As the founder of The Huron Carole Benefit Concert Series, it’s impossible to regard Tom’s music separately from the other aspects of his remarkable career which include (but are not limited to) countless marquee TV roles on hit shows like North of 60, Shining Time Station, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Law & Order. Upcoming roles in Season 3 of Cardinal and Season 2 of Red Earth Uncovered follow.
Earlier this year marked the release of The Essential Tom Jackson, a dazzling two-disc, 21-track retrospective spotlighting his inimitable talent as a folk-pop singer/songwriter of the highest order and an artist intrinsically linked to the world around him, both the real and the ethereal.
There’s also movies, lots of movies, including a forthcoming dark comedy thriller (title TBA) opposite Liam Neeson. The Irish actor joins a long and very boldface list of onetime Tom Jackson colleagues — also including but not limited to — Eric Bana, Olivia Wilde, Kris Kristofferson, and Sissy Spacek (in 2012’s Deadfall), Bruce Greenwood (2005’s Mee-Shee: The Water Giant), and Bryan Brown (1999’s Grizzly Falls). Notably, many small- and big-screen parts have leveraged Tom’s Indigenous heritage for their dynamic characters; still others have employed his mellifluous tones for voiceovers.
Tom is understandably proud of all that. Yet it is his extensive charitable work — in particular, helming the long-running Huron Carole Christmas concert tours for Canadian food banks plus multiple other initiatives benefiting disaster relief — that is arguably his crowning achievement. With an estimated $200 million in combined cash/in-kind value for food banks and disaster relief raised to date, it’s no wonder Tom, currently an Ambassador for the Red Cross, has been inducted as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2000, and received the 2007 Juno Humanitarian Award, and the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement in 2014.
Multiple additional honours, including the 2007 Gemini Humanitarian Award, have been bestowed on him over the years. But those above-mentioned three, perhaps more than any others, have cemented his status as one of Canada’s most influential, distinguished, and revered sons.