ATCO Brings Spruce Meadows Home

ATCO, one of Spruce Meadow’s major partners, realized they couldn’t host their events this year due to the pandemic, but they refused to let that hold them back from interacting with their community. Many of their loyal clients were disappointed to miss out on the show jumping that has made Spruce Meadows famous world-wide. As a solution to this year’s unforeseen separation from their customers, ATCO partnered up with the Spruce Meadows and the Exhibit Studio Ltd. teams to keep ATCO connected to their customers.

ATCO asked fellow Calgarians to nominate a few deserving families to participate in “ATCO’s Spruce Meadows Mobile Experience.” They treated five families to a unique experience that captured the heart and soul of a Spruce Meadows event, and they did so in a safe way for everyone involved in these intense times.

As part of the team, we not only created an unforgettable experience for a few lucky families, but we brought that experience right to their front doors! 

Anything you can dream, we can build.

ATCO asked Exhibit Studio Ltd. to construct and outfit a transparent version of an ATCO style trailer to make this event possible. While we’ve been growing accustomed to quarantining with family, the idea was to create something that didn’t feel stuffy or claustrophobic and to imitate a Spruce Meadows event’s outdoor experience. We recreated the classic ATCO structure out of Lexan, a polycarbonate; it is strong, clear, and shatterproof yet incredibly challenging to work with.

Lexan is not only shatterproof, but it is easily scratched, which meant that we had to be diligent about handling the material with care and keeping the work site clean(er). There was no hiding the mess of construction behind a transparent wall once the protective film came off. We used steel stud for the framing that supported the Lexan walls, a T-Bar drop ceiling, and linoleum flooring that brought the interior together. Cabinets and countertops created space for all the snacking and included a fridge and Slushie machine that offered up cold refreshments. For the entertainment, we built a custom riser to accompany comfortable theatre seats with personal cup holders. Beneath the seats, two ten-inch subwoofers, wired and secured into the floor, complimented the sound system to deliver an outstanding surround sound experience. We then added a 4k sixty-inch flat-screen TV mounted to the wall, with a web camera, mobile WiFi, and had the whole unit outfitted with LED lighting. To top the whole thing off, custom decals were installed on the top perimeter to complete the ATCO branded environment.

Time is of the essence.

It took our team three short weeks to create this structure that will forever live in peoples’ memories. 

The trailer was built “trade show style” and meant to be easily set up and dismantled. The entire build sat on a 16ft flatbed trailer that allowed the activation to be fully mobile. On event days, all ATCO had to do was pull up to the winning family’s home. The Exhibit Studio Ltd. team helped to level out the structure and add a printed skirt to the trailer’s bottom. We then set up some stairs, and just like that, everything was ready for the big reveal and the highly anticipated event.

Experience three weeks of work in this three and a half minute video.

Horses, Entertainment, Football, Food, and Front Lawn Family Fun!

ATCO pulled out all the stops, also collaborating with the Calvary FC, who handed out cool swag and jerseys. Youth Singers of Calgary solo artists, David Morton and Dean Lauderdale, donated their time and virtually interacted with everyone serving up a request-driven, tailor-made concert. These special guests brought lots of fun and inspiration and made the experience that much more memorable. Each family also got a chance to chat with the CEO and President of Spruce Meadows herself, Linda Southern-Heathcott, via Zoom. Everyone watched classic ‘Masters’ show jumping events and played a virtual reality horse jumping game while snacking an assortment of treats, including popcorn, cotton candy, and Slushies. For those lacking a sweet tooth, the ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen provided healthier alternatives to munch on. At the end of the event, the horse experts brought a horse (yes, a live one) for people to pet and feed carrots as the grand finale surprise. After all, Spruce Meadows wouldn’t be Spruce Meadows without a horse! “ATCO’s Spruce Meadows Mobile Experience” brought the authentic sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and fun of the real event onto people’s doorsteps, and the response was undeniably heartwarming.

Relive the special day here with a video from ATCO.

Built to last. Today’s experience inspires tomorrow’s ideas.

ATCO is considering using the structure in a more permanent location for events such as “Movies at the Meadows” once large gatherings can come back full swing. Whatever the case, we don’t think this will be the last time you see the eye-catching, transparent ATCO trailer cruising around Calgary. We built it to last. Our team even designed it to easily lift off the flatbed trailer that it’s currently on. In case the trailer needs to be more permanent, two forklifts can lift the whole structure right off the trailer and onto the ground.

Exhibit Studio Ltd. was thrilled to be a part of this heart-warming solution to the challenges that we all face today in this time of COVID. We hope that everyone out there is staying safe but still staying connected.

Scroll to Top