"We are the storytellers, the singers, the clowns and the tricksters. We help the world leap, learn, laugh and love. It intoxicates me to think that as an artistic collaborator with MT7 I get to play the greatest instrument of change in the history of the human race. Thank you for welcoming me to your soil,” said Jackson.
At an age when most are pulling back, the 70-year-old Calgary-based star is barreling towards the busiest and most glittering chapter in his towering 40-odd-year run at the forefront of contemporary film, TV, and music, and with Making Treaty 7 as we head into our season of performances.
His remarkable career includes countless marquee TV roles on hit shows like North of 60, Shining Time Station, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Law & Order. Guest roles in Season 4 of Outlander and Season 3 of Cardinal aired in early 2019 and Season 2 of Red Earth Uncovered follows. 2018 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. There’s also movies, lots of movies, including the dark comedy thriller Cold Pursuit 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.
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 over $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.