Coronavirus: 2020 CP Holiday Train cancelled, to be replaced by virtual benefit concert

The Canadian Pacific (CP) Holiday Train will not be chugging through Canadian towns and cities this winter due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

The move to cancel the train comes as many municipalities across Canada are cancelling other seasonal events, like Santa Claus parades, that might bring people out in large numbers.

Read more: Coronavirus: Toronto cancels major events through Dec. 31, Santa Claus parade to go virtual

Instead, CP has promised to host a virtual benefit concern to raise funds for local food banks along the train’s usual route.

“COVID-19 has created many challenges for communities across our network and has only increased the need at local food banks and food shelves,” said CP president and chief executive officer Keith Creel.

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The Holiday Train first began in 1999, and has since brought a fabulously-lit locomotive across Canada and the northern U.S. to raise money, collect food and draw attention to the needs of local food banks.

According to CP, over the last 21 years, the train has raised $17.8 million and collected 4.8 million pounds of food.

Coronavirus: Annual Toronto Christmas Market cancelled

Coronavirus: Annual Toronto Christmas Market cancelled

CP is hoping their virtual benefit concert will prompt people to donate, especially in a time of economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic.

“It is our honor to continue to donate to communities across our network this year, even if the train itself will not run,” Creel said.

“We will have the Holiday Train rolling again spreading Christmas cheer as soon as it’s safe to do so!”

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Details for the concert have yet to be ironed out, but will be shared when they are, a CP news release said.

The rail company plans to have the CP Holiday Train back up and running for 2021.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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