Canadian Pacific (CP) today officially launched its CP Canada 150 train tour with a kickoff ceremony at its Calgary headquarters with federal and provincial government officials and members of the Tsuut'ina Nation, who blessed the train.
The train is now heading west to Port Moody, B.C., for the first event on July 28. Over the next three weeks the train will travel across Canada bringing with it a cross-country, Canada 150 block party to 13 cities.
"It is my honour and privilege to represent CP and its employees – past and present – in officially kicking off the CP Canada 150 train," said Keith Creel, CP President and CEO. "I encourage all Canadians to come out and see the train, enjoy the family show and activities, and celebrate this great railroad and this great country."
As it rolls across the country, the CP Canada 150 Train will reconnect generations of Canadians through shared stories and celebration, as we honour the country's past, while acknowledging the leaders of the present, and look toward a bright future.
"It is my honour to be here today to mark the start of this special train at CP's Ogden Yard," said the Honourable Kent Hehr, MP for Calgary Centre. "Calgary and our province were connected to the rest of the country through a vision of a railway that had east meet west. Our last 150 years was a fulfillment of this dream of a nation united, and this train is a commitment to the thousands of youths and their dreams and passions for the next 150 in front of us."
Today's kickoff ceremony was also the unveiling of the Spirit of Tomorrow railcar, which, as it moves across Canada, will be decorated with thousands of handwritten cards from children outlining their dreams for the future.
"We thank CP for running this tour across Canada and look forward to celebrating Canada 150 with them," said the Honourable Joe Ceci, Alberta's Minister of Finance and President of the Treasury Board and MLA for Calgary-Fort. "We are proud to have CP based in Calgary and recognize their important contribution not only to this city, but to this province for more than 130 years."
At each three-hour event, community members will enjoy a variety of activities including performances by 13-time Canadian Country Music Award winner and two-time Juno Award winner, Dean Brody, Aboriginal entertainer and world champion hoop dancer Dallas Arcand and our house band, the Rail Road Ramblers, featuring Kelly Prescott. Eagle and Hawk will bring their unique sound of fusing traditional Indigenous themes with roots rock to events in Edmonton and Winnipeg.
To commemorate the beginning of the journey, members of the Tsuut'ina Nation performed a traditional blessing ceremony, asking for safe journey and protection while acknowledging the traditional lands our communities are on and CP's long history with Indigenous Peoples.
"The Tsuut'ina Nation would like to acknowledge CP for its history of forging links across this vast country," said Ellery Starlight, Councillor, Tsuut'ina Nation. "Links that have contributed to the development of a strong and united Canada. Tsuut'ina thanks CP for their support and their desire to reflect that foundational role in this celebration. Tsuut'ina looks forward to working with CP as we move forward, together."
Canadians of all ages can enjoy this family-friendly occasion while exploring images and facts pulled from CP's archives, decorating their very own conductor's hat or capturing a photo at the Empress photo station.
Since the tour's announcement in May, CP has been celebrating how the railway connected the nation through their #ConnectingCanada campaign, including the viral 'Whistle' video, launch of a heritage website and storytelling with daily archival photos on social media. Many Canadians have joined the conversation about the railways role in Canada, and have shared their personal railway stories in the CP Canada 150 contest. When the contest wraps on July 31, two lucky Canadians will get to bring a guest to stay on this one-of-a-kind train for two days and two nights. Get your short story entry in today before it's too late.
NOTE TO EDITORS: A full backgrounder on CP's Canada 150 train, fun facts about each location, specific event details and photos and video is available on www.cpr.ca
Canadian Pacific is a transcontinental railway in Canada and the United States with direct links to eight major ports, including Vancouver and Montreal, providing North American customers a competitive rail service with access to key markets in every corner of the globe. CP is growing with its customers, offering a suite of freight transportation services, logistics solutions and supply chain expertise. Visit cpr.ca to see the rail advantages of CP.