A con­ver­sa­tion with ac­tor and di­rec­tor RH Thom­son.

Dreamscapes Travel & Lifestyle Magazine - - Table Of Contents - BY BRUCE SACH

RH (ROBERT HOLMES) THOM­SON isn’t one to mince words. Un­bri­dled pas­sion is clearly ev­i­dent in the roles he plays and how he pur­sues his life. The award-win­ning stage, film and tele­vi­sion ac­tor em­braces roles that chal­lenge him in­tel­lec­tu­ally and emo­tion­ally while ac­tively en­gag­ing in pro­mot­ing Cana­dian cul­ture and diver­sity, First Peo­ples and honour­ing and nam­ing those killed in World War I.

Thom­son has had a very suc­cess­ful ca­reer for many decades play­ing his­tor­i­cal fig­ures rang­ing from Dr. Fred­er­ick Bant­ing, Ed­sel Ford and Samuel Lount to his cur­rent role as Matthew Cuth­bert in CBC TV’S se­cond sea­son of Anne with an E. (He also played the role of Jasper Dale on the Road to Avon­lea with Sarah Pol­ley in the 1990s.)

Grow­ing up in Rich­mond Hill, On­tario, it was ge­og­ra­phy teacher N. Roy Clifton who in­spired Thom­son to un­leash not only his act­ing tal­ents but to ven­ture be­yond the norm. “He was a non-con­form­ist, ec­cen­tric and in­de­pen­dent thinker.” Thom­son spent time in Los An­ge­les, New York and London be­fore de­cid­ing to make Toronto his per­ma­nent home.

Be­sides per­form­ing Thom­son has di­rected the­atre pro­duc­tions across Canada from Hal­i­fax’s Nep­tune The­atre to The­atre Cal­gary. For Thom­son words mat­ter and he has scripted his own play, The Lost Boys, as well as other ac­claimed works over the years. His com­mit­ment to Canada’s arts and cul­ture com­mu­nity has been ac­knowl­edged with many awards and he was named to the Or­der of Canada in 2010.

A pet pro­gram he has spear­headed since 2010 is “The World Re­mem­bers,” an in­ter­na­tional cen­te­nary project, which in­di­vid­u­ally names the mil­lions killed in WWI from the 40-plus na­tions who were in­volved. It is a Her­culean project, which will cul­mi­nate on Novem­ber 11, 2018. The in­ten­tion is for each coun­try in­volved to name in­di­vid­u­ally those who died in WWI. Thom­son has elicited sup­port from gov­ern­ments, schools, li­braries, cul­tural and mil­i­tary or­ga­ni­za­tions and the pri­vate sec­tor.

Thom­son may act for a liv­ing but his pas­sion for the pro­fes­sion, Canada and all its peo­ple is as real as it gets.

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