Celebrating 20 years of collecting food and raising funds for food banks across North America, the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train will roll into the Shuswap on Saturday, Dec. 15.
The CP Rail Holiday Train program launched in 1999 and has since raised more than $14.5 million and gathered 4.3 million pounds of food for communities along CP’s routes in Canada and the United States.
This year’s journey of celebrating and giving began in Montreal on Nov. 27 bringing holiday cheer to communities along CP’s network.
Each event is free, with CP encouraging attendees to open their cupboards and wallets to help address hunger needs in their communities.
Local food banks will be accepting donations at each stop to ensure those less fortunate have enough healthy food this holiday season.
“On behalf of the 13,000-strong family here at CP, it is my great pleasure to kick off the 20th tour of the CP Holiday Train,” said Keith Creel, CP’s president and chief executive officer. “It is a privilege for CP to be able to run a program like this and connect with so many communities across our network. I want to personally thank each individual who has made a donation over the past 20 years – your collective efforts have made the Holiday Train a huge success for two decades.”
CP is also encouraging fans of the train to donate heart-healthy food, as everyone should have access to healthy, nutritious food, regardless of circumstances. This supports the mission of “CP Has Heart,” a program dedicated to improving the heart health of men, women and children in North America. To date, this program has raised more than $15 million for cardiac care and research.
Also of importance is the need to make sure food is unopened and prior to the “best before” dates.
The train will arrive at Sicamous’ Silver Sands Road intersection, east of the draw bridge at 4:50 p.m.
Next stop is at the 50th Street railway crossing in Canoe at 6:15 p.m., the Lordco gravel parking lot in Salmon Arm at 7:30 and in Notch Hill across from the community hall at 9:15.
“The event is scheduled to commence 15 minutes after the train arrives and should run for 30 minutes,” says Salmon Arm organizer Chris Moore. “Hot and cold food and drinks will be available at both locations, by donation to The Salvation Army.”
There will be glow sticks available for the children, and Moore recommends dressing warmly as the train can be delayed. There will be burn barrels, too, to provide some warmth and cheery light.
Hear the rock, indie and alt rock sounds of Juno and MuchMusic award-winning Sam Roberts Band, the smoky and sultry vocals of country singer Kelly Prescott and Tracey Brown, a Canadian country music artist and former member of Family Brown. To coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Holiday Train, CP will release 20 festive songs by artists that have toured on the train over the past 20 years.
Fans can visit the CP Holiday Train playlist on Spotify for a free song to stream. Users with premium Spotify accounts can download songs onto their smartphones. People can also tune in daily for an advent calendar of holiday hits by past artists such as Alan Doyle, Wide Mouth Mason, Terri Clark, Jim Cuddy, Odds and more.
People visiting the Holiday Train are encouraged to take photos and enter CP’s Capture the Spirit photo contest. Participants could win a trip aboard the 2019 CP Holiday Train and a $1,000 donation to their local food bank. Further details can be found on the CP Holiday Train Facebook page at facebook.com/HolidayTrain.