Last night (April 5), Tom Jackson launched Almighty Voices, a new artist-led series in aid of a music community affected by COVID-19. The hour-long video series will air 12 weekly episodes on YouTube and the AlmightyVoices web platform. The series is designed to raise money for the Unison Benevolent Fund. Viewers can donate $10 to Unison by texting VOICES to 45678.
Hosted by Jackson, episodes will feature Governor General’s Performing Arts Award recipient, singer/songwriter and philanthropist Susan Aglukark, actress and singer Cynthia Dale, actress and singer/songwriter Beverley Mahood, multi Juno Award-nominee Sarah Slean, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, multi Juno Award-winner and Humanitarian Award recipient Chantal Kreviazuk, opera singer Measha Brueggergosman, multi Juno Award-nominee and April Wine blues-rocker/producer Myles Goodwyn, Juno Award-winner Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, and more.
“‘Almighty Voice’ carries in its name the collective will to fight for one’s family — blood, or imagined,” Jackson shares of the initiative’s title, which is also a family name. “Its Cree translation is Gitchi Manitou Wayo, and was the name of my Great-Great-Great Uncle, a youthful hero whose passion to save his family from starvation turned into tragedy.”
To that, Almighty Voices shows “we’re all in this together,” says Jackson of the artist-led project.
“In the wake of COVID-19’s impact on the music industry, we are incredibly grateful to partner with Tom Jackson to announce the launch of Almighty Voices,” says Unison’s Executive Director, Amanda Power. “Now more than ever, members of our music community are depending on the Unison COVID-19 Relief Program, and this initiative allows us to continue providing direct relief for music-makers and music professionals in this time of great uncertainty and need.”
Additionally, the Unison Benevolent Fund is part of the Spotify COVID-19 Music Relief Project; Spotify will match donations made via https://unisonfund.ca/donations/almightyvoices dollar for dollar up to a collective total of $10 million across their select partners.
Looking ahead, Almighty Voices will feature Canadian music — and the country’s spirit — at its finest, Jackson reveals.
“In addition to music and stories, we will share the wisdom of our Elders, express kindness, and explore essential ways to create health, and put health at the forefront, versus managing disease. While we learn how to determine what is urgent and important in this ever-changing time, the music community can engage people to leap, learn, laugh, and love. In return, the support received will ensure our music community survives. It is my hope the program connects us all.”
Both responding quickly to an unexpected crisis and inviting peers to contribute towards a notable cause are natural instincts and extensions of Jackson’s long-time philanthropic and fundraising efforts; to date, he has helped usher more than $230 million in funds and in-kind services to various charities and relief organizations.
Almighty Voices launches with support from Universal Music, the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards, The Walrus, CPO, Joe Media Group, Eric Alper Public Relations, Echohill Web Sites, and Mobile Giving Foundation, in an effort to raise funds for the Unison Benevolent Fund.