The Gleaner
Nanette Workman

Ormstown, here I come!

Hello, readers!

This is the first question that I received, from “C.R.” in Huntingdon: “After all the places in the world that you visited, lived, and worked, what brought you to this area to settle down in Ormstown?”

Hello C.R.,

I had been on the road so often since 1975, the year my recording of Lady Marmelade was released, and I was really tired of moving from apartment to apartment and having to pack up everything before leaving on tour. Each time I came back from a trip to Europe, I had to find a new place to live.

I had a handsome buckskin horse named Ringo, that I bought in Saint-Gabriel-de-Brandon on one of my tours. I also had two dogs, Wiley and Bear. I had to keep Ringo in boarding, and sadly the place where he was boarded had nowhere around that I could ride him. Some of my friends would always keep my dogs for me.

I needed a place that I could call home, but I wanted Ringo and my two pups with me. One day when I was in a tack shop to buy some things for Ringo, I was told about this little farm for sale in Ormstown. I had previously visited several properties, but when I walked into the kitchen of that beautiful brick farmhouse, I knew I was home. I fell in love with the house, the land, and the whole area. So, in the spring of 1977, I purchased my very first property: a little farm just outside of the village of Ormstown.

The asking price for the farm at that time was an unbelievable $32,500. Because of the unstable salaries in the music business, I had to put down half of the money to get a mortgage. I had never purchased a property before, and I had no collateral. The only place I could go to have that kind of money was to my record company. The success of Lady Marmelade was such that when I threatened the record company to go back to the States if they didn’t loan me the money, well, you can guess!

I went to the Caisse Populaire Desjardins in Howick, and met the manager, the handsome Jean Billette, who explained the whole mortgage-lending process to me and the responsibilities that would come from owning my own home such as taxes, insurance, and other costs that I would have to incur with the purchase. I knew from that moment that if I ever needed any help for a loan or any other mortgage, that he would be the man to see. And as it happened, a few years later when work started to slow down, I had to go for a second mortgage. I was determined not to lose my home.

The music industry in Quebec has always been volatile, and therefore insecure for any artist trying to have a successful and lasting career. I was in a relationship with a young man at that time, Angelo Finaldi, who wrote and co-wrote most of the songs that I recorded from 1975 to 1979; but when I moved to the farm, the relationship ended. He was not a country boy!

I have been in love with this area of Quebec ever since that time. There is just something about the energy out here that is so nourishing for me. In all my years in the music business, I worked and met so many people, but never felt the way I do today. I feel blessed to be here, to experience the extraordinary sunsets in the Valley and a new and different tableau in the sky at the end of every day.

I would love to hear from some more of you and discuss different subjects with you. Although I am not an opinionated person, I love a good discussion. It could be any subject you would like to talk about. I have traveled pretty much all over and been around a long time. I believe I have accumulated a little wisdom, and that’s always a plus for a good discussion.

You can send me an email at with your questions, or if you just want my thoughts on a certain subject. I will answer all your letters, but I may publish some of them if you give me permission.

I look forward to hearing from you. Have a fabulous day!


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Nanette 2024-02-25 at 08:22

Hi Trudy,
thank you for your message. I totally understand.
I don’t think I could live anywhere else that would make me feel like I feel here.
It’s my little corner of paradise.

Have a great day!

Elisabeth Fortin 2024-01-18 at 09:55

I totally understand how your love of animals and nature won over a relationship with a city boy.

I’m glad you made that life choice and blessed that you can now share time with me at my farm too.

Your alpaca lover friend

Elisabeth Fortin
Owner and fiber artist at AlpagAdore

Nanette 2024-02-25 at 08:24

Thank you Elizabeth.
I look forward every week to spending time with you and the little fiber sweeties!.
I’ll see you next week!


Cheryl Cartwright 2024-01-13 at 18:15

I must say, waht a nice surprise to see Nanette Workman’s name show up again!
I remember your music “back in the day” and recall your lovely voice, one of the most gifted in Quebec!

I did not know you had bought the farm in Ormstown but I agree with you, it is a lovely area. Still very quiet and peaceful. I have gone to Ormstown Fair my whole life and always enjoyed it as well. Having lived my whole life in Maple Grove, Ormstown was one of the close burgs my family and I visited very often.

Do you still have Ringo and the doggies?
Will you be performing anywhere?
Hope to meet you one day!

Nanette 2024-02-25 at 08:30

Hi Cheryl,
Thank you for your message.
I don’t have Ringo anymore, He was already fourteen when I bought the farm in ’77.
I don’t have the same puppies either, but I have a wonderful doggie named Boo.
Also cats, chickens, ducks, racoons and skunks! LOL
I just love living on a small farm.
I don’t perform anymore. Had my fill of that.
But I sing to the chickens and the ducks sometimes in the mornings when I let them outside,LOL

Have a wonderful summer. It’s coming sooner than we think!


nanette workman 2024-01-12 at 07:44

I totally understand, Trudy.Thank you for your comment. I
hope at least you get to come back once in a while to visit.
Have a great year 2024.


Trudy King-Brazeau 2024-01-10 at 22:12

Ormstown is a great little town, although I have been gone for many years it’s still a special part of my heart & always will be.


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