Tag Archives: wayne rostad

Documenting Clippings of the Gatineau Clog

Documenting Clippings of the Gatineau Clog
Gatineau Valley Historical Society
September 26, 2019  · 

The Gatineau Clog – The Clog was a country music festival founded by Wayne Rostad. It started at Vorlage in 1980 but quickly outgrew this spot and moved to Tucker Lake in Low. It was one of Canada’s most successful outdoor music festivals raising a lot of money for community hospitals and services. It folded in 1995.
Clog at Vorlage in 1980 (Payne collection) Clog at Tucker Lake in 1988. (Hopkins collection).

For 15 years, “Wayne Rostad’s Gatineau Clog” was one of Canada’s most successful outdoor music festivals, enjoyed by thousands of country music fans and raising over half a million dollars for community hospitals and service organizations.

The Gatineau Clog is taking a year off to regroup before returning in 1996. Wayne Rostad, organizer and host of the annual country music event near Low, Que., said the Clog won’t take place this year because the festival is looking for a new site. For 11 years, the Clog’s home was Tucker Lake, on land owned by the local Lions Club. But nearby residents complained about noise, drunkenness, and violence at last August’s event, which drew an estimated 12,000 country; music fans, many of whom camped overnight at the site to listen to entertainers like Tammy Wynette and Hal Ketchum. At the time, Chelsea Mayor Judy Grant said the event had become too rowdy, adding that when until about five years ago the crowds had been quiet, but the event had turned into “a big drunk … the rowdies have come en masse.”

Rostad’s agent, Sheldon Wiseman, agreed last year that the festival had problems, especially with fights at night. Police were called to the site five times last year, once to deal with a hit-and-run but mostly for fights between drunken campers. Quebec provincial police also arrested 12 people for impaired driving. Security at the Clog was the responsibility of Lions Club volunteers, but they called in police when things got out of hand. Since it began as a one-day event at Vorlage ski resort in 1979, the Clog has been affectionately known as Wayne’s party after Rostad, the host of CBC TV’s On the Road Again. Each year, the event raises thousands of dollars for local charities such as the Lions Club and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
26 May 1995, Fri  •  Page 33

Among top acts Wynette among Gatineau Clog. Country fans can start counting down to the 15th annual Wayne Rostad Gatineau Clog Tammy Wynette, Hal Ketchum, Paulette Carlson and Wayne Rostad will be among the headliners for the two-day party. Wynette, best known for hits Stand By Your Man, I Dont Wanna Play House, Til I Can Make it On My Own and a series of hits with ex-husband George Jones, performs July 30. It will be the country legend’s first performance in the Ottawa area since a 1989 appearance at Barrymore’s. The 52-year-old star made headlines late last year when she became seriously ill with a severe bile duct infection. She was in intensive care in a Nashville hospital for more than a week and started performing again only in mid-January. Wynette can be heard on the soundtrack of the Mel Gibson movie Maverick. Ketchum, whose hits include Sure Love, Hearts are Gonna Roll and Mama Knows the Highway, performs July 3L Last year, about 18,000 people turned out for the two-day event A. twPm Other performers this year include John Conlee, Prescott Brown, Larry Mercey, Terry Kelly, The Black Donnellys and Jason Roos. Roos was the winner of last year’s CKBY talent contest This year’s contest will be held July 30. The two-day event is held at Tucker Lake in Low, Que., usually a 45-minute drive from Ottawa But the drive takes an hour or more on concert days, when the roads are congested. Organizers say some enthusiastic country fans arrive as early as a week ahead so that they can stake out a prime site

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada06 Jul 1994, Wed  •  Page 19

A country star rises Jason Roos takes top honors at the 14th annual Gatineau Clog BY SUSAN BEYER Citizen Correspondent Anand Maharai, Citizen Local country singer Jason Roos celebrates his victory Saturday. LOW Some people mi,’ht say a star was born at the Gatineau Clog Saturday afternoon. It happened when 21-year-old Jason Roos won the CKBY-Bud Country Talent Contest. But to the large contingent of family, friends and fans who watched his triumph on his third try at the contest, Roos was already a star. Dressed in red T-shirts proclaiming his name, they were confident that it was just a matter of time before the soft-spoken blond, with a traditional country voice, would win the prestigious local contest. “I wasn’t really sure I was even going to enter it again,” said Roos. “But my family coached me into it.” Winning the contest nets Roos a one-single recording deal, with distribution of the song to radio stations across Canada. It will also give him a shot at the at the Canadian finals, to be held in Hamilton next month. Best yet, Roos will get to make an appearance on the Nashville Television Network’s Nashville Now show. During Saturday’s show, Roos delivered fine versions of the Garth Brooks’ song, The Dance, and One Bridge Left To Burn, which Roos has already recorded as a demo. Roos, a native of Long Lake, Que., a small town outside Buckingham, began singing at the age of nine with a family band that featured his father and aunt. Roos explains that he grew up on traditional country fare Merle Haggard, George Jones and Waylon Jennings. After graduating from Philemon Wright high school in Hull he went straight into the music business. “I’ve had amazing support from family and friends. I’ve got 32 first cousins and I think most of them were out there cheering me this afternoon.” Fair weather friend Under a scorching sun, country music fans sprayed each other with water pistols on day one of Wayne Rostad’s 14th annual Gatineau Clog. “We are up a good thousand over last year in ticket sales for each day,” said Rostad. Rostad was particularly thrilled with the perfect weather gracing his music festival. The sunny skies, expected to continue through today, should bring toal attendance into the 23,000 range, Rostad said.

