15th year of CP Holiday Train begins journey for food banks

150 communities in Canada and United States to experience the 'train of lights'

CALGARY, Nov. 25, 2013 /CNW/ - The 15th year of Canadian Pacific's Holiday Train launches its annual rolling fundraiser in support of food bank programs along its network in Canada and the United States.

The 2013 CP Holiday Train program launches on November 25th in Kahnawake, Quebec, formally kicking off the three-week journey of two brightly decorated trains across Canada and the United States. The first U.S. fundraiser is in Scranton, PA, on November 26.

The two trains, each decorated with thousands of LED lights and festive designs, along with musicians entertaining from a converted box car stage will make stops in more than 150 cities, towns, and villages with free family shows until December 19th.

Performing on the Canadian train will be Melanie Doane, Jim Cuddy, Crystal Shawanda, and Doc Walker, while on the U.S. train, supporters will be entertained by The Claytones, Tracey Brown, and Willy Porter.

To further celebrate the train's 15th anniversary and to raise awareness of this serious issue even further, CP has announced free signature concerts in Hamilton, ON, Calgary, AB, and Cottage Grove, MN, featuring Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan, Tom Cochrane with Red Rider, The Tenors, Great Big Sea, Matt Dusk, Natalie MacMaster, and Take 6.

Every event is free, but attendees are asked to bring a cash or non-perishable food donation for their local food shelf. Everything raised at each event stays there for local distribution.

In addition to raising money and food for local food banks, Canadian Pacific will match all donations to the Breakfast Club of Canada and Feeding America during this year's Holiday Train journey. People are encouraged to go to www.breakfastclubcanada.org in Canada and www.feedingamerica.org/holidaytrain in the United States to make a donation that CP in turn will match dollar-for-dollar. This matching program is above and beyond the donations made to community food shelves at each stop.

Since 1999, the Holiday Train program has raised $7.4 million and 3 million pounds of food for local food shelves.

For additional information, photos, a route map, and downloadable pictures of the two trains, visit: www.cpr.ca.

Supporters can also join the Holiday Train on Facebook and follow the two trains on Twitter @CPHolidaytrain #CPHolidayTrain.

Broadcast b-roll available at: http://www.cpr.ca/en/in-your-community/holiday-train/Pages/media.aspx

Backgrounder

Canadian Pacific Holiday Train

Canadian Pacific's annual Holiday Train program is considered to be the longest running fundraising program in North America. The Holiday Train program travels across Canada and the United States raising money, food, and awareness for food banks and hunger issues. The Holiday Train reaches more than 150 communities each year for a combined distance of 10,000 kilometres (approximately 6,000 miles).

What's a Holiday Train event like?

A typical Holiday Train event goes something like this: The train arrives and pulls to a safe stop in front of the crowd. The stage door lowers and the band opens with its first song. After that, a brief ceremony takes place which involves local food bank officials and other dignitaries. Once complete, the band resumes its show. After about a half hour that usually includes a mix of traditional and modern holiday-themed songs, the band plays its farewell show, the boxcar door closes, and the train slips off into the night on its way to the next stop.

Each Holiday Train is about 1,000 feet in length with 14 brightly decorated rail cars, including a modified boxcar that has been turned into a traveling stage for performers. They are each decorated with hundreds of thousands of technology-leading LED lights and holiday designs.

What's the impact been?

Since 1999, the Holiday Train has raised close to $7.4 million and about 3 million pounds of food for North American food banks. Everything raised in each community stays in that community, and CP additionally makes donations at each stop.

Fun Facts

  • Since 1999, the Holiday Trains have covered approximately 100,000 miles, and entertained hundreds of thousands of supporters.
  • It takes 30 "CP elves" 100 days to completely transform and decorate the Holiday Trains before they start their journey across Canada and the U.S.
  • In 2012, more than 20,000 candy canes were handed out to the kids at Holiday Train events. In the 14 years of the Holiday Train program, it is estimated over a quarter of a million candy canes have been given out to children as treats.

SOURCE: Canadian Pacific

For further information:

For media inquiries please call the CP 24/7 media line: 1-855-242-3674


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