All posts by Calabogie Social Media

Today's post was written by Todd Crapper, the Social Media Specialist for Calabogie Peaks and primary blogger for this site. He also works in the Marketing Department as the Graphic Designer and has been with The Peaks with 2013... but doesn't know how to ski. Yet. That will have to change very soon.

Goin’ Country

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It’s the last week of June and you know what that means? Ok, yes, it’s the last week of school for most of the county. And yes, it’s also officially the beginning of summer and all the sunny perks that come with it. More important than all of those combined is the start of the 2nd Annual Calabogie Class Axe Guitars Country Music Festival, launching this Friday as our first performer, Aaron Lines, takes the stage at 8:00pm with local favourite, Ambush, wrapping up the first night.

Putting a music festival together is a festival unto itself and it all begins the minute last year’s event comes to a close. It involves every department and every employee here, from ensuring every room is prepared and perfected for our guests – including the performers and their crew – to the grounds staff getting everything groomed and ready for literally thousands of people to those in the Marketing department plugging away at Facebook, Twitter, radio, and print to get the word out there. Guiding it all falls under the jurisdiction of our festival committees, a joint-cooperation of Calabogie Peaks Resort and 101.9 DAWG FM. With this final week of preparations upon us, everyone’s started pouring in and pouring out 110% to get ready for this weekend.

If you’re anything like me and this is your first time at the Country Music Festival, we’re all in for a treat. Picture your typical outdoor music fest with so many amenities right at hand, especially if you’re camping over for the entire weekend. You want to sit down and enjoy a nice meal indoors? Canthooks Restaurant is the place to be. Feel like taking in some local food vendors? Not a problem, we have booths for BeaverTails, It’s Lemonade Time, and the Smokehouse Café to fill your bellies. Want to play a few rounds of tennis, golf, or simply savour the winding trails of the Calabogie area? Consider it done. Finally, we can’t forget about the beach and the cold drinks offered at our Boathouse Bar & Grill. Lots to do until the music cranks back up and the party gets started again.

This year is about mixing it up and offering something for all country fans. For up-and-coming stars, there’s Abby Stewart, Western Swing Authority, and our own Rich Martel. New country fans can enjoy songs from Bobby Wills, Small Town Pistols, and Brea Lawrenson. Are you an old school country fan? We’ve got Canadian country music icon, Michelle Wright, closing out the festival on Sunday the 29th at 6:00pm. That’s 18 hours of live country music waiting for you to experience. So what are doing reading this blog for when you could be buying your tickets online?
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For everything you need to enjoy this year’s Calabogie Class Axe Guitars Country Music Festival, go to www.calabogiecountry.com and follow the action on their Facebook page or Twitter account for instant updates as the weekend approaches and commences. See you this weekend!

A Look Back At Winter 2014

Who can forget this past winter? Brrr, I’m still working off the chills (but maybe that’s the air conditioner).
Rob Whelan from Active Family Photography remembers it well and this local photographer wrote about it on SlopeEdge last week. Have a read and – more importantly – check out his beautiful work with some local families this past winter. Rob’s specialty is taking active family portraits, meaning those taken while everyone’s out and about in nature rather than posing in their living room. I had the pleasure of meeting Rob after discovering his work at random. He’s a big fan of the Peaks and many of the photos you’ll see in this post were taken right here. He shares a strong belief in active families, just as we do and what caught my attention was a series of photos documenting a young couple teaching their 3-year old how to ski. Not only that, but the mother was pregnant with their second child. Outstanding!
You can check out his post right here: Looking Back On Winter

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A young couple teaching their first-born to ski. Photo by Rob Whelan (Active Family Photography).

Seeing Is Believing: Dawn & Douglas’ Wedding Day

One of the great things about blogs is that it’s much easier to discover photos of people enjoying their stays at the Peaks. Wedding photos are especially exciting because they’re a glimpse at the thrill and excitement everyone feels on these special days. It feels good to know brides, grooms, families, and friends were able to make eternal memories on mountain, lake and land.
The Photos For Life blog has a series of such photos we stumbled across yesterday and wanted to share it with the rest of you. Click on their logo to see a Calabogie Peaks wedding for yourselves.

