BMO orchestrates a new way to see classical music

FCB and BLVD used AR to help the Montreal Symphony Orchestra do more than a simple virtual concert.


Timeless music is now finding an audience through timely technology.

When the pandemic first hit, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra began broadcasting weekly online concerts, including Mahler’s Symphony No. 7. But following the ongoing ban on indoor gatherings in Quebec to counter the spread of the pandemic, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra was left to find a new way to produce a decades-old private Christmas concert. So BMO – which has partnered with the Orchestra to put on the concert for 35 years – enlisted FCB Canada and creative studio BLVD to find a creative way to keep the music alive.

While there was also a thank-you video from some of BMO’s top executives in Quebec, Sylvain Dufresne, VP and creative head at FCB Montreal, said the agency wanted to go beyond that. So, they created an AR experience for the Montreal Symphony Orchestra that allows users to invite orchestra musicians into their homes.

According to the agency, after a successful soft launch for bankers, it’s also working with the Orchestra to enlarge the partnership and renew the experience by adding more songs.experience bmo x osm

The Montreal Symphony isn’t the only musical ensemble that’s had to change with the times.

In October, The Toronto Symphony Orchestra held drive-in performances on the city’s Polson Pier, with twenty musicians playing and large LED screen projections in a “contactless, seamless, safe, and physically distanced environment.” The TSO, like many orchestras, is also hosting “on-demand” performances throughout this musical season.