Oscar Brand with Joni Mitchell from an episode of Let's Sing Out from 1965
91-year-old Oscar Brand has something (new) to sing about. The legendary folksinger, composer, author and host is being honoured by the Winnipeg Folk Festival with an Artistic Achievement Award.
Five fast facts about Oscar Brand:
1. Oscar Brand was born in Winnipeg in 1920.
2. His song This Land of Ours (Something to Sing About), which was the theme song for his televsion show Let's Sing Out, was suggested as a replacement for Oh Canada.
3. He hosts the longest-running radio show in history, Folksong Festival. The show has been running for 66 years.
4. You know Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street? Oscar Brand was the inspiration for this crusty character.
5. Oscar appeared at the very first Winnipeg Folk Festival in 1974. He returned to the festival stage in 1980 and again in 2010.
The Artistic Achievement Award honours past performers of the festival who have demonstrated musical excellence and who have contributed exceptionally to the field of folk music. It will be given out on December 1st at the annual Winter Wassail event which raises funds for the festival's education and outreach programs.
Pictured above, Oscar Brand receiving the Order of the Buffalo Hunt at the 2010 Winnipeg Folk Festival (Bert Luit)