BMO Financial Group

BMO Financial Group
BMO Bank of Montreal

BMO Bank of Montreal

October 11, 2012 15:40 ET

MEDIA ADVISORY: BMO Bank of Montreal Celebrates 125th Anniversary of Vancouver Main Office Branch

- Vancouver Main Office Branch was the first bank BMO branch to open in British Columbia

- BMO celebrates 125th anniversary with the Vancouver Board of Trade

- Report on Outlook for Economy, Housing and Labour Market in Vancouver by BMO Economics forecast 60,000 new jobs by 2016

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Oct. 11, 2012) - BMO Bank of Montreal invites customers and members of the community to celebrate the 125th anniversary of its Vancouver Main Office Branch on Monday October 15, 2012.

"BMO Bank of Montreal, Canada's first bank, opened in British Columbia in 1887 when the population of Vancouver was approximately 10,000 people," said Jennifer Muench, Vice President, Vancouver, BMO Bank of Montreal. "Now, with more than 600,000 residents and a diverse and growing business sector, BMO is proud to be serving the financial needs of this community 125 years later."

The first branch opened on the corner of Hastings and Seymour, and later relocated to the Merchant's Bank Building on Granville Street following the acquisition of Merchant's Bank of Canada in 1922. The stately building was renovated and served as BMO's head office for B.C. until 1974. BMO's Vancouver Main Office Branch was then relocated to the Bank of Montreal Tower in the Bentall Centre at the corner of Burrard and Dunsmuir.

In addition to the celebrations, the Vancouver Board of Trade - a long time business partner of BMO - is also marking its 125th year in Vancouver.

"Our organization has worked closely with BMO for 125 years. Together, we have helped forge a community where businesses can succeed and thrive," said Iain Black, President and CEO of The Vancouver Board of Trade. "Our partnership with BMO is one of our longest-standing relationships, and it's one that we hope will flourish for years to come."

Derral Moriyama, Senior Vice President, Commercial Banking, Greater Vancouver District, BMO Bank of Montreal, noted that Vancouver continues to attract new Canadians and business investors.

"BMO Economics forecast 60,000 new jobs in Greater Vancouver by 2016. We do see a number of sectors exhibiting strength in B.C., including manufacturing, construction and engineering," said Mr. Moriyama. "As Canadians celebrate Small Business Week beginning October 15, we encourage businesses to get their share of the $10 billion in credit BMO has made available - giving them access to the capital they need to grow."

BMO Bank of Montreal Vancouver Main Branch 125th Anniversary Celebration Details:

When: Monday, October 15th, 2012, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. - brief speech and official cake cutting at 12:00 noon.
Where: BMO Bank of Montreal, 595 Burrard Street, Pavilion Building at the corner of Dunsmuir Street, Vancouver
What: 125th Anniversary Celebration - complimentary refreshments, cupcakes, and prizes
Who: Joanne Gassman, Senior Vice President, BC & Yukon
Jennifer Muench, Vice President, Personal Banking, Vancouver
Lela Dawson, Personal Banking Area Manager and
Derek Hsia and Susie Shin, Branch Managers, Vancouver Main Office, BMO Bank of Montreal

Media are invited to the 125th anniversary celebration and interviews can be arranged with BMO personnel. Historic photographs are available upon request.

BMO in Vancouver and British Columbia

BMO Financial Group's 3,000 employees in British Columbia are dedicated to making BMO the bank that defines great customer experience, serving customers through 118 BMO Bank of Montreal branches and several offices of BMO Nesbitt Burns and BMO Harris Private Banking.

BMO also provides significant financial support to education, health and social services and arts and culture in B.C. Locally, BMO has recently provided major donations to organizations such as Streetohome Foundation for a downtown Vancouver building to house people living with HIV/AIDS, Science World, Arts Umbrella in Surrey, Bard on the Beach, VGH Grandview Woodlands Community Health Centre, the United Ways of the province, BC Children's Hospital and our largest donation to date of $2.2 million to the University of British Columbia.

In British Columbia, BMO is the title sponsor of the Vancouver Marathon and, as the Official Bank of Soccer in Canada, a premier partner with Vancouver Whitecaps FC. BMO is also the Official Bank of the Canadian Hockey League, and sponsors Western Hockey League teams including: Kamloops Blazers, Kelowna Rockets, Kootenay Ice, Prince George Cougars, Vancouver Giants and Victoria Royals.

History of BMO in Vancouver

The branch opened in August, 1887 in a wooden building on the southeast corner of Hastings and Seymour. It was the first BMO branch west of the Rockies.

Campbell Sweeny - BMO's first branch manager in Vancouver - was a Director of a number of companies and a founding member of the Vancouver Board of Trade. In 1890 he spearheaded a committee that established the Vancouver Club and served on the Board of Governors for the University of British Columbia.

The branch moved to a new location at 580 Granville Street on the northeast corner of Granville and Dunsmuir in September 1893.

BMO purchased the assets of the Merchant's Bank of Canada in 1922 and later moved into the Merchant's Bank building on Granville Street. In 1924, the building was renovated by architect K.G. Rea. The grand banking hall showcased marble columns and ornate plaster work completed by famed local sculptor Charles Marega. The building is now the SFU Segal Graduate School of Business.

In 1974 the BMO branch moved to the present location on the corner of Burrard and Dunsmuir.

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