Category Archives: Community

Everyone’s Talkin’ Calabogie

Browsing around on some Google searches, poking around Twitter, and checking out Instagram is like sitting in an airplane during a long flight. You can’t help but hear what people are talking about and when you find out how much they’re talking about you and saying only good things, you can’t help but feel good about yourself. Because we want you to see how much people are enjoying themselves at The Peaks this winter so you can realize why you could be here too having just as much fun, we’re going to share some of those good vibes today.

A Flurry of Instagram

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousands words. If that’s true, then Instagram is currently writing a new draft of War & Peace about Calabogie. So many fantastic shots and selfies posted over the last couple weeks made it hard to choose a few to show off… that’s why we decided not to choose and simply post the link. There were a couple that peaked (sorry, another pun) our interest with Valentine’s Day less than two weeks away just to give you a preview of the goodies to come when you click the link.

 

❄️⛄️ #calabogie #holidays2015 #lilalove

A photo posted by Laura Florentino Porcella (@lauraflorentinop) on

 

Daytripping to Eagle’s Nest

The Ottawa Citizen’s Peter Johansen posted a new article in their print and online editions about a snowshoeing trek to the magnificent Eagle’s Nest lookout. Snowshoeing’s popularity is on the rise lately as people are looking for a more leisurely activity accessible to the whole family or for active couples looking for some quiet time in the back country. Plus it’s a bit of a step back to Canadian traditions. Peter’s attention to the Native Anishinabe sacred beliefs and the origins of this gorgeous location make the trip more than just a walk in the snow to a big cliff; the word “tradition” truly applies. If you’ve never had the chance to make the journey, read Peter’s take and see if Eagle’s Nest will be next on your #WinterWander list.

Active Networking Getaway

It’s not all fun and games for everyone at The Peaks; some come here to get down to business. We’re host to numerous conferences, corporate retreats, and networking seminars from businesses and organizations across the Ottawa Valley, which is why it was really nice to see how much the attendees of last Fall’s ROAR (Rural Ontario Active Recreation) Conference appreciated their time connecting at Calabogie. Combined with weddings, reunions, and special events, we host hundreds of functions a year in all four seasons. Getting out of your typical office/boardroom environment can be just the thing your team needs to remain focused while still getting that kick of fresh air (literally and figuratively) to break out of the box and process new ideas. You can read about it in the Ottawa Business Journal’s latest online issue here.

 

Falling In Love With Autumn

As a growing hiking enthusiast, this may be the best time of year to charge up the camera batteries, strap on a backpack, and grab your walking stick for a journey into the woods. Not only because the cooler temperatures have basically eliminated the bugs (which were quite nasty this year, though the trails about The Peaks were actually quite hospitable to those of us who prefer not to become bug food), but to experience the fall colours firsthand.
It’s something we take for granted and not only because it signals the end of one season and the slow approach of another. It’s a natural event unique to our part of the world, a kind of gentle fireworks display marking the approach of something bigger to come. Timing is key to the perfect experience because this is not something spread out across many weeks and it all depends on weather conditions from weeks before. If it gets too cold too early, the leaves shift into duller colours and quickly fall before we can finish tying our shoes. Too warm and the leaves remain green until a sudden frost hits the air and we’re literally looking at half the time to absorb this occasion. Plus some areas change faster than others for no reason whatsoever. Mother Nature makes us work for it, that’s for sure, but when the time comes and you’re in the right place at the right time, it’s magical. I love it!

The beauty of sitting in the midst of the Ontario Highlands is the wide open expanses of fall colours spread across rolling hills. Take the view from Eagle’s Nest, for example, a local favourite. It’s an impressive view at any time of year, but it becomes a magnificent array of yellows, oranges, and browns as far as the eye can see. Only the view from a plane or the space station can beat it.

