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BMO Announces Partnership for 50th Anniversary of Arts Club Theatre Company in Vancouver

- Canadian iconic cultural theatrical treasure celebrates its 50th season

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwired) -- 04/04/13 -- BMO Financial Group, Canada's first bank, today announced its sponsorship of Arts Club Theatre Company's 50th season of production at an official launch celebration in Vancouver.

The Arts Club, Western Canada's largest theatre company, also announced its 2013-2014 season line-up of 14 productions at its three Vancouver theatres - the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, the Granville Island Stage and the Revue Stage.

In celebration of the Arts Club's 50th anniversary, BMO committed to provide sponsorship funding to be the Season 50 Partner. The commitment includes sponsorship of a mixed-media, world premiere of the highly anticipated play, Helen Lawrence, written by Chris Haddock and Stan Douglas and directed by Kim Collier and Stan Douglas.

"This partnership fits in nicely with BMO's major contributions to arts and culture, and in particular theatre, across Canada," said Nada Ristich, Director of Corporate Donations for BMO Financial Group. "BMO's support for theatre touches on many regions in the country, from Montreal's Sibyllines Theatre and the Stratford Festival in southern Ontario to Bard on the Beach in Vancouver. This Season 50 Partnership with Arts Club Theatre Company is one of BMO's most significant single season theatre sponsorships in our history."

"The support for arts and culture, including live theatre, is a valuable and vital component of our giving program in British Columbia," said Joanne Gassman, Senior Vice President, BC & Yukon, BMO Bank of Montreal. "We are very pleased therefore to be the Arts Club's Season 50 Partner. We commend The Arts Club for their half century of locally written, produced and acted productions that have captivated and entertained scores of audiences."

One of the country's truly iconic cultural treasures, Arts Club Theatre Company has devoted the past five decades to presenting popular, entertaining, award-winning and culturally significant theatrical works - all while surviving and thriving in economically challenging times.

"We are so pleased that BMO Financial Group, which has been an annual production sponsor for many years and a corporate donor, has stepped up to be our Season 50 Partner," said Howard R. Jang, Executive Director, Arts Club Company.

"In fact, we provided BMO with 'Blue Room' naming for the traditional Green Room - where actors meet and relax before going on stage - to honour their gift to the capital campaign for the Granville Island Stage's renovation," added Jang.

About BMO in British Columbia

BMO has been serving customers in British Columbia for over 126 years; the first Bank of Montreal branch in the province opened in Vancouver in 1887, two years after bank vice-president Lord Strathcona drove in the Last Spike of the CPR. The 3,000 employees are dedicated to making BMO the bank that defines great customer experience, serving British Columbians through 118 branches.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $542 billion as at January 31, 2013, and more than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

BMO Financial Group believes in community reinvestment and corporate and social responsibility in the communities it serves. In 2012, BMO contributed more than $87.6 million in donations, sponsorships and events in Canada and the United States to groups, organizations and programs that help build and sustain resilient, vital and healthy communities.

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