2011 CP Holiday Train launches Canadian food bank blitz

CALGARY, Nov. 25, 2011 /CNW/ - Canadian Pacific's cross-country and cross-border food bank drive launches its 13th year of raising money, food and awareness this weekend.

The CP Holiday Train, North America's longest-running rolling fundraiser, has become an annual holiday tradition for many food banks. Two freight trains, both decked out in thousands of feet of festive lighting, roll into communities on both sides of the border with entertainers performing from a boxcar that has been converted into a mobile stage.

The Canadian Holiday Train kicks off its unique journey across six provinces on Sunday, November 27th with its first stop in Beaconsfield, Quebec and then wrapping up its powerful three-week journey in Port Moody B.C. on December 17th.

The U.S. Holiday Train has also begun its trek through large and small communities in eight U.S. states in the Northeast and Midwest.

Since 1999, the CP Holiday Train has entertained thousands while raising about $5.6 million and collecting over 2.5 million pounds of food for local food bank programs.  For many food banks along the way, this is their major fundraiser for the next 12 months. In all, the two specially-decorated trains will visit about 150 communities with everything collected at each stop staying in that community for local distribution.

On the Canadian Holiday Train, crowds will experience Canadian music legend Valdy. Joining Valdy on stage will be young Ottawa rockers, Brothers Dube' and Canadian Country Music Hall of Famer Tracey Brown. Bringing holiday cheer and the important message of supporting food shelves in the United States will be veteran Milwaukee folk-rocker Willy Porter, along with Nashville country-music recording artist Sydney Grigg.

The 2011 CP Holiday Train schedule, musician bios and other information is on cpr.ca. As well, both Holiday Trains can be followed on Facebook and on Twitter (@CPHolidaytrain).

Editor's Notes

Background:

  • Planning for the Holiday Train begins at least seven months prior to the fundraising kick off. This is a grassroots employee effort. Thousands of CP workers volunteer for the special fundraising journey every year - many taking their vacations to work on each train - from train assembly to operations.

  • Two Holiday Trains raising awareness and collecting money and donations for hunger relief, crossing eight US states and six Canadian provinces for a combined distance of about 10,000 kilometers (approx. 6,000 miles).

  • The two trains will visit close to 150 communities in Canada and the United States Northeast and Midwest, in addition to many other stops along the way.

  • Each Holiday Train is about 1,000 feet in length with 14 decorated rail cars, including a modified box car that has been turned into a traveling stage for performers.  They are each decorated with hundreds of thousands of technology-leading LED Christmas lights. Both Holiday Trains are powered by GE-built 4,400 hp high-performance locomotives with four diesel generators to power the light systems.

  • In addition to an even brighter train, this year's Holiday Train program features an interactive website where you will be able to read stories. Visit www.cpr.ca. As well, join the Holiday Train on Facebook and follow the two trains on Twitter @CPHolidaytrain

Fun Facts:

  • Since 1999, we've traveled about 100,000 miles on the Holiday Train - enough to go around the world more than 3 and a half times

  • 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.

  • More than 100,000 lights glimmer across the Holiday Trains in Canada and the U.S.

  • CP has donated 40,000 pins to help Food Banks in Canada in the U.S. raise $200,000

Editor's notes:

Video with caption: "Video: 2011 CP Holiday Train - Making a difference, one stop at a time". Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20111125_C9291_VIDEO_EN_7248.mp4&posterurl=http://photos.newswire.ca/images/20111125_C9291_PHOTO_EN_7248.jpg&clientName=Canadian%20Pacific&caption=Video%3A%202011%20CP%20Holiday%20Train%20%2D%20Making%20a%20difference%2C%20one%20stop%20at%20a%20time&title=CANADIAN%20PACIFIC%20%2D%202011%20CP%20Holiday%20Train%20launches%20Canadian%20food%20

SOURCE Canadian Pacific

For further information:

Media Contacts:
Canadian Train      
Kevin Hrysak
403-836-3874 (cell)
Kevin_hrysak@cpr.ca     
       
U.S. Train
Ed Greenberg
612-849-4717 (cell)
 Ed_greenberg@cpr.ca    

*CP Media Line: 1-855-242-3674 (24/7-Toll Free)


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890