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada01 Aug 1993, Sun  •  Page 21

It rained on Wayne Rostad’s 13th annual Gatineau Clog, but that didn’t stop country music fans from having fun By Susan Beyer Citizen correspondent ; Big Al Downing doesn’t dance. He doesn’t have a hot new video, or a million-dollar stage show. : But Saturday evening, fronting a band of ready-to-cook musicians from a perch behind an electric keyboard, he stole the show during the two-day, 20-hour country music extravaganza that was Wayne Rostad’s 13th Gatineau Clog. About 18,000 people attended the Clog at Tucker Lake in Low, Quebec over the weekend which featured a sunny Saturday and a damp drizzly Sunday, a weather pattern which has occurred at the event for the last three years. Early Saturday evening, Big Al rollicked through a set of get-down, country boogie driven by his barrel-house piano style and the energetic backing of Northern Star. This was an exuberant, joyful, emotional and driving set which took many people by surprise. Most were only familiar with Downing’s hit from years ago, Mr. Jones and were taken utterly by surprise when Big Al came out and raised the Clog boogie factor to new heights. Aside from his original material including Mama Was A Preacher and Pay The Dues, he included some Fats Domino and Elvis material. After finishing his encore, Jackie Wilson’s Higher and Higher, Downing spent an hour and half signing autographs. . Eddy Raven had to follow this. He did a good, if standard-issue, show. Raven is a noted songwriter as well as a performer and the focus was on the beautifully crafted songs. His overall sound is a warm blend often with a smooth Cajun and Caribbean influence. Among the highlights were Operator, Operator, I Should Have Called, Too Much Candy For A Dime and Thank God For Kids.

Sunday dawned damp, drizzly and grey. At noon, Rostad faced a half-full concert bowl of plastic-coated people prepared to enjoy the day’s performances. It is Rostad’s genius to make people feel good and he delights in sharing his humor and songs with them. A new Rostad composition, Oh My Canada, is stirring and disarming, straight from the heart, with touches of sadness and emotional surge. Very real and quite powerful, it deserves a wide hearing. In the afternoon, four hopefuls in the Bud Country regional talent finals, backed by the Ted Gerow Band, competed in the rain for the chance to go to the national finals in Calgary next month. V The winner was Billie J. Helmkay of Thunder Bay, whose strong voice, good stage presence and song selection will make her a stand-out among the nine finalists next month. Ah 0- v Washboard Hank Kitchen-sink tuba a hit Helmkay said she has been singing for nine years, but had stopped for awhile “for a lot of different reasons, mostly because of my boyfriend at the time.” For the past four years, she has been working as a corrections officer in Thunder Bay, in both custodial and counselling capacities. The 26-year-old woman also works at a home for battered women. Helmkay said she started singing again for the simplest of reasons: “I missed it” This was her third try for the national finals. She said her future plans will be determined by next month’s outcome. “If I win, it will be awfully hard to give up a good job that I really love and get right back into music again, but I will.” Colin Eaymie of Kingston was runner-up. Dina Blanchard of Peterborough and Dusty King, Jr, the local winner selected Saturday, rounded out the field. The novelty act, Washboard Hank and the Honkers, received a standing ovation when Washboard performed a solo on his kitchen sink tuba during his original tune I Love You Queen Elizabeth Cuz You Wear Stupid Hats. Anita Perras delivered a well-appreciated set Among her newer songs, she was superb on Way Beyond Blue, from her forthcoming new album. Rising star Lionel Cartwright stepped into the party shoes and cranked up the volume. With his blonde locks flying and his band kicking it was an energetic performance, but his sound mix was not subtle or refined. He offered up a contrived country version of the Beatles’ song Help!. On record he has been much more subdued than the set he delivered1 Sunday.

What followed was impressive. Sweethearts of the Rodeo, sisters Janis Gill and Kristine Arnold, delivered a fine set. Their harmonies Anita Perras Fans liked new material Music review Wayne Rostad’s Gatineau Clog Tucker Lake, Low, Quebec August 1-2 were tight and their songs are good, new-league country from Hey Doll Baby, Blue To The Bone, Since I Found You to a spirited rendition of their great Midnight Girl In A Sunset Town. Arnold sings most of the leads in a voice with a good range. Gill played rhythm guitar and sang with a head-set mike. Dressed in long flowing skirts and short black jackets, they were a little hard to see from the top of the hill until it got dark enough for the spotlights. The crowd especially appreciated He Is The Man Of My Dreams, written by Janis about her husband, singer-songwriter Vince Gill. Reaction seemed split about Barbara Mandrell, who closed the weekend as the last performer Sunday night She was either “fantastic” or “plastic,” depending on who you talked to. There were people who waited all weekend to see the tight Vegas-style show and loved it But others felt cheated emotionally by the slick production. She did a medley of her hits, including Crackers, Sleeping Single In A Double Bed, Only A Lonely Heart Knows and To Me. Some people felt there was no country music on stage during her one-hour set, except for a brief, warmly received bit of Faded Love played on electric fiddle. Mandrell’s tour costs approximately $50,000 a week in equipment, including three buses, two tractor trailers, the instruments and lights plus the salaries paid to 27 people. It is run precisely and efficiently, like a military exercise. It probably runs a lot smoother than the maroon, ordinary-looking passenger van that Big Al Downing and his wife drove away in. -t Id s 1, w Pat McGrath, Citizen Fan Club: Wayne Rostad signs autograph for Wendy St. Pierre of Portage, Quebec

