Fred Penner has been bringing music to the ears of children worldwide for over 40 years. He's a multiple JUNO Award Winner, a Member of the Order of Canada, and helped teach a generation of Canadians about everything from folk music to curiosity and creativity through his long-running CBC show, Fred Penner's Place. In short and without hyperbole, he's a universally beloved Canadian icon.
Now, after a pandemic-enduced touring hiatus, the family entertainer is hitting the road again, including appearances at his hometown Winnipeg International Children's Festival -- a festival he's performed at more than any other. Leading up to the new shows, I got a chance to speak with Fred over Zoom to talk about his relationship with Winnipeg Kidsfest, his experience working with contemporary Canadian musicians on 2017's Hear the Music, the importance of childhood music education, and why he signed on to highlight Winnipeg musicians through the new TV series Route 90 Sessions.
It was honestly a delight to speak with someone who had such a massive impact on my own childhood creativity and interest in music, and to hear him reflect on how so many children since his first album (The Cat Came Back) came out in 1979 have been shaped and influenced by his work.
If you're in Winnipeg, you can catch Fred at the Festival Park Tent at the Forks every afternoon from June 9-12. Otherwise, you can keep up to date on Fred's touring schedule at fredpenner.com.
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When ShowbizMonkeys.com gets a chance to interview someone cool, then it falls to our long-running (and always insecure) Kinda Sorta Maybe Like a Podcast. With no discernible format besides a good conversation, we do get check in with some really awesome folks, including some of the industry's top comedians, musicians, actors, and filmmakers.
Usually hosted by either Managing Editor Paul Little or stand-up comic Andrew Lizotte, other contributors to Kinda Sorta Maybe have included J.D. Renaud and Mark McLeod.
Paul Little is the founder and Managing Editor of ShowbizMonkeys.com. When not interviewing his favourite musicians and comedians, he can also be found putting on and promoting music and comedy events with The Purple Room in Winnipeg, or co-producing the live comedy game show Pants on Fire. (@comedygeek)