Did you know that Bank of Montreal (BMO) is Canada’s first bank? I had no idea it was established in 1817 either, but I soon found out when I was part of BMO’s 200 years celebration last week.
Something I don’t think I’ve ever revealed before is the big BMO building in Toronto where the celebration went down, better known as First Canadian Place, was actually where I worked for the past 2 and half years. And visiting it again last week for BMO’s festivities was the first time I’d been back since I became self-employed.
It was a pretty surreal feeling going back as a non-employee, but it was actually pretty cool too. Instead of doing the regular hustle and bustle I was used to for the past 3 years, I was there as a personal finance personality, documenting BMO’s celebration and being my own boss!
To say that it was crowded would be an understatement. I’m only 5 ft. 2″ and it was hard for me to get some good snaps without squeezing my way through hundreds of people, saying “Sorry…excuse me…sorry” about a million times.
The reason it was so packed was because BMO promised to reveal a big surprise, and they did not disappoint. They unveiled a 17 foot wishing fountain like nothing I’ve seen before. To welcome BMO into its 200th year, they wanted to do something modern and bold — which is why they installed a unique digital fountain in the building’s lobby.
That’s right, even though it looks like water is flowing down its spout and you can hear water running and splashing, it’s all digital.
The installation of the BMO200 fountain isn’t just meant to commemorate BMO’s history either. It also serves as a way to give back to the community. How it works is visitors get to choose a category (Green, Togetherness, Legacy, or Community), write a wish, then toss a digital coin on the screen towards the fountain. BMO will then try to make a number of the wishes come true. And if you can’t make it down to the actual fountain, you can do it online too at bmo200.com.
They also hope that this initiative will cause a ripple effect so that other individuals and organizations will consider giving back in their own way too.
It was pretty thrilling to be part of this historic moment (in my old work building no less!) and to wish BMO a very happy birthday! Check it out for yourself and make your own wish and see if it comes true!
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by BMO, however all opinions expressed are my own.