CALGARY, Canada (WANE) — There will be no middle-of-the-night watch parties for the Holiday Train across northern Indiana this season.
Canadian Pacific announced that it will donate to food banks in communities along the network and host a virtual concert in place of the regular Holiday Train program. The company hopes that the 2020 program will draw attention to food security issues while providing donations to food banks.
“COVID-19 has created many challenges for communities across our network and has only increased the need at local food banks and food shelves,” said Keith Creel, CP President and Chief Executive Officer . “It is our honor to continue to donate to communities across our network this year, even if the train itself will not run. The spirit of the Holiday Train program and the Christmas spirit will carry on this year through our virtual concert. We will have the Holiday Train rolling again spreading Christmas cheer as soon as it’s safe to do so!”
Since 1999, the brightly lit Holiday Train has traveled across Canada and the northern United States to raise money, collect food and drawing attention to the important work of food banks. It typically rolls through communities like Waterloo in northern Indiana.
To date, the train has raised $17.8 million and collected 4.8 million pounds of food for food banks in communities along the network, the announcement said.
“We are very excited that CP has chosen a safe way to keep the spirit of the CP Holiday Train rolling in support of local food banks like ours in these challenging times,” said Calgary Food Bank President and CEO James McAra. “The need for food bank services has risen substantially over the course of this year and heading into the high-demand winter months. We hope CP’s concert will prompt the train’s supporters to give as generously as they’re able.”
Live music is a tradition of the Holiday Train. To maintain this, CP will produce a benefit concert. Details to come, the announcement said.
The annual train tour is set to resume in 2021.