While I haven’t been able to get outside as often as I would have liked these past few months, the reason is also why I’m especially looking forward to getting onto trails like the Manitou Mountain Trail and Skywalk with my three-month old son. His vision is acute enough that he enjoys looking out the window when it’s all green trees and blue skies, so imagine what he’ll see with the perfect blend of Autumn. It’s a similar mindset fellow blogger, Michelle Kobzik, had last week when she took her five-month old to the top of Dickson Mountain.
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If hiking is not your thing or simply out of your realm of possibility, we can help with that. Our annual Fall Colours Chairlift Rides are taking place this Thanksgiving weekend between 11am and 4pm. Catch a ride to the top of the mountain for only $10 per person (or $30 for a group of four) and walk your way down along Ole K&P or stay a while at the Top Hut and relax before catching a ride back down. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention joining us for lunch or sticking around for a Thanksgiving dinner at our Canthooks restaurant. It’s a time to give thanks for friends and family; why not take time to appreciate the world around us too?

Experiencing the Valley (September 2015 Edition)

September means two things for families: back to school and county fairs. We’re not going to talk about the former because it’s more fun to talk about the latter, plus a few other great events and activities taking place in the Ottawa Valley this month. Today, we’re going to give you a preview for six must-see attractions just a hop, skip and a jump away from The Peaks.

2015 ICF Freestyle Canoe World Championships
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Where: Beachburg, ON (@ Wilderness Tours)
When: August 30 to September 5
Website: http://worldfreestylekayakchampionships.com/
For the third time in a row, Wilderness Tours in Beachburg hosts the ICF Freestyle Canoe World Championships with competitors from around the world pitting themselves against the Ottawa River and each other to prove who is the best with the paddles.

Expo Shawville Fair
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Where: Shawville, ON
When: September 3 to 7
Website: http://www.shawvillefair.ca/index.html
There’s only so much room to mention country fairs, but this one should definitely be on your radar because a headline performer is David Wilcox, a blues legend who played here at Calabogie at last year’s Blues & Ribfest. Add to that the demolition derby, a midway and petting zoo, this fair features all the classics.

Grand National Mud Drag Races
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Where: Beachburg, ON
When: September 5 & 6
Website: http://ranchlakepull.com/
If the demolition derby at the Shawville Fair peaked your interest, this should be a must-see on your September-to-do list. Including a snowmobile race, it’s a full weekend of flying mud and roaring engines. Bringing a change of shirt.

Renfrew Fair
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Where: Renfrew, ON
When: September 9 to 13
Website: http://www.renfrewfair.com/
Only 30 minutes away from Calabogie, the Renfrew Fair has been entertaining adults and kids since 1853 with no signs of slowing down. A true farming expo with livestock and agriculture displays and competitions, plus amusement park rides and races, this fair shows what it truly means to live the country life.

Taste of the Valley
Where: Renfrew, ON
When: September 19
Website: http://www.ottawavalley.travel/Events_and_Festivals/Farmers_Markets/Taste_of_the_Valley_-_Renfrew***7409.html
A massive sampling of everything Renfrew County has to offer, the Taste of the Valley also displays locally made products and crafts. Bring your appetite for good food and fine goods.

NEAT In The Woods
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Where: Burnstown, ON
When: September 25 to 27
Website: http://www.neatinthewoods.com/
Only a 20-minute drive away from The Peaks, this brand new music festival includes a full afternoon/evening of live music on Saturday and a collection of fun events the rest of the weekend, including a 300 piece game of musical chairs, a bike race, scavenger hunt, and sac race.

Extra-Curricular Fun @ Blues & Ribfest

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As I write this, we’re a little more than 48 hours away from the start of our 5th Annual Class Axe Guitars Calabogie Blues & Ribfest (phew, that’s a mouthful) and the whole resort is bustling like elves at Christmas. Do you have your tickets yet? Today, I wanted to take a moment to tell you about the other activities taking place on site this weekend to keep you entertained between watching great performances and licking rib sauce off your fingers.

Periscope
If you haven’t heard about Periscope yet, it’s a free live video streaming app that’s taking the social media world by storm. And seeing as I’m the social media guy for Calabogie Peaks, it’s only fair that I play around with a new toy this weekend. We’ll be showcasing various live performances from some of our artists this weekend and you can sign up for Periscope or catch the updates direct from our Twitter feed.

