He’s got the voice. Nearly 30 years ago he got the idea.
The idea was to raise funds to buy food for people who needed it.
And singer Tom Jackson did just that, with a little help from his friends.
Today, The Huron Carole is a touring fundraising concert that over the years has raised millions of dollars for food banks across Canada. And it’s happening again, on Wednesday December 11 in Winnipeg at the Concert Hall.
Tom Jackson said he called the show The Huron Carole because the first performance took place in Huronia, where Father Jean de Brébeuf, who penned the carol in 1641, worked as a missionary.
He said he had no idea all those years ago that it was going to grow to the proportions that it has, or that it was going to have the ability to change lives as it has, including his own.
"I'm very proud to have used the name Huron Carole," he said.
Jackson remains passionate about raising funds to help people in need.
"One of the things we have to be diligent about is making sure that we know where our children are, that they're safe at night, that they're fed," he said.
"We have a disease in this country that is silent, and it is hunger. We have to stand up and shout it. We have to give it a voice, because if we don't, we put in peril our children and our future."
Jackson recalled a very dark time in his past, in the 80s, when he lived below the house of a drug dealer who was dealing him cocaine.
"In my time I'd built that crawl space, no question in my mind. But the Creator sent me an angel, somebody who was worse off than me. For some reason on that given day I chose to help that man and that caused me to realize there was something bigger in life than me, and that was helping others," he said.
This year Jackson made a televised edition of the show which will be broadcast five times. Funds raised from those broadcasts will go to help disaster relief in the Philippines.
The Huron Carole takes place Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m. at the Winnipeg Centennial Concert Hall. Tom Jackson will be joined by George Canyon, country duo One More Girl, Shannon Gaye and Beverley Mahood. Proceeds will go to Winnipeg Harvest.