Peter Puffin's Whale Tales!  (aka Peter Lenton)
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Peter Puffin's Whale Tales! (aka Peter Lenton)

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | INDIE

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2009
Solo Folk Singer/Songwriter




"Sampling of Current / Recent Gigs and Venues"

Sampling of Festival/Soft Seater/International Concerts Peter Puffin's Whale Tales!

Cross-Canada Parks & Festivals Tour 2014/2015, 20+ shows, AB, SK, ON, NB, etc.

Beaumont (near Edmonton) Roots and Blues Festival (4 shows) – June 2015

CTV Appearance, ‘live’ set on Lion’s Club Telethon, Sudbury, ON (Dec 2014)

Alberta Culture Days – 2 shows as Headliner, Hinton/Jasper, AB (Sept, 2014)

Queen’s University, Interactive Music Workshop with Teachers-in-Training (Feb’14)

Horizon Stage, Inaugural Munchkin Matinee Headliner, Spruce Grove, AB (Jan ‘14)

Festival Place Main Theatre (2 shows!), Sherwood Park, AB (1 Jan 2014)

National Children’s Literature Festival – Book Bash, Grande Cache, AB (Oct 2013)

Home & Design Show (2 Family Concerts), BMO Centre, Calgary, AB (Sept, 2013)

Fish Creek Provincial Park, Creekfest, Calgary, AB (July 2011-2015)

Cypress Hills Provincial Park, near Maple Creek, SK (SK 2001, 2010-2014)

Canada Day Celebrations, Edmonton Provincial Legislature, AB (July 2013)
Calgary Mayor’s Enviro Expo - SOLD-OUT – 4-6 shows/year (2007-2015)

Brandon Enviro Expo, Concert & Workshops, MB (June 2013 and 2014)

Family Day Celebration – Kerry Wood Nature Centre, Red Deer, AB (Feb 2013/2014)

Ontario Fairs / Exhibitions Showcase Performance, Toronto, ON (Feb 2013)

Breakout West/West Cdn Music Awards SHOWCASE, Regina, SK (2012)

Roots and Blues Festival (4 shows), Salmon Arm, BC (2012)

BC Wildlife Park Amphitheatre (11 shows), Kamloops, BC (2012)

Environment Week Celebration, Leduc Maclab Theatre, AB (2012, 2014, 2015)

Rideau Canal Festival, Ottawa, ON, July 29-31, 2011

Hillside Folk Festival (2 shows), Guelph ON, July 22-24, 2011.

Esplanade Concert Hall (2 shows sold-out), Medicine Hat, AB (2009)

Canmore Children’s Festival, Alberta, (May, 2004 & 2009)

Old Firehall/Yukon Arts Centre, Whitehorse, YK (Sept’08) Sold-Out!

Jasper Wildlife Festival (4 appearances!), AB (Aug 2008)

Canada Day, Calgary & Jasper, AB (both on same day! 2003)

Winnipeg International Children’s Fest, Manitoba. (June, 2003)

London International Children’s Fest, Ontario. (June 6-9, 2002)

Northern Saskatchewan Children’s Fest, Saskatoon, SK. (June, 2002)

Jasper Folk Festival, Alberta. (August, 2001)

Dawson City Folk Music Festival, Yukon. (July, 2001)

Calgary International Children’s Festival, 4 Sold-Out Shows! (May 2000)
Opened for Jane Goodall, Heritage Park, Calgary, AB. (April 2000)

New Zealand, Hong Kong, Casablanca (2 shows), Morocco, North Africa…

Opened for David Suzuki… and it feels like the musical journey is just getting started ! - Puffin Productions

"Juno-award winning act Peter Puffin's Whale Tales heads to Hinton for Alberta Cultural Days"

What started out as a year-long break from teaching for Peter Lenton ended up turning in to a Juno-winning act that tours the nation.

Lenton will be bringing his interactive mix of blues, roots, folk and singalong songs to Alberta Culture Days at the Hinton Centre on Sept. 27.

Peter Puffin’s Whale Tales is aimed at a younger audience, but during his tours Lenton has discovered his music crosses over to adults as well.

“It’s great to get feedback at shows or through email where grown ups will say ‘you know we thought this was just going to be for kids, but we really enjoyed it too’,” singer/songwriter Peter Lenton said.

