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Building community with beauty: Supporting art across Canada through the BMO National Mural Series

June 11, 2024 | Culture, Giving and sponsorships

BMO is proud to be a member of communities across Canada. Our branch network helps us build and maintain local connections – and gives us the opportunity to bring a little beauty to our communities while supporting local arts and culture. 

BMO’s National Mural Series is a hyperlocal art program that engages local artists to create custom murals in retail branches across Canada. In partnership with charity and social enterprise STEPS Public Art, we’ve commissioned more than 60 works of art in branches from British Columbia to Newfoundland since launching the program in 2021.  

“I am so proud of BMO’s mural program, and I see that same pride expressed by our employees as the program expands to more and more branches. It is such a great physical symbol of BMO’s support for local artists and our connections to the communities we serve. Not to mention that the work is incredibly beautiful!”  

– George Della Rocca
Global Head, Corporate Real Estate 

Supporting local arts and culture 

The mural series has become a key component of BMO’s branch network investment strategy, with a clear set of goals: to beautify and activate our branch spaces, foster strong community relationships, and amplify our dedication to supporting local arts & culture.  

“BMO’s National Mural Program exemplifies how we are bringing our Purpose to life in the communities we serve, through the physical space used by our customers to complete transactions and obtain financial advice. By providing opportunities to emerging artists in local communities to showcase their work, we’re able to both activate our branches and celebrate the unique communities they are a part of.”  

– Roy Stanjevich
Head, North American Physical Channels 

Each installation draws inspiration directly from the individual community. Branch teams provide input on key themes and community elements that will resonate with their customers, and local artists express those themes through their designs.    

For example, at Toronto’s new Mirvish Village Branch (Opening June 2024), we asked local artist Jessica Thalmann to create a design that combined abstract art elements with the rich history of the Bloor and Bathurst area of Toronto.  

“Working with BMO and STEPS on the BMO National Mural Series has been a great opportunity to extend my deep archival and historical investigation into the architectural legacy of Mirvish Village and surrounding neighbourhood. This National Mural Series gave me the opportunity to create a permanent public artwork and has been an invaluable and humbling experience. I feel honoured to stitch together architectural details including vernacular signage, historical landmarks, and Victorian homes that celebrate the continued legacy of this place as part of Toronto’s urban fabric.”  

– Jessica Thalmann

What’s Next?  

The Branch Mural Committee has eight more installations planned for 2024, including another piece by Jessica Thalmann in Toronto, opening this fall. Other upcoming installations include murals in Richmond, British Columbia; Montreal, Quebec; and Ottawa, Ontario.  

Keep an eye out at for a new video produced by our branch experience marketing team, which will be on display in all digitally enabled Canadian branches – sharing program highlights and further extending the creative reach of local artists nationwide.  

Learn more about the BMO National Mural Series and explore the gallery of murals across Canada.

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