A lifelong Tory, Jackman has been one of the party's most influential fund-raisers and was a three-time federal candidate for the party, never gaining a seat in the House of Commons. Jackman, in addition to sitting on the board of directors of numerous corporations, has been a keen patron of the arts in Toronto, donating generously of his time and money to both the Shaw and Stratford festivals (he has served on the boards of both) and supporting the Canadian Opera Company. He also is active in a number of other charities and is an honorary lieutenant-colonel with the Governor General's Horse Guards.
Jackman had continually declined federal appointments until 1991, when he was appointed lieutenant-governor of Ontario, a post he considered much more than honorary and symbolic, as it offered him the opportunity to be more actively involved in the progressive development of his province. In 1995, he donated $1 million to the Ontario Arts Council Foundation to establish the Lieutenant-Governors Awards for the Arts. Jackman's term as lieutenant-governor ended in 1997. In 1998 he was appointed Chair of the Ontario Arts Council. He is a member of the Order of Canada (1991) and the Order of Ontario (1998).
Author JORGE NIOSI