Over a decade ago Lenton was working as a biologist and an educator in Alberta and he had the pleasure of leading a campfire sing-a-long for students who came out to camp.

“That was where I got my 10,000 hours of practice,” Lenton said.

He also led workshops during his education career, using his unique interactive songwriting style to teach subjects like biology and chemistry as well as social studies and language arts.

His educational sessions started to catch on and what started as a 6-show pilot program turned in to a 200-show tour by the end of that year.

Over a decade later Lenton has still got a song in his heart and brings his music with him to festivals and parks all across Canada and abroad, including a recent tour of Canada’s national parks.

Lenton says playing on some of Canada’s most beautiful stages was a great opportunity to pass on a love of nature to the kids.

“Music is such a powerful vehicle for encouraging the natural love of nature that kids have,” Lenton said. “It’s a really good way to encourage kids to do their part and take action.”

Lenton’s upcoming Alberta Cultural Days show won’t be his first trip to the area, in fact, it’s is one of Lenton’s favourite places to play.

“It’s just fantastic to get to come back there to help celebrate Alberta Cultural Days,” Lenton said. “I’m absolutely honoured to get to celebrate an Alberta-wide thing in such a hotbed of arts activity in Hinton.”

Lenton feels the arts have a strong hold on Hinton and a burgeoning scene assembling in the area.

“I do have a long history of perfoming [in Hinton] I’ve played in schools, and it seems like there is a real growing arts scene around Hinton right now.”

Lenton has constantly hears about the Wild Mountain Music festival as well.

“People say ‘oh you got to check that out’ so I hope to get out to that one of these days,” Lenton said.

His last time out to the Rockies was for the National Children’s Literacy Festival held in Grand Cache last year, although he’s always excited to come back.

“I was thinking about it the other night and it doesn’t matter which way you approach Hinton, it’s a gorgeous trip. If you come up from Lake Louise, or down from Grand Cache, or in from Edson, it’s an amazing place,” Lenton said.

Lenton was the recipient of a Juno award a few years ago, and it has helped increased the draw of his act considerably.

“That was really neat personally because I got to meet mentors for my music making and writing,” Lenton said. “Watching Neil Young whisk by you, and I shook hands with guys like Dan Lanois. That was cool on a personal level, but the really neat thing about the Juno I think is that it has a drawing power as we go forward,”

Lenton doesn’t let the Juno go to his head. Instead, he pays it forward having the Juno-award-winning title act as a draw for fundraising concerts. He even handed it out to a crowd once, letting them pass the award around and check it out.

“It was really exciting for people to see it, and they were impressed by the mutual trust of just handing it out.”

For more information on Peter Puffin’s Whale Tales visit - Hinton Parklander - Dale Boyd

"Children’s entertainer Peter Lenton presents Peter Puffin’s Whale Tales at the Horizon Stage in Spruce Grove"

Through an upcoming children’s production, the Horizon Stage seeks out a recently untapped audience demographic – preschoolers.

Canadian children’s entertainer, Peter Lenton is scheduled to wow the Stage’s youngest crowd yet at 11 a.m., on Jan. 28 during his 45-minute concert, Peter Puffin’s Whale Tales.

The highly interactive show is meant to engage both the children’s physical energy, through actions and audience participation, and their “heart energy,” Lenton said.

“If you can find a way to help them invest their heart energy … if you’re reaching their feelings then you’re more likely to engage them in what’s going on.”

Both the physical and emotional interaction is built into each song, Lenton said, adding his intention is to gently encourage participation allowing each child control over their level of involvement.

Children can sing-a-long, dress up in animal costumes, keep the beat with provided percussion instruments or participate in the show’s live song writing segment.

“I’m already trying to write stuff that they can relate to, but there’s nothing better than asking kids their suggestions and what they think,” he said.

Each Whales Tales production is a tailor made set list touching on a range of topics, including the environment, family, friends, safety, perseverance, the great outdoors and animals.

Lenton’s Horizon Stage performance will focus on celebrating the wealth of family, friends and the importance of trusting one another.

During the show Lenton often stands away from his microphone, shifting the focus to the kids as they lead the rest of the audience in song.

“I love that transition where the focus shifts from me to the kids. They get a huge boost in confidence.”

Transition is perhaps the best way to describe Lenton’s journey to becoming a children’s entertainer who has held an arrangement of careers that have all led him to this, he said.

