FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Laurie Grant, BMO
BMO Bank of Montreal Takes the Lead,
Becoming the Title Sponsor of the Vancouver Marathon
VANCOUVER, December 20, 2005 – BMO Bank of Montreal has gone the extra mile
and made a five-year commitment with the Vancouver International Marathon
Society (VIMS) to be the title sponsor for the Vancouver Marathon,
beginning with the 2006 Marathon on Sunday, May 7.
"BMO is proud to become the title sponsor of Canada’s largest marathon. We
are looking forward to working with the Vancouver Marathon team to build on
the incredible success they have already achieved," said Richard Rudderham,
Senior Vice President, BC & Yukon, BMO Bank of Montreal. "My colleagues and
I at BMO share, in our own way, the commitment, passion and perseverance of
long distance runners and always seek to offer our customers exceptional
service and a unique experience," added Mr. Rudderham.
Now known as the BMO Bank of Montreal Vancouver Marathon, VIMS will
continue to operate a world class Marathon offering a fast marathon course
in one of the most beautiful urban settings. The BMO Bank of Montreal
Vancouver Marathon will attract both elite and recreational runners and
walkers for the Full, Half and the Canada Kids MaraFun.
Since its inception in 1972, the Vancouver Marathon has continually grown
in both size and scope. The event has evolved from a small community event
into not only Canada’s largest marathon, with over 15,000 participants, but
into one of Vancouver's most anticipated outdoor sporting and wellness
events with 50,000 spectators in 2005.
VIMS Chair, Paul Adams, said, “We are extremely pleased with BMO Bank of
Montreal’s long-term commitment to be the title sponsor of the Vancouver
Marathon. We see this as a great fit since both organizations are dedicated
to promoting health and wellness in our community and to recognizing those
individuals who strive to excel in their given sport.” Adams added, “With
BMO as title sponsor, adidas as presenting sponsor and the ongoing support
of all the other sponsors, the City of Vancouver and Tourism Vancouver, the
Marathon’s goal is to double the participation level to 30,000 by 2011.”
"BMO Bank of Montreal employees are ready to sign up to help the 2,000 plus
volunteers required to stage such a large event," said Rudderham. "We also
hope to have some BMO runners and walkers in the race. I plan on
participating and I’ll be encouraging BMO’s 3,000 employees in BC to join
The associated events with the BMO Bank of Montreal Vancouver Marathon
include a Healthy Nutrition and Wellness Expo at the Vancouver Convention &
Exhibition Centre, a Friendship Run and Flag Raising Ceremony, and a
Westcoast Salmon BBQ and Pasta Party for Marathon entrants.
The Vancouver International Marathon Society, a non-profit organization, is
a member of the Association of International Marathons and Road Races and
has been in existence for 35 years.
BMO Financial Group, Canada’s first bank, is a highly diversified financial
services organization that includes BMO Bank of Montreal, BMO Nesbitt
Burns, one of Canada's largest full-service investment firms, and
Chicago-based Harris, a major U.S. mid-west financial services provider.
BMO Financial Group has 3,000 employees in British Columbia and operates
140 BMO Bank of Montreal branches as well as six BMO Nesbitt Burns branches
and three BMO Harris Private Banking offices.
BMO Financial Group contributed $37.9 million in corporate donations,
sponsorships and events in 2005, supporting thousands of communities,
charities and not-for-profit organizations in Canada and the USA. Locally,
BMO provides major donations to organizations such as the United Way of the
Lower Mainland, BC Children’s Hospital, Simon Fraser University and the
University of British Columbia.