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BMO Proud to Be Title Sponsor of BMO Vancouver Marathon for Eighth Year in a Row

- More than 16,000 participants expected in four events in second year of new point-to-point course from Queen Elizabeth Park to Downtown Vancouver; 12,561 finished in 2012

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwired) -- 04/26/13 -- For the eighth year in a row, BMO Financial Group is the title sponsor of the BMO Vancouver Marathon - a family-friendly event with both local and international participation.

The marathon has provided clear benefits for the Vancouver economy. According to a study conducted by Dr. Brock Smith of the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria, the 2012 event generated an economic impact of $25.2 million in net income for the region.

"BMO is honoured to partner with the Vancouver International Marathon Society and the running community to help host a great local and international event," said Joanne Gassman, Senior Vice-President, B.C. and Yukon Division, BMO Bank of Montreal. "We take great pride in not only being the title sponsor, but also offering programs that enhance the Marathon, such as our Kids' Zone and the BMO Power of Blue promotion. As a runner myself, it's a pleasure to be a part of an event that continually strives to improve the runners' and the spectators' experiences and that truly resonates so well within the local community."

Over the years, Team BMO employees have increased their participation in the Marathon, not only as runners, but also as volunteers. This year there will be over 210 volunteers, some at the BMO Motivation Station near English Bay, offering energy boosting snacks to runners. And 107 BMO employees have signed up for the full, half or 8k runs.

"On race day, Team BMO will wear yellow ribbons handed out by the Vancouver International Marathon Society, to show support for those affected by events at the Boston Marathon," said Doug Stotz, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, BMO Financial Group. "As part of our support, BMO recently donated $25,000 to One Fund Boston to provide assistance to the victims and their families."

The Kids' Zone has been created for the new family-friendly Street Festival on Hastings Street on race day. Tying in BMO's national sponsorship of soccer, it features performances by North America's Top Freestyle Soccer Team, and the BMO Free Kick promotion plus face painting and BMO the Bear.

BMO brings a special treat to clients with the BMO Power of Blue promotion, offering exclusive perks to BMO clients running in the marathon who show their BMO debit card or BMO MasterCard. Benefits include:

--  An exclusive race kit pick up line for runners 
--  Free massages at the BMO booth on Thursday May 2nd to Saturday May 4th
    at the Health, Sports and Lifestyle Expo, and 
--  Discounted rates on city tours with the Vancouver Trolley Company from
    April 21-May 5

As a testament to BMO's commitment to giving back to the communities where it operates, the Community Awards presented by BMO will recognize five charitable or non-profit groups who sign up more than 25 volunteers for the marathon. Selected by the Vancouver International Marathon Society, each winning group, chosen for their spirit and enthusiasm, will receive a $2,000 for total prize money of $10,000.

"We're so pleased that our customers, the general public and of course, the running community, recognize our commitment to the marathon," said Gassman. According to a survey of participants in the 2012 BMO Vancouver Marathon, the sponsorship measurement provided BMO with a 94 per cent recognition score for its title sponsorship. "BMO employees are especially proud to see the "sea of BMO blue" on race day, demonstrating our ongoing local community support."

Internet: www.bmovanmarathon.ca

The 2012 BMO Vancouver Marathon survey was conducted by Mustel Group Market Research for the Vancouver International Marathon Society; 3775 participants surveyed.

About BMO

BMO Bank of Montreal is proud to be in its eighth year as title sponsor of the BMO Vancouver Marathon - voted as a top ten destination marathon by Forbes magazine in 2012. BMO supports the running community through sponsorship of marathon events in Vancouver, Kelowna, Charlottetown, Phoenix, Arizona, and Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin. BMO has a long and proud history of supporting sports in Canada. We believe our ties with sports reflect some of our most deeply held corporate values, such as contributing positively to a healthy quality of life in the community, and promoting the achievements of people, regardless of age or ability.

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