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BMO Financial Group

October 06, 2011 07:30 ET

BMO Gets on Board with Travelling Memorial to Canada's Heroes

- Cross-country Portraits of Honour National Tour pays tribute to Canada's fallen soldiers

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 6, 2011) - In keeping with its history of supporting Canadian men and women in uniform, BMO today announced its sponsorship of four new tour stops of the Portraits of Honour mural, which features hand-painted portraits of the 157 Canadian soldiers, sailors and aircrew who lost their lives while serving in Afghanistan.

Artist Dave Sopha from Cambridge, Ont. created the 10 by 40-foot oil painted mural; he has partnered with service club Kin Canada to mount a cross-country tour with stops at over 100 locations, allowing Canadians to view and pay tribute to the troops depicted in the mural. Beyond honouring our troops, organizers hope to raise over $1.5 million for the Military Families Fund and established military charities to assist families of the fallen and military personnel who return home with physical or emotional injuries. Organizers will also seek to fund other charities who offer additional troop and family support that falls outside of the Military Families Fund mandate.

The Portraits of Honour National Tour officially started with a special unveiling of the mural by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Canada's Governor General, in Kitchener, Ontario on May 29, 2011.

Since then, it has been touring across Canada in a specialized mobile display trailer visiting the hometowns of our fallen heroes along with several other high profile events. During a specially requested stop in Calgary, the mural captured the international spotlight when Their Royal Highnesses, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, took time to lay a special wreath at the foot of the mural in honour of our fallen troops.

The following BMO-sponsored tour stops have been added:

Fredericton/Oromocto, NB - October 7-8
Halifax, NS - November 4 & 5
Valcartier, QC - November 9
Ottawa, ON - November 10-12

"BMO is proud to take part in this memorial of the members of our troops who have honourably and dutifully served the country," said Susan Brown, Senior Vice President, Ontario Regional Division, BMO Bank of Montreal. "This is a great initiative that not only pays tribute to Canada's heroes, but also raises funds for charities that support their families as well as military personnel who return home with physical or emotional injuries. It is an excellent way for us to acknowledge, pay tribute and thank Canadian soldiers for all the work they do."

Portraits of Honour Chairman, Roger Hebblethwaite is proud to have BMO as a partner. "Since 1817, BMO has helped shape Canada into the great country that is renowned as one of the greatest and certainly safest in the world. To have them come forward as a sponsor of the Portraits of Honour National Tour is very fitting, but moreover, BMO will help to make a measurable difference in the lives of many of the brave men and women who proudly serve in our Canadian Forces and to the families who remain behind supporting them," said Mr. Hebblethwaite.

About Portraits of Honour

A joint initiative of artist Dave Sopha, Kin Canada and the Kin Canada Foundation, the Portraits of Honour National Tour is centred on a 10' x 40' oil painted mural featuring the hand painted portraits of the 157 Canadian soldiers, sailors and aircrew who have lost their lives while serving in Afghanistan.

For more information, visit www.portraitsofhonour.ca.

About BMO and Canadian Defence Community

BMO has a long history of supporting national defence efforts. During the First World War, BMO established temporary branches to pay troops at various encampments throughout Canada, and overseas Canadian officers were paid through the bank's Waterloo Place office in London. During the Second World War, BMO's president George Spinney headed the National War Finance Committee, which oversaw the sales of Victory Loan bonds. In the mid-1950s, Bank of Montreal opened branches at Canada Air Force and Army bases in France and Germany.

In recent years, BMO has initiated various efforts in support of the defence community, including the Canadian Military Mural Mosaic created by artist Lewis Lavoie, which is permanently installed at the Military Museums in Calgary. The project raised over $500,000 for the museum's capital campaign, with the help of individuals who sponsored panels. BMO also sponsors the annual Canada Army Run where thousands of Canadians and military personnel fundraise for Soldier On and the Military Families Fund, which provide direct assistance to ill or injured soldiers and military families.

BMO Bank of Montreal is the official bank of the Defence Community in partnership with Canadian Defence Community Banking (CDCB). CDCB is specifically designed for the Defence Community and offers cost-effective banking plans with unique features tailored to the military lifestyle and needs.

For more information, visit www.cdcb.ca.

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