Apple Pay is here. And here is home.

(All images are renderings of the actual projection show)

In May 2016, ATB Financial made news as one of only a few financial institutions involved in Apple Pay’s expansion in Canada. Yes, that ATB Financial. The ATB Financial that is almost 78 years into a story that began when the government of the day decided Alberta Treasury Branches would serve the people of this province. The name has changed. We are a Crown corporation now. And while you might have been looking away, we’ve grown up. Bringing Apple Pay to ATB MasterCard customers is only one proof of the smart, simple, helpful place we do our best to be every day. We are in a countdown to the future.

On May 17, 2016, we celebrated Apple Pay’s arrival with our first building projection. Viewers experienced what happened when the 80-metre tall, 30-metre wide glass and concrete ATB Place in downtown Edmonton was transformed into a shining canvas brought to life by 16 giant projectors pushing 80,000 lumens of ATB’s love for Alberta.

It was our way of doing something different to introduce Apple Pay to this province. Silicon Valley, meet the North Saskatchewan River Valley and the Bow Valley. Here is where we are from. It’s where we start from, return to, build and rebuild. Here is home.

Home is the familiar landmarks and natural icons of Alberta, including the Calgary Tower, which artistic and technological story tellers (those people who can do magic with light) projected onto the Edmonton skyline. The Battle of Alberta took a momentary back seat in this virtual togetherness.

The oil derrick, styled on the historic Leduc #1, is an unmistakable collection of latticed iron. This section of the building projection is called Landmarks, and also included vectorized illustrations of a water tower, a wind turbine, farm crops, a dinosaur, a grain elevator, a giant Easter egg, and Edmonton’s river valley pyramids. The oil derrick is reminder of the resource that changed the map for Alberta.

Alberta has a strong spine. It’s called the Rocky Mountains. The Rockies speak an older language that draws people from around the province, the country and the world who come to listen to it.

It is said famously that the one thing a fish cannot perceive is the water it moves in. Maybe all creatures that move in mediums face the same challenge. But this rainbow trout is a bit different. It is drawn to the northern lights and the world above, and symbolizes, in its fishy kind of way, the courage to be different, to think different, to take on different worlds. ATB participates in that story, reimagining itself as a place where banking is transformed. Apple Pay is one part of that fish story. :)

That fish can go only so far, but Albertans are stopped only by the epic big sky and the clouds that catch their dreams. Ask an Albertan in Toronto what they miss most about home, and, guaranteed, the sky is top 3.

We played with the clouds a bit. We made the clouds turn into a skyscape of dreams of higher learning, whether in the arts or the sciences, that are brought to earth in this province’s education institutions.

The Alberta sky is also and will always be the best and the biggest TV screen out there. Goodness knows, we could use more of the rain that is thinking about things up there.

Alberta is a four-seasons place. A brief golf season, a long dandelion season, a breeze of fall, and the beauty of a fragile, crystallized winter. It’s all here.

We play sports here. Lots of sports. Lots of courts. Lots of coaches. And volunteer managers. Referees who make it all possible. And fundraising drives to keep it all going.

We are home to the world’s curling elite. They know that this angle raise for one also could have been a double takeout thrown with peel weight. 

Alberta is a work of art in motion. We are people who drive trains, trucks (small, big, enormous), bicycles, skateboards, tractor trailer units, cars, boats, ATVs and anything else that can roll, float or fly. As we go, we advertise ourselves a bit, too, like the person driving this I Love Alberta Beef semi!

Have you ever driven the Dunvegan Bridge? It is one of this province’s most beautiful bridges, and we were so inspired by the YouTube footage from Chris Vazquez that we animated it, and threw in some of the well-known highway markers for good measure.

You can’t have a light show at night without flower blossoms in the sky. Whoaaaah! Ooooh! Aaaaah!

Put your hands together for the inspired, artistic Albertans who dance, sing, blow the trumpets, play instruments, act, and perform in ways that make us laugh, cry, exclaim, consider, reflect, and be.

Apple Pay has come to an Alberta that is young and dynamic and on the move and vibrant. And its coffee-drinking, smartphone-carrying people increasingly look for other solutions when the tools that enable their lives don’t match the pace and colour of those lives.

Here’s an experiment. The next time you see the Alberta shield with its familiar St. George’s Cross and the varied Alberta landscape of mountains, foothills, grass prairies and cultivated wheat fields, consider something else. Consider the people of this province who keep that shield doing its work.

Consider that the monuments of this place are not just the stuff that you see on postcards. That can all get a bit clichéd every so often. Consider that the wealth of this province is what doesn’t get routine: its people. Albertans themselves.

And, so, Apple Pay is here. And here is home. The building projection traced a story path from the familiar landmarks of the province to the faces of its strong, hopeful, innovative people. In between, there were visual salutes, both weighty and whimsical, to our skyscape and landscape, our four seasons, our love of learning, our playgrounds, to the ways we move, to our love of life and light.

Thank you for being here. 

May 16th, 2016

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