Category Archives: Calabogie Events

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!

Six Months And Counting…


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 ( 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.