Tommy Banks

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For other people named Tommy Banks, see Tommy Banks (disambiguation).
The Honourable
Thomas Benjamin Banks
OC AOE LL.D. FRCMT
Senator for Alberta, Canada
In office
April 7, 2000 – December 17, 2011
Appointed by Adrienne Clarkson
Preceded by Ron Ghitter
Personal details
Born (1936-12-17) December 17, 1936 (age 79)
Calgary, Alberta
Nationality Canadian
Political party Liberal
Residence Edmonton, Alberta
Profession Pianist, conductor, arranger, composer, television personality and former senator.
Website http://www.tommybanks.info/

Thomas Benjamin Banks, OC AOE LL.D. (born December 17, 1936) is a Canadian pianist, conductor, arranger, composer, television personality and former senator.

Television and musical career[edit]

Banks was the host of nationally - and internationally - syndicated and network television programmes, including “The Tommy Banks Show” (1968-1983), “Somewhere There’s Music”, “What’s My Name”, “ Love and Mr. Smith”, “Celebrity Revue”, “Symphony of a Thousand”, “Tommy Banks Jazz”, etc.

He provided musical direction for the ceremonies of the XI Commonwealth Games, EXPO ’86, The World University Games, the XV Olympic Winter Games, and for countless television shows. He has produced and/or conducted command performances for Her Majesty the Queen and the Royal Family, and for President Ronald Reagan. He is a member of the A. F. of M., ACTRA, the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (U.S.), the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, and of the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television. Banks made his jazz-playing debut in 1950 in the touring band of saxophonist Don (D. T.) Thompson. Since then, he’s played jazz throughout North America, Western and Central Europe, Japan, and Southeast Asia. In 1983 his quintet became the first jazz band to tour in continental China since the 1949 revolution.

Before being called to the Senate of Canada, Tommy Banks served as chair of the Music Committee of the Board of Governors of Alberta College; he was founding chairman of the Alberta Foundation for the Performing Arts; chair of the Music Programme at Grant MacEwan; of the Edmonton Concert Hall Foundation; of the Instrumental Jazz Division of MusicFest Canada (North America’s largest music festival organization); of the B. & B. Foundation for the Theatrical & Musical Arts of Alberta; member of the board of the CKUA Radio Network Foundation; Honorary chair of the Alberta Heart Fund; an Honorary member of Cosmopolitan International and of Rotary International (of which he is a Paul Harris Fellow).

Selected Currently-Available Recordings*
Yes Indeed Solo piano RRI 300-9647
For Dancers Only Tommy Banks Big Band RRI 300-9650
At the Montreux Festival Tommy Banks Big Band RRI 300-9752
Big Miller Banks Big Band/Quartet CIICD 10974
The Holiday Season Tommy Banks & Many Friends RCD-0268
In The Middle of the Road Tommy Banks & Many Friends TBCD 1010
Tommy Banks's Christmas Piano & Orchestra TBCD 1308
Old Friends P. J. Perry & Tommy Banks TBCD 1312

*On Century II Records, distributed by Royalty Records.

Guest conducted[edit]

Political career[edit]

Senator Banks was appointed to the Senate by Governor General Adrienne Clarkson at the recommendation of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien in 2000. He represented Alberta, sitting as a Liberal. In the Senate, he served as a member of the Standing Committee on National Finance, of the Special Committee on Illegal Drugs, of the Standing Committee on National Security and Defence (SCONSAD) and on its Steering Committee, and as chair of the Subcommittee on Veterans’ Affairs. In each of the 37th, 38th, and 39th Parliaments he was elected Chair of the Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment, and Natural Resources. In the 37th and 38th Parliaments he served as Chair of the Alberta Liberal Parliamentary Caucus. Following dissolution of the 37th Parliament Senator Banks was named to an all-party Committee of Parliamentarians from both Houses, given the task of advising the Government on the setting up of parliamentary oversight of security intelligence matters. He served on an ad hoc basis on several additional committees of the Senate. He was vice-chair of the Caucus task force on urban issues that produced Canada's Urban Strategy - a Blueprint for Action which Report led to an important national debate.

Authored legislation items[edit]

  • The Statutes Repeal Act, (2008)
  • An Act to Amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act (2008)
  • Auditor General Act (involvement of Parliament) (2010)

[edit]

  • Canada National Parks Act (2000)
  • Canada National Marine Conservation Act (2001)
  • Act to Establish the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (2005)
  • Act to Amend the Migratory Birds Convention (1994)
  • Species At Risk Act (2002)
  • Canadian Environmental Protection Act 1999 (2005)
  • Canada Border Services Agency Act (2005)
  • Act to Amend the Criminal Code (justification for detention in custody) (2010)

In the Senate, he served as a member of the Standing Committee on National Finance, of the Special Committee on Illegal Drugs, of the Standing Committee on National Security and Defence (SCONSAD) and on its Steering Committee, and as chair of the Subcommittee on Veterans’ Affairs. In each of the 37th, 38th, and 39th Parliaments he was elected Chair of the Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment, and Natural Resources. In the 37th and 38th Parliaments he served as Chair of the Alberta Liberal Parliamentary Caucus. Following dissolution of the 37th Parliament Senator Banks was named to an all-party Committee of Parliamentarians from both Houses, given the task of advising the Government on the setting up of parliamentary oversight of security intelligence matters. Banks served on an ad hoc basis on several additional committees of the Senate. He was vice-chair of the Caucus task force on urban issues that produced Canada's Urban Strategy - a Blueprint for Action which Report led to an important national debate.

Titles, honours, and awards.[edit]

Titles[edit]

  • December 17, 1936 – April 7, 2000: Mr Tommy Banks
  • April 7, 2000 – : The Honourable Tommy Banks

As a former Senator, Banks is entitled to be styled The Honourable for life.

Honours[edit]

Ribbon bar of Tommy Banks
Order of Canada (OC) ribbon bar.png Alberta Order Excellence ribbon bar.svg

Banks won the Sir Frederick Haultain Prize, the Juno Award, the Gemini Award, and has received Lifetime Achievement Awards from ACTRA and SOCAN. His wife Ida and he are Honorary co-chairs for Northern Alberta of the CKUA Radio Network Capital Campaign, and board members of Wellspring Edmonton.

External links[edit]

References[edit]