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Wedding Dreams Do Come True

There’s so much to enjoy in the summer months, from enjoying the casual days outside by the beach to hiking the many trails winding throughout the Highlands. For some, summer is a time to engage in that most precious of moments: weddings. Over the years, Calabogie Peaks has provided many memorable weddings for young couples seeking for that perfect, tranquil spot to exchange their vows. But don’t take our word for it; check out what the Ottawa Citizen wrote about our wedding services in this year’s Weddings & Romance supplement back in February 2014.
Wedding Dreams Come True At Calabogie Peaks
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Express your love for that special person in your life and surround yourself with the best the world has to offer: family, friends and beauty. Nature provides a glorious backdrop for unforgettable lifetime memories at Calabogie peaks Resort, one of the Ontario’s leading mountain lakeshore resorts. Celebrate your special occasion where country warmth and luxury are combined with culinary perfection and limitless seasonal activities.
Whether your plans are for a large event or a smaller, more intimate gathering, exchange your vows and celebrate your magical occasion at any one of Calabogie’s breathtaking intimate venues. Gather lakeside at the beach, on their private wooded island, pondside behind their majestic boutique hotel, by the forest edge, or closest to the sky at Calabogie’s mountaintop location. Calabogie’s reception halls, all adorned with stately furnishings, have panoramic views of the mountain and surrounding areas.
Close to the city but far from distractions, Calabogie Peaks is an inviting destination year-round. “We offer guests an experience that differentiates use from other locations,” says Liz Murphy, co-owner of The Peaks. “Imagine exchanging vows midsummer in the shade beneath majestic lakeshore trees, with a soft summer breeze blowing in from the lake, and your friends and family with you for this special moment. Or choose the ‘take my breath away’ location at the top of the mountain. Whisk your wedding group up the Lakeview chairlift and say ‘I do’ at the top of the world.”
“Many choose The Peaks as a destination wedding location and combine it with a host of activities offered on-site,” adds Murphy. Warm weather offers golfing, tennis, hiking, boating and beach activities. Winter includes skiing, boarding, snowshoeing, skating and more.
Come make memories at the mountain! For more information, go to www.calabogie.com and contact events@calabogie.com for booking availability.

Six Months And Counting…

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A lot of people may not be aware that Calabogie Peaks is a year-round resort offering activities both exciting and relaxing. Sure, we have our impressive skiing and snowboarding on the biggest vertical mountain in Ontario with a recognized and adored Ski School and all the perks that come with our winter season… but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. But that’s not all I want to talk about today.

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Todd Crapper (yes, you read that right) and I’m the Graphic Designer/Social Media Specialist for Calabogie Peaks. It’s my job to be the voice of the Peaks, to spread the message and share the excitement of everything we have going on at this fabulous resort. And I’m not just saying that as an employee; this is coming from someone who absolutely adores this place. When I was first hired on back in November of last year, I was incredibly excited about this opportunity. To be honest, I was sold on becoming part of the Peaks based on the drive alone. As someone who grew up in the the Greater Toronto Area and lived for 15 years in Ottawa, switching from traffic jams and accident reports on the radio to gliding solo alongside the Madawaska River was tempting beyond belief. I have to admit, I’d never been here before and had Googled pictures of the resort, but when I drove down the embankment and the trees parted to reveal the majesty of this property, I knew this job had to be mine. It was going to be an uphill battle to learn about all the inner workings of a resort like Calabogie Peaks as someone who has never downhill skied or ever worked in this field before, of that there was no doubt. If you’ve ever been here before, you know how friendly and engaging the staff are with their customer and that remained as I began to work with this team to help spread the word on just how awesome this place is. I am truly blessed to be a part of it and now my role is to make you want to become part of it too.

That was six months ago and what a crazy and exciting six months it was. Aside from the usual learning curve you go through at any new job, there were many challenges and struggles along the way, but I’m happy to say we ended up with a great season. From a social media standpoint, we were able to increase our followers on both Facebook and Twitter by 30%, website traffic is up 15% (with new visitors up by 30%), and we’ve begun to play around with other media such as Instagram and Google+ as well. More importantly, we’ve heard so many great things from our guests and customers about how much they have enjoyed their time at Calabogie Peaks and how they’re looking forward to coming back for more skiing, golfing, dining, and more. It’s been hectic at times, but I truly feel blessed to have the opportunity to work with such a great team and meet many of you who are truly fans of the Peaks.

There’s a reason why I’m getting into all this personal background with you – it’s the personal touch that you get with the Peaks. We provide the same perks and features of many larger resorts, yet with that friendly country feel that makes us stand out. Providing that same accommodation through social media with all of its fast-paced, low-character, short-lived flurry of updates, shares, and cat photos is tricky. There’s so much going on in our world – both virtual and physical – that it becomes more important to have that opportunity to experience a human touch with all this communication. That’s what I want to bring to you and remind those of you have been here once before or those who are only discovering the Peaks for the first time online – that sense of community and country comfort that’s close to home.

