Calgary Alberta - 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 28 Jul 2017.
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.
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.
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.
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 Connecting Canada campaign, including the "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 31 Jul 2017 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.