Since 1999, the annual Canadian Pacific Railway Holiday Train has pulled into communities across Canada and the United States to raise money for local food banks.
But like so many events deemed unworkable amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the festive train won’t be leaving its station this holiday season.
Keith Creel, the railway’s president and CEO, said CP will instead donate to food banks across the railway network this year and host virtual concerts in lieu of the annual event.
“COVID-19 has created many challenges for communities across our network and has only increased the need at local food banks and food shelves,” he said in a release.
“It is our honour to continue to donate to communities across our network this year, even if the train itself will not run.”
Over its 21 years of operation, the holiday train has raised $17.8 million while collecting 4.8 million pounds of food for local food banks.
Calgary Food Bank president and CEO James McAra said that support would be especially needed amidst rising demand during the pandemic.
“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,” McAra said in a release.
Details about the virtual concerts will be released at a later date. CP said it plans to resume the holiday train in 2021.