So if you think all that melted snow means we’re shutting down for the next six months, you are way off, my friends. At this very moment, our Ironwoods 9-hole golf course is available to the public, preparations are under way to get our Boathouse Bar & Grill ready for the Victoria Day long weekend and it’s just over a month until the 2nd Annual Calabogie Country Music Festival begins (featuring our headliner, Canadian country icon, Michelle Wright). After that, there’s the 4th Annual Calabogie Blues & Ribfest Music Festival, complete with actual blues music, a finger-licking array of BBQ ribs, camping, and headliners such as the infamous David Wilcox and Jimmie Vaughan. (All of this was recently featured on the Ottawa Citizens’ website; feel free to check it out.) That’s not even the half of it with hotel specials for the spontaneous traveler and active family alike, we are in full swing for the spring and summer months.
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There we have it. Let me assure you, if my workload is not slowing down as the temperature rises, we are just beginning to pick up the pace and it’s my job to share all these activities with you, fair reader. It’s my job to convince you why you and your family, friends, and co-workers should choose Calabogie Peaks for your next time away from the city close to home. If you’re not following us on Facebook or Twitter yet, click on the blue and keep in touch with us. Better yet, you can contact me directly at my office by email (tcrapper@calabogie.com) or by phone (1-800-669-4861, extension 1603). Let’s make the most of this summer and enjoy the outdoors as true Canadians. I know I will.

Wedding Dreams on mountain, lake and land

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Wedding season is in full swing and we still have spaces available. Whether your plans are for a large event or a smaller more intimate gathering, exchange your vows and celebrate your magical occasion at any one of our breathtaking intimate venues. Gather lakeside at the beach, on our private wooded island, pond side behind our majestic boutique hotel, by the forest edge, or closest to the sky at our mountain top location. Our reception halls, all adorned with stately furnishings, have panoramic views of the mountain and surrounding areas.

  • We have open Saturday’s in December, and have Sunday through Friday dates available year-round;
  • Our Event Planners and food services are experienced in providing for a variety of tastes;
  • Turn your weddings into a country escape with activities for the entire family, from golf to a day at the beach

With many locations and options available for your personal selection, call our Event Planners today at 1-800-669-4861 and make your dreams come true at Calabogie Peaks.

Weddings at Calabogie Peaks
Calabogie Peaks Wedding Photo Album
Unique Outdoor Wedding Ideas on our blog

Lighting the Pilot For Students

On Tuesday, March 18, 2014, Calabogie Peaks Resort offered a new educational program for high school students. The Hospitality & Tourism class at Fellowes High School participated in a pilot project in conjunction with Specialized High Skills Major being offered around the province.
One might ask what is Specialized High Skills Major? Specialist High Skills Majors let students focus on a career path that matches their skills and interests while meeting the requirements of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma. This is achieved through; industry specific courses, certifications, career exploration and reach ahead activities.

With Calabogie Peaks being the top tourist destination in the Ottawa Valley, we felt it a natural fit to create this partnership by offering students an insight into the industry. Fellowes students participated in a morning full of workshops followed by a relaxing afternoon of exploring what our resort has to offer.
This is an expansion off of our current school programs. We offer an outdoor education program where students can partake in skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and cross country skiing. This allows students to be physically active in an outdoor environment, specifically in the winter months where people are generally less active.

The new program not only will get these students physically active but it will also be academically stimulating. Through a series of mini sessions, students are able to interact with professionals, while getting a first hand glimpse of what a career in their industry would be like. It is what is referred to as a Reach Ahead Experience.
Sessions included:

  • an insider tour of the resort
  • the business side of social media
  • customer service
  • food & beverage hands on experience

The new school program will be offered throughout the fall, winter and spring for the 2014/15 school year. This will allow students to see the differences and transitions between the various seasons.

Contact us at or Call 800 669 4861 x 1705 to speak with a school sales representative directly or email schools@calabogie.com.

Across the Madawaska

CalabogieAdventures_banner_v2 “The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be.”
– Anne Frank

I know whenever I hear the term “ski hill,” I immediately think of downhill skiing, snowboarding and chair lifts. The thought of cross country skiing slips my mind and it becomes a missed opportunity.

I cross country skied as a kid but just took it up again as a part-time passion about 4 years ago. I find cross country skiing can go two ways; you can make it an adventurous work out or a relaxing cruise through nature. Whether you are looking for flat trails for skate skiing, trails with tracks for nordic skiing or a mixture of both, Calabogie has it.
I have two favourite cross country areas both located within minutes from the Peaks.

The Madawaska Nordic ski trails are located behind the Peaks Village, across from Calabogie Peaks Resort. Trails are well marked and colour coded for level of difficulty: Green for Easy, Blue for Moderate and Red for Difficult. For the most part, the Madawaska Nordic trails are suitable for skiers of all levels.
http://www.madawaskanordic.org/

These trails, which were at one time old logging roads, wind their way through the deep woods of Calabogie.

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The view from atop Eagle’s Nest.