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada04 Aug 1992, Tue  •  Page 44

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
01 Aug 1991, Thu  •  Page 29

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
06 Apr 1990, Fri  •  Page 26

There were any number of things which could have ruined this year’s Gatineau Clog, but each one of them fell away in time to make the two-day, fundraising event another success. Neither rain nor the Bellamy Brothers’ missed airline connections nor Roger Miller’s waylaid instruments nor Waylon Jennings’ nosebleed had a big effect. The most serious threat came at 6:20 p.m. Sunday when a power surge in Hydro-Quebec lines cut electricity to the stage in the middle of a song by Prairie Oyster. “Last year a decision was Major made to have a ’87 winner returns backup generator ready just in case something like this ever happened,” said Clog founder and host Wayne Rostad. “Not even Hydro-Quebec can stop the Clog,” said administrator Ron Sparling. “The only thing that will ever stop the Clog,” said Rostad, “is a raging hurricane.”

After a few minutes of silence, Prairie Oyster picked up their song on the very word they had been cut off. Rostad puts the two-day total attendance at slightly over 22,000. “I was hoping for 25, but I guess the sky scared some people away.” Heavy rain did fall Sunday morning at the Tucker Lake site in Low, Que., making for some pretty soggy cloggin’ early in the day. Though a severe thunderstorm warning was in effect, uncertain skies threatened but did not produce a major storm. Saturday had been swelter-ingly hot. Saturday night, Waylon Jennings was treated by a first aid nurse at the site for a recurring nosebleed caused, according to backstage scuttlebutt, by high blood pressure. During his performance he called on his wife Jessi Colter to do a song while he dealt with the problem.

Sunday saw the return of a number Crowd appreciated old hits of of performers to the Clog, including the Leahy Family, Kitty Wells and Charlie Major, performing his own material two years after winning the CKBY-Bud Country talent finals in ’87. This year’s winner, Davey Drum-mond of Ottawa, performed an encore Sunday and later danced backstage with his girlfriend Gail Gavan, who had also been a finalist in the talent contest. Despite being interrupted by the power loss, Prairie Oyster put in a very solid, enjoyable set. The Sunday crowd appreciated the old hits of Kitty Wells and Johnny Wright and the Bill Anderson show.

Roger Miller put on a somewhat uneven show, taking his time to warm up to the crowd. In fact, the temperature dropped radically as the sun went down, leaving the unprepared shivering in the dark. Miller introduced himself by saying, “My name’s Roger Miller, one of the best that’s ever been.” He certainly is one of the best songwriters that’s ever been, with his blending of absurdity and pathos and good hooks, but his performance felt tossed-off. I don’t think we saw him at his best as he ran through his million-selling hits in the first half of his show. In the Summertime, England Swings, Dang Me and Husbands and Wives were some of the songs he did in their entirety, while doing only bits of Chug-A-Lug and his other comic pieces. Where Miller hit his stride and improved his performance was when he performed songs from the Broadway musical Big River. Miller won a Tony award for these songs and they are obviously what he most enjoys doing today. Their quality is superb and the execution was good. Playing guitar in Miller’s band was Marty Stuart, an artist in his own right who will have a new album out in October. He has just released a new version of Johnny Cash’s Cry, Cry, Cry. Funds raised from this year’s event will be for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, the Gatineau Memorial Hospital and the Low and District Lions Club. Pat McGrath, Citizen Bill Anderson and Kitty Wells

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
08 Aug 1989, Sun  •  Page 62

After missing out on the first prize at the CKBY-Bud Country Talent Search last year, Langley, 37, came back last weekend at the Gatineau Clog and triumphed. The Winchester-area singer-songwriter performed two of his own songs, a sexy waltz-time ballad Call Me and his strong, strange driving trucker song Death of A Family Man which many refer to as Riding With the Devil “I just wanted it really bad,” said Langley the day after his win. “I worked really hard on vocals all year. I figured if I wanted this I’m ‘going to have to work for it But it really hasn’t sunk in yet Winning is the exciting thing, playing to all those people.” His prize is a two-song recording session that will be pressed as a single for distribution to country radio stations across Canada. He also secured himself a berth in the national Bud Country Talent Search that will take place next month during Country Music Week in Toronto. “I haven’t even thought about that yet,” he laughs. Langley has been working as a musician for some 20 years and currently is a solo performer in the Cornwall-Winchester area. He says he favors “nostalgia” music, listing Roy Orbison, the Beatles and 50s’ hits along with his country favorites Merle Haggard, Don Williams and the great story songs. His own songs tell very emotional stories. He says Death of a Family Man was written fairly quickly, in about 20 minuses, but only after about two year? of carrying it around in his head. “I was a road musician for 17 years, spent a lot of time travelling. And I’d be driving along seeing trucks pass by. I started thinking about the people driving those trucks, and what their lives were like, that they probably had a family, you know.

