In Surrey, a charity-minded night of contemporary and signature Christmas music will be performed by Tom Jackson and guest musician Tom McKillip on Friday, Nov. 19.
Their “Stories, Songs and Santa Causes” concert at Surrey Arts Centre’s Main Stage will echo Jackson’s annual “The Huron Carole” tour, including last year’s virtual showcase with Surrey Civic Theatres.
“People can expect singing, storytelling, and tomfoolery,” Jackson explained. “I hope people come and enjoy the show, and as they watch know how important they are, how important we all are in making a difference in our own lives, and in the lives of other people. That’s always important, but especially this year.”
A musician, actor and activist, Jackson has helped raise close to $230 million with his charitable initiatives over the years, leading to humanitarian awards, Red Cross ambassadorship and an Order of Canada induction.
With his “Huron Carole” concerts, first performed at Toronto’s Silver Dollar bar in the late-1980s, Jackson has travelled Canada to raise funds and awareness for local food banks and family-service agencies, and this year’s “Stories, Songs and Santa Causes” tour continues that path. The Nov. 19 show will benefit Surrey Food Bank.
The concert is about “kindness, empathy, the spirit of giving and the power it gives us all,” Jackson noted. “Love is a great word, but it’s a better verb. It’s an action, and when we live love as an action there is nothing more powerful. And the most powerful thing about that is it just keeps on going. It can reach so many people.”
Last year’s virtual “Huron Carole” concert was recorded at White Rock’s Blue Frog Studio the previous summer, for broadcast in Surrey and other Canadian cities on select dates.
Christmas is a special time for Jackson.
“When I was a child, my sister and I spent a lot of time collaborating on schemes of how to get downstairs to see what was under the tree,” Jackson recalled. “We would spend a long time on that plan, but we always got caught.
“Of course, in recent years Christmas has been so busy touring The Huron Carole from one coast of Canada to the other, so usually by Christmas Day, we’re so tired that we get up, cook our turkey, and then we nap. But Christmas, for me, has always been about giving, the people and the time you get to spend with them. That’s what counts – as well as the naps.”
Tickets are $39 for the Nov. 19 concert at Surrey Arts Centre. “Patrons will be required to show proof of vaccination and government-issued photo ID to enter Surrey Civic Theatres,” says a post on tickets.surrey.ca, where tickets can be purchased (or call 604-501-5566). “To keep your visit safe, masks must be worn by patrons born in 2016 or earlier (5+), regardless of vaccination status.”
This fall, Surrey Civic Theatres is again staging events at Surrey Arts Centre theatres and city hall’s Centre Stage. Future concerts include Vancouver Welsh Men’s Choir in “Sing We Now of Christmas” (Dec. 10, Main Stage) and the morning Coffee Concert series event “Music for 17 Pedals and 287 Strings” (Dec. 10, Studio), featuring The Bergmann Duo.
Elsewhere, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s “A Traditional Christmas” will be performed Thursday, Dec. 2 at Surrey’s Bell Performing Arts Centre, starting at 7:30 p.m., as part of a multi-date concert series that includes a stop at New Westminster’s Massey Theatre on Dec. 4.