Having worn the hat of biologist, teacher, camp counselor and video producer, each role provided personal development and paved the way for Lenton’s current entertaining days.

These past professions have taught Lenton to share and foster his love of nature in children and families, develop media skills through which he now communicates his message and provided opportunities to meld learning with music, he explained.

Lenton’s stage name, Peter Puffin dates back and honours his biologist days on the Quebec north shore of the gulf of the St. Lawrence. Here he spent summers living in a lighthouse teaching kids about conservation, hiking and visiting Puffin colonies.

First moving to Canmore, Alta., from Ottawa 20 years ago, Lenton taught at a YMCA camp and led campfire sing-a-longs for 400 kids almost every night for six months.

“You hear people talking about your practice time, your 10,000 hours towards doing something professionally. That was definitely the year. That was my training ground for sure.”

Exposing children to musical performances and theatre productions is important as it contributes to brain development and socialization, he said.

“It helps burn the pathway for things that will be used in the future. Even things like math, it’s a worthwhile thing in terms of brain development.

“Celebrating the arts scene and helping them reinforce that we’re all inherently musical. It’s a big part of being human.”

That socialization is also important to Brandi Wurtz, Horizon Stage theatre manager as she commented on the Stage’s first Munchkin Matinee.

“You can’t expect a child at age eight or nine to come and be an audience member and know what’s expected of them … there’s a certain etiquette that’s expected of them. If you expose them to it as a young age they grow up accepting the fact that live performances are just something they do,” Wurtz said.

Peter Puffin’s Whale Tales was specifically chosen for its audience participation, she said. “They don’t have to sit still for 45 minutes at three years old, cause we know that they don’t.”

The performance is the first official Munchkin Matinee at the Horizon Stage and although it is the only production tailored to these youngsters in its 2013/2014 season, Wurtz said there would likely be another next season.

“I would like to continue it. With most things you have to try it for a couple years before you know how successful it will be.”

Wurtz encourages parents to come and start exposing their little ones to live shows at a young age.

Tickets cost $12 per adult, $6 for children and seniors and are available through - Spruce Grove Examiner/Stony Plain Reporter - Karen Haynes

"Beaumont-based musician encourages youth’s inner artist"

Peter Puffin’s favourite place to perform is likely the last place you’d expect to find a middle-aged man singing at the top of his lungs: the library.

“Any time you get to cause a racket in the library feels like a score,” said the JUNO award-winning Beaumont resident, whose real name is Peter Lenton. “You’re supposed to be quiet in the library, and usually the librarian would be shushing you for making noise.

“But you get to put up a big sound system, and all the kids and parents are watching, so that’s definitely one of my favourites,” he added.

Lenton has lived in Beaumont for more than 10 years and is currently working on his fourth album.

The children’s music artist continually finds the town he lives in to be a source of inspiration – including the local library.

“I find it’s such an inspiring place, so I actually do a lot of my work and songwriting there,” he said. “People are very welcoming there, it’s nice and quiet, and often you can hear kids running around in the background.”

But they’re not in the background of his music. Children are front right and centre in Puffin’s music, and he doesn’t just write about them. He actually finds ways to incorporate their ideas into his songs in order to help them find their artistic voice.

“It keeps you having a more youthful, and more hopeful I think, outlook on life,” he said. “Kids are often so optimistic and passionate about the things they care about.”

Lenton especially enjoys integrating thoughts and ideas from the younger demographic he performs for into his music.

“The really young kids are a particular joy to work with, because they haven’t developed a critical voice yet,” he said.

“So you get these wonderful stories and ideas that are coming out of them that are not edited.”

He likes that kids have no sense of what’s “right and wrong”, and just let their ideas flow freely.

He tries to write songs that kids can connect to. While he keeps a constant journal to jot down song ideas, he often finds the best suggestions come from the kids themselves.

“It’s so amazing to see the look of excitement and joy in their eyes when they hear their own voice and lyrics coming out of the speakers,” he said.

Before finding his path as a musician, Lenton worked as a video producer, outdoor environmentalist and teacher.

He said those experiences have all helped culminate in the performer he is today.

“Now as a performer and facilitator, doing these programs, you’ve got quite a few of backpocket tricks,” he noted.

And all those years in the classroom help him see the world through a certain lens.

“One of the things that comes from spending a lot of time with kids is you really do get to have window into their world through their eyes,” he said. “It’s really quite refreshing to have that kid point of view of the world.”

