Rob and Josi Elder
Passionate Local Musicians
Owen Sound Locator Map

Rob & Josi grew up in Grey County, for the most part. After a decade-long absence from the area, they made their way back five years ago and the rest, as they say, is history. Along with their two children and a room full of instruments in place of pets, they have put down roots in Owen Sound where Rob runs a successful business as a Financial Advisor and Josi is a Senior Interactive Designer for an E-Learning company based out of Toronto. Both Rob and Josi perform regularly in venues across Grey County and beyond. Currently, Josi is a lead singer in "The Honey Hammers" while Rob fronts a band called "The Shed Shakers", both based out of Owen Sound.

To say that music is a part of their lives is an understatement. More like, it is one of the bonds that holds them together and inextricably ties them to the community in a way that nothing else can.

Performers on stage at Heartwood Concert Hall downtown Owen Sound
Image: Performers on stage at Heartwood Concert Hall downtown Owen Sound

Across the country and around the world, Grey County has become known as a natural wonderland--and it’s no wonder. Our world class sunsets and vistas, towering escarpment, crystal-clear freshwater lakes and pristine beaches are second to none. Hiking, biking, skiing, snowmobiling, ATVing, spelunking, rock climbing and more all draw visitors to our doorstep, and into our wild spaces.

But have you checked out the music scene?

It’s a common refrain around backyard campfires, at world-renowned music festivals, in big city concert halls and on street corners near and far: “There must be something in the water out there.” The number of extraordinary musicians who’ve either been raised in the local music scene or chosen to nurture and showcase their talent here is astounding. Their infectious passion and generous sharing has given rise to an avid audience of music lovers, people who fill seats, crowd the dance floors and are fierce advocates of the Grey County cultural scene.

We grew up in Grey County and followed the all-too-common path of running away at the first opportunity, only to return as adults. How could we not have seen what we were missing in our early adulthood? We’ve lived the country life, the small town life and the big city life, only to learn that when you come from Grey County, there truly is no place like home. How privileged we are to have come from this environmentally and culturally unique gem, where people of all backgrounds and stations in life come to enjoy the awakening of every one of their senses; to experience our wide-open spaces and cozy, welcoming hangouts, as well. 

Blue Mountain Village performer
Image: Blue Mountain Village performer

As people have flocked to Grey County in search of an escape from the city, local and imported talent have kept up with their demand for live music. Check out the many first-rate live music venues our area has to offer, from pubs, clubs and cafes to concert halls, auditoriums and amphitheatres.  Each of these places is a crossroads for the supply and demand of exceptional experienced exchange between musician and audience.

We have the benefit and the honour to have enjoyed both sides of this equation. We first met in Grey County as performers at open mics and public jam sessions. These events allowed us to hone our skills onstage, and introduced us to a massive community of aspiring musicians and music lovers. As enthusiastic audience members, we’ve enjoyed major acts like Buffy Sainte-Marie, Danny Michel, Bruce Cockburn, Joel Plaskett, Serena Ryder, Natalie McMaster, The Guess Who, Matt Anderson, Alysha Brilla and many more, all drawn here to play to enthusiastic crowds. Our love of music and performing has taken us into many venues in and around the county, where passionate, welcoming and engaged audiences support an incredibly diverse and eclectic variety of musical acts, including our own.

Performance at the Bruce Wine Bar in Thornbury
Image: Performance at the Bruce Wine Bar in Thornbury

Over the years, we’ve seen many local musicians flourish here, growing into successful acts that are respected here at home, but also across the country and around the world. Artists like Samantha Martin, Trevor and Tara Mackenzie, Tyler Wagler, Drew McIvor, Sylvie Kindree, Mike Weir, Kim Trombley, Jayden Grahlman, Lauren Jewell and Dylan McMullin, Pete Devlin, Scott Farmer, Andrew Nunno and Greg Smith, Marshal Veroni, Dave Matthews, Joel Morelli, Emma Wright, Leah Mathies, to name just a few, are making their mark and taking the Grey County sound far beyond our invisible borders. This isn’t new, though; much-loved pros like Larry Jensen, Steve Dickinson, Larry Dickinson, Bryan Leckie, Rod Ramsay, Richard Knechtel, Rob Mclean, and others played Grey County’s venues for decades, paving the solid foundation on which our thriving music scene is built.

Our experiences on Grey County’s stages have been incredible. Our decade-long absence from the area made us appreciate the exceptionally unique treasure we have here at home all that much more. We found our way back five years ago and couldn’t be happier in this place where music and live performance are more than occasional entertainment; they’re a way of life for musicians and their audiences alike.  Here, in no particular order, are the Grey County venues we have played at or attended over the years. If you get the chance, you should check them out, too!

Venues
Festivals
Pubs, Clubs & Restaurants
Photo Credits:

Michael McLuhan: Photo of Rob and Josi Elder singing on stage
Amanda Liefl: Still shot of Rob and Josi Elder at Inglis Falls

More Ambassador Profiles

Grey County: It will Inspire you to think Outside the City

Lynne Knowlton
Lynne Knowlton
Designer & Owner of Treehouse + Cabin Retreat

We moved to Grey County 17 years ago. Our four children were young, & we wanted to find a home where they could play safely, climb trees, run through the fields & feel GOOD about home. Grey County fit like a glove, on all levels.

