Tag Archives: summer

New Menus at Canthooks Create an Adventure For Your Taste Buds

There’s something exciting about trying a new dish; it’s like an adventure for your taste buds. In the hands of a true professional, even a dish you’ve had dozens of times from one kitchen will taste extraordinarily unique from another and other times you’re diving into new territory of spices, seasonings and garnishes. It’s why unveiling new menus is the foodie equivalent to discovering a new ski run or finding a fresh water pond off your favourite hiking trail.

Chef Tristan of Canthooks Restaurant has been busy discovering the bountiful Ottawa Valley farmer’s markets, organic producers and creating new menus. He’s been forging for greens on the mountain, picking vegetables from our garden, smoking fish on planks of eastern white cedars taken from the property, harvesting our own sumac and rhubarb for sauces and making full use of wonderful maple syrup from our friends at Fultons Sugar Bush. New items include a seared trout, Brome Lake Duck, cedar smoked pickerel, roasted beet salad and many more. In addition to his culinary talents, Chef Tristan is a level 2 Sommelier which provides another layer to the experience guests can expect at the restaurant.

Come on in and try these new dishes for yourself! Canthooks is open daily from 7am to 10pm. Dinner reservations are recommended,  call 613-752-2720 today.

Big Wreck Headlining Mountain Man Music Festival!

The 2nd Annual Mountain Man Music Festival has just cranked it up a notch with the announcement last week of our headliner: Canadian rock sensation, Big Wreck. Playing July 2nd, this is your chance to watch these icons play infamous songs like The Oaf (My Luck Is Wasted), Albatross, That Song, Ladylike, and more.

You can learn more about this show and numerous others playing at the Mountain Man festival from their website, mountainmanfestival.com. Now sit back and enjoy a sample of what you can expect on July 2nd.

Summer Is Coming…

…and it’s time to get ready for the sunny days on the beach, hiking along the winding trails away from the city, relaxing by the pool and everything else that comes with this season.

Normally, we’d post a list of reasons why you should consider coming to Calabogie Peaks with your family, friends, associates, or anyone else you can think of but we decided the best way was to show you what to expect. We’re very proud of this video as it makes all of us want to drop what we’re doing and play a few holes at Ironwoods, explore Calabogie Lake by canoe… See for yourself.


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?)


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!

The Call of the Mountain Path


Calabogie Peaks Social Media Guy here. I’m going to get a little personal today (but don’t worry, it’s nothing strange, just something that’s very near and dear to my heart). I’m a sucker for hiking. It calls to me and has done so more and more over the past few months. When I started working here back in November of 2013, the view from the base of the mountain took my breath away. Under normal circumstances, you’d think I would have been riding the chairlift as soon as the motor started running or tied up my boot laces post haste and started marching… but it’s not as simple as that.
Everyone has their unique challenges in life. Obstacles they must overcome as part of a personal conflict, be it mental, physical, or both. My employment here at The Peaks ended up being more than a fantastic professional opportunity, but a personal challenge that would take 18 months of training, perseverance and determination. Within days of sitting at this desk, I knew I was going to hike directly up the mountain and see the view from the other side. Not only that, I was going to document it and share it with all you fine readers.
Last weekend, I did exactly that. Starting from the base, I marched my way up the Juniper Junction’s ski trail, connected to Whistlin’ Paddy, and pushed up to the top of the Lakeview chairlift. There’s a reason why I’m sharing this with you beyond good marketing for our fantastic trails and it’s not just because it’s been at least 10 years since my last big hike – my right foot is filled with eight screws and lined with a metal plate locking my heel in place along with continuous nerve damage sustained from a nasty accident years ago. Four-and-a-half years ago at this time, I was completely dependent on walking with crutches or a cane undergoing physical therapy and here I am planning to reach not only the peak of the mountain but the peak of my recovery. It was going to be a painful, demanding experience and after months of planning and preparation (all in secret, as I kept all of this from everyone here in the Front Office and all my friends and family – save for my incredibly supportive wife), last Friday was finally the day.
With my trusty walking stick, binoculars, two bottles of water, a handful of granola bars, a camera over my shoulder, a cellphone in my pocket and a GoPro strapped to my chest, I set out to document this challenge. Have a look!

