For the first time since 2019, the Canadian Pacific (CP) Holiday Train, which has 14 boxcars decorated with LED lights and, in total, is some 1,000 feet long, will make its annual journey from Montreal to Vancouver, stopping in communities along the CP rail network to provide free, live music in support of local food banks this Christmas season.
One of these stops is scheduled in the hamlet of Gleichen on Wednesday, December 7, and Wheatland County council approved providing a maximum of $5,000 in funding and in-kind resources for the event during the regular Tuesday, November 1 council meeting.
Correspondence regarding the planned stop was reviewed by council during the October 18 council meeting, and council directed administration to bring a request for decision back to the November council meeting for consideration.
The communities of Gleichen and Siksika Nation previously collaborated to host events in 2018 and 2019. Wheatland County council committed $2,500 of funding support in 2018, and $5,000 in 2019.
When the train last stopped in Gleichen in 2019, it is estimated some 1,500 people from the surrounding Wheatland County and Siksika Nation attended. The event helped raise a total of $9,211 in monetary donations and 435 pounds of food donations which supported the Siksika Support Centre Meal Program and Wheatland County Food Bank.
The CP Holiday Train event will be held at 3 Avenue and Crowfoot Street in Gleichen on Wednesday, December 7; the train is scheduled to arrive at 8:35 p.m. with performances by Alberta-born country music artist Tenille Townes, and Toronto-based Oji-Cree singer-songwriter Aysanabee between 8:45 p.m. and 9:15 p.m.
Council approved providing up to $5,000 in funding and in-kind resources such as Peace Officers and operation staff for the 2022 CP Holiday Train event.
Lacie Nairn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, DrumhellerMail.com, The Drumheller Mail