A Letter From Our Managing Editor: A Blast From The Past

I spent the first fleeting moments of this year dancing amongst the Royal Ontario Museum; tearing it up with the Pterodactyls and propping up the Barosaurus as 2024 burst into brilliant life. Every New Year’s Eve, the ROM stays open after dark for this same party, and it was a fascinating (if fossil-heavy) way to bid 2023 a fond farewell.

But the experience has also set me on something of a museum-minded path these past few months. A brief break in Washington, D.C., in March clued me up on everything the Smithsonian has to offer — from cave paintings to space capsules. A trip to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Vaughn, Ontario, whisked me back to the heyday of the country’s silver mining endeavours. And, as you read this, Toronto’s own Museum of Contemporary Art is hosting only the second ever iteration of the city’s triennial art exhibition, GTA24. It runs until the end of July, and is well worth a visit.

Perhaps predictably, then, the influence of these institutions has found its way into the pages of SHARP’s spring edition. But there’s nothing fusty or dusty about this issue. In fact, it’s as fresh as a flurry — nowhere more so than in our coverage of Whistler’s snow-capped Range Rover House. The first retreat of its kind in Canada, attendees enjoyed unparalleled levels of hospitality at the event, and Land Rover Canada also contributed to the local Audain Art Museum and the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, with both institutions offering complimentary access to Range Rover House guests. And our car section contains yet more classics, including a spin through Nissan’s Heritage Collection in Tokyo, perhaps the greatest auto museum in the world.

“When I need a burst of inspiration, I will always go to the visual arts, because that’s where we’re all speaking the same language.”

Jake Gyllenhaal

And we’re archive-diving elsewhere, too. Louis Vuitton’s latest collection sees Pharrell raid and reinvent the brand’s back catalogue, and the design of TAG Heuer’s newly minted Carrera Chronograph takes its cues from the motor-racing record books. It’s page after page of proof that nothing, really, is ever truly new. Even the latest release from our charming cover star, Jake Gyllenhaal (who tells me that his favourite museum is New York City’s Museum of Modern Art), unearths a 1980s action film for a well-overdue update.

“When I’m on stage, on Broadway,” the actor told me in early March, “and in the rhythm of a run, inspiration can wane. So, sometimes, between the matinee and the evening show, I’ll go to a gallery. I’ll walk across town to MoMA, or the Whitney [Museum of American Art]. Or I love the Neue Galerie, to see Klimt. There are so many places all over the world. The Prado. The Tate. But, when I need a burst of inspiration, I will always go to the visual arts, because that’s where we’re all speaking the same language.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. But that’s the magic of these museums and galleries. We learn from them, unwind in them, and use them to understand how our thought-provoking pasts continue to inform our futures. So seek one out this weekend — whether it’s the Museum of Classical Antiquities in Ottawa, Calgary’s National Music Centre, or even the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame — and you’ll see.

For now, though, make the most of the magazine, and study each article like you would an artifact. Who knows, you might learn something.