After the year that was 2020, there are some high hopes for events in 2021. Here are some of the ones we're already looking forward to.
1. Skywhale and Skywhalepapa
How can we talk about 2021 plans and not mention the return of Skywhale and the introduction of Skypapa to Canberra's sky? The Patricia Piccinini hot air balloons were due to make their maiden voyage together last year, but we all know how 2020 was. From February 6, the sculptures will launch near the National Gallery of Australia and take flight over Canberra.
2. Botticelli to Van Gogh
On the topic of the National Gallery, Botticelli to Van Gogh: Masterpieces from the National Gallery, London will open to the public in March. Featuring 60 paintings by some of Europe's most revered artists, it will include one of the works from Van Gogh's famous Sunflowers series.
3. Live music
Streaming concerts was a good solution while we were all stuck in our homes, but can it ever replace seeing a gig, live and in person? Of course not. And this year we start to see musicians make their return to Canberra stages. Tina Arena heads to the Llewellyn Hall in May, Katie Noonan will be at The Street and both The Rubens and The Whitlams will be at the Canberra Theatre Centre.
4. Live theatre
Canberra's stages will also see the return of live theatre, with new and postponed shows heading to the capital. American Psycho The Musical and Bell Shakespeare's Hamlet are both set to appear after being postponed last year. Meanwhile, Shrek the Musical has just been announced to be showing next month. As for the littlest of theatre lovers (and their parents) Bluey's Big Play will return for its second run.
5. Australian Love Stories
Who doesn't love a good love story? Australian Love Stories will be at the National Portrait Gallery from March. More than 80 love stories will be featured through portraiture - from the enduring to the forbidden, familial, platonic, unrequited, and creative. The exhibition accompanies Australian Love StoriesOnline, an interactive exhibition launched in August as a way for the gallery to continue to engage with audiences during COVID-19.
6. In conversation
What better way to get to know some of your favourite personalities than by spending an evening with them? Trailblazing chef Yotam Ottolenghi will be in Canberra in June to reveal his next-level approach to cooking explored in his new book Ottolenghi Flavour. Ben Elton will be here to talk about his three decades spent as a comedian, author, playwright, actor and director. Australian author Sarah Wilson will also come to Canberra for a deep dive into issues such as the state of our planet, COVID-19 and our disconnection from each other.