The 3rd Annual Zoomer List: Canada’s Top 45 Over 45: Fred Penner

Fred Penner, 66, Children’s entertainer

As host of TV’s Fred Penner’s Place for more than a decade beginning in the mid-’80s, the legendary children’s entertainer sang songs and captivated kids from his secret hiding spot in the forest. Now, 15 years after his show went off the air, those kids are grown up and rediscovering Fred Penner. Aside from performing festivals and concerts nationwide, the 2011 Order of Manitoba recipient plays universities, reconnecting with his fans and spreading his message “about basic human values and concepts, our need for home, respect, love, communication and understanding.” And, he admits, renditions of The Cat Came Back. “These intelligent young people affirm my original message and philosophy: if you make a positive contact with the vulnerable spirit of the child, you can affect adult attitudes.”