Tom Jackson inspires through his charitable work
He's known across Canada as an actor and singer. Most Canadians recognize Tom Jackson from his work on the television series ‘North of 60' and his popular Huron Carol Christmas concerts.
Jackson says he got into show business so he'd have a platform for what really mattered.
Tom Jackson is working on a musical that explores the relationship between First Nations people and nature.
As excited as he is about the new project, the Canadian star says for him, the entertainment industry is simply a means to an end. His real passion is making an impact on the world around him.
"If I was going to sell this idea that you could change your world and hopefully result in changing of the world," says Jackson. "I needed more credibility than being a drug addict living in a hole in a wall."
At the age of 38, Jackson turned his life around after coming across a man in need
"It was the middle of the night and I, for whatever reason, decided to stop and help him," says Jackson. "The reward for that changed my life and that became the driving force for me."
He now lives to put others first. He serves on the board of the Calgary Homeless Foundation. CEO Tim Richter calls Jackson fascinating.
"When he comes to our board meetings you know he's very quiet, he's very thoughtful," says Richter. "Whenever he has anything to say in that deep voice of his, everybody listens."
Jackson's wife Alison uses words like remarkable when talking about Tom.
"I think what inspires me the most is his manner in saying, without fear, let's get this done, and despite all odds," says Alison.
Jackson has been honoured with numerous awards, including the Order of Canada and the Juno and Gemini humanitarian awards.
"It's not really a sense of giving back," says Jackson. "It's a sense of ‘why do you get up in the morning? What connects you and re-defines love for you?"
For his activism and his commitment to do what he feels really matters, Tom Jackson is this week's Inspiring Albertan.