As the bright red CP Holiday Train pulled into Fernie on December 11, lights were flashing and the streets were filled with community members ready for a night of good music and holiday cheer.
The train, all decked out with lights and decorations for Christmas, arrived in Fernie at approximately 4:45 p.m. as part of the cross Canada tour. The stage unfolded in front of The Arts Station and country music artists Terri Clark and Dallas Smith took the stage to entertain with a combination of classic Christmas carols and their own original songs.
Parents lifted their kids onto their shoulders and bundled up families swayed to the music as the pair performed. Fernie mayor Ange Qualizza was on hand to address the crowd, as was a representative from the Salvation Army.
The Holiday Train’s main purpose, other than to spread Christmas cheer throughout Canada, is to gather donations for local food banks.
Keith Creel, Canadian Pacific’s president and Chief Executive Officer said in a statement that, “access to nutritious food is a basic necessity, and food bank usage is on the rise across North America. The CP Holiday Train program is our way to help in the fight against hunger by growing awareness of this issue and providing a fun and engaging way for the public to show their support.”
Since the train’s inaugural journey in 1999, it has helped to raised $15.8 million and collected 4.5 million pounds of food.
The Holiday Train also made stops in Sparwood and Jaffray on December 11.