‘Stories, Songs and Santa Causes’ offers the true spirit of the holidays

By Stan Ashbee

Ash Entertainment 2022 

Tom Jackson’s “Stories, Songs and Santa Causes” offers communities across Canada the true spirit of the holidays. Jackson, a Canadian icon, is a triple-threat actor, musician and activist. The 2022 tour stops in Lethbridge Nov. 29 at Enmax Centre. Show starts at 7:30 p.m. 

In 2020 and 2021, “The Huron Carole” toured virtually on Zoom and YouTube. This year, there will be another virtual “The Huron Carole,” as various agencies across Canada search for creative ways to connect and remedy a dramatic loss of donors. 

“That’s over and above what we’re doing in the live concerts,” notes Jackson. 

According to Jackson, the new Christmas show, and tour is about creating health and happiness. “It’s all about trying to get people out of their funk. Getting people to create joy again and to inspire in people – we can put the child back in the child. At the same time, focus on those who are in front of us, making a difference in their lives and thereby making a difference in ours.” 

Jackson says the pay it forward to all of that is, the organizations that are supported save lives. “So, you get a gift, and you get to give a gift.” 

This holiday season’s must-see live event features a small cast and crew, including Tom McKillip and John MacArthur Ellis. “There’s a trio on stage,” says Jackson. 

For those not able to attend the concert performances, please visit tomjackson.ca to recognize what local charities are being supported in specific cities. 

Canadians are “surely encouraged to donate to those charities, whether it’s food or much-needed cash,” adds Jackson. 

One of the fallouts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jackson explains, was it created a greater need. “The example would be food banks – up to 50 per cent in a lot of cases, 50 per cent more than there was before, so they’re taxed. There’s not enough food.” 

Jackson asks if you love your family, how do they know it? If your family loves you, how do you know it? If you love your community, how does your community know? And if your community loves you, how do you know? 

“It’s really important to shout, sing, laugh, love, dance and learn. It’s really important to understand that alone – hope, faith, empathy, compassion, love – they’re all emotions that stand on their own. But if they’re united, that’s a mighty force,” says Jackson. Jackson also asks readers and audience members what is your favourite Santa Cause? 

This simple question, Jackson says, will stimulate thoughts and ideas from others. “It has the potential, not just to change the world, but to save lives. Because what if you never thought of that before? And what if whatever that was got paid forward to somebody you love?” 

Aside from touring Canada during the winter months, in 2018 Jackson celebrated the retrospective release of “The Essential Tom Jackson.” Jackson has also appeared on numerous TV shows, including “North of 60,” “Shining Time Station,” “Law and Order,” “Supergirl” and “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” 

Up next for Jackson is “Sullivan’s Crossing,” a television series set for release on CTV/Crave in 2023. It is based on a best-selling series of books written by Robyn Carr, author of the “Virgin River” book series. 

“The first season of that is completed. That was a lot of fun,” says Jackson. 

Jackson is also currently working with a team to mount a musical entitled, “Blue Water.” “It’s a love story between humankind and Mother Earth. It’s going to happen, we’re just not quite sure yet exactly when that is going to come to fruition.” 

“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 – that is arguably his crowning achievement,” it is noted in Jackson’s official biography.  

With over $250 million in combined cash/in-kind value for food banks and disaster relief raised to-date, Jackson is currently an Ambassador for the Red Cross, was named Companion of the Order of Canada, has been awarded Juno and Gemini Humanitarian Awards and received the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement. 

Recently, Jackson was sitting on a park bench and a couple of people walked by and asked, “are you the gatekeepers?” 

“I said, ‘well I might be, what’s the password?’ and they said, ‘I don’t know.’ And I said, ‘the password is love.’” 

To purchase tickets or for more information please visit enmaxcentre.ca.  

Jackson also recommends southern Albertans to check out the new organization Alpha House in Lethbridge. A non-profit charitable agency that provides safe and caring environments for individuals whose lives are affected by alcohol and other drugs. 

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