The PIxel Moments photo mosaic at the London Drugs on Granville and West Georgia.

Supporting mental health, one pixel at a time

Promise Magazine: Promise 2021
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Though we couldn’t gather in person over the past year, St. Paul’s Foundation found many new ways to connect with our community. And our most creative way? A large-scale innovative work of public art.

Pixel Moments – an augmented reality (AR) photo mosaic – was a fully interactive experience, powered by donor-submitted photos to raise awareness and funds for mental health at St. Paul’s.

With gifts starting at just $5, donors could upload a meaningful photo that spoke to their own mental wellness journey. Through the power of technology, each photo became a pixel used in the final mural.

When it launched in April at Granville and West Georgia, one of the busiest intersections in Vancouver, thousands of selfies were unveiled in a stunning illustration by local artist, Andrea Wan.

Even more incredible – when scanned with a smartphone, parts of the 60×20-foot mural came alive through animation, transforming the viewing experience.

Pixel Moments was the brainchild of St. Paul’s Foundation Future Leaders, a group of young professionals who volunteer their time in support of the hospital. They worked collaboratively with over 60 individuals, from design and technical support, to St. Paul’s staff, for six months to see it through.

“Each pixel in the mural tells a story. Each story lives next to another,” says Future Leader member Leon Ng. “Donors saw their impact as a valuable part of the bigger picture. The mural speaks to how much we all care as a community.”

This type of AR-micro-donation project was a first for St. Paul’s Foundation and raised $298,416 through donations, sponsorship, and in-kind support for St. Paul’s Hospital.

“I’ve been personally affected by someone with serious mental health issues,” says Future Leader member Zeeshan Hayat. “Pixel Moments encouraged more young people, who may have less money, to contribute towards an important cause. The power of that is bigger than anything else.”

Thank you to our many sponsors for helping to make this possible: London Drugs, the venue sponsor, and Sandstorm Gold, the Gold Level sponsor. And thanks to donors like you for making a difference, one pixel at a time.

Article by Melanie Scott | Photo: PrismTech Graphics

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