Category Archives: Calabogie Country Music Festival

Rich Martel Looking Forward to Calabogie Country Music Festival

10492580_648123111949365_1876345090773746881_n-300x217Rich Martel performing during last weekend’s premiere show. Photo by Lori Hoddinott/Capital Photos.
One of the great highlights of last weekend’s Calabogie Country Music Festival was seeing our very own Rich Martel make his big stage debut to a cheering home crowd. If you missed both his warm-up performance on Friday night and his full-band show down Saturday afternoon, you just plain ol’ missed out. Talent and charisma aside, Rich is just an overall outstanding guy and we all wish nothing but the best for this promising career and to help give it that extra little push, here’s a copy of what the Renfrew Mercury published on Rich last week prior to the festival’s launch.
Written By Peter Clark
Published in the Renfrew Mercury on June 26, 2014

Rich Martel hopes to make it big in country music.
If he does, you’ll have an opportunity to say, “I saw him perform,” if you attend the second annual Calabogie Class Axe Guitars Country Music Festival June 27 to 29 at Calabogie Peaks.
Martel takes to the stage for a sneak preview on the Friday night, June 27 from 7:30 to 8 p.m. But his main performance will be Saturday, June 28 at 4 p.m. Originally from Windsor, Martel moved to the Barry’s Bay area in his teen years, and also resided in Pembroke for about four years.
“Right now, I’m in Calabogie. It’s a hop, skip and a jump to the stage,” he said.
Martel’s knowledge of the upcoming show came honestly as he worked at Calabogie Peaks.
“I was quite familiar with what they were doing, and how they are doing it. They asked me if I’d like to take the opportunity to play there, and I gladly said yes.”
Martel has three songs you can hear on Youtube, Headlights in the Rain, Somedays, and When You Really Love Someone.
Martel’s band includes vocalist Jordan Nystrom, daughter of Nashville producer and Renfrew native Jeff Nystrom, and drummer Jamie Holmes of Kemptville, who has relatives in Renfrew.
Well-known musician Anders Drerup of Ottawa is also with the band. Martel has been doing shows with his guitar player around the Valley, including Finnigan’s, Coco Jarry’s, Wilno Tavern, Golden Sands, Esprit Rafting, and some stops in Pembroke.
“We’ve played just about everywhere (in the Valley),” he added. Martel’s first album is starting to take off. His first break came when playing a jig at the Best Western in Renfrew.
Jeff Nystrom happened to be there, and came up and said, “Man, you can sing,” Martel recalled.
“We were able to pull off a pretty killer album. I just enjoy playing music. It’s my first album, it’s my first Rich Martel anything.”
Everything in the past as been a tribute of some sort, singing other people’s songs.
Calabogie could be a make-orbreak event, Martel said.
“We are really hoping there is someone there from a label that’s going to see what we are able to pull off. Hopefully they want to bite and just push me to the limit, because I’m 30 years old and I’ve got nothing to hold me back.”
Martel thanks his mother, Lise Lamar, her husband Larry, and brother Kevin and his girlfriend Bonita, “for all of their support,” in his country music endeavours.
He also put his 15-year-old son, Isaiah, on that list.
Martel is looking forward to the Peaks country event.
“It’s going to be a super exciting show. It’s probably going to make or break my career. Look for high energy; a lot of fun,” Martel said.
“Enjoy the sun, enjoy the good music. There’s going to be a great lineup out there. I can’t wait to get this show on the road.”

Goin’ Country


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?
For everything you need to enjoy this year’s Calabogie Class Axe Guitars Country Music Festival, go to and follow the action on their Facebook page or Twitter account for instant updates as the weekend approaches and commences. See you this weekend!