Considering he has a background in biology, he particularly appreciates how young people have a strong passion for nature and the environment.

He said he’s often surprised by their knowledge and passion for what’s right and wrong.

“No matter how much you try and have the point of view of a youngster, you’ve moved beyond that sort of innocence,” he said.

“And that’s one of the joys of doing what I do – they fairly steadily surprise you with the ideas they come up with.”

And you can bet he’s slowly but steadily incorporating those ideas into his new album. He’s currently working on a song called ‘If Kids Ruled the World’.
“They get very excited about that one,” he said.

In addition to its small-town feel, he said he appreciates living in Beaumont because he feels it has a bit of a fearless approach to trying new things due to being a growing community.

For example, he said he’s never seen a petting zoo at a library before like there was a month ago here.

“I think in a similar way to how youngsters feel safe to share their ideas, I think people in Beaumont feel like it’s a safe place to try different and innovative things,” he said.

Lenton has some shows in Calgary and Brandon, MB that he’s excited for, but is really looking forward to a show on Jan. 28 at the Horizon Stage in Spruce Grove at 11 a.m.

That’s because the show is geared towards preschoolers, toddlers, and home-schooled children, a demographic he often doesn’t get to perform for.

“I truly believe the younger you’re exposed to music, the better their experiences in school will be,” he said. “It’s a great way for them to become friends.”

He also pointed to studies that show that quality music at a young age helps with brain development, and believes the experience can be particularly enriching for home-schooled children.

“I know some people in homeschooling, and they’re always looking for quality experiences during the day that are kind of like a field trip,” he said.

Lenton’s previous album, `Proud like a Mountain’, won the 2011 JUNO for Children’s Album of the year. He’s hoping to follow up that success with his next album.

He said in his third album, he incorporated more instruments and sounds to create more of a “wall of sound” rather than just a guy singing and playing guitar.

“The previous two were technically a little simpler,” he said. “For the third album, I wanted to create a lot more musical and lyrical layers, to make it more interesting for kids and enjoyable for adults as well.”

The forthcoming album continues in that vein but is still aimed toward children.

“One of the things I’m focusing on in this album is to bring more of a storytelling aspect to it,” he said. “I’m hoping people will find a piece of themselves in the stories.”

For more info on Puffin’s upcoming show, visit - La Nouvelle Beaumont News - Omar Mosleh

"Students get inspired by Juno award winner, Performer returns to school where he was first inspired to play music"

EMC news - Peter Lenton will always remember his Grade 6 teacher at Severn Avenue Public School who played the guitar to teach science and social studies.

"It left a mark on me and I was able to eventually, through hard work and meeting the right people, turn it into a career for myself," said Lenton, a Juno Award winner who returned to Severn to perform for teachers and students on March 29.

Lenton, who performs under the name Peter Puffin, won the award for Best Children's Album at last year's Juno Awards. He said he wanted to come and visit his elementary school and deliver a few messages to the students.

"It's amazing. I think we underestimate the elementary experience," said Lenton. "It's a time when the kids' minds are so fertile.

"(I want to) help these kids discover their talents early on, keep the creativity alive and learn skills to share with the community."

He said he also wants to teach kids the value of practicing at something and if they don't succeed, to try again.

"I also want to have environmental literacy weaved into (the message) and global citizenship and the idea of great stewardship in this community," Lenton said.

He also said singing for children and delivering positive messages is something that he feels he was meant to do.

Lenton gave the example of one student he visited at a school years ago, who recently contacted him saying he was the inspiration for the student staying in school.

"He said he plays in a band now and got through school because music kept him in there," Lenton said. "Now he's graduated and he's still thankful. Every time I hear those stories, I feel that this is my mission. This is what I'm meant to do."

The school's principal, Hanif Jamal, said he was delighted to have Lenton come play for the students. He touched base with the artist in November and Jamal felt it was a great opportunity for students to see a graduate of the school who's become so successful.

"If you have the privilege of saying you have Juno award winner who's an alumni, you bring him here," Jamal said.

He said arts are critical and it's very important to him as an educator, and that the school has hosted a variety of other artists over the year. Jamal also hopes his students get inspired by Lenton's performance.

"Everybody needs something that guides them," Jamal said. "Once the students see his performance, they will see one of their own reaching great heights and becoming successful."

