Song Cycle Street Party to transform Almonte with music, cycling and food

Opera on bicycles will journey through Ottawa, Carp, Blakeney and Almonte July 22-23, 2017

Grab your helmet – Ottawa Chamberfest is taking opera on the road, carrying the spirit of Ottawa’s communities and a taste of Chamberfest.

The 2017 edition of the festival will launch with the Song Cycle Street Party, a weekend-long community celebration celebrating both art and sport – opera and cycling.

The event is a partnership between Ottawa Chamberfest, the Bicycle Opera Project, and the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum, alongside several other local organizations and institutions:

  • Almonte in Concert
  • Canada Science and Technology Museum
  • Carp Farmers’ Market
  • Mills Community Support’s Neighbourhood Tomato Community Gardens
  • Mississippi Mills Bicycle Month
  • Tweed Ride Almonte

The organizations will welcome their patrons, members and cycling enthusiasts alike for a four-hour bike ride from Ottawa to Almonte alongside the world-class opera performers that make up the Bicycle Opera Project.

“We’re thrilled to create an opportunity for locals and festival attendees to join in and celebrate opera, while enjoying one of this community’s favourite summer activities – cycling!” says Chamberfest artistic director Roman Borys.

Participants will make stops in Carp and Blakeney and receive a heroes’ welcome in Almonte, with performances of arias and a preview of the a capella opera Sweat performed along the way.

Once in Almonte, participants will have the opportunity to hear a free performance by the Juno Award-winning Stretch Orchestra (percussionist Jesse Stewart, guitarist Kevin Breit and cellist Matt Brubeck), and take part in a potluck hosted by Mills Community Support’s Neighbourhood Tomato Community Gardens.

Participants are encouraged to stay overnight in Almonte. The next day, there will be a staging of Sweat – an opera shedding light on the unforgiving world of a sweat shop, appropriately staged at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum. Operagoers are invited to a pub dinner and a screening of the film Breaking Away later that evening.

It’s the latest in a series of initiatives Chamberfest has taken to push arts engagement and education to the forefront in Ottawa, and part of Chamberfest’s long history of biking and music.

Tickets to The Bicycle Opera Project Goes to Almonte – Sweat are available for $25 (HST included) at, by phone at 613-234-6306, or at the following locations:

Ottawa Chamberfest Box Office
201-4 Florence St.
Ottawa, Ont.

Baker Bob’s
75 Little Bridge St.
Almonte, Ont.

Tickets to the full staging of Sweat July 24 at 10 p.m. at La Nouvelle Scène Gilles Desjardins are available for $30 (HST not included) at, by phone at 613-234-6306, or at 201-4 Florence St.


Saturday, July 22, 2017

9:00 a.m.
Cycling group, led by the Bicycle Opera Project departs from Ottawa’s Parkdale Park in Westboro

11:00 a.m.
Cycling group arrives in Carp, Ontario

11:00 – 11:45 a.m
Eat and drink break for cyclists; Bicycle Opera Project sets up for performance

11:45 a.m.
Bicycle Opera Project performs two arias and a sneak-peek of the a capella opera Sweat (20-30 minutes)

1:15 p.m.
Departure from Carp; en route to Almonte

3:00 p.m.
Cycling group arrives in Almonte; “welcome to Almonte” festivities

3:00 – 5:30 p.m.
Rest time for cyclists along Almonte’s main street

5:30 p.m.
Cyclists and Almonte residents reconvene in the town hall parking lot for a town potluck; performances from Bicycle Opera Project, and Stretch Orchestra (Jesse Stewart, Kevin Breit, and Matt Brubeck)

6:00 p.m
Dinner, followed by a second 30-minute performance by Stretch Orchestra

Sunday, July 23, 2017

2:00 p.m.
The Bicycle Opera Project Goes to Almonte – Sweat, at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum; tickets available for $25 (HST included)

6:00 p.m.
Pub dinner in Almonte’s Barley Mow pub

9:00 p.m.
Screening of film Breaking Away