Cicadas signal a summer update + Live Music!

As the cicadas buzz high up in the trees signaling the half way point to summer we’re reminded that it’s time for a little update. Thinking back to the end of winter and that precious/sweet sap season, it seems like so long ago that we were mumbling the words “will this winter ever end?”. But much like the sap season all good things do come to an end and the seasons change almost right before your eyes.

Spring burst into life with beautiful apple blossoms, tulips, lady slippers and a new crop of vegetables to look after. It also brought us a very special house concert with the musically talented local Ian Russel. As the evening sun poured into the room the cords and rhythms from Ian’s guitar satisfied our thirsty ears. Add in some oyster shucking and  a blazing bonfire to top of a wonderful night, it’s always a treat to open the living room to musicians and share the space here at ORA with great people.

Which brings us to our last update, we’re happy to announce that Rube & Rake are returning for a second show this August. It’ll be an early show followed by a bonfire, unless we still have a fire ban and then we have to settle for a good old kitchen party.

Rube & Rake are a folk/roots duo based out of St. John’s, NL, with a primary focus on creating sparse, stripped down songs. While many performers often look to expand their arrangements, the duo has found the opposite works best for them, allowing their harmonies and delivery of lyrics to come to the forefront. The two members, Josh Sandu (vocals/guitar/banjo) and Andrew Laite (vocals/guitar), have been honing their craft for four years, starting with a two-month cross-Canada tour in 2014.

Having released their debut album “Back and Forth” in November 2017, they’ve had a busy start to 2018. Having toured in the winter, spring, and summer, a recent appearance on CBC television as a feature artist on “Absolutely Canadian”, playing multiple summer festivals in Newfoundland and Labrador and beyond, they’ve curated an evening of music and storytelling worth seeing.

Rube & Rake
Saturday, August 18th
$10 or PWYC
House Concert 6pm
Bonfire 8pm
30914 Hwy 28 East

As always, feel free to bring your own adult beverages, non-alcoholic beverages will be available.

Rube & Rake set to bring some Newfoundland charm to your family day.


This February end your family day weekend with a bonfire and house concert featuring Rube & Rake. Coming to us all the way from St. John’s, Newfoundland, Josh Sandu and Andrew Laite are a folk/roots duo that have played across Canada over the last 4 years.

Rube & Rake craft and sing mournful traveler’s songs in a vocal style reminiscent of The Everly Brothers or Simon & Garfunkel, usually accompanying themselves with a banjo and acoustic guitar. Their harmonies and lyrics have caught the attention of the CBC and have been featured on CBC’s Absolutely Canadian, view that episode and other video below.

Rube & Rake on CBC’s Absolutely Canadian click here

Early Show!
Rube & Rake
Monday, February 19th
Welcome Fire – 4pm
House Concert – 6pm
Tickets $16.95 – Please purchase online CLICK HERE
Cash payment at the door will also be accepted.
Facebook event link CLICK HERE

Light snacks, hot and cold beverages provided, but feel free to bring your own adult beverages.


Extend your long weekend fun with Dog is Blue

Don’t let the summer go by without a warm evening bonfire and good southern Ontario sounds from Dog is Blue. We’re so pleased to be able to bring you Indie-folk duo Paul Watson, principal songwriter and cookie-tin pedal enthusiast, and Laura Heaney, purveyor of ghost-noises and multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire. Together they bramble around proudly with all the jangly toys of a tickle-trunk and the surefooted bravado of travelling snake-oil salesmen. Lighthearted in their dedication to the ephemeral, the duo get their ya-yas out peddling a unique brand of self-described Garage-Folk.

To sample their music  check out the

Sunday, September 3, 2017
Welcome Fire at 7PM
House Concert at 8:45PM
30914 HWY 28 East

Suggested Donation of $10 or Pay Way You Can will be greatly appreciated by the musicians
Light snacks and non alcoholic refreshments provided, feel free to bring your own adult refreshments

Click facebook event

Owl Ridge Sessions

We’ve had an absolute pleasure hosting Kenton Loewen on residency from Vancouver, plus a few other guests over the last four weeks. Being able to provide space for creative people to connect, concentrate and collaborate is something we really enjoy doing. So when Roey Shemesh and Howard Goldbach had a chance to spend a weekend with Kenton jamming, we were super impressed to see what they could produce in a limited time.
The video below dubbed Owl Ridge Sessions, is a musical journey of three men that braved the elements and black fly season to be inspired by their surroundings during this short stay.
If you’re interested in hearing more from these three
Big love and best wishes to the three of you from ORA!

