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Providing an escape in Ottawa

Adam Barrett, a BMO employee and long-time Entrepreneurial Adventure mentor, thought he had seen it all when it came to students running their own businesses. Then he stepped into Bruce Gray’s and Andrew Thorp’s Grade 7 and 8 classrooms at Katimavik Elementary School in Ottawa, Ontario.

The enterprising students decided to plan an event with not just one or two but seven different escape rooms for the public to visit to “escape the daily rigours of life.” The students included a yoga room and an arts and crafts room as alternatives for those who might have limitations preventing them from participating fully in other experiences.

Adam said that the young entrepreneurs needed to become artists, storytellers and actors to fulfill their vision. They bonded by displaying talents and skills that might otherwise have remained hidden. They also collaborated to solve the logistical challenges involved in putting on multiple experiences four times over the course of the one-night event.

The evening earned rave reviews from attendees, raised more than $800 for the Rideau Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, and won a Teamwork Award as part of the BMO National Student Innovation Awards.


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