The CP Canada 150 train has completed its cross-country tour, connecting thousands of Canadians with the history of Canada and Canadian Pacific, while delivering an epic community block party at each of the 13 whistle stops.
The August 20 show in Ottawa marked the final event of the train tour, a journey that brought thousands of Canadians together to enjoy a free concert to celebrate the country's 150th anniversary of confederation and the role the railway played in connecting Canada more than 130 years ago.
"CP and this country share a remarkable legacy," said Keith Creel, CP President and CEO. "I was honoured to be on the train, connecting with Canadians and CP employees. We look forward to the next 150 years of connecting Canada with the world and thank all those who came to an event, or followed our progress online."
Incorporated in 1881, CP completed Canada's first transcontinental railway link on November 7, 1885 with the Last Spike. CP is credited with establishing no fewer than 800 communities and town sites across Canada and today the railway operates in more than 1,100 communities across North America.
Support for the train came from all levels of leadership across the country, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who joined the train with his daughter, Ella-Grace, from Revelstoke, B.C. to Calgary. Indigenous leaders, mayors, councilors, MLAs, MPs and MPPs also joined CP officials on stage, and a lucky few got to sound a special train whistle that made a similar journey a half-century ago to celebrate Canada's centennial. The whistle, on loan to CP from the Museum of Science and Technology in Ottawa, played O Canada at the touch of a button.
The CP Canada 150 train featured beautifully restored locomotives built in the 1950s and passenger railcars constructed during the first half of the last century. While the train itself brought cheers from the crowd, the world-class musicians got the crowd singing and dancing.
"On this tour, I saw Canadians express gratitude for what we have, and a hope for the future that truly inspired me," said award-winning country artist Dean Brody, who headlined the 13 performances. "Taking into account CP's role in Canada's history, this was an incredible way to celebrate our 150th birthday and see new parts of our vast country."
Community members at each event were treated to a free concert, crafts for kids and a walk through CP's archives. CP's quarter-scale mini-train, The Little General, also appeared at most events, offering kids the opportunity to play conductor. The tour also featured the Spirit of Tomorrow car, which now carries with it thousands of stickers on which Canadians wrote their dreams for the future. This car will be featured as part of this year's CP Holiday Train. The schedule for this year's Holiday Train will be online at www.cpr.ca in mid-October.
"Performing aboard CP's Canada 150 train gave me the opportunity to connect with thousands of Canadians, and to see them connect with each other," said Dallas Arcand, world champion hoop dancer and Canada 150 train performer. "The train tour is something I will always remember, and I hope people from all across this country who attended feel the same."
The theme song of the CP Canada 150 train, The Spirit of Tomorrow, performed by Kelly Prescott, is available for free download here.
For more on CP's role in connecting Canada, visit www.cpconnectingcanada.ca and engage on social media @CanadianPacific using #ConnectingCanada. For a video re-cap of the 13-stop tour, click here.
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.