Our Definition and Approach
ATB is committed to uplifting the financial, economic and social well-being of Albertans and to contributing to the greater good of the Province through data, programs and partnerships.
Community impact includes topics such as our investment and support for local community organizations and social enterprises that are closing societal and economic gaps. As a financial institution, we believe financial empowerment and education is both a core competence and something every Albertan should have access to. Digital inclusion initiatives that improve society’s ability to learn, work and participate in an increasingly digital world are becoming more critical each day.
We will continue to evolve how we measure the community outcomes that result from our programs and partnerships, to inform how we direct our efforts with intention, deliver maximum value and address society’s greatest challenges.
A Data-Driven Approach to Uplifting Albertans
GDP isn’t always the best indicator of the overall health of a region or country.
ATB partnered with the Social Progress Imperative (SPI), a not-for-profit organization that provides decision-makers and citizens with relevant data about social and environmental health—helping them prioritize actions that accelerate social progress.
Our partnership focuses on understanding some of the greatest socio-economic challenges faced across Alberta, within 35 different regions, which can be viewed on an interactive map.
This has enabled us to identify three initial areas for focus (mental health, education and accessibility to information and communications) and the partnerships and programs that might have the greatest impact in Alberta.
The SPI score for Alberta (currently 49 out of 100) signifies considerable room for improvement. With the help of people and partnerships across the province, we want to raise it to 60 by 2030, prioritizing social progress to foster conditions that uplift the well-being of Albertans.
Access to Mental Health
To reduce the stigma related to mental health, and to make our communities stronger, ATB has worked to promote wellness and support access to services for those struggling with trauma, depression and other mental health issues.
2021 Teddy for a Toonie Campaign
Close to 20% of Canadian youth are affected by a mental illness or disorder, and only one out of five of those is receiving the mental health care they need.
Albertans participating in ATB’s annual Teddy for a Toonie fundraiser raised a total of $185,000 to support youth mental health.
Our 2021 ATB Teddy partner, Kickstand, is addressing a gap in mental health support for those between the ages of 12 and 24 by focusing on prevention, early intervention and care.
While this was the final year of Teddy for a Toonie, ATB will continue to seek out opportunities to support mental health access for all Albertans.
Addressing the Toll of the Pandemic on Mental Health
In fall 2021, at the beginning of the fourth wave of the pandemic, we asked community partners what their biggest needs were and how ATB could help.
Mental health concerns were identified as a top priority, steadily on the rise since the beginning of the pandemic. ATB made a series of donations totalling $100,000 to help nine Alberta not-for-profits providing urgent mental health support to meet the demand.
Resources for Residential School Survivors
In June 2021, after much discussion with Indigenous organizations and Elders, ATB announced a $50,000 partnership with Native Counselling Services of Alberta to create mental health resources for survivors of residential schools and their families.
National Depression Screening Day
A mental health check-in can be the first step to getting needed support. While COVID-19 continued to impact our communities, this year’s National Depression Screening Day (NDSD) may have been more important than ever.
NDSD helps to address not just depression, but also the larger challenge of stigma around mental health and seeking help.
ATB supported the campaign, which was led in Alberta by the Calgary Counselling Centre. Albertans and team members were encouraged to complete the short screening questionnaire and were then provided with feedback and directed to resources based on their answers. More than 10,000 people completed the screening this year.
ATB Financial Classic
ATB has been involved with PGA TOUR Canada for the past 25 years and has sponsored the ATB Financial Classic tournament since 2007.
Discussions about mental illness have recently become more common in the golfing world, so ATB added something new to this year’s tournament for the players: a subscription to the Inkblot therapy platform.
The tournament raised more than $40,000 for the Alberta division of the Canadian Mental Health Association.
Access to Education
ATB is focused on helping unemployed and underemployed Albertans find new ways to access education and return to the province’s workforce. We also recognize the importance of improving high school graduation rates, post-secondary enrollment and skills that will be needed in the future. Finding opportunities to support these areas will be critical to Alberta’s economic recovery and long-term success.
Access to Education Fundraising Campaign
The pandemic has impacted the emotional and mental health of many youth in Alberta.
School closures affected all children, with the impact felt most by those lacking the equipment or support needed to learn virtually. Recent statistics also show that one in five students in Alberta will not finish high school on schedule.
Our campaign partner, United Way, funds a number of programs giving students the tools and support to address these barriers. ATB’s United Way 2021 campaign placed much-needed funds in the hands of initiatives like the All in for Youth program, which helps vulnerable youth finish high school and embrace a healthy lifestyle. The month-long campaign raised $85,000 in donations.
First Peoples’ House and Iniskim Centre
ATB supported the University of Alberta’s First Peoples’ House and Mount Royal University’s Iniskim Centre. Both organizations work to reduce barriers to post-secondary education for Indigenous students by empowering First Nations, Métis and Inuit learners to achieve personal and academic growth. They increase the engagement and success of Indigenous students while also raising awareness of Indigenous Peoples and cultures.
