By Mabell, Dave on November 22, 2019.
It’s a photographer’s delight. But the brightly decorated Holiday Train also serves an important purpose, raising millions in support of food banks across North America.
Scheduled to arrive in Lethbridge at 7 p.m. on Dec. 10, the Holiday Train is actually one of two illuminated 14-car trains, each including -one car converted to become a mobile stage. Launched by Calgary-based Canadian Pacific in 1999, the seasonal project has since raised more than $15 million in cash donations plus 4.5 million pounds of donated food.
Dallas Smith, 2019 winner of Canadian Country Music Association’s “Entertainer of the Year” award, is joining Alberta’s own Terri Clark on stage during visits to Lethbridge and six more southern Alberta communities. They’ll remain onboard for another 24 concerts in southern British Columbia cities and towns, arriving at Pacific tidewater on Dec. 17.
“Touring with Terri on the CP Holiday Train is an honour and privilege,” Smith said. “I look forward to performing from the train and seeing Canadians giving generously to help their neighbours in communities large and small.”
This year the trains will make concert stops in more than 150 communities across Canada and adjacent U.S. states. Described as “North America’s longest rolling fundraiser,” this year’s Holiday Trains will leave Montreal on Nov. 25 and 26. One will head south to stop in communities served by Canadian Pacific in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota and Wisconsin, returning to Canada for stops including Regina, Moose Jaw and Dec. 18 in Medicine Hat. The other will track west through Thunder Bay and across the northern Prairies through Saskatoon and Wetaskiwin, then south to Calgary.
Before arriving in Lethbridge, it will stop Dec. 10 at noon in Okotoks and 3:15 p.m. in Vulcan. The following day, the Holiday Train will head west for concerts in Fort Macleod at 9:15 a.m., Pincher Creek at 10:35 a.m. and Coleman at 12:40 p.m. before visiting towns along the CP tracks through Cranbrook to Nelson.
The Lethbridge show will be behind Centre Village Mall, next to London Drugs, and visitors are encouraged to bring cash or food donations for Lethbridge food banks. With so many communities along its rail lines, Canadian Pacific officials say where stops are made depends in part on how strongly members of the public support the project each year.
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