Doc Walker, Sarah McLachlan and The Tenors perform at Anderson LRT Station
The holidays got a little brighter for the Calgarians brave enough to face the cold on Saturday. A crowd of more than 7,000 people gathered at Anderson LRT Station as it was turned into a festive Christmas village for the viewing of the Canadian Pacific Railway Holiday Train.
The event was hosted by CBC's Peter Mansbridge, with appearances by Mayor Naheed Nenshi and performances by Doc Walker, Sarah McLachlan and The Tenors. The event — which first began in 1999 — raises money and awareness for local food banks.
Mayor Nenshi applauded Calgarians for their generosity, pointing to the 2013 flood as an example of the city's exemplary drive to help those in need.
The musical performances were shorter than general concert lengths, with McLachlan joking that she couldn't feel her guitar. But fans of the Canadian Grammy winner understood what it took to face the elements, and sang along just the same.
Written and photographed by Justin Wilson
Published on Dec. 9
Families gathered to watch as ice sculptures were carved beside the event's landmark Christmas tree. Just beside the tree, children lined up to enter Santa's Living Room to sit on the big guy's lap.
"Here's something for you, kids," Doc Walker lead vocalist Chris Thorsteinson said, before sound-checking with holiday favorite Run Run Rudolph.
The crowd could see each vocalist's breath with every lyric as Doc Walker kicked off the Saturday evening festivities, followed by Sarah McLachlan and The Tenors.
Host Peter Mansbridge introduced Mayor Naheed Nenshi, mentioning the recent vote that named the mayor the second most important person in Canada by Maclean's Magazine.
After introducing Mayor Nenshi, Peter Mansbridge and the mayor introduced Sarah McLachlan to the stage.
Sitting down at a grand piano, Sarah McLachlan thanked the estimated 7,000 attendees for their support of local food bank programs.
McLachlan's bassist, like many of the night's performers, had to wear gloves and a winter jacket during the performance.
Canadian icon and Grammy winner Sarah McLachlan was all smiles as the Canadian Pacific Railway Holiday Train made its way to the Anderson LRT Station on Saturday evening.
With wind chill causing temperatures to fall as low as - 41 C on Saturday, Calgarians braving the cold at were provided with several options for warmth including the Mistletoe Café and two charter busses where they could periodically warm up.
The Canadian Pacific Railway Holiday Train travels through more than 150 communities in the U.S. and Canada. The train's 14 cars are illuminated by thousands of lights.