His Highlander role as Joe Dawson may be to observe but never interfere, but alter-ego Jim Byrnes has been recognised for his contributions and effect on those less fortunate.
Jim Byrnes is one of the key recipients of the past year’s OBC (Order of British Columbia). The Order represents the highest form of recognition the Province can extend to its citizens.
The organisation’s official site talks of the performer’s many triumphs and positive effects on behalf of others – how the loss of his legs in a car accident in his early 20s may have been a horrible event but also propelled his creative talents in new directions. He became one of the earliest mainstream actors to have their disabilities shown on screen without it being the only, defining aspect of their character (in shows such as Wiseguy and Highlander) and his success in the music business has been acknowledged globally with national and international tours and sharing the stage with the likes of Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker,Taj Mahal and Robert Cray.
Jim is no stranger to using his talents and influence to help in giving back to others. In addition to being inducted into the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame and receiving multiple Juno Awards, Maple Awards, Canadian Folk Music Awards and Western Canadian Music Awards he has also received the Heart Award from the Vancouver Variety Club and the Champion for Kids award from the St. Louis Variety Club.
The official site lists some of the organisations that have benefited from his volunteer work and performances which include: The Sunnyhill Hospital, GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre, Vancouver Adaptive Music Society, Vancouver Food Bank. Canuck Place, Access to Music Society, AIDS Vancouver, All Weather Homeless Society, Burnaby Firefighters Charitable Society, Challenger Baseball and the Vancouver School Board.
Everyone at Highlander Worldwide sends Jim their congratulations at this honour. We’ve known him for a long time and his generosity and spirit is undeniable, but it’s always great when official institutions recognise his qualities as well…