The Yukon Soaps Company

//  11.24.22

BMO features Indigenous Business Owner’s story of progress in latest Barrier Breakers campaign series

New storytelling campaign from FCB Canada is part of the ongoing “Barrier Breakers” initiative, through which BMO shines a light on business owners who have broken barriers and found success.

BMO is living its Purpose by way of the bank’s commitment to zero barriers to financial progress through a powerful storytelling campaign from FCB Canada.

Using more than 20 pieces of content ranging in length from 15 seconds to a 10-minute short documentary, the Barrier Breakers campaign tells the story of The Yukon Soaps Company founder and owner Joella Hogan, and how she overcame barriers facing Indigenous-women-owned businesses to become the success she is today.

The Yukon Soaps Company is located in Mayo, Yukon, the traditional territory of the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun. Hogan’s more than 20-year-old company creates handcrafted soaps using ingredients like wild rose petals and juniper berries sourced from the Boreal Forest. The social media campaign captures the beauty of the Mayo region and highlights the influences that the Indigenous community has on Hogan’s business.

The campaign is anchored by a two-minute short film that explains the background of Hogan’s experience with the company and how BMO helped grow the business after her former bank turned her down for a loan. “Other banks were telling me no,” says Hogan. “BMO said ‘Tell me more.’”

The spot shows how, recognizing Hogan’s drive and dedication, BMO Relationship Manager Cassandra Sole worked with her to create a business case for securing a loan to help her move her home-based business into a new space and increase production.

In addition to the social media campaign, a longer 12-minute cut of the documentary is now live for Canadians to stream. More Than Gold: The Story of The Yukon Soaps Company is available on the CBC Gem app and the Roku app as of November 14 and running for four weeks, as well as on BMO’s YouTube channel.

The campaign ladders up BMO’s Zero Barriers to Inclusion Strategy, a multi-year commitment focused on providing access to opportunities for groups facing systemic barriers, including Black and Indigenous communities.

This year, BMO celebrated the 30th anniversary of its Indigenous Banking Unit (IBU), which has long served Indigenous communities across Canada. Through its network of branches and business banking offices, both on and off reserve, the bank offers accessible financial products and services, including housing and renovation financing, trust services, investment management solutions and long-term financing for on-reserve infrastructure and economic development.

In this year’s annual Indigenous Progress report Wîcihitowin, BMO said that it grew its Indigenous banking portfolio by 44% year-over-year, to $6.5 billion, and is well on its way to achieving its stated goal of $8 billion by 2025. Wîcihitowin means “helping and supporting each other” in Cree.

BMO is making a concerted effort to support Indigenous businesses by increasing the level of goods and services it procures from Indigenous businesses, and is committed to spending $10 million a year with Indigenous businesses by 2023.

“Like Joella says in the film, Indigenous cultures and languages are at risk of fading away.” Says Nancy Crimi-Lamanna, CCO of FCB. “We, as an industry and a nation, have an important responsibility to do everything we can to ensure that doesn’t happen by amplifying and celebrating stories like hers.”


Client: BMO
Chief Marketing Officer & Head, Social Impact: Catherine Roche
VP North American Brand & Social Media: Jennifer Carli
Director, Brand Advertising: Shelley Johnsen
Senior Manager, Brand Advertising: Kaleigh MacMaster

Creative Agency: FCB Canada
Chief Creative Officer: Nancy Crimi-Lamanna
Executive Creative Director: Andrew McPhee & Jeremiah McNama
Senior Copywriter: Caleb McMullen
Senior Art Director: Hussein Rumaithi
Broadcast Producer: Anne Marie Martignago

EVP, General Manager: Tracy Little
VP, Client Service Lead: Erin Howes
Account Director: Ali Gayowski
Account Executive: Sophia R’bibo

Chief Strategy Officer: Shelley Brown
Strategy Director: Stephanie Gyles

Production Company: The Detour Film Co. Ltd.
Executive Producer: Jesse Blight
Line Producer: Carlo Wein
Production Manager: Andrew Shirley
Director: Jesse Blight
Director of Photography: Byron Kopman
1st Camera Assistant: Kelvin Wong
Aerial Cinematography / Drone Pilots: Byron Kopman + Robert Massie
Gaffer: Andrew Shirley
Key Grip: Robert Massie
Sound Recordist: Michael Code
Makeup Artist: Mary Bob
Production Assistant: Joanne Bucyk
Catering / Chef: Maureen Huggard
Equipment Rentals: The Detour Film Co. Ltd. + Alterna Films

Post Production House: Alter Ego
Post Producer: Andrew Tavares
Colourists: James Graham (main spot), Andrew Ross (10min long form spot)
Colour Assistant: Malini Khotsiphom
VFX Artist: Sebastian Boros
VFX Assistant: Nupur Desai

Editorial: The Editorial Factory
Producer: Siobhan Quinn
Editor: Andy Ames
Assistant: Korben Lirette

Music: OSO
Music Director: Daenen Bramberger
Producer OSO: Lauren Dobbie

Media Agency: UM
EVP Client Business Partner: Kate Mateer
VP Client Business Partner: Ryan Hunter
Director, Connection Planning: Fahmida Islam
Manager, Connection Planning: Marc-André Giasson
Sr. Connection Planner: Carolyn Hughes
Media Assistant: Ben Graham
Social Associate Director: Arturo Valenzuela
Social Associate Director: Shannon Stone
Social Campaign Manager: Sami Le
Social Associate: Gabrielle Lowe

BMO, FCB Canada