CAPT is once again looking for community support. See info and petition

The Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains (CAPT)

Contacts: Dawne Cunningham 705-759-6195

Linda Savory Gordon 705-943-0971






              Urgent: Businesses, Communities and Residents Stranded

The Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains (CAPT) is demanding no more second class treatment by Transport Canada, requesting that they fund the operation of a full-service Algoma Passenger Train under Missanabie Cree First Nation.

CAPT is once again looking for community support for this project.

Government funding of the Missanabie Cree First Nation run train will contribute to reconciliation by creating First Nation employment opportunities. The full operation of the Algoma Passenger Train under Missanabie Cree First Nation would provide:

  • accessible and eco-friendly transportation,
  • support northern small businesses and the regional economy,

while also promoting:

  • eco-tourism,
  • Indigenous tourism,
  • Group of Seven tourism,
  • and Francophone/French Immersion tourism,

all of which are integral elements of Canadian culture and history, as well as current tourism trends. The passenger train initiative is also essential to transporting a significant number of people to and from up-north locations, as it is the only all-season transportation to remote wilderness for residents, recreations, and tourists. In addition to recreationalists and adventurists, the train would also be means for many remote residents to access proper healthcare and post-secondary education.

CAPT has been receiving calls from people all over the United States and Canada who are anxiously asking if and when the passenger train from the Sault to Hearst will be running. These calls are from people who have properties along the rail corridor or who have been vacationing for generations at resorts on the line. The local economy is suffering terribly, and the survival of small businesses has been threatened.

To support this initiative, please sign the petition that CAPT has launched, which can be found here:

To see how you can help or for more information on this initiative, please visit:

  •, or contact Dawne Cunningham at 705-759-6195 or
  • or Linda Savory Gordon at 705-943-0971 or
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Mask-wa Oo-Ta-Ban (Bear Train) Fundraiser

Mask-wa Oo-Ta-Ban (Bear Train) Fundraiser Huge Success

We will be sending out further information about the April 6th Fundraiser Event for the Mask-wa Oo-Ta-Ban (Bear Train) attended by about 400 people, but for now we wish to express our deep appreciation to all of those who made it such a big success.  At the risk of forgetting some, many thanks to:

  • Ian Tamblyn who came from near Ottawa to perform a wonderful concert in which he related his high quality music, lyrics and stories to the train and Algoma region
  • The Healing Lodge Singers’ uplifting songs and drumming
  • Chief Jason Gauthier, Missanabie Cree First Nation, for being a super MC
  • Dawne Cunningham, Chair of CAPT, for her gracious introductions and welcome
  • Robin MacIntyre and Enn Poldmaa and Black Fly Jam for their helpful support
  • Political attendees: Carol Hughes (MP for Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing), Chelsie Parayko (Missanabie Cree FN Councillor), Joe Krympotich (Sault Ste. Marie City Councillor), Chris Lowe (Teamster Canada Rail Conference)
  • The over 50 individuals and local businesses who generously contributed high quality items for the silent auction
  • The 400 people who paid to attend the event and generously purchased items in the silent auction
  • The many hardworking volunteers who committed so much time and effort over the past 3 months to make the event so wonderful
  • Algoma Kinniwabi Travel Association for their partnership
  • Shabby Motley, Missanabie Cree First Nation, Algoma Water Tower Inn & Suites, Model Railroad Club and The Rad Zone for selling tickets


Bring Back Our Train. Musician Ian Tamblyn Performs to Capacity Crowd

La remise sur pied d'une liaison ferroviaire dans le Nord : un processus frustrant

Traveling couple with limited mobility unable to ride train together
(Cue at 13:14)

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Learn more about the value of the ACR Passenger train to Northern economy


This article describes in a few words the history of the trains demise, the impact on the economy for the North, and the lack of help from the government to see it on the tracks again. It also contains a link to a picture of the roads that people are having to use to get to their businesses.

To help make the train a reality please plan on attending the fundraiser, CAPT is putting on in April.

Visit CAPT's website to learn about our Silent Auction and view a few of the items you can bid on the night of the Event.

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Burtch & McGuffins win Canadian Screen Award

CAPT is delighted to announce that Michael Burtch, Joanie and Gary McGuffin, along with Nancy Lang, Rebecca Middleton and Emma Hambly, won the prestigious Barbara Sears Award for Best Editorial Research by the Canadian Screen Awards. They received the award on March 7th, 2017 for their research for Painted Land: In Search of the Group of Seven. The Canadian Screen Awards are Canada’s Academy Awards.  CAPT very much appreciates the comments Burtch and the McGuffins have made to journalists (see links below) about the absolute importance of restoring the passenger train service that they used to locate the painting sites and make the film. the train can  be used by the growing number of tourists who want to travel to the locations highlighted in the film.  Sault Ste. Marie and the Algoma district’s tourism numbers can increase tremendously as more and more tourists find out about the Algoma passenger train corridor—where the Group of Seven came together as a group and did 100s of their most significant work.  We hope that the government finally sees the importance of getting the Missanabie Cree First Nation-led passenger train—the Maskwa Oota-Ban “Bear Train”—running between the Sault and Hearst.

We are ever so grateful to you, Michael, Joanie and Gary, for your years of hard work—most of it as volunteers.  BRAVO!!!!

