Tom Wilson (TEHÅHÀHAKE (two roads)) Trio

Saturday, October 5 • 8 PM
Market Hall PAC

Tom Wilson is a Canadian musician, author, and visual artist whose talents apparently know no bounds. His memoir, Beautiful Scars, published by Penguin/Random House, has not only become a national bestseller but has also been adapted into a TVO Original documentary directed by Shane Belcourt. Hamilton’s Theatre Aquarius recently completed a successful run of Beautiful Scars, the musical adapted to the stage in collaboration with actor/writer Shaun Smyth. The memoir exposes incredible truths about Wilson’s biological family and Indigenous heritage, delving into his lifelong quest to find himself and uncover his true identity as a Mohawk man.

“Over the course of discovering my true identity, the intention of my writing, my music and my art is to reduce the gap between my indigenous culture and colonialists to make a more patient, loving community.” – Tom Wilson

Tom Wilson’s extensive career and tireless efforts as a musician have garnered him numerous nominations and awards, from the Hamilton Music Awards to the Polaris Prize and the Juno Awards, including certified gold and platinum records. His songwriting has seen his works recorded by artists such as Sarah McLachlan, City and Colour, Jason Isbell, Colin James, Lucinda Williams, Billy Ray Cyrus, Mavis Staples, and The Rankin Family. He has also played in bands such as Junkhouse, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, and the Clinton Street collective Lee Harvey Osmond, which was awarded a 2020 Juno Award for the album Mohawk.

Following the success of his exhibit at the Art Gallery of Burlington, Beautiful Scars: Mohawk Warriors, Hunters and Chiefs, Tom’s paintings are now on display in various galleries across Canada, including successful shows at Toronto’s Cultural Goods Gallery and Tom Beckett Fine Art in Hamilton. His powerful installation piece Fading Memories of Home explores the systemic erasure of Indigenous culture in residential schools. This piece, portraying a colonial classroom, includes nine rebuilt residential school desks with photographs of children’s families inside. As you move further down the rows, the images disappear, representing the loss of identities, family, culture, and language.

In January 2024, New Brunswick book publishers Goose Lane Editions released Mohawk Warriors, Hunters and Chiefs: The Art of Tom Wilson Tehoháhake. In 2020, Tom established the Tom Wilson Indigenous Bursary in Honour of Bunny Wilson at McMaster University, supporting year-one Indigenous students from Ontario secondary schools completing an undergraduate program in any faculty.

In June 2023, Wilson was appointed as a Companion of the Order of Canada for his multifaceted contributions to the arts in Canada, notably as an iconic musician, and for his advocacy of Indigenous communities.

Through his melodies, paintings, and words, Wilson invokes ancestral wisdom while addressing pressing issues of our time. His artistry serves as a bridge between past and present, inviting reflection and dialogue on the complexities of Indigenous identity and resilience.