Tacos and Tequila in Grey County

Beth Milne and Emily Leonard
Beth Milne & Chef Emily Leonard
Founders of Casero Kitchen Table

Grey County is home, it is steeped in traditions, it is where our families live, it is a place with our favourite hangouts and it is an area we’ve always seen as being full of potential for growth.

The Ebbs and Flows of Grey County

Becky Comber
Becky Comber
Photo-Based Artist.

By pulling imagery from this ever evolving and seemingly infinite realm of the wilderness, I have become more intimately aware of this little piece of Grey County.

The Four Seasons of Farming in Grey County

Amy Patrick and their two children
Amy & Patrick Kitchen
Owners of Sideroad Farm

Six years into our life in Grey County we can honestly say we are so grateful to have settled in an area where we can live, farm, play and raise our family all in one place. 
Photo Credit: Clay Dolan, Escarpment Magazine

From passions to career in Grey County

man and boy
Colin Field
Photographer & writer for outdoor adventure travel

I feel pretty fortunate to travel as much as I do for work. But when the expanse of the Beaver Valley opens up to me and I can see all the way to Georgian Bay, I’m always thankful to call this place home.

Grandma Lambe’s Legacy

Lambe Family headshot
David Lambe
Grandma Lambe's Fruit Market

Grandma Lambe’s is much more than your average family-run local fruit stand.

Off Farm Fun

DeJong Family
Anita DeJong
Mom, farmer, marketer and lifelong learner

Our goal in this chapter of our lives was to create a life we don’t need a vacation from.

The Godfather of Ontario Craft Brewing

Headshot of Charles MacLean
Charles MacLean
Master Brewer & Founder of MacLean's Ales

While in England, I got hired as a trainee brewer. When I came back to Canada, I came up with the idea of starting a craft brewery - but that was an idea ahead of its time. 

The Most Unexpected Adventure

Headshot of Leanne Haynes
Leanne Haynes
End-to-End Bruce Trail Hiker

From day one I was looking forward to when I would hike the hills close to home.

Going Back to Our Roots

Headshot of Courtney Miller holding a Chicken
Courtney Miller
Hobby farmer and Grey County's Business Enterprise Centre Manager

We never stopped dreaming of the day when we could call the area home again.

There's No Place Like Home

Stefanie Richardson
Stefanie Richardson
Enthusiastic Local Blogger

As a Grey County raised gal, it still amazes me the new businesses that pop up on a daily basis.  So I've made it my job to spread the word!

Grey County - I Love It

Hannah Davies Headshot
Hannah Davies
Nine year old youth explorer

There are 2 reasons why I love it: because it’s beautiful and because the people are so friendly.

Making Farming Dreams into Reality

Headshot of Courtney Denard
Courtney Denard
Dairy farmer and owner of CowSpot Communications

I want to show the industry that women can have lead roles and do everything on the farm.

Grey County - Anything but Grey

Headshot of Wil McReynolds
Wil McReynolds
Landscape photographer and director of global software company, KP9 Interactive

Any season or any day - you will be mesmerized with where I call home, Grey County.

My 30 Minute Radius

Headshot of Ashley Chapman
Ashley Chapman
Vice President of Chapman's Ice Cream

Unlike many who are traveling to Grey County to escape, I don’t have that need as I am already where I want to be. 

From weekend warrior to local business owner

Rheanna Kish
Rheanna Kish
Owner of Pom Pom Treat Hut and co-creator of the Come to our Table South Georgian Bay Cookbook.

There’s an honesty to the food community here that you don’t find everywhere. 

Grey County from Above - A Whole New Perspective

Jordan De Jong Headshot
Jordan De Jong
Aerial photographer & lover of the outdoors.

From the Beaver Valley to the rocky shores of Georgian Bay, drones allow you to appreciate the beauty of these already treasured places on a whole new level.

The People of Grey County

Riel Warrilow
Riel Warrilow
Coast Guard Search and Rescue Instructor

There is something about this area that breeds hard-working and kind people.

Grey County Farm Tops for Photo Ops

Telfer Wegg
Telfer Wegg
Professional photographer - Capturing scenes from across North America & 52 countries.

I've always been interested in capturing man’s impact on rural landscapes and back road journeys in Grey County always uncover something of interest.

Discover Above & Below Grey County's Waterways

Jeff MacInnis
Jeff MacInnis
World adventurer leading the first team to ever sail the Northwest Passage.

World-Class doesn’t begin to describe the unique places you can see and be inspired by right here in Grey County.

The Magic of the Niagara Escarpment

Jennie Elmslie
Jennie Elmslie
Certified nature nut - lover of all things natural, above and below the ground

One thing I love most about Grey County is the Niagara Escarpment. Who knew a geological feature could provide so much?  

Look Up, Look Way Up...

Dave Carr Headshot
Dave Carr
Retired radio/tv host, porch sitter, certified BBQ judge and road tripper

My neighbourhood is one of the best places on earth to watch and wonder at what unfolds in the night sky...