- EMC Ottawa West by By Kristy Strauss

"Peter Puffin brings it (to his) old school"

OTTAWA — All the children at Severn Avenue Public School sat full of excitement clapping their hands on their legs with enthusiasm as Juno Award winning Peter Puffin played for them Thusday afternoon.

Peter Puffin or Peter Lenton as he’s known off the stage, was thrilled to be playing at Severn because it is where he attended elementry school back in the 1970’s. Lenton says that this is where it all began, “it was one of my teachers here who used music to teach lessons and that was when I really realized how much music can be used for helping kids and teachers learn,” said Lenton.

Today Lenton has played over 3000 concerts across Canada and around the world but says that today was very special because he got to come back home and share his music with children from his old neighbourhood.

Peter Puffin was awarded a Juno in 2011 for his album Proud Like A Moutain and was pleased to be able to play the title track to children and adults alike at Severn.

“It’s just such a great message for kids, it teaches them that they can do anything as long as they keep on trying,” said Lenton.

“He puts out such meaningful messages,” said Hanif Jamal, Principal at Severn Avenue Public School. Jamal said that Peter is such a good example for how kids can succeed at whatever it is they wish to do in life, “if he can do it, we can do it,” he said.

For Lenton it’s not about the awards, although he admits it was very incredible to talk with artists such as Neil Young about the impact his music has had on children. He says it’s about the message and it’s about learning.

He currently resides in Edmonton but still has a lot of family in Ottawa and said it always feels like coming home when he gets a chance to visit this city who is always happy to have him back.

“Peter is the perfect examply of someone who uses music to inspire people to be their best,” said Jamal. And that is exactly what he did for the children of Severn Avenue Public School.

Read more:

© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen

Read more: - Ottawa Citizen (by Karen Ladouceur)

"Music moves mountains for Ottawa singer/songwriter"

Peter Lenton uses award-winning children's music as teaching tool

Lenton, a singer/songwriter and educator from Ottawa, offers a lighthearted musical message about perseverance and other themes such as environmental responsibility, peace-making and boosting self-esteem. is concerts and teacher workshops have inspired and entertained thousands of families across Canada.

"In concert I strive to convey a high-energy mischievousness, and connect with youngsters and parents by initiating multiple dialogues" said Lenton.

"I have always steered clear of talking down to kids. Their innocent smartnesses are akin to a pure wisdom that they sense me respecting, so the hearts open and a mutual trust grows. It is a precious zone that I encourage in concert and on recordings."

"Proud Like a Mountain, which also won the Billboard Magazine World Song Contest, mixes elements of roots, folk, blues and is filled with infectious melodies and knee-slapping delights."

"I feel very fortunate to be gifted the (JUNO) award. The even more pleasing phenomenon is how the award gets so many family members, friends, and fans even more excited about the community-building music we are sharing. "Sparking joy in other people's lives is quite an amazing side effect."

See link for more... - OTTAWA PARENTING TIMES September-October, 2011

"Local musician stoked with Juno win! Peter Lenton’s Proud Like a Mountain deemed best in its class"

And the Juno for Childrens Album of the Year goes to Peter Lenton.

It feels like I have been walking about three feet off the ground ever since I was called up to accept the award, said Lenton, the Beaumont musician also known as Peter Puffin, whos album Proud Like a Mountain was given the Canadian music industrys highest honour March 26.

He said he was humbled and excited to be recognized amongst fellow his nominees, The Kerplunks, The Monkey Bunch, Michelle Campagne and Greg LeRock.

Being at the Juno Awards was such an extraordinary experience, said Lenton, who has been nominated for several other awards over the years but never for a Juno. At one moment, just before stepping up onto the red carpet, I could have raised my arms like I was a kid pretending to be a plane taking off, which is how it felt. And if I (had) spun around like the kids do I would have touched Neil Young, Buffy St. Marie, Dan Lanois and Robbie Robertson of The Band.

Just being nominated seemed like enough, he said, then he was announced the winner of his category.

When he took to the stage he thanked all who helped him get there, including the children who shared their poignant stories with him over the years, and everyone in the room for showing kids that you can grow your creative talents as a lifestyle, and believe in yourself, and persevere, and even turn your talents into a full-time career in the arts.

This may be the literal peak of his career thus far, but Lenton said the road to the top hasnt been easy. Since trading in his teaching career in 1996 he has toured millions of kilometers to share his music with children and parents across the country.

