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Tom Jackson is doing the Huron Carole virtually this year

 

For more than three decades 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, Tom said, 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,” he said. “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 has adjusted Season 33 to be a virtual event that can either be enjoyed from home or a local venue’s big screen – depending on regional crowd restrictions.

This year’s production features Tom, Tom McKillip, Darryl Havers, John MacArthur Ellis, Kirby Barber, and Chris “The Wrist” Nordquist.

The virtual presentation of the Huron Carole is not Tom’s first foray into helping manage the impact of COVID-19; this spring, he 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, the Small Glories, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Measha Brueggergosman, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings and many more.

Throughout his lifetime, Tom has helped coordinate more than $230 million in funds and in-kind services for various charities and relief organizations. He volunteers with Calgary’s DOAP (Downtown Outreach Addictions Partnership) team. He’s an ambassador for the Red Cross. He received both the Juno and the Gemini Humanitarian Awards in 2007 and the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement in 2014.

It’s just been announced that Tom has been promoted to Companion of the Order of Canada — the highest designation within the order.

Upcoming dates: 

  • Dec. 15, 7:00 p.m. ET – Benefit for SKETCH Working Arts
  • Dec. 16, 7:00 p.m. ET – Benefit for Canadian Senior Artists Resource Network
  • Dec. 17, 7:00 p.m. CT – Benefit for Regina Food bank
  • Dec. 20, 8:00 p.m. ET – Benefit for House of Lazarus
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