BMO Financial Group announces $500,000 Arts Umbrella Building Project contribution and three-year commitment to support Arts Umbrella Van Go and Stage Coach Program

On January 31, 2019, BMO Financial Group (BMO) joined Arts Umbrella at Lord Selkirk Annex School in Vancouver to announce a major new commitment in support of the re-construction of Arts Umbrella’s new home on Granville Island. A major sponsor since 1988, BMO has made a $500,000 contribution to Arts Umbrella’s Building Project, helping to ensure thousands of young people can fully express themselves through the arts and share their passion with the world.

BMO also announced a three-year title sponsorship of one of Arts Umbrella’s most vital community programs—the Van Go and Stage Coach Program—with a financial commitment of $75,000 per year.

For more than three decades, BMO has supported Arts Umbrella’s mission through regular contributions to its bursary fund and community programs, as well as the Arts Umbrella Dance Company. In 2012, BMO also played a crucial role in the establishment and development of Arts Umbrella’s Surrey locations, helping to bring high-quality arts education to this fast-growing community.

“We at BMO have always been a strong supporter of the arts and culture as they enrich and bring joy to people’s lives. This is why we are proud to give back to the community by contributing to the re-development of a new centre of excellence, which will promote the advancement of children’s education in the arts,” said Michael Bonner, Regional President, British Columbia & Yukon, BMO Financial Group. “Art is a source of happiness and inspiration, which can be found in many different forms. Our partnership with Arts Umbrella seeks to help young minds explore and discover their passion for the arts and we look forward to continuing it in the future.”

Opening in 2020, Arts Umbrella’s new core facility is a transformative opportunity to create a centre of excellence for children’s arts education in Canada, more than doubling the organization’s capacity with increased studio space, a publicly accessible exhibition gallery, 160-seat professional black box theatre, and new workshop spaces thanks to leading donors like BMO Financial Group.

“We are incredibly grateful to BMO Financial Group for their extraordinary contribution to the Arts Umbrella Building Project,” said Paul Larocque, President  & CEO of Arts Umbrella. “Their ongoing support in the community makes such a vital difference in creating equitable access to the arts for thousands of young people across Metro Vancouver.”

The BMO Van Go and Stage Coach Program offers free visual arts and theatre workshops to the children and communities in Metro Vancouver that would most benefit from them. Children ages five to 13 are given the opportunity to participate in 90-minute arts workshops. Arts Umbrella works with local school boards and school administrators to identify the communities most in need of these workshops. Over 23 schools participate in the program every year, ensuring equitable access to the arts for 3,450 young people in 138 classes.

Arts Umbrella’s New Location

  • The 50,000 net-square-foot building is located directly across from Arts Umbrella’s current core facility on Granville Island, at 1400 Johnston Street.
  • Award-winning architect Richard Henriquez, O.C. of Henriquez Partners Architects (HPA) will lead the renewal of this Patkau-designed building which was built in the early 1990s.
  • Renovations will create a purpose-built arts education facility that will include: 6 dance studios; 4 theatre and music studios; 8 visual, applied, and media arts studios; a 160-seat professional theatre; a publicly accessible exhibition gallery; and new workshop spaces.
  • We are projecting to open our doors and begin programming in 2020.
  • Granville Island is managed by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

About BMO Financial Group:

Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a highly diversified financial services provider – the 8th largest bank, by assets, in North America. With total assets of $774 billion as of October 31, 2018, and a team of diverse and highly engaged employees, BMO provides a broad range of personal and commercial 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, BMO Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.
SOURCE BMO Financial Group

About Arts Umbrella:

Arts Umbrella believes that art is powerful, that it can change a child’s life. That’s why Arts Umbrella’s programs in Dance, Theatre, and Visual Arts are made accessible to all young people—through bursaries, scholarships, and donor-funded community programs. Since 1979, Arts Umbrella has been active in our communities, inspiring kids to build their creative confidence and develop the building blocks for life: critical-thinking skills, improved self-esteem, and tools for collaboration.


Media Contact:

Ariane Fleischmann
Content & Communications Specialist
Arts Umbrella
604-681-5268 x102
778-846-5293 (cell)