It is an inspired piece with a star-tlingly powerful image in the chorus. “No-one shook Christ’s hand that day, as he died for me and you. The only ones who reached for Him had their hands nailed down too.” The general family theme which kept cropping up over the Clog weekend excluded one act which had originally been booked, the Carter Family. “The original booking was for Johnny and June and the Carter Family,” says Wayne Rostad, “but it got changed. I know it went out on some of the ads and didn’t get changed.” Among acts which featured two generations were the Cash show with John Carter Cash, George Hamilton the IV and V, Tammy Wynette and Georgette Jones, Kitty Wells and son Bobby Wright and grandson in the band. There were married couples on stage together in Ronnie Prophet and Glory-Anne, Kitty Wells and Johnny Wright, Johnny and June whose openly affectionate presence was lovely and unforced. There were brothers and sisters on stage, singing in the Family Brown and the dancing (unrelated) Buster Brown troupe. (The funniest sight backstage occurred Saturday following the brief but vigorous electrical storm that held things up for about 45 minutes.

As the rain changed to a light drizzling mist the four young Buster Brown dancers were being shepherded around, each wearing a green plastic garbage bag over their shiny red satin custumes. A hole had been cut out of the top of the bag so just their heads were sticking out The looked rather pleased with themselves.) Family is the country way, for some. But then there was the lonely presence of Johnny Paycheck. Clearly, this is not a big father figure, in the way that Cash is. Paycheck is more like your wild, whispered-about uncle who everybody’s just a little bit scared of. He kept to himself most of the time backstage, staying on his bus but welcoming some visitors, such as Prophet. When Cash and Carter arrived about an hour before their performance, everybody, and I mean everybody, wanted to say hello to them. One by one the stars made their visits to the bus where Johnny and June stood like gracious royalty in a two-person receiving line. How is Johnny? I asked his manager. “He’s fine, as youH see yourself.” He was fine but looked tired and especially so about being asked how he was. “Maybe I told a little too much,” said June about her recent book, From The Heart The plains of Cash’s face sort of shift to one side. “We saw Rosanne when she was in town recently. She was great” “Yeah, she is,” says Cash. “And now she’s expecting our third,” says June. “Third and fourth,” says Cash. “It looks like.” “Twins?” “Looks like it She’s never got that big before,” says the impending grandfather. There was a relaxed, easy feeling about these people. No paranoia or security line. “They didn’t even ask for it,” said organizer Don Sparling, surprised. And as excited as the crowd was when Cash walked on stage, sending up a roar that galvanized everyone, nobody backstage was more excited than Wayne Rostad, after he made the introduction. “It’s the dream come true! Johnny Cash at the Gatineau Clog. I didn’t even know what I was going to say when I introduced him so I just spoke from my heart” He was bubbling over with emotion. What he said on stage was something along the lines of “The man we all know, the man we love so much, ladies and gentlemen, Johnny Cash.”

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada05 Aug 1988, Fri  •  Page 22

The Leahy family joined other country bands playing to a packed hillside Sunday. Record crowd parties at Gatineau Clog Pat McGrath, Citizen By Sharon Trottier Citizen staff writer A record crowd of 15,000 cheered, stomped and two-stepped around lawnchairs and blankets Sunday at the eighth annual Gatineau Clog. A sea of shorts, bathing suits and cowboy hats covered every square inch of grass in front of the stage set up at Tucker Lake in Low, about 60 kilometres north of Ottawa. The 10-hour country music festival attracted fans from across Ontario and West Quebec and featured a string of entertainers from Canada and the U.S. Money raised by the Clog will go to the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, the Gatineau Memorial Hospital and the Low and District Lions Club. Organizers said Monday they won’t know for several days how much money was raised. Host Wayne Rostad, a local singer and songwriter who helped organize the event, kept the crowd in high spirits throughout the day, stopping only to catch his breath or sign autographs offstage while other performers entertained the crowd. Tracey Barbe, 12, of South Mountain, didn’t mind the 20-minute wait in line to have Rostad autograph her festival program book. “He’s the best,” said Barbe. “Me and all my friends love him.” Clowns, ponies, helicopter rides and the CHEO bear kept children busy while their parents enjoyed the music and such events as radio station CKBY’s talent search, won by Aylmer resident Charlie Major. Big-name performers Carroll Baker and Charley Pride, who headlined this year’s festival, didn’t let heavy rain dampen the crowd’s spirit. Both Baker and Pride left the stage soaked but still returned for encores. “Even the rain couldn’t stop the crowd from going home happy,” said organizer Shirley Smyth. Other performers included Faron Young, Terry Carisse and the 11-member Leahy Family from Lakefield. Money was raised from ticket sales and about 30 food and drink concessions, said Smyth. Rostad throws the party each year withN the Gatineau Clogging Association and the Low and District Lions Club. Last year, 10,000 people attended the Clog, which raised about $40,000 for charity.

