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Capture The Spirit Holiday Train Contest-winning photo


Anything's possible with a little encouragement from a friend and the support of an entire community. ​That's the trick to Joelle Clairoux' Capture The Spirit Holiday Train Contest-winning photo. That and a great picture.

Joelle​ (top right) submitted the winning photo to the CPHolidayTrain Facebook page and the Rockland, Ontario resident's prize-winning photo won her a ride for four on the 2014 Holiday Train and a feature spot in CP's annual train calendar. CP also donated $500 to the Rockland Food Bank on Joelle's behalf.

"I teach Grade 8," explains Joelle. "I had the whole school voting. In fact, I had the whole community voting. And on Facebook, I had a special page; I sent out friendly reminders every morning."

She sent out so many reminders that Facebook blocked her for a while because they said she was spamming people, but ultimately the plan worked. Joelle had 1,611 winning votes

Even though she won, and ran an impressive, grass roots marketing campaign, Joelle says this was her first time she's taken photography seriously.

Joelle took the shot with a Nikon 5200 camera using automatic settings.

"What helped was the snow. The lights looked great reflecting off the ground.

"I didn't want any people in my shot because some times when you shoot at night, people look ghostly, so I focused on a shot of the train alone. I went to the front of the train and got my moment when everyone was watching the concert. There was nobody on the right side of the train so I set up my tri-pod, kneeled down and took my pictures."

The photo came out exactly how she'd hoped.  "Maybe I'm good at this."

You can follow the Holiday Train's journey at, and see many other photos and videos on our cpholidaytrain social media accounts with Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. ​

If you come out to an event, be sure to bring a donation for the food bank and take the #healthydonations pledge.





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