Face to Face
The road to international recognition and fame was a bumpy one for actor, musician and activist, Tom Jackson.
In his younger years, Jackson spent time living on the streets of Winnipeg and Toronto.
It was in Toronto where Jackson says he had basically dug a hole for himself.
“When I was 38-years-old, I was addicted to drugs, I was living in a hole in the ground,” Jackson tells Face to Face Host Dennis Ward on Tuesday’s edition of the show.
Jackson says one night between Christmas and New Year’s, the Creator came to him with a message.
“’I’ll make you a deal’ he said. ‘I’m going to send you an angel and that angel is going to be worse off than you and if you help that angel, I’m going to help you.’ And I took the deal.”
Not only did that night change Jackson’s career trajectory, it also put him on a lifelong path of helping others.
His annual Christmas series, the Huron Carole has been touring communities for more than 30 years.
During that time, more than $200 million in cash and food services have been raised for local food banks and family service agencies.
“There’s an ongoing need,” Jackson said. “But one of the things I’ve discovered is there’s always a gap between the haves and the have-nots. Over the 30 years, that hasn’t changed, there’s always a big gap.”
While music is his first love, Jackson is known for his acting career that has spanned four decades.
Jackson is still recognized today for his role as Chief Peter Kenidi on the wildly popular North of 60.
The program has been off the air for 20 years but there is a growing list of classic TV shows being rebooted and Jackson says “there’s something in the wind out there” with North of 60, too.”
Jackson said he’s had a conversation with one of the show’s original producers about the potential of the show returning to the airwaves.
“I think he was working with Tina and Tina was working with Barb Samuels who was one of the original producers of this and the possibility of maybe we’ll do six episodes and see what happens?”
Jackson believes North of 60 was very important in First Nations communities and provided a window into the life of First Nations people.
“It took a long time for the series to catch on other than in the north or in First Nation communities.
“It took a while for the rest of the country to pick up on it but when they did, they started to realize there’s not that much difference between us.”