July 15th 2013
Toronto Coun. Josh Matlow wants to name a playground after iconic Canadian children’s entertainers Sharon, Lois and Bram.
“I grew up with their music and so did so many Canadian children. Any one of us — who are sort of in our 20s, 30s and 40s — there’s a visceral response from people that is based on love and childhood magic,” Matlow told CityNews.ca on Monday.
“It’s that deep.”
Sharon Hampson, Lois Lilienstien and Bram Morrison formed their act in Toronto in 1978 and began touring. A television show followed in 1984 and The Elephant Show ran on the CBC until 1988, and was seen on reruns in Canada and the United States until the mid-90s.
Matlow said he worked with Morrison on the proposal and wants the playground at June Rowlands Park, near Mount Pleasant Road and Davisville Avenue, to be named after the trio.
The reason for choosing that particular park, he said, is because Morrison lives about a 10-minute walk away.
The trio may also perform at the unveiling, if the playground is approved.
Matlow said it’s a fitting way to introduce the group to a new generation of Canadian children, including his own.
“I still sing Skinnamarink to my six-month-old daughter. I want kids to visit the playground and be introduced to their music,” he said.
Matlow said the trio’s dedication to giving back — they’ve been Unicef ambassadors and worked with school music programs — was another reason for naming the playground. Another, he said, is that while parks are often named after politicians, artists deserve some public recognition too.
“In Canada, we don’t always celebrate our artists as well as we should. Naming the children’s playground is a very fitting tribute,” he said.
The motion will be presented to the Toronto East York Community Council on Sept. 10.
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