Fred Penner, a Canadian performer has been entertaining families for over 40 years, will be in Strathmore at Hope Covenant Community Church putting on a concert on March 15.

Penner has worked throughout his career to bring a strong message to his audiences of inclusion, positivity, and love.

Music was a part of Penner's life from the day he was born, "My parents were very much into the classical and swing music of their era, my older brother and sister were into the early boy bands and early rock and roll and Elvis in the fifties."

"Once I started playing guitar at 15 years old the folk world came along, I learned the range of songs that were part of my youth from Gordon Lightfoot to Joni Mitchell," Penner said.

Playing in many different venues at the start of his career helped Penner to explore all the different paths he could take to perform helping him to fill the desire and need in his life.

As a performer through his school years into adulthood Penner always gravitated towards a range of performances in comedy, musicals like 'Fiddler On The Roof' and found himself playing in more serious roles as well.

Penner has worked with children with physical and intellectual disabilities and volunteering in foster homes, this helped Penner to understand the power of music and the difference it can make.

"Children keep you connected with that gentle vulnerable and creative part of your being and that's been really important for me to watch and observe and share with generations over the past 46 years," Penner said.

He hopes to express what the songs have meant to him over the years to engage and interact with the audiences.  Penner looks to share the values that he has spent a lifetime bringing to audiences.

A new song 'Somebody Believes,' released in 2019,  came from a chance meeting with a young man from the Philippines. This meeting prompted Penner to write this song. 

"A few years ago there was an event in Vancouver with people supporting the world vision concept and I met a young man named Edgar who was rescued from the Philippines from poverty and injustice.  He was so passionate about his life and that if he didn't have someone to believe in him he probably wouldn't be here," said Penner. 

Penner wants his message and this new song to share with people how important he views the connection between each and every human, and how a simple word of encouragement can energize each other. 

Follow the link below for the full interview.