A year at ORA

Looking back on the past year at Owl Ridge Acres gives us a lot of joy, its been quite a special year. From guiding hikes through the woods to experience The Great Canadian Tree Warmer installation to intimate heart warming concerts while gathering in the living room, 2016 is full of happy memories.

But there is an event in particular that really strikes a chord with us. One warm August night a small group of folks gathered around a bonfire under a star filled sky to experience a slice of Canadian history in the making. The Tragically Hip performed their last show and with the help of the CBC we were able to take in the moment while projecting it on a white sheet hung on the side of our barn. Although it probably wasn’t as good as actually seeing the show in Kingston, I’m positive everyone that attended will remember exactly where they were that night. Thank you for the memories.

We’d also like to extend a heart-felt Thank You to all the artists, musicians, writers, creative folk and their appreciators that made 2016 a great year for us. May 2017 bring you new creative energy and have you wandering into valuable new experiences.

An evening with Tim Moxam


As we enjoy the remaining weeks of summer, taking in the moments like lake swims, picnic gatherings and exploration hikes. We’d like to invite you to celebrate the passing season and welcome autumn with a bonfire and house concert featuring Tim Moxam.

Tim is a Toronto based singer/songwriter,  currently touring to support his debut album Soft Summer. No stranger to Bancroft or North Hastings, Tim has local roots spending many seasons at his family’s cottage in the area. Since the release of Soft Summer the album has gained attention from CBC Radio 2 and favourable reviews from Exclaim Magazine. Tim has played numerous shows and shared the stage with such acts as Coeur de Pirate, The Strumbellas, Brad Roberts of Crash Test Dummies, and most recently the Peterborough Folk Fest, the but we hope that our show will be one of the most intimate.

Please join us Saturday, October 1, 2016
Welcome Fire at 6pm
House Show at 8pm
A suggested donation of $15 or PWYC would be hugely appreciated by the musician.

If you’re unfamiliar with Tim’s music feel free to check out his website
below is one of our favourite videos

In the living room with Jesse Speed

Next up at ORA, we’re pleased to be hosting musician Jesse Speed, for an evening of music in the living room. Jesse has played many folk festivals in Canada/US and has been described as “Jesse Speed’s music is strikingly honest, thoughtfully crafted, and beautifully sung.”  Brooklyn Doran – KickDrum



Jesse Speed – his real name – is a Montreal based singer-songwriter who is originally from the rural township of Hinchinbrooke in the South-West of Quebec. He submersed himself in songwriting after an ultra-conventional 9 to 5 job made him question his beliefs and focus on what became truly important to him. His sound has been compared to American folk artists Bonnie Prince Billy, Iron and Wine and Father John Misty. His lyrics are bleak yet present a clearly liberating thread of articulations about the archetypes of modern life. His debut EP Shepherd’s Call shines with its raw and minimalist sound, making it perfectly transposable to the stage for a strikingly honest performance. Jesse has performed at Folk Alliance 2015 in Kansas City, the Montreal Folk Festival and the renowned emerging arts festival Zone Homa. He has opened for Safia Nolin, Tire le coyote and Jordan Officer. With a long list of shows in Montreal and the surrounding regions of Quebec, his catalogue of collaborations includes many artists like Megan Nash, Daniel Isaiah and Old Cabin.

Saturday – May 28th – 2016

Join us for a welcome fire starting at 6pm
Show starts at 8pm
A suggested donation of $15 would be hugely appreciated by the musician

Limited seating

Welcoming spring with the Great Canadian Tree-Warmer

It’s a treat to be able to offer a unique exhibition like The Great Canadian Tree-Warmer. Showing work from talented and creative artists in the woods to outdoor enthusiasts and curious art lovers alike. A short hike along the Tree Hugger Trail provided a picturesque view through the mixed hardwood forest that was dotted with gems of knitting, crochet, painting, recycled wool, quilting, macrame and embroidery. Every artwork displaying wonderful details of each artists craft, the work by Shelley Clark was also accompanied by poetry that could be read while viewing her installation (One of the poems below).  To get a closer look at the work, click on an image to open the gallery view.

