Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Borrowed Tunes - Neil Young Covers at Blue Mountain

This  was the first weekend in quite a while that I did not make the trek up to Collingwood.  Lots of reasons why I needed a weekend (and part of my holiday week) in the City... but that will be the subject of my next blog.

About a month ago I trotted up to the Village at Blue to hear a bunch of really fine Canadian musicians at a Neil Young Tribute concert.    I have written about events at the Village at Blue before, the last of which was the Chili Cookoff.  I'd like to take this opportunity not only to tell you about the great time I had at the concert, but also a little about Blue Mountain and the "Village at Blue" as it is called.

One of the features of my Collingwood Shangri-La is that it is 10 minutes by car to the Blue Mountain Ski resort.  For my far away blog visitors, we do not have any real mountains in Ontario but we do have the Niagara Escarpment, which was formed billions of years ago as the glaciers receeded, leaving the Great Lakes and the Niagara Escarpment in its wake.  So compared to real mountains it is small - at its highest it is just 335 metres so actually it is just a very, very, very wide steep hill at the leading edge of a very long escarpment.   An escarpment is defined as a steep rock face of great length formed by an abrupt termination of strata.  The Niagara Escarpment was formed about 500 million years ago.

The Niagara escarpment runs 450 miles from (guess where?) -- Niagara Falls (actually, it originates near Rochester, NY) and meanders north and north west to the tip of the Bruce Peninsula, which separates Georgian Bay from Lake Huron.  From that point it runs underwater to Manitoulin Island and then into the United States  forming a horseshoe-shaped rim around the Michigan Basin. The Bruce Trail – Canada's longest footpath – runs the length of the Escarpment.   In 1990, the United Nations designated the Niagara Escarpment a World Biosphere Reserve.

The winter aerial photo below, gives a good bird's eye view of the escarpment and all the ski hills which are contained in the Blue Mountain area.  From a skier's perspective, this is not tremendous skiing, but it does just fine for most Ontario locals.  It is the best Ontario can do for skiing - given we don't have any real mountains this just has to do. 

 The Blue Mountain ski resort was a joint venture project started in 1945 by Peter Campbell and Jozo Weider. It grew in size steadily and in 1999 Intrawest Corporation purchased a 50% interest in the ownership of Blue Mountain, sparking off a major expansion process. In the last 10 years or so, the Blue Mountain Village has been developed, based on a European ski resort theme.  The Village is similar to the expansions Intrawest has carried out at its other ski destinations, modelled on the original development at Whistler-Blackcomb. 

The Village Courtyard is the perfect spot for all those summer events which are hosted there.  They often have "movie under the stars" nights at the Village square and all manner of social events throughout all 4 seasons.  Of course that was the spot for the Harvest Moon Concerts.

The lineup was great and it was just too bad I did not have more than the Saturday afternoon/evening to go take a listen.  The Friday night performers included Jory Nash and Adam Crossley,  Saturday featured Daniel Roth, Layah Jane, The Undersirables  and Liam Titcomb.  SATURDAY NIGHT was the actual HARVEST MOON TRIBUTE TO NEIL YOUNG SHOW - featuring all the artists and Sunday included Sarah Loucks and Soul Surfers.

I had been at an event featuring Adam Crossley before (I have a promo CD of his) and was sad I could not get there on Friday night to hear him perform. I remember most of the others from CBC Radio 2 - they are, as they say, "up and coming', but are certainly not unknowns.

I met my friends Barb and John from GoferBroke Farm and we sat out on the patio at Windy O'Neill's Irish Pub at the Village of Blue and enjoyed the music and wonderful summer night.  It sure is great when you can combine dear old friends and great music - something that Barb, John and I do as often as our schedules allow.  We spent the evening warped back to our Neil Young years... of course given he is a Toronto lad in his hay day whilst we were in our youth --- well, what can I say... we enjoyed the night. I will finish up with some pics from the Village at Blue. 
The Village is both a quite idylic setting with water and grasses and ...
Lots of eateries in the main square  and water fountains for children to play in.
The ski lifts take the curious to see the great view of Georgian Bay offered at the top of the peaks.  There is also mountain biking down the mountain.
Lots to do at the Village at Blue.
A quiet muskoka chair to sit and contemplate nature or a pleasant balcony.
Leave the bustle of the Village streets behind.
Or shop on one of the wide pedestrian only walkways. 


  1. The Blue Mountain area and, in particular, the village of Blue looks like a great place to vacation. I'm sure people can unwind here, relax and enjoy the serene surroundings. By the way did you know there is a Blue Mountain in Pennsylvania? It cuts across the eastern half of the state.

  2. Very nice, Peggy.

    I have your "extinct" blog listed over at mine, and that is the one I keep tabs on. No wonder I did not realize you had resumed posting. I will make the necessary adjustment tonight.

    See you around ....

  3. I just re-read your last post in "Halfway." I feel like an idiot. That is the one I kept track of all this time. What can I say ?? Whoops ....

  4. Yes, Linda there are quite a few Blue Mountains around the world. I hope to get to see the Penn Blue mountains in a trek I am plotting for in the fall.

    Fram, thanks for pointing out that fine print is just that - I have remedied the situation of folks going to my extinct blog and thinking I am not blogging. Thanks for popping by and I hope you will return for a read from time to time in your wanders.


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