We continued our partnership with NPower Canada, a not-for-profit that provides digital and professional skills training to youth, as it scaled its workforce development programs. The programs are designed to equip Alberta youth—including those who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic—with technology and IT skills.
In 2021, 263 Albertans enrolled, with 86% successfully graduating and 82% of graduates either securing employment or pursuing further education in a related field.
NPower also continues to scale its operations in Alberta, which now includes a presence in Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer and Lethbridge.
MindFuel brings STEM to life, both inside and outside the K-12 classroom.
The skills encouraged through its programs are innovation, design thinking, entrepreneurialism, computational thinking, nanotechnology, robotics, synthetic biology, energy and the environment.
In 2021, ATB supported MindFuel’s Tech Futures Challenge program.
Fourteen student teams from grades 7 to 12 and post-secondary—
including Indigenous teams from Dene Tha' First Nation and Siksika Nation—created and presented projects that address real-world problems related to sustainability. Each team received feedback from a panel of STEM mentors and experts.
Access to Information and Communications
ATB is addressing the fundamental need for Albertans to have reliable and equitable access to technology and the internet. Improved connectivity can provide access to education and employment, reduce isolation and make it possible for everyone to participate in Alberta’s economy.
Community Safety and Wellness Accelerator
ATB supported Alberta’s new Telus Community Safety and Wellness (CSW) Accelerator. It is a unique global accelerator that uses data, AI and machine learning to ethically support tech companies and social enterprises that offer solutions to Alberta’s societal problems.
The accelerator’s partners include Telus, the Edmonton Police Foundation, the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute, the University of Alberta and Motorola. It is powered by Alchemist Accelerator, a Silicon Valley firm that is ranked the #1 accelerator program in North America.
The CSW Accelerator offers a bi-annual, 12-week program that builds six participants’ business skills so they can gain traction in markets, scale their solutions and connect with mentors.
The first cohort of 19 companies launched in January 2022.
Mage Networks Partnership
In many rural communities, access to high-speed internet is sporadic. This is a challenge that affects employment, education and other aspects of daily life.
ATB is partnering with Mage Networks to bring reliable high-speed internet to rural and remote communities, beginning in Foremost, AB. The partnership has helped Mage build infrastructure in the village so it can offer service, including six months of free Wi-Fi in the town centre.
Mage’s new, affordable technology involves a relay network of “points of presence” that ensures reliable signals regardless of weather and terrain.
Student Tech Donations
In partnership with the United Way, ATB committed $100,000 to support the distribution of essential tech like Chromebooks to students most in need at schools across the province.
ATB supported the launch of Start Alberta—a world-class database and the first of its kind in North America—which nurtures the growth of Alberta’s digital economy and connects tech companies with potential investors.
ATB also sponsored Start Alberta’s 2021 Impact Award, which recognizes a business prioritizing the raising of social standards. This year’s focus was specific to diversity, equity and inclusion.
Our Diverse Communities
ATB celebrates and honours the diversity that exists within our communities, throughout the province. We support organizations, programs and initiatives that uplift the well-being of equity-seeking communities.
Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) Certification
ATB is actively pursuing the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business’s PAR certification to better support and uplift Indigenous Albertans through our business operations. Work is currently underway to develop a sustainable internal governance model for the program, and ATB anticipates that we will submit our PAR Phase 3 report in the fall of 2022 as the next step in the certification process.
Support for Ukraine
Alberta is home to a large Ukrainian community, and ATB has many Ukrainian team members. Across the organization, concern for Ukraine and Ukrainian people has been loud and clear.
ATB donated $50,000 to the Canadian Red Cross Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal to provide immediate and ongoing relief efforts on behalf of team members, clients and Albertans.
We also matched team member donations through our internal giving platform, Uplift, and our recognition program, Everyday Heroes, and we promoted the Red Cross on our ATB Cares website. This has resulted in nearly $95,000 in additional donations and matching, in support of those impacted by the war.
Our Ongoing Commitment to Pride
We were especially excited to be the title sponsor for the second annual Cochrane Pride. The event fosters visibility and celebrates equality, inclusion and safer spaces for all generations of the LGBTQI2S+ community in Cochrane and surrounding areas.
In Calgary, ATB partnered with Local Laundry, Monogram Coffee and the Centre for Sexuality again, to raise funds for youth gay-straight alliance (GSA) programs supported by the Centre. GSAs are school-based groups that are student-run with teacher support. They work to create safe, caring, supportive and inclusive spaces for LGBTIQ2S+ students, staff and their allies. Different groups use different names for GSAs, but two other common ones are gender and sexuality alliance (GSA) and queer-straight alliance (QSA). More than $13,000 was raised as a result of this initiative.
