Frederick Ralph Cornelius Penner, CM (born November 6, 1946) is a Canadian children's entertainer who gives appearances throughout North America. His television show, Fred Penner's Place, aired on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) from 1985 to 1997. It was co-produced by Nickelodeon in 1989 and 1990.
Penner was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. At the early age of four, Penner began making up songs while traveling on the bus with his mother. He taught himself how to play the guitar when he was in grade school, and performed in school choirs and pageants. Through his experience with his sister Suzy's Down Syndrome, he recognized the therapeutic value of music.
After graduating from the University of Winnipeg with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and psychology, he spent time working with mentally and physically challenged children, using music to comfort and entertain. In 1977, he met choreographer and future wife Odette Heyn, with whom he started a children's dance theatre company. Penner accepted an offer to do a recording, which resulted in the album The Cat Came Back, which launched his career and established him as one of Canada's leading children's entertainers.
In 1984, he appeared on the children's television show, Sharon, Lois & Bram's Elephant Show, singing his hit song The Cat Came Back.
In 1991, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada for "using music and song to entertain and educate his young audience".