May 6, 2015
Post City Toronto
Generations of Canadians have grown up with Sharon, Lois & Bram. On April 22, Lois Lilienstein passed away at age 78 due to a rare form of cancer. Kids and parents alike have been delighted by the musicians’ tunes since the group formed in 1978 and helped instill a love of music in many. Throughout her long career, Lilienstein scooped up various Junos and Gemini awards and, in 2002, received the Order of Canada along with her bandmates.
The cheery trio earned themselves Canadian icon status among the preschool crowd when they launched “Skinnamarink” upon the world. Several seasons of mid-’80s TVO success followed (does The Elephant Show ring a bell, anyone?), and the family-favoured threesome eventually found a home for their act on CBC-TV.
Coun. Josh Matlow, who grew up with the musicians’ music, helped honour the legacy of Sharon, Lois & Bram last year when he announced that the city had named the playground in June Rowlands Park the Sharon, Lois & Bram Playground, recognizing the iconic group’s devotion to creating quality music for children — in addition to their commitment to philanthropy.
“It is a testament to the timeless appeal of Sharon, Lois, & Bram’s music that many of our kids, and those of us who grew up being entertained by them, can recite the “Skinnamarink” verbatim three decades later,” noted Coun. Matlow in an email.
Throughout their career, the band was actively devoted to childrens’ charities, most notably UNICEF, which they became spokespeople for back in the 1980s. In addition to championing the orange box Halloween collecting program, the trio did a number of larger scale projects for both UNICEF’s Canadian and international chapters. To mark the 50th anniversary of UNICEF, Sharon Lois & Bram performed at the general assembly of the United Nations.
“I intend to find an appropriate way, with her family, to further recognize the late, and forever loved, Lois Lilienstein,” says Coun. Matlow. “Along with Bram and Sharon, Lois helped make so many childrens’ lives magical and musical.”
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