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada04 Aug 1987, Tue  •  Page 4

A record crowd of 15,000 cheered, stomped and two-stepped around lawnchairs and blankets at the eighth annual Gatineau Clog Sunday. A sea of shorts, bathing suits and cowboy hats covered every square inch of grass in front of the stage set up at Tucker Lake in Low, Que., about 60 kilometres north of Ottawa. The 10-hour country music festival attracted fans from across Ontario and West Quebec and featured a string of entertainers from Canada and the U.S. Money raised from the Clog will go to the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, the Gatineau Memorial Hospital and the Low and District Lions Club. Organizers said Monday they won’t know for several days how much money was raised. Host Wayne Rostad, a local singer and songwriter who helped organize the event, kept the crowd in high spirits throughout the day, stopping only to catch his breath or sign autographs offstage while other performers entertained the crowd. Tracey Barbe, 12, of South Mountain, didn’t mind the 20-minute wait in line to have Rostad autograph her festival program book. “He’s the best,” said Barbe. “Me and all my friends love him.” . Clowns, ponies, helicopter rides and the CHEO bear kept children busy while their parents enjoyed the music and events like radio station CKBY’s talent search, which was won by Aylmer resident Charlie Major. Big-name performers Carroll Baker and Charley Pride, who headlined this year’s festival, didn’t let the heavy rain dampen the crowd’s spirit Both Baker and Pride left the stage soaked but still returned for encores. Last year, 10,000 people at- tended the Clog, which raised about $40,000 for charity.

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada04 Aug 1987, Tue  •  Page 37

As a country music festival we know it was a success. As a fundraiser, we’re still counting,” said Gillan. Any money raised from the concert is to go toward the hospital’s building fund to expand facilities. Wayne Rostad’s Gatineau Clog drew about 11,000 fans to Tucker Lake in Low Quebec. Any money raised, probably about $25,000, is to be split between the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Gatineau Memorial Hospital and Low and District Lion’s Club. Rostad said the Clog will be a two-day event next year. “It just gets bigger.” Two twelve-hour country music festivals in the region drew about 16,000 hand-clapping, foot-stomping fans Sunday and proceeds raised from both are to go to local charities. A benefit concert for the Royal Hospital Foundation brought out about 5,000 to the National Capital Equestrian Park, where stars the likes of Reba McEntire, Carroll Baker and John Schneider performed until 11 p.m. Hospital spokesman Michael Gillan said he was a little disappointed with the turnout, but wouldn’t know how much money was raised until later today.

The Ottawa Citizen

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada05 Aug 1986, Tue  •  Page 13

It was, in the words of a Wayne Rostad song, a “countryside story, full of sunshine and glory” at the 6th Gatineau Clog held Sunday at Tucker Lake in Low, Que. Non-stop sunshine beat down on 10,000 Clog-goers who came from the Ottawa and Gatineau valleys to enjoy 12 hours of country music. The glory was shared by all the performers, especially Carroll Baker and Bob Lasenba, the winner of the CKBY talent contest. “The idea of the Gatineau Clog,” said host and organizer Rostad, “is that it’s an opportunity for us to come together in a fabulous place that I treasure and have a party together. This year we’ve reached the magic number of 10,000 and made the Clog an Event.” Indeed. The mixed, happy throng turned the hills of the natural grass amphitheatre into a sea of beach umbrellas, cowboy hats and lots of bare flesh in the heat. Nine contestants from the Ottawa Valley competed for a recording session, a 1985 Collector’s Series round-back Ovation guitar valued at $2,200 and a chance to have their single distributed to country radio stations across Canada in the CKBY contest. Bob Lasenba, representing the Spencerville Hotel, won the prize with his renditions of two American outlaw country tunes.

The 36-year-old singer is a full-time musician originally from Bury, Que. just outside of Sherbrooke. He’s been performing for 15 years. Following the talent contest, the afternoon unfolded with a fine mix of old- and new-style country music. The blend began with the eclectic sounds of the Bobby Lalonde and part of crowd of 10,000 at Gatineau Clog Band, followed by the homey feeling generated by Dave and Spike and Ron McMunn. One of the first encores of the day was received by tiny, young Nancy Deneau, who sang with the Dave and Spike band. As Dave Denninson said of the pre-teen singer with the startlingly powerful voice: “Sure makes you feel inadequate, eh?” Kelita Haverland, with a flare of pink hair over one ear, followed with a theatrical, bouncy show. The Carleton Showband delivered a well-received full set that included local hero Jerry O’Hara. O’Hara, a well-known Ottawa country music fan and lighting expert who has cerebral palsy, came to mike on crutches and sang It’s Hard to Be Humble. Throughout the day the music on stage flowed virtually non-stop with Rostad providing segues with his own brand of light, audience participation songs. One of Ros-tad’s talents has always been in creating a friendly party feeling from the stage and with the audience in full song during the choruses of his golden-oldie medley, the feeling was shared by all. Rick Thompson and Ramrod gave the fans plenty of rock and roll beat mixed with their country. The new Family Brown gave the best show I have seen them do.

