A shining example
BMO has always cultivated a winning culture in the workplace, and that includes a long history of supporting sports and recreation. The bank’s hockey league dates back to at least 1909 (to judge by an award for a hockey championship we found in the archives) – and notably, 1909 is the same year the Montreal Canadiens were established as a team. Today, BMO is known as The Bank of Soccer for its longstanding support of Vancouver Whitecaps FC, the Montreal Impact and Toronto FC (whose home is BMO Field, Canada’s first soccer-specific stadium). But BMO has supported many competitions over the years and trophies from many different sports such as golf, curling – and even show jumping – have made their way into our vault. We think it’s fun to think back to the situations in which these awards were presented. One trophy in particular is the International World Ski Cup presented in the 1970s. It’s made of Canadian maple and walnut with the classic BMO M-Bar in sterling silver affixed to the top.
Image: International World Ski Cup, c.1970.
This trophy is beautiful and unusual, and it highlights how important skiing was to the bank during that time frame. BMO was known as the “ski bank” in the 1970s and many sponsorships made it possible for ski organizations to be able to run their competitions. During that period the Bank published a newsletter called Ski Mania with articles from famous skiers like Nancy Greene, who was also featured in some of BMO’s advertising. This newsletter also included coupons for passes at different ski hills.
Many Olympians have been involved in BMO’s sports competitions. These trophies and memorabilia are a reminder of BMO’s connection to individuals and their passions. They also underscore what a winning culture driven by alignment, empowerment and recognition can deliver – even outside the financial industry.
Image: Ski Mania, newsletter, December 1972.