The train usually travels across Canada from late November until mid-December each year. Along the way it stops in communities and hosts free evenings of live music and family-friendly fun. In 2019 the concerts were with Country singers Terri Clark and Dallas Smith.
Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Holiday Train was not able to happen in 2020. Instead, a virtual concert took place to raise donations for food banks.
For more information, visit the CP Holiday Train website.
Holiday Train Concerts & Fundraising Events
The CP Holiday Train has been a Christmas tradition of the Canadian Pacific Railway for about 20 years. The train travels across both Canada and the United States and at each stop there is a concert and local food bank volunteers collect cash and food donations.
Since 1999 thousands of people have been entertained in communities across the country and over four and a half million pounds of food and close to $16 million in donations have been collected. At each stop people from the community donate food and cash. The CPR also makes a donation, usually of several thousand dollars, at each location.
Free Live Music from the CP Train
On the train there is typically at least one fairly high-profile musician who gives a short concert. In 2018 it was Sam Roberts Band as well as Kelly Prescott and Tracey Brown. The year before it was Alan Doyle & The Beautiful Band. A couple of years before that it was Jim Cuddy from the band Blue Rodeo.
In 2019 the CP Holiday Train requested that donations of food were to be of especially nutritious items. This included whole grain foods, canned vegetables and fruits, low fat and low-sodium products, canned fish and canned or dried beans. Of course things like peanut butter, canned soup and cash were also greatly appreciated.
CP Holiday Train in 2019
In 2019 the CP Holiday Train made five stops in the Lower Mainland. The same as in other recent years, the free concerts in 2019 took place over the course of two days in Agassiz, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Port Moody and Port Coquitlam.
Train visits and concert details are listed below. Details in future years will likely be comparable.
Agassiz on December 16th, 2019
Outside the Agassiz Agricultural Hall at 6800 Pioneer Avenue was the first stop on the CP Holiday Train’s 2019 tour of the Lower Mainland. It arrived in the community at around 5:30 pm and the entertainment ran from 5:45 until 6:15 pm.
Food and cash donations collected at this first event benefited the Agassiz-Harrison Community Services Food Bank.
Maple Ridge on December 16th, 2019
The CP Holiday Train visited Maple Ridge by the Port Haney West Coast Express train stop across from Billy Miner Pub at 22355 River Road.
The event took place in Maple Ridge on Monday, December 16th (so shortly after the event in Agassiz). The train was scheduled to arrive at the Maple Ridge location at 7:50 and Terri Clark entertained from 8:00 until 8:30 pm.
Donations collected at the event in Maple Ridge benefited the local Friends in Need Food Bank.
Pitt Meadows on December 16th, 2019
The Pitt Meadows event took place at the railway crossing at the West Coast Express Station at the corner of Harris Road and Advent Road near the Pitt Meadows Museum General Store at 12294 Harris Road.
In 2019 the train was expected to pull up at around 8:55 pm on Monday, December 16th (so shortly after its stop in Maple Ridge on the same night). The free outdoor concert then happened from 9:05 until 9:35 pm.
Donations of cash and food at the Pitt Meadows event benefited the Friends in Need Food Bank.
Port Moody on December 17th, 2019
The CP Holiday Train visited Port Moody behind the Rec Centre at 300 loco Road on Tuesday, December 17th. The train was scheduled to arrive at 5:20 and stay until 6:15 pm.
Even though the CP Holiday Train was in town for less than an hour, the festivities in Port Moody ran for an extra couple of hours. From 5:00 until 7:00 pm, for example, there was an outdoor bonfire by the rec centre’s tennis courts as well as live music and food to be purchased (by donation). Indoors at the rec centre there was also popcorn, participatory carol singing and craft activities.
On the same evening, at the Galleria & Inlet Theatre right close by at 100 Newport Drive, up until around 8 o’clock, there was hot chocolate (by donation), more craft activities, live entertainment and photo opportunities with Santa.
Click Port Moody Event for more information about the full evening of December 17th, 2019 activities.
Donations received at the event in Port Moody benefited Share Family & Community Services.
Port Coquitlam on December 17th, 2019
Port Coquitlam also got its CP Holiday Train visit on Tuesday, December 17th (so shortly after the concert in Port Moody). The train was at the Port Coquitlam West Coast Express Station at 2125 Kingsway Avenue from 7:00 until 7:45 pm.
The same as at the event in Port Moody, the entertainment in Port Coquitlam was provided by Terri Clark.
Donations of food and cash collected in Port Coquitlam benefited Share Family & Community Services.
What to Expect at the CP Holiday Train Events
At each stop of the CP Holiday Train you can expect to see a few thousand people and train cars with Christmas lights. The train pulls up, the stage door lowers, the band gets ready and then the music plays for about half an hour.
During the event, part way through the selection of Christmas-themed tunes, there is an official welcome and presentation by local dignitaries and folk from the local food bank.
Lasting for only around 45 minutes from start to finish, the events are pretty small and short, but they are fun, and the music is great.
The Holiday Train itself is approximately 1,000 feet long and consists of two GP20C 2200 series locomotives and over a dozen rail cars decorated with Christmas LED lights. You can’t go on the train, but it’s exciting to see.
Don’t forget to take non-perishable food items and/or cash to donate to your local food bank if you attend the event!
CP Holiday Train Christmas Video
Below is a video of the CP Holiday Train in 2018. The scene is of the train and its cars just after its concert with the Sam Roberts Band and just before it departed for its next stop in Port Coquitlam.
For more details about the events see the CP Holiday Train website.
For ideas on other things to do check out the following: