ATB Financial wanted a visual summary of Alberta's industrial history in an artwork, from First Nation's peoples fishing to modern oil and gas. The painting is used as a reminder of the institution's blue-collar clientele; that regular working people built the province to what it is today.
Fist Nations peoples utilized Alberta resources long before Europeans arrived, like this painting of a spring fishing camp, where walleye and pike are caught and prepared with stone tools at a northern stream. Fish that are not cooked or smoked are placed on wood racks to dry in the sun, while nearby two people seal a birch bark canoe with spruce pitch and bitumen.
A farmer operates a steam driven threshing machine, with a water barrel nearby for fire prevention, in a threshing operation on a family farm at the turn of the century in Alberta. In the background of the painting a crew of farmhands is briefly relieved of their hard work pitching sheaves, raking grain, and other wheat harvest jobs.
On a cold day 70 years ago in Devon, Alberta, a drilling crew at the Leduc No. 1 well hit a rich oil deposit that forever changed Alberta. Leduc No. 1 was important for a painting about Alberta's industries, as it was a major economic event that led to Canada being the tenth largest oil producing nation.
A pair of Alberta coal miners are painted mining a coal seem by hand, with pick axe and wheelbarrow. The painting then blends into a logging crew floating a log boom down river (known as log driving); the loggers standing on the logs they're working in cork boots, with peaveys and pike poles.
Modern farming combine harvesters combine reaping, threshing, and winnowing into a single process as they harvest wheat fields at the top of the painting. Combines have been called one of the world's most important labour saving inventions, reducing the population working in agriculture.
A giant Caterpillar 797 dump truck works in the Alberta oil sands. In the background the Suncor oil sands upgrader plant is painted with thick red, blue, yellow and orange paint at sunrise.