its kind in Western Canada. Led by Artistic Managing Director Bill Millerd and Executive Director Peter Cathie White, it offers professional theatre at three venues-the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, Granville Island Stage, and Goldcorp Stage-as well as on tour throughout the province.

About Bard On The Beach

Bard on the Beach is Western Canada's largest not-for-profit professional Shakespeare festival. Established in 1990 and led by Artistic Director Christopher Gaze and Managing Director Claire Sakaki, Bard's mission is to perform, explore and celebrate the genius of William Shakespeare. The Festival is staged every summer in Vanier Park, surrounded by Vancouver's natural beauty. Bard also offers a variety of year-round educational programs serving children, youth and adults.

High-resolution images are available for download at www.artsclub.com/media. The username is journalist and the password is photos4media.

To view the photos associated with this release, please visit the following links:

http://www.marketwire.com/library/20150722-ACT-West-1st.jpg

http://www.marketwire.com/library/20150722-BMO-Theatre-Centre-Artists-Rendering.jpg

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