GIVING BACK - Singer/actor Tom Jackson returns to Red Deer with The Huron Carole

GIVING BACK - Singer/actor Tom Jackson returns to Red Deer with The Huron Carole

The Huron Carole features singer/actor Tom Jackson

Jackson carries his parents’ legacy of keeping the door open for anyone who might need a meal or a conversation

BY MARK WEBER

Lacombe Express

Singer/actor and lifetime philanthropist Tom Jackson is again hitting the road this year with The Huron Carole Tour, which lands in Red Deer on Nov. 30th at the Harvest Centre in Westerner Park.

Join the Red Deer Food Bank for a Christmas dinner, songs and stories with things getting underway at 6 p.m. Building on the campaign of developing events that bring communities together with volunteers, fans and clients of various agencies and food banks, the 2016 tour is promising to deliver even more of the same.

“Each year, we think about how we can make it a more magical experience for the people who attend,” said Jackson during a recent chat. “So each year, we’ve tried to improve certain things, or add certain things. Last year, for example, was clearly different than previous years because we were right on the edge of creating a musical play.

“And this year, it’s even more of that. We’ve improved over last year’s show in my opinion because what we’ve done is we’ve added more music, and there’s a little less narrative. We’ve also added some characters that we didn’t have last year.”

As pointed out in a release, The Huron Carole brings ‘those we help’ together with ‘those who give’ for a night of breaking bread, breaking barriers, and celebrating roles in the world of social responsibility.

“Why The Huron Carole is so special to me, is that we are creating a community with a common cause. This allows me to humbly say that I am now part of your community.”

Joining Jackson onstage this year is CCMA humanitarian and multi-talented entertainer Beverley Mahood, Canadian Smooth Jazz Award winner Kristian Alexandrov and acoustic soul artist Shannon Gaye.

As Jackson explains, The Huron Carole is a Christmas story, “A story filled with reflection, humour, passion and the journey of a homeless man through darkness to light.

“It’s the journey of a homeless man who goes from being destitute to finding a way in life by helping others,” said Jackson. “That’s really the story.

“And at the end of day, we hope that what transpires is consistent across the country and that people get a new perspective or a re-infusion of exactly what the Christmas spirit is,” he said.

Meanwhile, Jackson’s passion for philanthropy goes beyond the holiday season, as he works on initiatives year-round.

This past summer, he traveled to the Badlands of Alberta to work on a project with photographer and social media expert Dax Justin. Titled ‘Spirit of the Badlands’, the works explore his, “Journey to find meaningful stories and capture images that make you feel the true power of the Badlands.”

Earlier this year, he also traveled to La Loche, Fond du Lac, Wollaston and Stoney Rapids, Saskatchewan, as well as Ottawa, in his role as an ambassador for the Canadian Red Cross. Jackson produced ‘The Humanity of HeArt’, a video tribute to the Red Cross for their work during the Nepal earthquakes.

For Jackson, keeping the right perspective is vital. “I met someone this year in an elevator and had an interesting conversation. I said, ‘How are you doing?’ He said, ‘I’m awesome I’m really good’. I asked him where he was from, and he said Newfoundland. The man went on to tell Jackson that his home was lost in the Fort McMurray fires last spring, as was his car. He said to me, ‘What you see is what you get I’m wearing a T-shirt and a pair of jeans and that’s all I got. But I’ll tell you this I just got off the phone with my sister, who is also living in Fort McMurray. She’s safe. So I am absolutely fabulous.’”

It’s stories like that that continue to inspire Jackson and fuel his sense of gratitude in life. And also spur him on in his continuing mission to help others.

“What we need to do is to close the gap for those who have nothing to having something. And to let them know that we love them.”

He’s also been inspired by Fred Scaife, the executive director of the Red Deer Food Bank.

“I learned something from Fred last year. Two weeks before the show, he said, ‘I think that everybody regardless of where they sit in the community, should be treated with the same humility and feel the same humility and respect as everybody else. When</span

Just Posted

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives at the 2021 budget in Edmonton on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta launches COVID vaccine lottery with million-dollar prizes to encourage uptake

The premier says the lottery will offer three prizes worth $1 million a piece, as well as other prizes

The City of Red Deer sits at 249 active cases of the virus, after hitting a peak of 565 active cases on Feb. 22. (Black Press file image)
Red Deer down to 119 active COVID-19 cases

Province identifies 179 new cases Saturday

Member Terry Parsons’ custom built track vehicle.
Forestburg’s Area 53 Racetrack gears up for action-packed season

Site will also host a portion of the ‘Miles of Mayhem’ event in July

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Christian Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Airport ground crew offload a plane carrying just under 300,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine which is developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
1st batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines won’t be released in Canada over quality concerns

The vaccines were quarantined in April before they were distributed to provinces

Most Read