We also partnered with local artist Bri Strong to create incredible works of sidewalk art outside our downtown Calgary Branch for Arts and Culture during Calgary’s Pride celebrations. ATB strives to support local artists—Indigenous, LGBTQI2S+ and others—who are connected to and making a difference in the communities where we live and work.
Action, Chinese Canadians Together Foundation
ATB added our voice to the thousands of people and organizations who want to #StopAsianHate. There has been a rise of racism toward Asian people in Canada, which escalated following the murders of Asian people in Atlanta, Georgia.
To demonstrate our solidarity with all equity-seeking communities, including Canadians of Asian heritage, ATB donated $10,000 to the Action, Chinese Canadians Together Foundation, which builds the capacity of Chinese Canadian leaders committed to creating a more equitable society.
National Indigenous Peoples Day
To celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day, we featured Indigenous entrepreneurs in the Indigenous Market on ATB’s crowdfunding platform, BoostR, in partnership with the Alberta Native Friendship Centres Association. ATB matched all purchases and donations made through the BoostR marketplace up to $10,000.
Supporting the Arts
In 2021, ATB partnered with the Edmonton International Fringe Festival, the Calgary Folk Music Festival and the Calgary International Film Festival.
Many of the artists who make these festivals possible have not been able to perform or exhibit their work during the pandemic. ATB’s support helped each festival reach audiences with a hybrid of online and in-person events.
Edmonton International Fringe Festival
This was ATB’s seventh year partnering with the festival. Over 10,000 attendees viewed more than 100 online performances, putting more than $350,000 of ticket sales into the hands of local artists.
Calgary International Film Festival
The film festival used a hybrid of in-person and online screenings and received a record number of film submissions—an 18% increase from 2020. Over 27,000 viewers attended.
Calgary Folk Music Festival
This was the fourth year of ATB’s sponsorship of the music festival. Close to 12,000 people attended performances, and livestreams of Folk Fest TV and were viewed 90,000 times. ATB partnered with the artists and purchased their merchandise to give to the audience, putting approximately $11,000 into the hands of performers.
Empowering Financial Futures
Junior ATB and Stepping Stones
Junior ATB aims to set up Alberta youth for future financial success by teaching financial empowerment topics—like saving and protecting money—to students in grades 4 to 6. This year, our 86 team member volunteers facilitated nearly 500 sessions, reaching roughly 8,000 Alberta youth.
This year, 93 schools participated—up from 61 the year prior, and the most in Junior ATB’s 12-year history. When asked if they found value in the concepts presented and if they felt like they could apply them, 98% of students responded positively.
The success of Junior ATB helped us recognize that we could fill a similar gap for junior high and high school students. The Stepping Stones program was developed and introduced with content similarly themed to Junior ATB, but designed for older youth. A total of 96 Stepping Stones sessions have been delivered, and positive feedback was received.
Financial Pathways Collaborative
Financial Pathways Collaborative is a group of organizations, including other financial institutions, that help individuals and families experiencing poverty achieve financial stability and independence.
Workshops were pivoted to virtual delivery, which allowed them to continue during the pandemic. In 2021, 846 individuals benefited from Each One Teach One (EOTO)—a financial education and literacy program.
A total of 71 EOTO workshops were held, and 10 of those were facilitated by ATB volunteers.
Enabling Team Member and Community Giving
To further demonstrate our commitment to the greater good, we introduced a new team member giving platform. ATB Uplift is a social impact platform that connects our team members with opportunities to donate, fundraise and volunteer in support of the causes most important to them. ATB amplifies these contributions through matching and volunteer rewards, which are distributed back to our team members’ causes.
- More than half of our 5,000+ team members participated, either by donating or recording volunteer time in Uplift.
- Causes were supported with more than $122,000 in donations from team members and nearly $42,000 in donation matching by ATB.
- A total of 28,000 volunteer hours were logged, resulting in an additional $55,000 in rewards being distributed to team members’ causes.
In total, ATB and our team members donated over $596,000 this past year through fundraising, volunteering and giving efforts in support of organizations that are uplifting the well-being of our communities.
For more than 10 years, the ATB Cares platform has enabled Albertans to donate to the causes most important to them, with ATB matching those donations. Over the past year, more than 11,000 donations totalling more than $4.3 million were received, benefiting 1,038 charities. ATB matched donations with an additional $423,000.
December Glow of Giving
In December 2021, ATB gave a combined nearly $99,000 through our internal program Uplift’s matching offer, volunteer rewards and our holiday giving incentive.
Team members donated more than $45,000 of their own money to support causes that mattered to them, while also logging 245 volunteer hours.
A total of $1.8 million was raised through our external program ATB Cares from November 30 to December 31, 2021, supporting 3,756 organizations. ATB contributed nearly $134,000 in donation matching through ATB Cares.