Ever since then I wake up each day and invest in using music to help kids of all ages realize their dreams, he said. Though some of my days are long, it doesnt not feel like work in the traditional sense.

But even when hes not working hes working.

Im always looking for the next great story that can be crafted into a song, he said.

Lenton said he would like to share his Juno with all the collaborators, recording technicians and musicians who came together to create the album.

I would like to think that my song and lyric writing contributed to this recognition however, I truly believe that it is the musicianship by the band, the recording and mixing finesse of Chris Daniels and the mastering by Richard Harrow that won over the ears of the judges, he said. I will be scheming gestures of thanks and celebrating this win with everyone involved for a long, long time.

Anyone interested in purchasing the award-winning album can visit to order an autographed copy.

We get lots of grown-ups, even without kids, buying the recording at shows, which is very gratifying because I wanted to offer a collection of songs that the whole family could enjoy, said Lenton.

The songs are also available to download at CD Baby and iTunes. - Beaumont News / La Nouvelle (By Kate Hamilton)

"People are Talking! Glimpses of the buzz generated by Peter's concert experiences!"

1. "Peter Puffin's gentle songs are both catchy and inspiring! The lyrics are the type that get stuck in your head and build confidence" Hillside Folk Fest, 2011

2. "I just wanted to say congratulations on the Juno and thanks for making music that kids and parents can both enjoy!" Community Concert Series Presenter, Alberta

3. "Seeing Peter again is worth the entire Children's Performance Series subscription price... the other three shows will just be a bonus!" Parent, following a return concert in Strathmore, Alberta.

4. "Thank you so much for your exciting, captivating, fun-filled performance... And the costumes - WOW! " Parent, Ottawa, Ontario.

5. "Even the standing room was jammed for Peter’s return to our festival!" Canmore Kids Fest, Alberta.

6. "We Love, Love, Love your tunes!” Parent, Sylvan Lake, Alberta.

7. “Peter was very easy to work with, provided lots of ideas and inspiration for making the concert relevant to our community's philosophy and values, and really connected with the kids on the concert day! What could be better than great music and ice cream on a sunny fall day! What a great charactor-building opportunity for our community!” Calgary, Alberta

8. "Your folky, bluesy music has been the springboard for many thought provoking conversations... in fact my youngster is quite proud of being a "Green (environmental) Kid"! You do important work. Thank you." Parent, Calgary, Alberta, CANADA.

9. "Dear Peter: We were lucky enough to see you perform twice and thankfully, brought your CD back with us to Vancouver Island. My daughter is now eight months and I like singing to her. I like singing "Proud like a Mountain" because she likes it and it makes me feel good." Parent, Nanaimo, BC, Canada.

10. "The best performance we've ever had." Sandbanks Provincial Park, Ontario. - Multiple sources... i.e. Kids of all ages!

"Peter Lenton Sings About Science"

In a short period of time, Peter Lenton, Artsci ’86, Ed’90, has seen great success. In the last year alone, his album “Proud Like A Mountain” won the Juno Award for Best Children’s Album, the title track placed third in the 2010 Billboard Magazine World Song Contest, and Peter was nominated for Children’s Artist of the Year at the Canadian Indies Awards, the Canadian Folk Music Awards, and the Western Canadian Music Awards. Peter, who performs under the name Peter Puffin, was also nominated for the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta’s Distinguished Artist award. For his creative approach to education, Peter was given the Alberta Teacher’s Association Distinguished Fellow Award and the prestigious Alberta Emerald Foundation Award.

Peter’s journey began shortly after graduating from the B.Ed. program. “I accepted a position as an environmental and outdoor education program teacher at the Rocky Mountain Outdoor School near Banff, Alberta,” he says. “Living in a rustic cabin in the shadow of the Rockies, with the forests and the mountains as my first classrooms, it was so fantastic and fulfilling to re-ignite the natural caring that kids have for nature and environmental science.”

Part of Peter’s teaching program at the school was facilitating a daily 90-minute sing-along celebration for the students. “I was involved in helping 500 students and teachers sing about curriculum-related science and social studies topics. Doing so for four nights a week for six months was a stellar training ground for me.”

