The Counselling Centre in Brandon will be hosting Award-winning Canadian artist, Tom Jackson, back to the stage!

Canadian actor, singer, songwriter and storyteller, Tom Jackson, has travelled coast to coast with The Huron Carole for many years, raising funds and awareness for local food banks and family service agencies.  Sharing the long-running Huron Carole Christmas concert tours over the past number of years is Jackson's crowning achievement.

His newest Christmas show, and tour, began earlier this month. "Stories, Songs & Santa Causes" will entertain audiences with original music, sing-along tunes, and signature Christmas music from Canada's own master storyteller.  

"We're thrilled to have Tom Jackson come back to Brandon," shares Executive Director of The Counselling Centre, Heather Karrouze. "We've not had a fundraiser since Decemeber of 2019 because of Covid. So, we're excited to have the Companion of the Order of Canada come to Brandon to do this concert in aid of The Counselling Centre's subsidized therapeutic counselling program."

The evening concert will be held this year at the Bethel Christian Assembly on Richmond Ave, Brandon, with Brandon University's Bel Canto community choir and Prairie Blend opening the show!  "Their space is beautiful and intimate and will seat 500 people," shares Karrouze.  "It also has ample room for us to gather after the show to enjoy refreshments and to meet personally with Tom."

Each year, The Counselling Centre encourages attendees to bring non-perishable food items to the concert, this year collecting for the Brandon University Students' Food Bank, and all proceeds support The Centre's Subsidized Counselling Program, notes Karrouze.  

"The Counselling Centre is unique; in that we do employ a sliding fee scale whereby counselling fees are set according to income.  Not everyone, of course, has 3rd Party coverage through their workplace, and certainly not everyone can afford a standard fee," she explains. "So, the sliding fee scale subsidy ensures that no one is turned away due to lack of financial resources."

"So, regardless of income status all receive the same professional quality care from The Counselling Centre," she says.  "Additionally, we have an initiative, Project Hope, which allows us to extend short-term counselling free of charge for those who are simply without any resources whatsoever."

"In order to do what we do, it's very important for us to raise funds at an event like this, and to also share a little bit about who we are, with our audience," adds Karrouze. 

In the last fiscal year, The Counselling Centre delivered over $112,000 worth of subsidy to those not able to pay a standard fee or in some cases, any fee at all.  Karrouze says it's often a delicate balance for them to meet the needs of people who don't have the resources, and yet keep the centre going. 

The financial support coming from the upcoming concert is 'immeasurable', states Karrouze.  "The impact that those dollars have translate into changing lives, sometimes even saving lives.  So, it's an important event for us!"

Please listen to more of the interview with Heather Karrouze and CJRB's Betty Sawatzky below.

Here's more about entertainer, Tom Jackson, and his incredible contribution to Canadians coast to coast *

'With over $250 million in combined cash/in-kind value for food banks and disaster relief raised to date, it’s no wonder Tom, currently an Ambassador for the Red Cross, was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2000, and in November 2020 promoted to Companion – the highest designation within the order. Multiple additional honours, including the 2007 Juno and Gemini Humanitarian Awards, Playback’s Radio & Television Hall of Fame, and the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement have been bestowed on him over the years contributing to his status as one of Canada’s most influential, distinguished, and revered sons.

Tom Jackson's 'Stories, Songs and & Santa Causes'

DATE: Sunday, December 4th at 7:30 pm

LOCATION:  Bethel Christian Assembly, 440 Richmond Avenue, Brandon

Tickets $30 available from The Counselling Centre and Hairistocracy

For info call: 204-726-8706

Please remember to bring a non-perishable food item to support Brandon University's Student Food Bank!