BMO gifts $100k for Indigenous Programming at new OPL central branch

By CityNews Ottawa

The Bank of Montreal (BMO) has donated $100,000 towards Indigenous programming at the new Ādisōke Ottawa Public Library (OPL) central location under construction in LeBreton Flats.

Announced Thursday, Feb. 23, the major gift, donated through the Unlock Potential fundraising campaign, will be distributed over five years and help give library clients access and exposure to Indigenous history and culture through dedicated programming and books.

“This tremendous gift is our first major donation from a financial institution, and we are thrilled that BMO recognizes the importance of public libraries as providers of critical resources, programs, spaces, and tools for everyone,” state Chair of the OPL Board, Councillor Matthew Luloff in a media release. “Developing Indigenous services and programs are a major focus for the Ottawa Public Library.”

Throughout the planning and design of the new central branch location, the OPL have worked with the Anishinābe Algonquin Host Nation, other First Nations, Inuit and Métis organizations “in an active spirit of reconciliation”, according to the release.

A joint project between the Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada, the massive Ādisōke building aspires to be an anchor of the LeBreton Flats development.

With a final price tag expected to be 73 per cent higher than the initial budget approved in 2018, the project will cost more than $334 million upon completion, up from $192 million.

A completion date of 2026 is expected.

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