Tom Jackson is a Canadian singer, actor, and philanthropist who has experienced the pinnacle of success and the depths of despair. 

Through his journey, he discovered the gift of giving. Jackson says, “I don’t strive to give back, it is my oxygen. It’s what I do. Not giving back, isn’t part of the makeup. It makes me feel important to the Creator I believe that he is acknowledging me.”  

Some may not realize that Tom Jackson, a man revered and known around the world, lives very close to Cochrane and his charitable causes have literally hit close to home.  

On Thursday, September 29, Tom Jackson was in Cochrane to share his thoughts, feelings, and reasons behind his charitable actions. He told the story of when he realized there are many people in the world who need help saying, “I used to live in a crawl space, addicted to drugs in downtown Toronto. One night, I had a visitor and he said to me, I’m going to send you somebody that is worse off than you and if you help that person, I’m going to help you. And I took the deal.”  

At that point, Tom Jackson realized that millions of people were worse off than him and thus began the leg of his journey which entails the gift of giving. By taking the deal, he has succeeded in helping many. His efforts have helped so many that he has been recognized and presented with the Humanitarian Award at the 2007 Juno Awards and been named Officer of the Order of Canada just to name a few of the accolades. 

Fans of Tom Jackson’s concerts will be pleased to know that there will be a rebranded Christmas tour called “Stories and Songs and Santa Causes” which will be held at the Bella Theatre in Calgary in support of Alpha House and the Downtown Outreach Addictions Partnership or DOAP Team. A project that Jackson says is very dear to his heart. The national tour will also visit 17 other cities.  

For the past 20 years, Tom Jackson has worked with a national sponsor, Canada Life, and the collaboration has raised over $260 million dollars for social services and in particular food banks. 

 It is because of his charitable actions that Jackson is being honoured at the Tom Jackson Charity Gala on October 28 at the Cochrane RancheHouse. Jackson will receive a Community Builder Award and join the company of past recipients Jack Tennant, Bearcat Murray, and Alex Baum. 

The Gala is a fundraising event that will support local causes such as the new trail from Cochrane to Calgary, the local food bank, and Rotary Club projects.