CP Holiday Train To Receive CCMA’s Inaugural Gary Slaight Music Humanitarian Award

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The Canadian Pacific (CP) Holiday Train is the first recipient of the Gary Slaight Music Humanitarian Award, which will be presented by the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA).

The community initiative established by Canadian Pacific, now in its 23rd year, is North America’s largest rolling food bank fundraiser and will be celebrated for its success during Country Music Week in London, Ont. from Nov. 26 to 29.

“I’d like to thank the CCMA for naming the Humanitarian Award in my honour and want to congratulate the CP Holiday Train as its first recipient,” said Slaight Communications Inc. president and chief executive officer Gary Slaight in a media release.

“The CP Holiday Train champions two causes which I am very passionate about; helping those in our communities in times of need as well as supporting and promoting Canadian Artists and their music. I look forward to seeing their campaign come to life this year.”

Slaight was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2005 and named a Member of the Order of Canada in 2014. Through the Slaight Family Foundation he has supported a variety of humanitarian and cultural causes, and continues to invest in media and entertainment ventures through both Slaight Communications and Slaight Music, a division launched in 2009 with a mandate to invest, nurture and develop Canadian artists.

The CP Holiday Train was initially conceived as a way for CP to give back to the communities where it operated across its network in North America. It has raised more than $19.4 million and 4.9 million pounds of food.

“Every year, this beautifully illuminated train travels across Canada and the U.S., stopping in communities along our network and bringing people together in the spirit of celebration and giving,” CP president and CEO Keith Creel said in the release.

“We love being a part of these communities, and we are proud to support local food banks along the way.”

The CP Holiday Train program focuses on raising the profile of local food banks and their ongoing need for support throughout the holiday season. It stops in more than 170 communities each year to encourage people to donate food or money in exchange for attending a free concert.

Terri Clark, Jim Cuddy, Dallas Smith, The Moffatts, Great Big Sea, Patricia Conroy, Sheryl Crow, Johnny Reid and Sarah McLachlan are among the artists who have performed as part of the initiative.

“We feel so privileged to be able to highlight the incredible work that Canadian Pacific does year-round to make this massive annual fundraiser possible,” CCMA president Amy Jeninga said in the release.

“Understanding the increased need for food banks across North America, we couldn’t think of a more deserving initiative — one that helps communities feed themselves through generosity and brings people together over a shared love of music. Congratulations to everyone at CP for this very deserved accolade.” 

Samaritanmag.com is an online magazine covering the good deeds of individuals, charities and businesses.