ATCO Christmas Lights Display at Spruce Meadows

We’ve been getting into the holiday spirit at the Spruce Meadows Christmas Lights Display! We were thrilled to once again work with ATCO on a festive indoor lights display that reflected their brand and holiday cheer. The free-of-charge event takes place each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 5 – 10 pm until December 31st. Visitors can enjoy the lights from their vehicles, or stroll by on the designated walking paths as part of this experiential activation

ATCO approached us to build and install a Christmas display inside one of the outdoor venue tents, which boasts glass walls for visitors to peer into. They provided a concept and branding package, which was further developed into a custom display design. The display features ATCO’s friendly prairie dog mascot, Digger, along with their distinctive worksite mobile trailers. It also embraces local elements by showcasing the Calgary skyline, and a horse jump as a nod to Spruce Meadow’s equestrian community. Other details include cozy lit-up homes, reindeer and a sleigh flying over the horse jump, along with cut-outs of footprints throughout the snowy hills. 

ATCO Christmas Lights Display at Spruce Meadows, Calgary, Alberta. 

The graphics such as the trailer and mascot were direct-printed onto a sturdy aluminum composite material, which was then precisely cut out using our CNC router. Flat MDF panels were custom-cut in our shop to create the backdrops, including the hills, sleigh, and cityscape. These were all painted white, and incorporated with small footprint cutouts throughout the hills. The back of each panel was outfitted with LED light strips along the contours. We used a light-blocking opaque strip along the back of the LEDs so that the light would be directed upwards, rather than spilling onto the displays and/or walls behind. For the window cutouts on the houses and downtown buildings, a yellow translucent styrene was secured to the back for a warm, glowing lighting effect. 

A translucent styrene material was also placed behind all of the footstep cutouts, followed by panels with custom-cut holes for lighting strings to sit into. This was part of a network of programmable LEDs, so that the footsteps could be lit up one at a time as if trekking across the entire display. We used a program called xLights to program the lighting sequencing, colours, and effects. Each light can be individually controlled within the program to create the desired effect. Floodlights and strings of lights across the floor were also incorporated, using ATCO’s brand colours of blue, yellow, and white. 

As the footsteps moved across the display, each mascot would also light up once the footsteps approached them one at a time. To create this effect, LED strips were added individually under each mascot. The mascot’s light strips were soldered to connect to the LED footstep strings, which could then be programmed into the sequence. 

This was a fun and festive project for our team to build and install for the holidays! Be sure to check out the free event and also enjoy the outdoor fire pits, concession tents, and all the incredible light displays.

Check out some additional projects we’ve collaborated on with ATCO in the past: 

  • ATCO Christmas Village for Veterans
  • ATCO Spruce Meadows Mobile Experience
  • Calgary Stampede ATCO Stuffy Toss
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