The elements of the new structure all fell into place. Particular highlights included Barry Brown’s solo on his Lovin’ Fool Pat McGrath, Citizen with harmony by drummer Bill Carruthers. Tracey, Barry and Lawanda sang the new single that was recorded with Willie Nelson, Wouldn’t You Love Us Together Again, which should be released within the month. It is a powerful song. One can hardly imagine how another voice would improve it. Baker swept the the crowd away with her powerhouse performance of blended sounds. Her new material tends toward the uptempo contemporary feeling. She produced an excitement that was unrivalled all day. Her rendition of her biggest hit I’ve Never Been This Far Before blew the audience away. Her encore was a gospel medley that had her bending notes in her bluesy best. ;

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada06 Aug 1985, Tue  •  Page 46

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
27 Jul 1984, Fri  •  Page 63

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
30 Jul 1983, Sat  •  Page 31

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
17 Jul 1982, Sat  •  Page 28

 If the Gatineau Clog country music festival didn’t cause earth tremors in nearby Wakefield, it wasn’t because thousands of tapping toes hadn’t been trying. The more than 3,000 sets of toes attending the third annual clog at the Vorlage Ski Resort gave new meaning to the phrase foot-stomping as they pounded the ground to the beat of the 18 acts performing Saturday and Sunday. The audience, mostly urban and suburban cow-persons from the Ottawa area, forever put the boots to any notion that country and western fans are broken-hearted menopausal males bawling into their beer. If hats alone are any indication of cowboyness, then there were black cowboys, baby cowboys, buxom cowboys and judging from the way they eased into their lawn chairs maybe a few sore-seated refugees from the mechanical bull at Sidewinders, “I just don’t think found they really liked it there’s a better place.

The 33-year-old Rostad the Ottawa Valley named the festival the clog. . We have a lot of talent here,” said Stewart Severson, a weekend hillbilly and retired public servant from Ottawa. Festival organizer and country music celebrity Wayne Rostad said there were considerations in addition to musical excellence which dictated the choice of mainly local acts for the festival’s lineup. “You can afford the local acts.”. Rostad offered some analysis of the surging popularity of country music around the world as he changed the strings on his guitar backstage. “I think country music is catching on because it’s talking about different feelings and things we all know and experience. Also, there were a lot of closet country music fans.

When they found out that country music was cool after having watched people kick off their work boots and dance when he used to perform in Wakefield. And gravel-voiced singer A. Frank Willis inadvertently emphasized the importance of toes to country music as he wailed through a song Sunday afternoon with the painful refrain “She broke my heart so I broke her toe.” But as if to prove that country fans have other parts to their anatomy besides their feet the festival held a hairy legs contest. After the blindfolded female judges had handled the calves of the five finalists Sunday in quest of the hairiest pair, 17-year-old Jim Bullis of Ottawa emerged the champion. Bullis refused to reveal whether he trained for the event, saying only that he would return next year to defend his title. But. Bullis’s triumph was almost eclipsed by one Wakefield gets foot contestant who grew carried away by the judges’ assessment of his legs and, writhing ecstatically, began to remove his trousers. For those whose toes grew tired after tapping through acts such as fiddler Bobby Lalonde whose demonic version of The Orange Blossom Special was one of the best received numbers Sunday afternoon they could retire to the booth of Donna Quince-Gussow for a $3 foot massage

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada10 Aug 1981, Mon  •  Page 48

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
11 Aug 1980, Mon  •  Page 28

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
11 Aug 1979, Sat  •  Page 32

Ompah! Ompah! The Trout Lake Hotel

Stomping in Ompah! by Arlene Stafford Wilson

I’m Your Puppet! — Hi Diddle Day and Uncle Chichimus

I’m Your Puppet! — Hi Diddle Day and Uncle Chichimus

Once upon a time I found out from the locals that the front of my home in Carleton Place was featured in the opening of the Hi Diddle Day show. Hi Diddle Day was a CBC Ottawa production designed to entertain and inform young viewers for years. The uniquely-produced series starred a number of puppet characters (created, manipulated and voiced by Noreen Young) who “lived” in an unusual household.

Noreen Young, producer Audrey Jordan and the rest of the Hi Diddle Day crew always felt that Gertrude Diddle and her menage were different. Moulded from latex, they were capable of much more than “lip-syncing” to the words put in their mouths by puppeteers Young, Johni Keyworth and Stephen Brathwaite. The puppets indulged in enough horseplay to keep the very young giggling while, through situation gags and punning jokes, and they also appealed to the more sophisticated youngsters and older teenagers like myself.

Anyone that knows me knows how much I worship the ground puppeteer Noreen Young walks on. I have been honoured to participate in the late great Puppets Up! parade in Almonte, Ontario and try to follow her every word like:

“Linda, your Elvis puppet is looking a little ragged. His hair is “off” and he needs an eye!” You know things like that.

The setting of Hi Diddle Day was a remodeled Victorian house in Crabgrass, in a typical small Canadian community (Carleton Place). In the house lived Mrs. Dibble, and a host of zany puppet characters. Other puppets were Basil the Beagle, Durwood the Dragon, Wolfgang Von Wolf, Granny, Chico The Crow, a French-Canadian moose called Ti, Lucy Goose and others.

Being an extreme puppet lover I was thrilled that my home on Lake Ave East was home to Hi Diddle Day. When my youngest son vacated the house for his own new home Mom converted his room into a Puppet Room. She took apart his gun case and fashioned it into a puppet theatre filled with vintage puppets– mostly from the Hub in Almonte. Her grandchildren still look at the room today full of strange puppets and do not want to go in there— and their poor grandmother wonders why. I believe the word creepy has been used.

