Sharon, Lois and Bram Receive Playground Honour

12 May

By James Robert Shaw (The Wind up Geek)

SharonLoisBram1Toronto and East York Community Council has honoured children’s musical group Sharon, Lois and Bram, by naming a playground after them.

The ceremony was held this past Saturday at the June Rowlands Park, located at the corner of Daisville Ave. and Mt. Pleasant Rd.

Sharon Hampson, Lois Lilienstein and Bram Morrison were reunited for a special performance during the naming ceremony. In 2000 Lillinstein retired from touring with the group after the death of her husband. The last public performance of the trio was in 2008 at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival.

Toronto councillor Josh Marlow had put forward the proposal to name the playground last summer.

“Like many Torontonians, I grew up listening to Sharon, Lois and Bram,” said Marlow to CTV News Toronto.

“Naming a children’s playground after the group is a fitting way to recognize their lifelong work as artists and humanitarians.”

Sharon, Lois and Bram were formed in Toronto in 1978 and would go on to a successful television series (The Elephant Show), two Juno Awards, Two Parents’ Choice Gold Awards, and in 2002 all three were made members of the Order of Canada.

Hampson was a classically trained musician who started to perform in coffee houses by the age of 17, Lilienstein studied music for a bachelor’s degree at the University of Michigan and came to Canada in 1968 establishing the first pre-school music program in North York, and Bram Morrison was a teacher who turned to folk music and guitar appreticed under Alan Mills.

Originally, none of the major record companies would touch the group, believing there wasn’t a market for children’s records at adult prices. The trio with fellow musician Bill Usher formed their own recording company, Elephant Records, with $20000 of investment from their friends and family.

Today the group is responsible for a successful television series (The Elephant Show), are receivers of two Juno Awards, two Parents’ Choice Gold Awards, and in 2002 all three were made members of the Order of Canada.

Hampson and Morrison still tour under the name Sharon, Bram and Friends.

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