Such Singing in the Wild Branches

It was spring
and I finally heard him
among the first leaves––
then I saw him clutching the limb

in an island of shade
with his red-brown feathers
all trim and neat for the new year.
First, I stood still

and thought of nothing.
Then I began to listen.
Then I was filled with gladness––
and that’s when it happened,

when I seemed to float,
to be, myself, a wing or a tree––
and I began to understand
what the bird was saying,

and the sands in the glass
for a pure white moment
while gravity sprinkled upward

like rain, rising,
and in fact
it became difficult to tell just what it was that was singing––
it was the thrush for sure, but it seemed

not a single thrush, but himself, and all his brothers,
and also the trees around them,
as well as the gliding, long-tailed clouds
in the perfect blue sky–––all of them

were singing.
And, of course, so it seemed,
so was I.
Such soft and solemn and perfect music doesn’t last

For more than a few moments.
It’s one of those magical places wise people
like to talk about.
One of the things they say about it, that is true,

is that, once you’ve been there,
you’re there forever.
Listen, everyone has a chance.
Is it spring, is it morning?

Are there trees near you,
and does your own soul need comforting?
Quick, then––open the door and fly on your heavy feet; the song
may already be drifting away.

-Mary Oliver

Without a doubt Liz Pead took her vision of a “hockey game of the trees” above and beyond with The Sweetest Game installation. Check out this short fun video

A huge thank you to all the participating artists and those that made it out to view to exhibition. Owl Ridge Acres couldn’t have celebrated the sweet end to winter and the maple syrup season without you!

The Great Canadian Tree-Warmer and The Crackling

There is a flurry of activities planned in the coming weeks here at ORA and although winter has been a little easier on us this year we’re excited to close out the season with maple syrup and The Great Canadian Tree-Warmer project.

Since January artists have worked on creative tree-warmers that will be exhibited in the forest at ORA. This display of creativity will be viewable over 4 weeks by booking a guided snowshoe into the exhibition area.
Some of our exhibiting artist:
Jane Armstrong –
Karina Bergmans –
Maria Bruni
Shelley Clarke
Molly Cox
Jessie Gussack –
Jude Johnston
Lisa Keophilla –
Liz Pead –
Michael Rennick –

We’re also please to be hosting another intimate house concert with The Crackling. As part of Madic Records living room concert series, if you enjoyed our fall show with Astral Swans consider joining us for another bonfire and music filled evening.

Event info

The Great Canadian Tree-Warmer*
Outdoor Art Exhibition – March 12 to April 9
Book a guided hike contact Joey at
Or drop by ORA any Saturday between 1-3pm without a booking
Snowshoes or IceGrips are strongly recommended 
The Crackling concert March 12
Welcome fire at 6pm
Music at 8pm
The Great Canadian Tree-Warmer*
Community Celebration – Saturday April 2 from 12 – 6 pm
*This is a free event but we’ll be happy to accept PWYC donations for North Hastings Community Trust

Call for Artists – The Great Canadian Tree Warmer

The Great Canadian Tree Warmer

WINTER: for many Canadians it’s too darn long and down-right cold. People spend months indoors hibernating, or wrap themselves in multiple layers of their warmest clothes to beat the bone chilling days. But there is a uniquely beautiful time of year when winter is drawing to a close and the days are getting noticeably longer; a time when trees begin to wake from their dormancy and daytime temperatures rise above freezing; a time where a very subtle earthiness on the breeze signals spring is just around the corner. This is maple sugaring season, a chance for people from different communities to come together and celebrate the sweet end to winter. The craft of maple sugaring has been a long-standing tradition for many Canadians. It is a practice that connects us to the bounty of the forest and reminds us to cherish the gifts of our natural resources. This year, Owl Ridge Acres will be hosting an experimental art project to celebrate the season and decorate the forest through creative Tree-Warmer installations.

A call for local and national artists, photographers, writers, crafters, knitters, sewists and other creative types that are interested in creating a Tree-Warmer installation.

Tree-Warmer Info:
– Materials must allow air to circulate to the bark of the tree.
– Installations should be able to be tied on, or hung, without puncturing the tree’s bark
– Installations cannot contain any hazardous materials that might harm the tree or surrounding forest
– Installations must be within 25cm wide by 75cm long (1 foot by 3 feet) or a full wrap of 45cm x 75cm
– Installations must be able to stand up to outdoor exposure for the duration of the show (freezing, wind, rain, snow, sun, fluctuating temperatures)
Please submit a short proposal (200 words or less), 3 jpg or pdf images of your work, plan, or website where your work can be viewed.

Application deadline Jan 5, 2016
Accepted Submissions will be notified no later than Jan 8, 2016

Accepted Submission to be received by March 8, 2016

Show runs from March 12 to April 9
Community celebration April 2, 12 to 6pm
30914 HWY 28 East
Bancroft, Ontario

Guided hikes every Saturday 1-3 pm or by appointment. (Snowshoes or Ice Grips recommended)