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 pressing on.
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.
In addition to Jackson, this year’s production of The Huron Carole will feature fellow esteemed artists Tom McKillip, Darryl Havers, John MacArthur Ellis, Kirby Barber, and Chris “The Wrist” Nordquist.
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.
The Huron Carole presented in this virtual format is a world-class concert experience intended to leverage fundraising opportunities for varied hosts — from venues, to charities, to businesses. Supported in facilitating these private, ticketed events via Zoom, the financial and targeted impact for each host reaches beyond concert hall venues, and increases exposure for local sponsors, and partnerships with local businesses. “It truly is a Christmas gift of hope, compassion, and love to raise funds and engage colleagues, friends, and family in support of others,” Jackson says. “Miracles are not manufactured by the Creator; they are manifestations of the love the Creator bestowed on humans. Christmas is afoot, and COVID-19 restrictions are our next ‘normal’ for the foreseeable future; the time for creating miracles is upon us.”
The Huron Carole Virtual is nationally sponsored 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.
Most recently and just announced: Tom Jackson was recently promoted to Companion of the Order of Canada — the highest designation within the Order. “When I was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2000, I questioned why at the time,” Jackson shares. “Since then, this promotion to rank of Companion is validating the work my team has done for the last two decades, as well as before.
“And that work has converted the word of love to the verb of love.”
December 10th @ 7:00pm — Calgary, AB
Virtual in Benefit of Alcove Recovery
December 11th @ 7:00pm — Calgary, AB
Virtual in Benefit of Calgary Folk Club
December 11th @ 7:00pm — Surrey, BC
Surrey Civic Theatre, Virtual in Benefit of Surrey Food Bank
December 12th @ 7:00pm — Halifax, NS
Virtual in Benefit of Halifax Christian Academy
December 13th @ 7:00pm — Edmonton, AB
Virtual in Benefit of ICChange
December 15th @ 7:00pm — Toronto, ON
Virtual in Benefit of SKETCH Working Arts
December 16th @ 7:00pm — Toronto, ON
Virtual in Benefit of Canadian Senior Artists Resource Network
December 17th @ 7:00pm — Regina, SK
Virtual in Benefit of Regina Food Bank
December 20th @ 8:00pm — Ottawa, ON
Harmony Concerts, Virtual in Benefit of House of Lazarus