He recalls his time on campus: “We played music all the time at Queen’s – we had late-night jam sessions in the stairwells of the residences and in the halls of West Campus.” In addition, Peter worked as a DJ/Producer at CFRC, playing music live on air and interviewing some of his musical heroes. “I remember going to see the Tragically Hip at the Toucan on Princess Street before they had any original material!” he recalls. “I loved the vibrant music scene around Kingston in the 1980s.”

Before studying education, Peter completed a biology degree at Queen’s. “My first degree in biology and the accompanying field research experience gave me the overview content and the science I teach,” he says. “People tell me that I am a good example of someone who has combined a number of disciplines – biology, education, music, storytelling, community-building and global citizenship – and veered off onto a very unconventional career path.”

Peter has seen tremendous success, and things are not looking like they will slow down. While he continues to tour in support of the album – he’s booked nationally and internationally over the next year – Peter will also begin work on his next album. On tour, he performs at festivals, conducts workshops at teaching conventions, and completes week-long stints as the artist-in-residence at several schools. In the midst of a busy schedule, he is also working on developing new teaching resources to go along with his songs. He also writes journal and magazine articles on the process of preparing young people for local leadership and global citizenship. To keep up with his pace, visit Peter’s website at - Queen's University Alumni Review (by Elamin Abdelmahmoud)

"Impact of a caring stranger (Poignant childhood lesson comes full circle with Juno Award win)"

Simple gestures can prove lasting

I will measure my wealth in memories and friends.

From Proud Like a Mountain, title song from Juno Award winning Children's Album of the Year, by Peter Lenton.

Peter Lenton first appeared in one of these columns in the 1970s when as a boy, fishing from shore, somebody stole his much-loved tackle box while his attention was fixed on the water.

That wasn't the main story, but the bait for what would surely follow. Most of my columns over the years were intended to counteract the nature of news selection, and show that despite the fear and gloom spread by a daily diet of hard news, we are surrounded by good times and caring people.

The follow-up story a few days later told of how some elderly fishers who were cutting back on that favourite pastime put together a new box for the boy, bigger and better than the one he had lost.

The caring strangers created a lifelong impression that led Peter Lenton to become an award-winning children's entertainer/teacher calling himself Peter Puffin.

When we talked last week, he was still riding that high known to those who have received accolades from their peers. He said from his Edmonton home, that after the award ceremony he spent hours walking the streets of Toronto, enjoying being a winner. He was one puffed puffin.

His mother, Bette Linton, lives in the Carlingwood area. We last touched base in 1999 when Peter Puffin arrived in Ottawa booked into 10 schools as part of a national tour in which he spent time at each school as a musician-in-residence.

He had degrees in biology and teaching, and used music as a teaching tool as he brought his message of environmental responsibility to the young.

He has added concerts to his work, but the school programs remain his first love. The tackle box remains a driving force.

"In October I was getting ready to start a school concert and a little girl, about kindergarten age, approached me. She had a little violin and asked if she could play with me. My first reaction was to explain I had to start working. Then I remembered the tackle box and the strangers who took time to make an impression on a kid. So I said let's do it, and for the first time she played in front of a large audience, and I backed her up on guitar. Young as she was, I watched her discover the power of music.

"Near the end of my show I invited her to come back up and jam with me. The crowd loved it. Her mom was beaming. We were a hit!"

It wasn't his first experience with future stars. About 10 years ago his attention was caught by a shy boy at a school concert. The boy had a harmonica. Puffin coaxed him to come up, and the boy, too shy to talk, played. He too discovered music as a means of communicating. One of Lenton's proudest possessions is a letter of thanks from that boy, in Grade 12, saying he was playing in a band, and the harmonica performance had been a life shaper. He called himself "the harmonica kid."

The importance of a little attention from an adult to a child can't be overstressed, but in a society that teaches children to fear strangers, it's a delicate balance.

Another Lenton memory: "My dad (Pete, not Peter) was an air force air traffic controller in the '70s and we were living in Germany. Prime minister (Pierre) Trudeau was arriving at the base, and Dad took me out of school for the day so I could see the man. Mr. Trudeau came over to me, stooped to be at my level, and talked to me for what I was told lasted about two minutes. It changed me."

Likely, it made him feel like a somebody. Kids need that.

Pete Lenton died a year ago, and son Peter is homesick. "I'll likely wind up living in Ottawa again."

He currently lives on the outskirts of Edmonton, is married, and hopes to be a father.

He's not the first person who worked hard to train for a profession, and then dropped everything to switch to a totally different career. But they are rare. In his case, he stopped teaching to take up the guitar and hit the road.

