Born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Fred Penner is a children's music performer known for his TV series Fred Penner's Place. Always musically inclined, he began making his own songs at the age of four and taught himself to play the guitar. He performed in operettas all throughout high school and worked with mentally and physically challenged children after graduating college with a degree in economics and psychology. He started a children's dance theater company with his future wife Odette Heyn in 1977. The release of his debut album The Cat Came Back kickstarted his career and helped establish him as one of Canada's premier children's music performers. He was made a Member of the Order of Canada and a Member of the Order of Manitoba in 1991 and 2011 respectively.