The CP Holiday Train rolling into Calgary, Alberta on December 8, 2017. (CNW Group/Canadian Pacific)
CALGARY — The 19th annual Canadian Pacific (CP) Holiday Train has completed another successful tour across North America, raising more than just spirits this holiday season. While final numbers are still being calculated, more than C$1.5 million and 300,000 pounds of food have been raised for local food banks and food shelves.
The Holiday Train has now raised more than $14.5 million and 4.3 million pounds of food since its inaugural journey back in 1999.
“The momentum we see in the Holiday Train from year-to-year reinforces the good that we, and our partners at the food banks, are doing across North America,” said Keith Creel, CP president and CEO. “Connecting with communities has been a theme for the CP family this year as we celebrate Canada 150 and what a way to end 2017, with more than 425,000 people across our network enjoying the magic of the CP Holiday Train.”
The 2017 CP Holiday Train was proud to feature an all Canadian musical line-up with multiple Canadian Country Music Award and Juno Award winners. The Canadian train featured Colin James, Emma-Lee and Odds until Calgary, where Alan Doyle and the Beautiful Band jumped on to finish the tour to the west coast. On board the U.S. train, Kelly Prescott partnered with Jim and Devin Cuddy between Montreal and Windsor, Ont., and was joined by Dallas Smith and Terri Clark through the U.S. Midwest and Great Plains. Jonathan Roy anchored the Quebec shows.
New this year, CP introduced an online train tracker so that fans could see exactly where the trains were, allowing even more people to connect with the spirit of the Holiday Train on both sides of the border. The Canadian train also boasted the Spirit of Tomorrow car, a railcar that was a part of the CP Canada 150 train which travelled across the country this summer in celebration of Canada’s 150th. Crowds were able to view the car, which is covered in notes written by children across Canada, expressing the dreams they have for their nation.
The CP Holiday Train program is not the only way that CP gives back to food banks. CP also provides Food Banks Canada $250,000 worth of in-kind transportation services to support its National Food Sharing Service program. Since 2011 CP’s contribution has helped transport over 17 million pounds of food and household goods to food organizations across Canada.
“We are always delighted when the CP Holiday Train travels across North American communities and provides the platform to speak about the need of healthy and nutritious food items at local food banks,” said Mimi Lowi-Young, executive director, Food Banks Canada. “CP continues to play a role in raising awareness of hunger-related issues and also supporting Food Banks Canada in transporting food across Canada through our National Food Sharing System.”
As part of Canada 150, CP and the Canada 150 Federal Secretariat partnered to promote the Holiday Train and the conclusion of the sesquicentennial celebrations.