THE WINTER 2020 ISSUE OF SHARP, FEATURING COVER STAR EDDIE REDMAYNE, IS OUT NOW.
On a Saturday night in November, I was at a concert at Roy Thomson Hall — a benefit for a school in Toronto, with an eclectic lineup of indie bands and national folk heroes playing the hits, all for a good cause.
A friend had helped get me a ticket and I was stoked — until about two hours before the show, when I’ll admit I didn’t feel like leaving the house. It had rained all day, I had work on the brain, and honestly, did I really need to go see Tom Cochrane play an acoustic version of “Life Is a Highway”?
It turns out I did. And apparently I wasn’t alone. When he launched into the song, the entire room leapt to its feet and started dancing and singing along — shouting every word of every well-worn verse. It was a funny moment of kitschy Canadian nostalgia. But it was also something more: a totally unexpected moment of goofy, surprising, unbound collective joy. A release of pent-up positive energy. As the song went on, I suddenly realized I had the biggest smile on my face.
And I realized how rare those moments can be. We all have our own really good reasons for that — it’s part of the deal. So instead, I thought about all the things that had lately made me smile so deeply, viscerally, and unexpectedly: a funny text from my wife; a long, boozy dinner with an old friend; a gruelling ’80s-inflected spin class.
Maybe I’m writing this because it’s the end of the year and I’ve gone a little soft, worn down by the weather and the weeks of travel and the constant deadlines, and I’m in the mood for something warm and fuzzy — a bit of humanity or the holiday spirit that you hear so much about this time of year.
But I also think that sense of unexpected pleasure is exactly the feeling we’re trying to capture in this magazine. It’s the unstated criteria for everything we do. It’s the reason, for example, we chose Terry Crews — exuberant, larger-than-life, and perpetually smiling — to be on the cover of Sharp Watch in the back of this issue. He takes joy in his work, and gives it back exponentially. It’s also why we spend so many pages devoted to exploring our favourite things, whether that’s food or travel or fashion or watches. Turns out Tom Cochrane figured that out 30 years ago. It’s about turning the page and being surprised, and finding there’s a big, unexpected smile on your face.