Bobs and Lolo remain grassroots despite growing success

When Lorraine Pond and Robyn Hardy became friends in the fall of 1992 they couldn't have imagined where it would take them.

When Lorraine Pond and Robyn Hardy became friends in the fall of 1992 they couldn’t have imagined where it would take them.

Two decades later, their friendship has led them to two Juno Award ceremonies as respected children’s entertainers, known as Bobs and Lolo.

“We actually never dreamed that we would be children’s performers,” Pond said.

Bobs (Hardy) and Lolo (Pond) will be returning home to Nanaimo on Saturday (Dec. 14), for two performances at Departure Bay Activity Centre.

Pond and Hardy had actually met years earlier when they were little girls attending a camp in Nanoose Bay, but it wasn’t until they reached high school that they became the best of friends.

“We both ended up going to Dover Bay the first year it opened,” Pond said. “We were inseparable after that.”

The duo frequently played sports together; they also sang in the school choir and had the same piano teacher.

“We got into all sorts of trouble,” Pond jokingly recalled.

The Nanaimo natives graduated from Dover Bay in 1996 and remained friends.

After university, they came up with the idea to blend their love for music, education, and children into a unique entertainment package.

“We thought if we could combine all three of those things then we would have some great entertainment value for kids,” Hardy said.

They decided to call themselves Bobs and Lolo, after nicknames they had in high school.

In 2003, Bobs and Lolo had their first show at B.C. Children’s Hospital. At the time the Nanaimoites hadn’t seriously considered the idea of becoming children’s performers.

“We were really learning as we went,” Pond said. “We were really hesitant to call ourselves entertainers. We always called ourselves educators first and it took a long time to feel comfortable in that entertainer role.”

One of their first paying gigs came one summer when they were hired by B.C. Ferries to perform in front of children in the kids play area.

“We would get on the ferry from Tsawwassen and we would stay on the boat for four sailings and we would just sing in the kids play area over and over again,” Pond said.

“There were points in the day where we didn’t even know which terminal we were at.”

It was during those ferry sailings that they began to understand the art of interacting with children.

“We learned about how to interact with the little guys,” Hardy said. “We got so much practice with the material. At that point we only had one album out, so it was just singing the same songs over and over again.”

Since their sailing days, the Dover Bay Secondary School graduates have gone on to release five albums, two of which were Juno nominated.

“We just built on that experience on B.C. Ferries,” Pond said. “Every year our shows got a little bigger. We got a little bit more profile and we started developing our brand. That eventually led into television opportunities.”

In 2009, the duo took home the Parents’ Choice Gold Award along with a Western Canadian Music Award. The following year they received their first Juno nomination for their album Action Packed.

“It started out grassroots and has really grown over the years but it still has that organic feel to it,” Pond said. “Even for the shows coming up in Nanaimo, our moms are coming out to sell CDs.”

When it comes to writing music for the youngest demographic, Pond and Hardy largely draw from their own experiences as children. They incorporated childhood memories such as bike riding, outdoors adventures and nature into their craft.

“We looked at ideas to connect kids to the natural world in general,” Pond said. “Our whole thing was let’s create content that is going to draw kids away from that and encourage them to get outside and play and be with their families.”

In 2012, the long-time friends received their second Juno nomination for their album Connecting the Dots. Pond and Hardy are currently in the early stages of creating a new album, which they plan to release sometime next year.

“It’s still very much in its conceptual stage,” Pond said.

According to Hardy, it can be challenging writing music for the youngest demographic.

“They (the kids) are very honest,” Hardy said. “If they don’t like it, they will tell you.”

This past April they launched their own television series titled, Sing Dance and Play with Bobs and Lolo, on Corus Entertainment’s Treehouse TV.

The Nanaimo natives grew up watching Canadian entertainers such as Raffi and wanted to bring back the human element in children’s entertainment.

“We grew up on Raffi, Fred Penner and Sharon, Lois and Bram and all these real people and the Canadian kids music industry and that’s really missing now,” Pond said.

A decade into their career and they haven’t wavered from their original message to the kids. “It’s really just about inspiring them to care about the world around them and care about each other,” Pond said. “Our goal is to have them grow up to be caring individuals and make a difference around them.”

Concerts start at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Tickets $10 at Kool and Child or online at

Just Posted

An event on the lawn of the B.C. legislature in Victoria on Tuesday to remember the 215 children whose remains were confirmed buried in unmarked graves outside a Kamloops residential school. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Canada’s racist systems cannot ever be forgiven

Teen letter writer from Nunavut calls for truth and reconciliation

Nanaimo is the first city in Canada to subscribe to the Chonolog environment photo-monitoring system, which allow residents to contribute photos of habitat restoration projects that are converted to time lapse sequences showing environmental changes. (Chris Bush/ News Bulletin)
Nanaimo residents invited to be citizen scientists by sharing habitat restoration photos

Nanaimo first city in Canada to sign up for Chronolog environment photo monitoring service

Regional District of Nanaimo is seeking input from the public for its transit redevelopment strategy. (News Bulletin file)
Public input sought as RDN works on transit redevelopment strategy

RDN wants to know where people want bus stops, shelters and pedestrian and cycling connections

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

(PQB News file photo)
Fireworks report highlights enforcement challenges for Regional District of Nanaimo

Director: ‘I just think it’s wasting everybody’s time’

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps near Nanaimo

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read