My other favourite and probably my most favourite trail is the one leading up to Eagles Nest. I have found myself recently racing the sun to ski to Eagles Nest where I will take my skis off and walk to the look out for a breathtaking view of the sunset. (Side note: we take head lamps and going downhill on the way out can be quite fast).
Cross country skiing has many benefits. For example, it’s free if you have your own equipment. If you don’t have your own equipment you can rent everything you need at Calabogie Peaks.

It’s a great but comfortable work out. You won’t feel the pain till the next day ;). And it can be a great family outing or unique way to get together with a friend. It is also something you can make your own agenda for whether you want to go for a full day with a lunch packed or just a short after work ski to sunset.

If you want more information on the trails around the Peaks, you can check them out here.

The Ski Family

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Ski [skee] noun. Family [fam-uh-lee] – also a noun. Together they mean something that holds a very special place in the hearts those who go up and down Calabogie Peaks every weekend, be it on skis or a snowboard!
On the surface, it takes a special kind of parent to get out of bed early on weekend mornings, load the vehicle with skis, boards, boots, helmets, layers and lunches when it’s -20 outside, but the thing about it is, the ski parents don’t think twice about it. It’s a lifestyle, a passion and a devotion to being active that keeps families close.
Many of us come from generations of ski families who have been blessed with the gift of love for alpine sports by default. It’s part of our upbringing, our heritage – it’s in our bones. Since the day my wife and I found out we were having our first child, I began dreaming about the day I’d be able to ride the lift with my little girl and show her everything that is beautiful about our sport. Fast forward 3 years and I’m pushing her around the backyard on 75cm skis and wobbly legs. She loves it and it puts me in a happy place.
Most ski families have their home hill where the SUV pulls up every snowy Saturday morning. It’s not always about the terrain, but it is always about the relationships with other ski families, the community. We look forward to chairlift rides with friends to chat about [whatever], breathing clean and crisp air, taking in the natural environment and as we raise the safety bar at the top and choose a run, it’s time to push each other’s limits downhill. Repeat.
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FAMILY and community is a strong message at Calabogie Peaks. Yeah, it’s the tallest descent in Ontario, but it’s more than that. It draws families in from in and around Kingston and the many towns in the Ottawa Valley. The facilities are great and they are cognizant of the importance to foster an environment for youth to enjoy the sport and develop said community, catering to the future of the Ski Family.
As kids grow older, the parents ski with other parents and the kids ski with other kids. The shared love of the sport, the steps into independence for children, and the shared experiences are unique and something that only a ski family can really understand.
I am Rob Whelan of ActiveFamilyPhoto.ca and what I do is illustrate the beauty of spending time outside as an active family. A set of images that preserve the memories of these special times on the hill, the environment that speaks to your definition of family, the Ski Family.

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Military Appreciation Day

4th Annual Winter Sports Clinic (WSC) for Injured Soldiers and Veterans took place at Calabogie Peaks on Wednesday, February 12, 2014.
Read some personal stories.

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The Winter Sports Clinic was Calabogie Peaks, providing adaptive ski lessons for those who would otherwise never have the opportunity to prove their skills and determination. Austen is just one example of the program’s success – great job!
Thank you to instructor Al in the adaptive ski program! Austen had a great first experience at Calabogie on the weekend!
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As a member of the Canadian Association for Disabled Skiing, (CADS) National Capital Division, our Calabogie Adaptive Ski Program takes pride in providing people with disabilities – such as young Eric, shown in this video skiing down the Peaks for the first time – an opportunity to learn the basics of downhill skiing. In addition to supporting Calabogie’s “Weekday School Program”, approximately 20 CADS Certified volunteer instructors assisted by 40 to 50 trained volunteers offer a Sunday morning and afternoon skiing program to children and adults with disabilities.
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Veterans take to slopes as part of rehabilitation (with video)

‘You’ve got people learning to live with new bodies’
By JAKOB KUZYK, OTTAWA CITIZEN

Regaining Personal Courage
by Jennet Posey

The Canadian Association for Disabled Skiing‘s 4th Annual Winter Sports Clinic was a weeklong event designed for injured soldiers and veterans.  This international event was host to twelve Canadian soldiers and 4 American soldiers. Our daily activities included not only learning to ski but having an opportunity to learn how to snowboard as well.  I was beyond excited to be fortunate enough to attend the event so I packed my bags eagerly and heavily with warm clothes anticipating chilly weather and the unknown snowy ski slopes.
In the military, there was a team of leaders that showed us what personal courage was and how to achieve it.  Now on the home front, we have a different yet similar team that is helping to shape and redefine personal courage amongst veterans. This year’s 4th annual Winter Ski Clinic in Calabogie, Ontario is the perfect example. I can attest to this because I myself being a combat veteran learned to redefine personal courage for myself over the past week. Read More >>