Canadian Pacific Holiday Train pulls into town

Madeline Merlo kicks up the tempo during her Dec. 3 performance on the CP Holiday Train. Mickey Dumont/Citizen photo

Even in daylight, the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train can attract a crowd when it rolls through Portage la Prairie.

Under bright skies and above-average temperatures for Dec. 3, the CP Holiday Train pulled into its regular stop behind the BDO Centre to be greeted by those in the spirit to help the Salvation Army with food donations and enjoy the stellar entertainment Canadian Pacific lines up each year.

Attendees were treated to musical performances by Madeline Merlo and Scott Helman.

Hailing from Maple Ridge, BC, Madeline Merlo is a CCMA Award and two-time BCCMA award-winning artist, with five Top 15 singles under her belt.

Merlo has always had eclectic taste, and in her music,  you’ll hear the influence of classic country artists like Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline, R&B greats Etta James and Billie Holiday and modern superstars such as Miranda Lambert.

Helman finds his musical influences in album-focused artists like Arcade Fire, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, The Cure, Bon Iver and Paul Simon. The Canadian singer-songwriter has established himself as one of the country’s leading young songwriters, earning himself a 2018 JUNO Award nomination as Songwriter of the Year.

The train has been stopping in Portage for just over two decades. With all the fun surrounding its cross country travels, it’s not hard to see people also want to help their community. The Salvation Army filled its van with food donations and CP handed over a $6,000 cheque to sweeten more than one Christmas for disadvantaged families here.

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