Northern Hoot “Painted Land’, Filmed in Algoma, Brings Home Canadian Screen Award!” by Steffani Petroni

“No one more surprised than Michael Burtch at winning Canadian Screen Award “-  by Kenneth Armstrong

“McGuffins, Burtch win Canadian Screen Award” By Brian Kelly, Sault Star  March 8, 2017

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input re: transportation Sault Ste Marie; deadline for reduced rate on hotel rooms

  1. Important opportunity for your input re: transportation in Sault Ste Marie : time-limited

There is a short time in which the Sault Ste. Marie Community Action Committee (CAC) is accepting comments for its report to the City.  Please click on the link below and then submit your comments.  You can make comments about the need for restoration of passenger train service from Sault to Hearst and Sault to Sudbury, North Bay and Toronto under the Transit section but also on the importance of passenger train service for the other sections as well.  This is very important and the CAC report will be finished in early April.  So please submit your comments ASAP if you want restoration of passenger rail to be considered in the City’s planning process.

Sault Ste. Marie’s future welcomes your ideas!!.aspx

Thanks a lot for taking the time to do this,

  1. Deadline for reduced rate on hotel rooms for April 6 Fundraiser extended to Mar 10

For those who are coming from out of town or who just want to stay overnight, The Water Tower Inn & Suites is generously offering a block of rooms at special rates until March 10.

Here are the rates and room descriptions:

  • Run of the Inn - $109.00 (features two double beds with everything a guest might need including in-room coffee maker, refrigerator, hairdryer and free wireless internet access.)
  •  Trailhead Room - $109.00 (featuring one queen size bed with oversized duvet and a bathtub with whirlpool jets.  This room includes, extra hanging space, iron/board, hairdryer, coffee maker, refrigerator and free wireless internet access.)
  •  Resort Queen with Sofa Sleeper - $119.00 (features a Queen bed with a lounge area with a Queen size Sofa Sleeper.  The bathrooms feature a glass enclosed shower and granite vanity.  For your comfort, there is also a lounge chair, 32” flat screen television and working desk with executive leather chair.  Also included are a refrigerator, iron and board, and hairdryer.
  •  Resort King - $119.00 (features a King bed.  The bathrooms feature a glass enclosed shower and granite vanity.  For your comfort, there is also a lounge chair, 32” flat screen television and working desk with executive leather chair.  Also included are a refrigerator, iron and board, and hairdryer.

Recent media coverage Iconic Canadian Musician Ian Tamblyn coming to the Sault April 6

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ACR e-petition deposited in House of Commons; event tickets on sale at CAPT table at Mall Feb 27

1. ACR passenger train e-petition deposited by MP Carol Hughes in House of Commons

Carol Hughes, MP for Algoma--Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, presented the online petition to Minister of Transport Marc Garneau in the House of Commons on February 22.  She underlined the huge economic impact this train brings to the regional economy and the fact that this is the only form of transportation into the many communities along this rail corridor.  We appreciate MP Hughes efforts to have the federal government restore this essential service and economic driver.  A government response to the petition must be provided and tabled in the House within 45 calendar days.

2. Fundraiser Event (starring Ian Tamblyn) Tickets on sale at Station Mall Monday February 27

  • Planning for the April 6 passenger train fundraiser event has been going very well.  We can still receive donated items for the silent auction. 
  • Tickets will be sold at a CAPT table at the Station Mall on Monday, Feb. 27 from 10 am to 3 pm across from the EB Games store.

3. Media update

“Ian Tamblyn video furnishes ice fix” | Sault Star by Ruth Fletcher

In this article MPP Mike Mantha points out the need for the implementation and development of a true transportation strategy reflecting the needs of Northerners through investments in not only roads but also rail, air and waterways:
“Keeping roads accessible at all times is crucial for northern communities' -”

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Take a few minutes  to view this Agawa Canyon video  and then share with others.

Please make Comments in the Comments Box because remarks will be seen all across Canada and will be a useful place to promote the cause of the Coalition.

In addition, remarks will also assist Lorna Boschman in her project of traveling across Canada this year and making digital stories with other artists. These new digital stories will be posted to the website as she proceeds.

Note: This video will also be posted on the "Documents/ Presentation/Films" Link, and media link.

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  1. CAPT TABLE at Station Mall Monday Feb. 27 10 am to 3:00 pm

CAPT volunteers will be at the Station Mall at a table opposite EB Games Store on Monday, February 27 from 10am to 3:00 pm.  This is a chance for you to:

  • purchase tickets to the Ian Tamblyn Fundraiser on April 6
  • purchase one of the few remaining CAPT 2017 calendars
  • purchase a Painted Land DVD
  • sign the petition to the federal government for passenger train funding

Although we are delighted with the on-line ticket sales for the April 6th fundraiser, it has been brought to our attention that Pay Pal charges us a 3% fee on our sales, therefore,  it is best for people in Sault Ste. Marie to purchase their tickets in person at:

  • Shabby Motley,
  • Missanabie Cree First Nation,
  •  the Algoma Water Tower Inn & Suites
  • or at the Station Mall on Feb. 27

So it makes sense that the on-line purchase method be used primarily for those who live out of town.  Also, we want to reassure those who purchase tickets on-line that we will have them set aside for them to pick up at the door.

  1. Latest Media Coverage

“Iconic Canadian Musician Ian Tamblyn coming to the Sault April  - February 9, 2017

“Iconic Canadian Musician Ian Tamblyn coming to the Sault April - February 9, 2017

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New: “Up Coming Events”

Books for Sale

A new information link has been added to the right of the page called "Up coming Events". Watch for a couple of events CAPT is planning for 2017.

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March Book Sale

March Book Sale

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