On our radar
SEEING THE WORKS of Michelangelo in New York City, visiting a 2018 European Capital of Culture and being in Ottawa for two major sporting events are the top travel experiences chosen by Canadian Geographic Travel staff this fall and winter.
MICHELANGELO AT THE MET, NEW YORK CITY There’s a reason why Michelangelo was called “the divine one” by his peers; his mastery over various art forms still captivates us today. Luckily, you don’t need to fly to Rome to experience his work in person — starting in November, a weekend trip to New York City will suffice. There, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibit Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer (Nov. 13, 2017 to Feb. 12, 2018) features an impressive range of pieces, including nearly 150 drawings, three marble sculptures, his earliest paintings and numerous other masterpieces brought from across the United States and Europe. Sounds divine to me. metmuseum.org VALLETTA, MALTA Diminutive though it may be, Valletta is set to attract some major attention as a 2018 European Capital of Culture, a title the elegant capital of the Mediterranean island of Malta owes partly to its turbulent history. Established in the 1560s, Valletta sits on a peninsula whose occupants have spoken a multitude of languages as a revolving door of invaders — Phoenician, Roman, Spanish and French among them — spun over the centuries, creating a cultural palimpsest that earned the city UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1980. That legacy will be on show throughout 2017 and 2018 via a host of music and film festivals, dance performances, art exhibits, theatre productions, public talks and the city’s annual carnival. Do you need a better excuse to soak up some sunshine in the Med? valletta2018.org THE GREY CUP & NHL100 CLASSIC, OTTAWA The nation’s capital gets pretty much the last kick at the sesquicentennial celebrations can by hosting two big sporting events less than a month apart: the 105th Grey Cup (Nov. 26) and an outdoor NHL game between the hometown Senators and the Montreal Canadiens (Dec. 16), both at TD Place Stadium. The former event is less a game than it is a six-day party featuring plenty of face paint, a street festival, tailgating and outlandishly dressed fans before culminating in the championship game. The latter contest, meanwhile, also marks the NHL’S centennial and will be the latest chapter in a rivalry that began when the two teams met on the league’s opening night on Dec. 19, 1917. Sport doesn’t get more quintessentially Canadian than this.
Clockwise from above left: Valletta; one of the Met’s Michelangelo works; an Ottawa Redblacks player hoists the Grey Cup.