Christmas campaigns begin

Pull out your winter woollies, grab some nutritious, non-perishable food items (new and never opened please) and get ready

Pull out your winter woollies, grab some nutritious, non-perishable food items (new and never opened please) and get ready for the arrival of the annual CP Rail Holiday Train.

Every year, Holiday Trains travel through dozens of communities, raising food and cash donations for North American food banks.

Scheduled to pull into Salmon Arm by the Lordco parking lot at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 16, the brightly lit train provides great entertainment for the whole family and reminds us that not everyone has the wherewithal to celebrate Christmas.

Again this year, the Holiday Train program is encouraging people attending events to bring heart-healthy donations. Heart-health education and awareness is a tenet of CP’s community investment program, CP Has Heart, which focuses on improving the heart health of men, women and children in communities across North America.

The two brightly lit trains will kick off in the Montreal area on Nov. 27 and 28 on their way to visit approximately 150 communities. The Canadian train travels west across Canada finishing its journey in Port Coquitlam. The U.S. Train visits communities across the U.S. Northeast and Midwest, and returns back to Canada for shows in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

This year, the entertainment will be provided by Jim Cuddy, a member of the Canadian country rock band Blue Rodeo.

In 2011, Jim released Skyscraper Soul, his third solo album. His voice, always a voluptuous instrument, has never sounded better and Cuddy proves once again that his songwriting ranks with the best Canada has to offer.

Devin Cuddy has always made music his way, and some might argue, the hard way. As the son of one of Canada’s most beloved singer/songwriters, country rock has been the soundtrack to Devin’s entire life.

From the moment Devin was drawn to playing music, he was determined to get as close as possible to the sources of all the sounds he loved, whether they were made by rock and roll’s founding fathers, the Grand Ole Opry’s honky tonk heroes, or Jelly Roll Morton and the kings of jazz.

No stranger to the Holiday Train, Kelly Prescott has taken part in numerous U.S. tours and was featured on many of the past Holiday Train CDs, including the gold record release in 2005.

In 2013 she shared the stage with Sheryl Crow and Take Six on the Holiday Train 15th anniversary show in Minnesota.

She is excited to be taking part of the Canadian tour this year with Devin Cuddy, Jim Cuddy and the fabulous Holiday Train Band.

Local Holiday Train organizer Chris Moore says members of the Salmon Arm Masonic Lodge will be serving hotdogs and warm drinks, donated by local businesses.

“There will be burn barrels to keep warm around and carol signing to warm your hearts,” says Moore. “And Santa Claus will be mingling with the crowd before the train arrives so come early for a chance to meet the big guy before he boards the train.”

The Salmon Arm Observer’s Shuswap Christmas campaign begins today. Bring in a bag of nutritious, non-perishable food to the office at 171 Shuswap Street in exchange for a tag from the Christmas tree, whose number corresponds to a gift certificate provided by local businesses. Please note, food that is past its “best before” date will not be accepted. Nor will food that has previously been opened.

Tags are available as well for a minimum $20 cash donation.

The food and cash gathered in the Observer office will go to the Salvation Army Food Bank as the bins at the front fill up.


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