April 1, 2023

The Queens County Citizen

Complete Canadian News World

The illuminated Canadian Pacific Holiday Train makes a stop in Montreal

The illuminated Canadian Pacific Holiday Train makes a stop in Montreal

(Montreal) After two years of virtual operations due to the pandemic, the Canadian Pacific (CP) Holiday Train resumed its tour of food banks and made a stop in the Montreal area on Sunday evening.

The train first visited Montreal West at 7:00 p.m., followed by Beaconsfield in the evening to give a free festival concert.

This year, two nearly 300-meter long illuminated trains will cross the eight US states and six Canadian provinces bordering CP’s rail network to raise awareness of food insecurity and the importance of the work of community organizations.

Several Quebec organizations are also involved in the program, including Moisson Montreal, which has been involved in food procurement for more than 20 years.

Stacey Patenaud, the company’s government affairs manager, described in an interview the “magical” experience the train has provided to municipalities.

“We will cross 168 communities to offer concerts this year. […] CP not only donates to local food banks, concert attendees are also asked to bring food items to be donated to organizations in need,” she said.

The initiative aims to “spread the holiday spirit” across North America by collecting donations and food for homes in need.

“We don’t have specific fundraising goals, but we donated $5,000 to food banks in Megantic. These are donations left in their community and handled on site by bank officials,” said the manager.

The purchase of Canadian Pacific’s Chemin de Fer du Center du Maine & du Quebec (CMQ), which crosses the eastern townships, also made it possible for the program to offer concerts for the first time in the region. Five thousand dollars was presented to Moison Estrey’s organization at a presentation in Sherbrooke on Thursday evening.

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“To my knowledge, it’s the only train that does that,” says M.me Patenade. […] When we reach our destination, we go up on a stage, we give a Christmas concert, and then we go up on the stage and we leave. It’s just to share the magic of the holiday season”.

Running since 1999, the holiday train travels east to west across the continent, with one ending in British Columbia and the other in Missouri.

Since its inception, the Holiday Train has collected between 21 million and 2.2 million pounds of food for community food banks.

This article was produced with financial support from Meta Fellowships and The Canadian Press for News.