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BMO Financial Group Celebrates 200 Years Serving Montrealers

MONTREAL, Oct. 4, 2017 /CNW/ - As part of its bicentennial celebrations, BMO Financial Group today unveiled the BMO200 Fountain, a thank you to the people of Montreal and an acknowledgment of the bank's loyalty and contributions to the well-being of the Montreal community.

Since January 2017, BMO has been giving people a way to wish it forward for their friends, communities and one another. BMO's Wish it forward initiative has led to more than 25,000 wishes across the country being registered in the BMO wish universe, whether directly on the website, at the BMO200 fountain or at one of the BMO200 mini fountains travelling across the country.

A BMO homecoming with the BMO200 fountain

It is Montreal's turn to mark BMO's bicentennial on a grand scale. BMO will today unveil its 17-foot tall BMO200 Fountain at 1000 de la Gauchetière Street in downtown Montreal. More than 200 guests will take part in the celebration, to be attended by the Mayor of Montreal, Denis Coderre, Montreal Impact player Patrice Bernier, and President of BMO Financial Group, Quebec, L. Jacques Ménard. The event will be hosted by Alain Choquette and will feature a performance of musicians from the Orchestre symphonique de Montreal.

"Montreal is our home and the BMO200 Fountain symbolizes the hopes and wishes we have for everyone in the community," said L. Jacques Ménard, President of BMO Financial Group, Quebec.

"Bank of Montreal is Canada's first bank and has played an important role in the economic development of our community," said Mr. Coderre. "On behalf of the City and all Montrealers, I congratulate BMO for achieving this important milestone."

The BMO200 fountain pays homage to the past by combining 50,000 flip dots – reminiscent of those once used in railway station arrival-departure boards – with state-of-the-art digital technology that animates the fountain when people interact with it. This larger-than-life kinetic structure reflects the Bank's commitment to innovation and its ongoing quest to find new ways to reach customers.

A wish fulfilled

Over the year, BMO has granted a number of wishes as part of BMO's Wish it forward initiative. Another has been added to the list – Caroline Gleason's wish was to arrange for her mother Rachelle's dragon boat team of breast cancer survivors, the West Island Dragons, to have a new logo for the team. Dragon boat racing is much more than a simple sport or physical fitness training for these women: it represents endurance and perseverance. Indeed, the West Island Dragons have been rowing to fight breast cancer for 14 years now.

BMO heard Caroline's wish and set out to create a logo, developed by BMO's own creative team, that clearly represented what and who the West Island Dragons are.

"We were so surprised and grateful for BMO helping make this wish come true," said Rachelle Audet. "Not only did they create a logo for us, but also an identity that represents us as a strong, resilient and unified team."

Caroline's wish is the second to be realized in Quebec. The first was that of Sept-Îles resident Caroline Dubé. She wished that all the synchronized swimmers of the Sept-Îles club Les Astérides could have a professional trainer so that the team members, including her daughter, will be well positioned for success and gain the confidence needed to push their limits. Olympic synchronized swimmers Tracy Little and Karine Thomas were selected to be the trainers, as they are role models for the younger swimmers.

Montreal's turn to wish it forward

With the installation and unveiling of the BMO200 fountain, BMO Financial Group invites all Montrealers, young and old, to come out and share their wishes. From October 4 to November 3, 2017, fountain visitors can make their wishes at on any Internet-enabled device and are invited to share their experiences on their social networks using the hashtag #BMO200.

To learn more about Rachelle's story, please click here.

About BMO Financial Group
Established in 1817, and currently marking its 200th year of operations, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified financial services provider based in North America. With total assets of $709 billion as of July 31, 2017, and more than 45,000 employees, BMO provides a broad range of personal and business banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.

Twitter: @BMOmedia

SOURCE BMO Financial Group

For further information: Media Contact: Valérie Doucet, Montreal,, 514-877-8224

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