Thomas Benjamin Banks, OC AOE is a Canadian pianist, conductor, arranger, composer, television personality and former senator.
Born in Calgary, Alberta, he moved to Edmonton, Alberta in 1949, where he has resided until the present day. He presented a show on CKUA called "The Solo Piano of Tommy Banks" in about 1960. Of his time at CKUA, Banks said in an interview, "I'd lurch into the studio on Sunday morning and go and set up the microphone and turn everything on and then sit down and start playing."
He hosted the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation television show, The Tommy Banks Show, from 1968 until 1983. He was appointed to the Senate by Governor General Adrienne Clarkson at the recommendation of Prime Minister Jean ChrÃ©tien in 2000. He represented the Senatorial division of Edmonton, Alberta. Sitting as a Liberal, Banks was the Chair of the Senate Standing Committee of the Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources from 2002 to 2009.
On December 17, 2011, he reached the Senate's mandatory retirement age of 75.
Since his 1950 professional debut, Tommy Banks has, as the Toronto Star pointed out, "... done everything a musician could wish for." MacLeanâ€™s Magazine observed that "It would be easier to list the things he doesnâ€™t do." He is the recipient of the Juno Award, the Gemini Award, the Grand Prix du Disques-Canada, several ARIA Awards, and is a member of the Edmonton Cultural Hall of Fame.