This week Gord Cross, who has been sending me in some local stories, sent in one that had me screaming in the house. I have a hard time moving these days but I can still scream.

Museum of History- Ottawa

When I was young and lived at 16 Rochester St. we knew your home as the Raeburn house. During the 50’s a picture of it was used in the CBC TV show “Uncle Chichimus” (this sounds right but I am not sure of the spelling). The show was in black and white, of course, but the Marching Saints Marching Band were invited to the show once and I, as the band leader, was invited to interview with the puppet Uncle Chichimus. I was amazed to see that he was red and green with lots of paint chips . The band was lined up on one side of the room and played a number. Hopefully, someone may have a picture for you because that would be an interesting sidelight about your home.You might have to poll retired members.

Gord Cross

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
27 Jun 1953, Sat  •  Page 31


Granted I was 2 when the program began but I knew nothing about this and was really intrigued that another puppet had graced my home. Uncle Chichimus was an intellectual puppet down on his luck and scorned almanacs. Knowing a good thing he moved in with puppeteer John Conway and Hollyhock, the mop-haired secretary housekeeper. The program, which originated in Toronto was seen in Ottawa five times weekly. Weatherman Percy Salzman used to drop in to do the weather and they would all talk about what was on TV that night. The director of this show was none other than Norman Jewison. Yes, that Norman Jewison who went on to make Hollywood films like MoonstruckThe Hurricane and, Jesus Christ Superstar among many. Please note that Uncle Chichimus is not noted on his Wikipedia page.

Percy Salzman

To make this story way more interesting Uncle Chichimus and Hollyhock were kidnapped in 1954. In what became front-page news in Canada Toronto’s CBLT-TV studio switchboards were jammed with calls by worried friends and admirers of the popular puppet stars. John Conway, creator of Uncle Chichimus, publisher, and world traveller decided to act as a detective to find his two puppets. He offered a $300 reward for the return of the two missing 24 hours after the daring kidnapping on the downtown streets. The CBC coughed up an additional $25 reward the next day. About 200 children called the studios offering their dolls or puppets as replacements for the two “stars”. Who would guess people would steal puppets? Apparently, it is a common thing as in Was Wayne Rostad’s Puppet Ever Found?

Conway had insured the puppets for $150 each and said that it would take about four days to reproduce them. No ransom demands had been received by the puppeteer. Conway, whose studio was on downtown King Street West, left his station wagon parked in front of his offices. On the rear seat was a duffle bag with the pair enclosed. Conway, unfortunately, forgot to lock his car door, and when he made a search of the car the next morning, the bag and its contents were missing.

CBC-TV officials were concerned over the disappearance and featured the kidnapping on the News Roundup films. The kidnapping had occurred on the eve of Chichy’s, Hollyhock’s and Larry Mann’s departure via a recently-acquired sailing vessel from Lobster Landing, in the Maritimes. Departure had been delayed when corks, used in the hull to stop leakage, kept coming out.

Uncle Chichimus was actually the first personality seen on CBC TV when it began broadcasting. He was revived for a for a 26-episode The Adventures of Uncle Chichimus in 1957. Later he and Hollyhock jumped ship to CJOH in 1961 as nothing seemed to be the same after the abduction as part of a new show called Cartoonerville. CBC replaced their time slot with a show called AdLib– and trivia buffs should note that: no, it was not the game show AdLib. This is CBC we are talking about, and the AdLib we are talking about was set in a rural setting. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Since then, the surviving puppets have been put into mothballs at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Quebec, and the collection is reputedly complete. John Conway became a teacher in the Glebe. The original puppets were never found and it does not look like everything ended up happily ever after.

Mrs. Gertrude Diddle
Mayor Gertrude Diddle, the star of the 1970s CBC children’s show Hi Diddle Day, became an object of fascination for Ronnie Burkett, a devoted fan of the show. “She was the most outrageous, gayest, campiest puppet in history at the time.” Her creator Noreen Young would later meet Burkett, promising to leave Mrs. Diddle to him in her will. But Burkett was far too impatient to wait for Young’s demise and so one day the puppet arrived in the mail. “She’s my muse. She can’t be topped.” He says he’s always had a version of Mrs. Diddle in his shows.
A regular on the show was the mailman, Mr. Post, played by Bob Gardiner. Musician Wyn Canty appeared occasionally as music teacher. There were also guest appearances by experts in the fields of music, art, science, entertainment and sports. The show was originally seen only in Ottawa, Montreal and the Maritimes. By 1970, its popularity led CBC to turn it into a national children’s series.
Edmonton Journal
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
05 Mar 1971, Fri  •  Page 62
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
22 Aug 1970, Sat  •  Page 2
noreen young 2016 Puppets Up! Parade
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
11 Apr 1955, Mon  •  Page 11

Carole Ann BennettMy mother took me to see a live show I believe being broadcast from Ogilvy’s Department Store around 1952 or 53.I think that Chich was coloured green and Hollyhock was yellow!-Lost Ottawa

Skip LaytonI was on this show with my art class, and won a pencil sharpener,shaped like Timothy, the mouse who rode around in Dumbo’s hat. I still have it. Fun memories. I remember being startled that Chichimus was green. Guess it looked better on B&W TV.-Lost Ottawa


Mikey Artelle has some great info on shows-– CLICK

Vicki Racey and I working the street.. Almonte’s Baker Bob with his fans in the back of us! 2016

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Was Wayne Rostad’s Puppet Ever Found?