Parasailing
Think you can watch the stage from high above Calabogie Lake? It’s a possibility with the return of Sky-Mazing Parasailing and they’re taking bookings for Blues & Ribfest weekend. Reserve your ride now at 705-457-8359, plus if you book your parasail ride by Thursday, August 13th, you’ll be entered for a draw to win your ride for free.
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Chair Lift Rides
Another great way to see the action from up high but without bringing your bathing suit, we’ll be running the chair lift again during Blues & Ribfest weekend from Noon to 5:00pm on Saturday and Sunday. Take in the sights as you rise to the top of Dickson Mountain, maybe even take in a hike to Eagle’s Nest and stretch those legs after dining on some ribs.

Ribber Voting

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This is the Blues & RIBFEST and that means a weekend of non-stop ribs, BBQ chicken, and more, but it’s also a contest between our three ribbers: Route 55, Horn Dawgs, and Gator BBQ. This year, you can vote for your favourite ribber by text message, so keep your eyes peeled for the signs on how you can vote for the ribber that filled your belly better than any other.

Rib Valet
Speaking of ribs, we introduced our rib valet service last year and it was a huge success. Now it’s back for another year. Pull on up to the front gate and put in your order to bring home fresh off the grill ribs from any of our three ribbers.

Fireworks!
Last, but not least, there’s the fireworks popping over the mountain. Next to Canada Day, you’ll never find a bigger fireworks display in Calabogie than you will on Saturday night after our headliner, Keb’ Mo’ wraps up on stage. Whether you’re on our VIP access only deck or kicking back at your camper, it’s a great way to enjoy another year at the Calabogie Blues & Ribfest.

Why Choose? The True Spirit of the Mountain Man Music Festival

It wouldn’t be summer without music festivals and it’s not like we’ve been joining the bandwagon here. If anything, I’d like to say we’ve been one of the early leaders in local, community-driven festivals and this year did not stray from that goal. But this year was different. This year was, shall we say, a little risky. And we’re happy to say that it was totally worth it.
If you had a chance to join us over the June 26-28th weekend, then you know exactly what I’m talking about: the Mountain Man Music Festival. Every one has its theme (OK, most of them do) and this one was very unique: three stages playing non-stop music all weekend long featuring a variety of genres played by local artists. It was like a gallery of undiscovered Ottawa Valley talents mix with a healthy spoonful of crowd favourites churning out reggae, blues, folk, country, R&B, and a little something extra in between. Needless to say, pulling off a festival like this was a bit of a challenge and came with some risks. There’s generally very little runoff between so many genres of music and with no major headliner to take the spotlight, there was no guarantee people would make the drive to spend the day or stay the weekend.
I’m happy to say we were pleasantly surprised by both the turnout and the reactions from the crowd. It may even be safe to say we’ve already accumulated some fans. (What should we call them: mountaineers?)

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A summer sunset behind the outdoor stage as the Steve Marriner Band plays on into the night. Photo courtesy of Lori Hoddinott.

What was nice about Mountain Man was the relaxed atmosphere about it all. You could enjoy a full band on the outdoor stage – a brand new and permanent addition to The Peaks, I might add, made with help from our sponsor, Renfrew Home Hardware – or take in a smaller venue with a personal touch upstairs in Black Donalds on the Ottawa Blues Society stage. Personally, there were some nice surprises even I wasn’t expecting and I’ve already found myself shopping online for The Riot Police and Lucas Haneman. In fact, Lucas was probably the breakout, slap-across-the-face performer of the entire weekend, in my opinion. Judge for yourself with this video of just his second song from Friday night’s show. (Apologies in advance for some of the audio in some parts as this was all captured with my Canon without any special recording gear.)
And of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t make mention of the other fantastic performers: Jeff Rogers, Dan Livingstone, Andria Simone, Soulstack, Richard Martel, and more. So now that we have that one done and over, you’d think we could rest for the summer, right? Wrong, because there’s the always-popular sensation we call Calabogie Blues & Ribfest. That means we take a couple of days to rest, catch our breath, and dive right back into the swing of things.
See you in August!