This is what hiking is all about. It’s not just the fantastic views, the appreciation of nature’s roots surrounding you, or the tranquility of a life beyond humankind. It’s the exhilaration of success when you stand on the tip of a giant rock overlooking a valley as wide as the Earth itself. I’ve missed that feeling after all these years, to be standing in a place where we are the minority, experiencing a moment only I can witness thanks to my own physical and mental efforts. Even with the bugs! I have the same feeling as I did when I completed a marathon, just without the desire to collapse on the ground or feeling like my lungs wanted to relocate to a bigger apartment. What made that moment even better was the realization that I was never expected to experience it again. It was to be nothing more than a memory of a time long gone. Not anymore and I couldn’t be more proud of myself.
This was my challenge to myself and everyone has theirs. Call it your bucket list, a New Year’s resolution, whatever it is in the back of your mind. While I could settle with the self-satisfaction of my own accomplishment, I want to take this to the next level. If my story can encourage at least one more person to overcome their challenge, that success will be all the more sweeter.
What is your challenge and how will you overcome it? Share it with us and let’s help others feel the confidence and willpower to #challengeyourself.

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Experiencing the Valley (July 13th to 27th)

One of the beautiful things about the Peaks is how close we are to so many festivals, activities, and events taking place across the Ottawa Valley. If you’re going to be staying with us over the next couple of weeks, here are a few places you may want to check out.

The LogJam Country Music Festival
Where: Wilderness Tours
When: July 18-19
Website: http://www.logjamfest.com/
Music festivals have become a staple for many people the world over and they’re not always reserved for cities. Just like our own Calabogie Country Music Festival, the adventurous people at Wilderness Tours have put together their own gathering of country musicians in an outdoor setting that compliments both the music and the crowd. Located just off Highway 17 along the watery border of the Ontario/Quebec border, the LogJam Country Music Festival brings together performers such as Jason Blaine, Jordan McIntosh, Ambush, Blackwell and more.

The Festival of Family
Where: Downtown Renfrew
When: July 19
Only a 30-minute drive away from the Peaks’ front door, this one-day festival is a family-friendly gathering of amazing talent, street dancing, garage and bake sales. Plus there’s guided tours in the newly-opened Renfrew NHL Museum and street hockey action with special guests scheduled to attend.

G’Day, We’re From the Valley, Eh!
Where: The Stone Fence Theatre, Eganville
When: July 15, 17, 22, 24, 30, 31; August 6, 7, 13, 14
Website: http://www.stonefence.ca/
What if someone from the Valley put together a show that was one part Corner Gas and one part musical? You’d get the Stone Fence Theatre’s original production of “G’Day, We’re From the Valley, Eh!” Whether you’re from the area and can laugh from your own first-hand experiences or want to learn about what life’s like in the Valley with amusing songs and hilarious performances, this may be the perfect fit for a night out enjoying local theatre.
 HR_CalabogieWakeSurf_3884-ZF-9563-42640-1-062-200x300Canadian Wake Surf Nationals
Where: Right here at Calabogie Peaks
When: July 25-27
Website: http://canadianwakesurfnationals.com/
If music festivals, theatre and buskers aren’t your thing, maybe witnessing some of the country’s best wake surfers ripping and flipping across Calabogie Lake is your style. The best part of this event is that it takes place on our own beach, no more than a 5-minute walk away. Along with a beer tent, BBQ and plenty of room to watch from land or on your own boat, it’s completely free for spectators.
To learn more about these and other events going on in the Ottawa Valley, check out http://www.ottawavalley.travel/Events_and_Festivals.html

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.”