Was Wayne Rostad’s Puppet Ever Found?


I stole Wayne Rostad's puppet': Guilt tugs at the heartstrings of  mysterious bandit


In 2005 Wayne’s mini me disappeared. Linda would care to know if that puppet ever made its way home?

A replica of Wayne Rostad of On The Road Again has disappeared from an Almonte pub where it had been on display and where the locals turned to it for help settling arguments, JENNI LEE CAMPBELL reports.

The town of Almonte is abuzz over a crime residents are describing as “heinous,” “dastardly,” and “a slap in the face.” Last Thursday, a metre-tall rubber-latex puppet likeness of area icon Wayne Rostad was stolen from the Ironworks Pub and Restaurant. The theft apparently took place under the noses of Ironworks staff and regulars. The puppet, crafted by master puppeteer Noreen Young (creator of CBC’s Under the Umbrella Tree) and commissioned as a gift by Mr. Rostad’s wife, Leanne Cusack of CJOH, was on loan to the neighbourhood watering hole.

“I feel just awful,” said co-owner Ruth-Ann Mackin-non, who called the theft “a heinous act.” She said she called Mr. Rostad as soon as she learned of the theft. “He was clearly not pleased,” she said, adding that Mr. Rostad, who could not be reached by the Citizen yesterday, promised to help recover the puppet in any way he could. The one-of-a-kind puppets, which Mrs. Young creates entirely by hand and decks out in pint-sized clothing, bear uncanny resemblances to their namesakes and are worth about $1,500. Mrs. Young has created about 40 of the personalized puppets for Almonte business owners and personalities.

A parade last Sunday in Almonte featured people and their look-alike puppets. Max Keeping and his “mini-me” led the procession. Many storefronts on Almonte’s main streets feature lifelike replicas of their owners. Mayor Al Lunney declared that he wouldn’t let his puppet likeness out of his sight. Mrs. Young is upset, but able to maintain a sense of humour about the incident. “Maybe he’s sitting in someone’s living room watching On the Road Again,” she said yesterday in her workshop. “It (the puppet) isn’t really the kind of thing you can show off,” she said, surmising the thief must be a big Wayne Rostad fan.

Mr. Rostad, a singer-songwriter and longtime CBC broadcaster, is very involved with Ottawa Valley events and charities. “He’s extremely generous to the community,” said Mrs. Young. “It’s sort of a backhanded compliment, I guess.” Chris O’Brien, who owns the Miller’s Tale bookstore a block away from the Ironworks and there runs a Don Quixote book club, said he was at the restaurant with a group of friends on the night the theft. Between pints sometime before 10 p.m., the group jokingly called on the Rostad puppet a popular fixture who was situated on a window frame directly behind the bar where they were sitting to settle an argument. The outcome of the argument is long forgotten, but the rubber Rostad’s fate is not.

“One of us said, ‘Where did Wayne go?’ and he was gone,” said Mr. O’Brien. Mr. O’Brien and his friends helped the bartender search the restaurant for the puppet, but it was to no avail. Mr. Rostad, it seemed, had left the building. Mr. O’Brien, who bought his own puppet four years ago, can commiserate. “I’d be really upset if someone stole mine,” he said. “It’s not just a puppet. It’s like someone stealing a portrait of you. It’s very personal” While Mr. O’Brien says he’s not so far removed from his youth that he can’t see the novelty in stealing a lifelike puppet, he says it’s an insult to both Mr. Rostad and the community. “The puppets are becoming a calling card for the town,” he said. Mrs. Young still has the original cast and will offer to do another puppet for Mr. Rostad at half price if the plundered one doesn’t resurface.

The Ottawa Citizen

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

30 Aug 2005, Tue  •  Page 25



What Happened to GradeAUnderA? - GFM - YouTube


So was his puppet ever found? Well this appeared March 9 2020—- FOUR months after I posted this everywhere this happened.

The mystery of who stole Wayne Rostad’s doppelganger puppet has been solved.

Rostad, a household name in Canada, is a legend in the Ottawa Valley. He is a singer, songwriter, entertainer, host, author, community activist, the list goes on.

Almost two decades ago, Rostad’s puppet, crafted by master puppeteer Noreen Young, was lifted from the former Ironworks Pub in Almonte, never to be seen again — until now. Click below to read more…

I stole Wayne Rostad’s puppet’: Guilt tugs at the heartstrings of mysterious bandit


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Documenting Clippings of the Gatineau Clog




PuppetsUp! MIGHT be coming back next year 2022 as a POP UP 

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I Just Followed Baker Bob – PuppetsUp! Parade August 7th

The Hi- Diddle-Day House of Carleton Place – Puppets on a String

Isn’t Life Really Just One Big Puppet Show? A Photo Essay about Puppets and more

Did you Know Nick is not a Millionaire?


I have a few photos of Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson as I have known him for years. This is a photo I took of him in 2016 at Puppets Up..
Me withmy Noreen Youn puppet Elvis
My friend Vicki Racey- known as Vintage Vicki to all of her friends!