Come ‘Hear the Music’ at the Merritt Civic Centre

By on October 4, 2017
Fred Penner will be bringing his all-ages show to the Merritt Civic Centre. (Photo contributed).


Fred Penner, the acclaimed Canadian kids musician who hosted “Fred Penners Place” on CBC Television, will be coming to Merritt on Saturday to tour his newest record, “Hear the Music.”

Saturday’s 2 p.m. concert at the Civic Centre will be the first time in nearly two decades that the 70-year-old performs in the Country Music Capital of Canada — a booking made possible by volunteers with the Nicola Valley Community Arts Council.

“The opportunity to book Fred Penner came about by chance, really,” explained Sara Vigh, who said she was attending a meeting with the NVCAC in the spring, when the idea to book Penner in honour of Canada 150 sprung to her mind.

“I did some research online and reached out to his agent, and everything fell into place from there,” said Vigh.

Over the course of Penner’s expansive career, the artist has produced 12 albums and hosted Fred Penner’s Place on CBC from 1985 to 1997. Despite his roots writing children’s music, Vigh admitted that she was thinking of her own connection to Penner’s music when she reached out to book the artist.

“My original thought for who would enjoy this concert was that people my age, who grew up watching Fred Penner on CBC, would love to have that visit down memory lane. So many of us have our own families now, and I thought it would be an amazing thing for parents to share with their kids, or grandparents to share with their grand kids,” said Vigh. “My nieces can sign “Sandwiches” word for word, but they’ve never actually watched Fred Penner, so it will be amazing to share that with them.”

Penner, speaking to the Herald ahead of his show on the weekend, said he expects there might be a few “older kids” singing along on Saturday.

“That generation — the ‘Fredheads” — are now having their own kids, and there is a desire to give [their children] something they had,” he said. “In the eighties, when my career was really full tilt, it was the post-war boomers (who are now the grandparents) bringing their kids (who are now the parents). So it’s a cyclical thing where families connect with me along the way and are just really keen to perpetuate that and keep it going.”

Thanks to some help from Nicola Valley Community Futures, tickets are available online and at the door. Those unable to process transactions online are invited to purchase tickets with cash at the Community Futures office (tickets are $5 for kids under five, $10 for kids between five and 12, and $15 for those 13 and older).

Those prices will be doubled for those purchasing tickets at the door).

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