Valdy trekking across Canada with CP Holiday Train

Beloved Canadian musician Valdy riding the rails in support of food banks

Valdy performs on board the CP Holiday Train in Ontario

The CP Holiday Train just kicked off a 21-day trek last Friday, collecting donations for food banks as it chugs across Canada.

Locally, it will pass through North Bend on December 16 at 6:30 p.m. and Agassiz on Saturday, December 17 at 2 p.m.

And on board is one of Canada’s leading folk singers, Valdy, who called The Observer this week to chat about the cross-country tour.

“We just finished in Mactier,” he said as the train got moving in northern Ontario on Wednesday afternoon.

“It’s wonderful. The sun has been shining and we’ve had the first snow of the trip.”

The trip includes an average six short shows a day. The train pulls into a town, drops the side of one railcar, which quickly converts to stage, and the show begins. Dignitaries jump on board for a presentation to the local food bank, and then the concert can begin. Once it’s over, they roll up the show and head out to the next town. Some days, it means as many as eight stops.

Last year, audiences across Canada were treated to a concert by The Odds.

This year, they’ll get to hear Valdy play one of his most popular tunes, Play Me a Rock n Roll Song.

And once that’s out of the way, he’ll move into some holiday themed music. It’s a type of show he’s enjoyed so far.

“Today, for the first time, I did Frosty the Snowman,” he said. “It’s nice to be able to use the holiday repertoire because it only comes up once in a while,” he said.

Of course, performing outdoors in the winter comes with its own set of challenges.

“It’s certainly a unique thing,” he said, and long johns and turtle necks are necessities. It’s not the cold so much that affects the show, and he has some experience from playing the ’88 Calgary Winter Games. But the rain can cause concerns, he said.

When they were performing in Vaughan, Ontario on Tuesday, they met up with some serious moisture.

That  “restricts the show and is a little dangeerous to be working with the mics outside,” he said. “But we’ll carry on and keep going, and the people will come.”

People are coming out in droves to see the CP Holiday Train, he said, as they do each year.

Mactier residents raised $3,000 for the food bank, Valdy said, and they will make 66 stops just in Canada. A second train is doing a similar trip throughout the United States.

Traveling across country by rail is on many Canadians’ to-do lists, and Valdy is no different.

Halfway through the interview, Valdy stops for a moment to take in the view as the train speeds up.

“Oh, this is cool,” he said. “We’re passing a big double-decker train. We’re right beside it. This is incredible.”

This is the first time the Salt Spring Island resident has had a full bedroom while traveling by train though. And it’s a good thing he’s got some space.

“I have a new CD (Read Between the Lines) finished and I have to go through the paperwork by the new year,” he said. “So I have a host of paperwork to do.”

There are plenty of legal matters to deal with between the finishing of a CD, and its release. But it’s a necessity. And while some may say that copyright issues are more important since the internet was created, Valdy isn’t so sure.

“I was losing some (money) to piracy even in the days of records and cassettes,” he said. “So it’s nothing new. But, most people are upright about it, and will pay.”

To find out more about the CP Holiday Train, visit www.cpr.ca.

news@ahobserver.com

Just Posted

German-born British Columbian warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Agassiz teacher’s Amazing Race takes students on Canada-wide adventure

AESS students say they had the experience of a life time

WATCH: Brother of missing Hope woman makes emotional appeal for more media attention

Next search for Shawnee Inyallie Nov. 18 along Highway 1 towards Boston Bar

Gas price drop expected to hit Fraser Valley today

Analyst says to take advantage, warns slight increase may follow

Players Guild challenges Chilliwack residents to solve classic Agatha Christie whodunit mystery

The Chilliwack Players Guild is performing Murder on the Nile from Nov. 22 to Dec. 2

Winter weather hits parts of Canada

As some parts of the country brace for cold, parts of B.C. remain warmer than 10 C

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Kelly Ellard’s boyfriend has statutory release revoked

Darwin Duane Dorozan had several parole infractions that found him ‘unmanageable’

Doctor’s note shouldn’t be required to prove you’re sick: poll

70% of Canadians oppose allowing employers to make you get a sick note

German-born B.C. man warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Saskatchewan college honours memory of Humboldt Broncos coach

Darcy Haugan wore jersey No. 22 when he was a star player with the Briercrest College Clippers

Liberals to act quickly if Saturday midnight deal deadline breached: source

Oh Friday, Canadian Union of Postal Workers said it would not bring the latest offers to a vote of its members

Most Read