BMO Bank of Montreal Donates Former Prince George Branch to UNBC

October 21, 2005 for immediate release
BMO Bank of Montreal today announced the donation of its former Prince George branch building to the University of Northern British Columbia.  The value of the land and building, located in the heart of Prince George’s downtown on the corner of 3rd Avenue and Quebec Street, is $500,000.

The building will be known as UNBC Downtown BMO Bank of Montreal Centre. It will house a number of researchers, the Alumni Association, the UNBC Foundation, and the University’s Development Office.
BMO Bank of Montreal
has played a key role in the establishment and development of UNBC since its inception – providing financial support over the years to the start-up capital campaign, an Aboriginal scholarships endowment fund, the DNA sequencer for genetic research, and construction of the Bentley Centre. Just this summer, BMO Financial Group donated $150,000 to the Northern Medical Programs Trust to support the education and retention of physicians in northern communities.

“The donation of BMO’s branch building to UNBC fits in perfectly with our commitment to the Prince George community, UNBC’s need to expand, and the City of Prince George’s downtown revitalization plans,” said Richard Rudderham, Senior Vice President, BMO Bank of Montreal for BC and Yukon Division.  “It’s a win-win-win situation all around, and we are very pleased to continue to have our name associated with the downtown core,” added Mr. Rudderham.  

The building, which will undergo renovations by UNBC with planned occupancy in January of 2006, will continue to house a BMO Bank of Montreal automated banking machine for the convenience of customers working downtown.

At a “handing over of the keys” ceremony today, Dr. Charles Jago, UNBC President said, “This donation by BMO Bank of Montreal is most generous and comes at an opportune time since the university is facing a critical shortage of space on Cranbrook Hill.  The researchers and offices we’re locating downtown will serve to strengthen the link between UNBC and the community, and it’s our expectation that we’ll begin offering some classes downtown in the near future.”             
Bank of Montreal has had a downtown Prince George branch on the corner of 3rd Avenue and Quebec Street since 1919. The present building, built in 1952, was expanded twice - in 1963 and again in 1993.   The new branch building at 15th Avenue and Central Street, which opened in May of 2005 at a cost of $2.5 million, is a full service operation providing a complete range of personal and commercial financial services.  The opening of this new branch demonstrates BMO’s continued commitment to the people of Prince George and the surrounding northern communities.

Since 1817, BMO Financial Group has supported the principles of community reinvestment and corporate and social responsibility to the communities it serves.

BMO Financial Group contributed more than $29 million in corporate donations, sponsorships and events in 2004, supporting thousands of communities, charities and not-for-profit organizations in Canada.  BMO operates 140 branches in BC and employs some 2800 people in the province.

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