The Anglican Chorale of Ottawa (ACO) is an unusual Canadian Church choir in that we have no church building to call our own, and we have actually sung more services in the UK than in Canada. There are about 30 members of the choir, ranging in age from 18 to 80. Every other year we travel overseas for two weeks. When we are not travelling, the choir rehearses infrequently in Ottawa, and sings approximately three evening services a year at various parishes in the Ottawa region, some of which would not otherwise be able to celebrate Choral Evensong.
For the first 4-5 nights of each overseas trip we usually stay in a private school in a rural area where we rehearse intensely, and sing at a local church or cathedral. Then we move to a “touristy” location where there is more time to spend seeing the local sites (e.g. 2016 – Oxford). The second week we are the "choir-in-residence" at one of the UK Cathedrals. The Chorale sings the daily services while the usual Cathedral choir vacations, thereby allowing a centuries-old Choral tradition to continue uninterrupted.
Every trip has a Mystery Tour where we go on a surprise expedition for the day. In 2018 our mystery tour included the Lost Gardens of Heligan, and a tour of Healeys Cornish Cyder Farm. The trip always includes unique experiences that an average tourist would not have. For example, in 2016 we sang the order of Compline by candlelight in the Magdalen College Chapel, Oxford. In 2006 the Chorale sang Remembrance ceremonies at the Canadian Vimy Memorial in France, and at the Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium.
In the ACO's 2018 trip to Cornwall, we sang at Sherborne Abbey and Truro Cathedral and visited such sites as Tintagel Castle, St. Ives, and the Minack Theatre.
We are currently planning our August 2024 trip to York Minster Cathedral.