Time Magazine named him one of Canada’s best activists and it’s a role that comes easily to Tom. From his early years growing up on air force bases, he was often the guy who opened the door, opened the frig, prepared food for his friends and, following in his parents’ footsteps, made himself available for anyone in need.
It was an easy transition from the micro to the macro by aligning with Canadian food banks, and literally singing for supper became his branding. After 17 years of producing “The Huron Carole” Benefit Concert Series, with accompanying television specials and albums, he handily made a dent in the world of food insecurity. He carried that mission forward for 5 years by producing and performing on The Holiday Train, a CPR fundraising initiative. And when the world was thrown by crises from 9/11 to the BSE scare, Tom had ingenuity and a lot of friends – both musical and corporate – committed to changing the face of disaster into a rally of caring.
If asked about his memories of affecting change, he refers to the Red River Relief Benefit in 1997 for Manitoba flood victims where $3M was raised for the Red Cross. So too with other Red Cross efforts – “Rise Again” in 2009 where Manitoba flooding peaked at levels higher than in 1997; and then just recently the partnership with CBC and the Red Cross to produce a concert/television special fundraiser for fire victims of Slave Lake.
While in the Gulf of Mexico last year, researching leading edge technologies and working with local communities from Louisiana to Florida, he was inspired with the thought “why wait for the fire to build a fire hall?” With that philosophy in mind, National Oilwell Varco (NOV) has asked Tom to join their team to help the industry follow through and lead by example with a commitment to introduce green oil spill technology. At the forefront of his role is the reduction of the industry’s carbon footprint and the demonstration of preparedness to mitigate the effects of any unfortunate incidents that may occur in the future.
He never shies from the work, in fact the collaboration with others is invigorating and he stays true to his mission of being in service to others, particularly if it’s good business, good for the world, and good for the soul.
“Your commitment, generosity, kindness and hard work resulted in a tremendous new outpouring of support for the people of Slave Lake and area, and financial contributions to the Canadian Red Cross so that we can help those people.”
Nancy Beasley Hosker
Communications and Strategic Relations
Canadian Red Cross | Croix-Rouge canadienne