Meet Dante: Goose Chaser

If you own property anywhere in Canada, let alone Eastern Ontario, you know all about geese. Sure, they’re a Canadian treasure gracing our golden dollar coins, but that’s because they have a great marketing team. The reality is a lot messier as these transients tend to drop their luggage anywhere they please without a care or a concern for anyone else who follows. All it takes is a small flock of these frequent flyers to turn your well-kept greens into a spotted eyesore, making them Public Enemy #1 in our books.
It’s a fact every golf course must face when they return from their annual pilgrimage to the southern States. Every year, we hum and we haw on what’s the best way to keep these flying hobos and their litter off our nine holes. There are easy ways to deal with the problem, yes, but we wanted to find a convenient and easy way to handle this matter without resorting to drastic measures.
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Meet the solution, a shepherd mix dog named Dante. Geese – and birds in general – do not like dogs for the sheer reason that dogs LOVE birds. Chasing them, that is. Brought to us by her owner (and simultaneously our Hotel Manager, Joost Asselbergs), Dante has already worked miracles in the two short weeks she’s been on staff… and she is considered part of the team. While her title is unofficial, as Calabogie Peaks’ resident goose chaser she also works part-time as our cheerleader with people lining up to take her on patrol around Ironwoods in search of those hollow-boned trespassers. The beauty too is that she never really has to do anything – her mere presence alone upsets them, causing them to flap away unhappily squawking something about their squatting rights. Plus she tends to help out with landscaping as well when there’s a loose stick around.
On her downtime, she parks herself in the shade at the back of the main hotel or chilling out in one of the cottages with Joost as they plot out their plan of attack for the next day. Not to worry, Dante has no interest in the restaurant or any of the public areas frequented by our guests. After all, she’s a professional goose chaser and like all professional dogs, she doesn’t have time to goof around. Don’t let that tail wagging fool you. It’s hard work to defend these greens from dark-billed troublemakers and all she asks for in return is a pat on the head and a treat. I just wish I could get a treat at the end of my day.

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Dante gets ready to get to work for another shift of goose chasing. Oh, and there’s Joost too. He helps.
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The key to her task is to chase away all geese without tearing up the greens… which she does a top grade job, I must say.
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There is no path she won’t check, no bush she won’t sniff to root out every last goose on the premises.
One of the best qualities about Dante? She’s a rescue dog and there’s nothing better than giving a pup a second chance at a happy life. When you’re looking at adopting in the future, remember to consider adopting a rescue dog from your local chapter of the Humane Society or other recognized pet adoption

Calabogie Peaks receives Warden’s Community Service Award

Calabogie Peaks Resort was recognized this week by Renfrew County’s Warden, Peter Emon, at this year’s Community Service Awards. Alongside the Combermere Heritage Society in the not-for-profit category and Mr. Brian Wilson with the individual award, CPR was awarded in the business category in a small ceremony at County Council chambers.
The Warden’s Community Service Awards “recognize and promote the outstanding efforts by community champions in Renfrew County for their active roles with social responsibility and community contributions,” as stated in Renfrew County’s news release. In a speech given by Chief Administrative Officer Jim Hutton during the ceremony, these recipients were praised for offering a positive effort to the well-being and growth of the county. “These organizations and individuals have set a high standard for service to their own communities and to the County of Renfrew as well. As such they were selected to be honoured here today for their contributions to making the quality of life in our communities better.”
Present to accept the award on behalf of Calabogie Peaks Resort was Maggie Fairfield, Regional Sales.

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Calabogie Peaks Resort & Instructors Sweep North America Disabled Skiing Awards

cads-awardsClay Dawdy, Program Director for the Canadian Association for Disabled Skiing (CADS) (right) and Bob Gilmour, Operations Director (left) present Paul Murphy, President – Calabogie Peaks the “Ski Resort of the Year” plaque awarded at the association’s annual general meeting at Sun Peaks, British Columbia.
The award recognizes Calabogie Peaks Resort long term commitment to enriching the lives of people with disabilities. This includes the building of new meeting and equipment room facilities, wheel chair ramps, and wheelchair accessible washrooms that were constructed this past season to support the Canadian Association for Disabled Skiing’s Adaptive Snowsports programs.
Clay Dawdy also received the association’s “Karl Hilzinger” ward presented for his exceptional service at the division and national level for the past 30 years. And Gilmour was voted the “Outstanding Disabled Ski Instructor” by 170 of his peers at the United States “Winter Sports Clinic for Military Veterans” at Snowmass Colorado.
Visit our website to learn more about the Calabogie Adaptive Ski Program at Calabogie Peaks Resort.

Calabogie Peaks Adaptive Skiing Program 2013