"Sometime, or some day, you wake up and you just know what you're supposed to do." - Ottawa Citizen (by Dave Brown)

"Whale of a Tale at Regent Theatre"

It was a hand-clapping, finger-snapping and arm waving extravaganza July 20 at the Regent Theatre...

See Link for full article and photo with following caption:

Peter Puffin's Whale Tales (Peter Lenton) brought his JUNO Award-winning children's music to the Regent Theatre Stage July 20. His bluesy folk and interactive songs with messages of caring for the environment, peace building and celebrating local/global communities have been heard on stages across Canada and as far away as Morocco and New Zealand.

- Picton Gazette - County Weekly News


Current Projects:

3. The New Campfire Singalong! CD, Digital, and e-book
(writing and demo recording for Autumn 2015 release)

2. If Kids Ruled The World! - CD, HD - DVD & download
(in recording/production)

1. Stellar concert at Peter's own elementary school, during 2012 Juno Awards Week, Ottawa, Canada. And Concert Glimpses from Summer Parks Tour 2013 for DVD & Digital.
(in post-production)

Proud Like a Mountain (JUNO Award)
for Children's Album of the Year.

Billboard Magazine World Song Contest Winner (Roots / Folk i.e. grown-up category!)
3rd studio album

Best selling CD
Stand-out original tracks receiving radio play on CBC, CKUA (Alberta), and Galaxie Satelite Radio / TV / streaming, in regular rotation.

Song samples, downloads and CD's: available from,, iTunes, and finer retail outlets.

Proud Like a Mountain (Deluxe Digital Download Version)

with bonus studio and concert tracks!

1,000 Voices 'Live' - DVD

Recorded with a SOLD-OUT audience in the plush, Living Arts Center (1,000 soft-seater), Mississauga Children's Festival, Ontario.

Passengers (2nd studio album CD)

Stand-out tracks: Kid Hearts, Passengers, Place in the Choir (Staines), Big Kid Blues, The Cape (Guy Clark) still 'live' favourites... CD Available from and finer retail outlets.

Peter Puffin's Whale Tales (1st CD)

The Enhanced Original album

Stand-out tracks / radioplay / performed 'live' @ radio stations to promote concerts: Save the Whales, Bike Helmet Blues, Peace Like a River, If Burrowing Owls Could Speak, The Whales Are Waiting... CD Available from and finer retail outlets.

Plus various compositions commissioned for Award Winning National TV Broadcast Video productions and CBC radio.



Guitar-slinger / songwriter Peter Lenton, aka Peter Puffins Whale Tales, has become a legendary addition to the Childrens Entertainer category around kids concert series and Festival circuits.

Every show is unique and inspiring! Audience volunteers could get to lead and write songs, play percussion instruments, and wear wacky wildlife costumes and so much more!

Peter engages all ages with his catchy blend of bluesy folk & uptempo, interactive, and heartfelt songs. Listen for gentle messages like: keeping the earth green, peace-making, and celebrating local and global community building.

The Alberta-based Lenton was originally a decorated teacher and curriculum specialist. His students responded to his incredible energy with such enthusiasm, that he was inspired to take his singing and guitar playing to the stage full-time and never looked back.

Some 15 years later, he is always evolving his storytelling skills, passion for the environment, and unflagging belief in children merging it all together into something fresh and inviting.

Though he performs primarily for height efficient folks... (including tweens), helping them express their own artistic tendencies, he also writes and sings for grown-ups.

His music encourages keeping creativity thriving as a lifelong passion. He has been winning awards for years... both in the music industry and educational communities.

His talent and commitment is widely known and admired. Hes won a JUNO for his recordings, notably the anthemic Proud Like A Mountain, and hes opened up for like-minded conservationists and world leaders in ecology like Jane Goodall, David Suzuki and Stephen Lewis.

Childrens Album of the Year awards, multiple Folk, INDIE and World music award nominations, and songwriting contest accomplishments aside, Peter Lenton loves his work!

Peter taps music to fill concert halls, facilitate workshops and deliver musical keynotes, all across Canada and beyond in places like Morocco, the USA, New Zealand and Australia, proving that music truly is the universal language.

Little wonder why he and his legion of fans are Proud like a Mountain knowing hes out there tapping music to make a difference for all of us.

Band Members