For more than three decades Canada’s most beloved, iconic and active philanthropist, actor and singer Tom Jackson has officially ushered in the Holiday season with his legendary seasonal variety show and fundraiser, The Huron Carole.
While its 33rd season may look a little different this year due to COVID-19, the show — and its critical initiative to support local food banks and other social service agencies nationwide — is set to press on starting this November.
And in many ways, Jackson shares, it may be among The Huron Carole’s most important seasons so far.
“Under the cloud of these challenging times, I am of the opinion that food banks and those less fortunate in our world are going to be the ones most impacted by the current economic fall-out from COVID-19,” Jackson considers. “This Christmas season is going to be different from any other, and it’s going to require us — as individuals and as a society — to look even more inside ourselves for a light of optimism…a silver lining…
“We must treasure that light and hang onto that silver lining with all our might.”
Following a 32-year tradition of travelling nationwide and spotlighting some of the country’s top talent, The Huron Carole will adjust Season 33 to be a virtual event that can either be enjoyed from home or a local venue’s big screen within its regional social distancing protocol and allowance. The show’s dedication to high-quality production and riveting entertainment value remain steadfast; the show is produced by Tomali Pictures Ltd. and Joe Media Group, and is sponsored nationally by Canada Life, a long-standing supporter for 24 years.
The virtual presentation of The Huron Carole is not Tom Jackson’s first foray into helping manage the impact of COVID-19; this Spring, Jackson launched and hosted 12 weekly artist-led episodes of Almighty Voices in support of the Unison Benevolent Fund (a non-profit registered charity providing counselling and emergency financial relief services to the Canadian music community). The series featured Governor General Julie Payette, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Susan Aglukark, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Shannon Gaye & Kristian Alexandrov, The Small Glories, The Travelling Mabels, Beverley Mahood, My My Sugar, Christina Martin, Cynthia Dale, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Alex & Tamen Jadad, Sarah Slean, Liona Boyd, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Measha Brueggergosman, April Wine blues rocker/producer Myles Goodwyn, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, and many more.
For Jackson, the act of giving comes naturally and spreads easily with his indefatigable energy to be on the look-out for those in need or responding to an unexpected crisis. To date, he has helped coordinate more than $230 million in funds and in-kind services to various charities and relief organizations, volunteers with Calgary’s DOAP Team (Downtown Outreach Addictions Partnership), is an Ambassador for the Red Cross, has been appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2000, received both the JUNO and Gemini Humanitarian Awards in 2007, and the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement in 2014.