TORONTO — Prime Minister Stephen Harper has bestowed honorary Canadian citizenship upon the Aga Khan.
The Aga Khan is in Toronto today, marking the beginning of development on an Ismaili centre and the Aga Khan Museum for Islamic Art and Culture.
Harper says the centre and museum will represent the country's pluralism and cultural diversity.
He says in a world torn by sectarian strife the importance of those values cannot be overstated.
The Aga Khan is the spiritual leader of Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, generally known as Ismailis.
To most Canadians, he is known simply as the Aga Khan.
Few are likely to know much more about the man, considered to be the spiritual leader of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, a community made up of more than 30,000 people in Toronto alone.
On Friday, May 28, 2010, His Highness the Aga Khan will participate in the Foundation Ceremony to mark the beginning of the development of the Ismaili Centre, the first-ever Aga Khan Museum for Islamic Art and Culture, and the park where they will be situated in Toronto’s Don Mills area.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper and His Highness the Aga Khan will dig shovels into the dirt on Friday at the future site of a $300-million cultural centre for Ismaili Muslims. By 2013, the seven-acre expanse near Don Mills Road and Eglinton Avenue will be home to a world-class museum, multi-purpose building and parklands, cementing this city’s importance as a past and future destination for the Ismaili diaspora. Farid Damji, a member of the Ismaili Council for Canada, said the Aga Khan chose to build the centre in Toronto because of its “cosmopolitan cultural outlook.”
1:45 p.m. – Prime Minister Stephen Harper will tour the future site of the Aga Khan Museum and Ismaili Centre. He will be joined by His Highness The Aga Khan.
49 Wynford Drive
*Photo opportunity only (Cameras and Photographers Only)
* Media are required to present proper identification for accreditation.
* Media are required to use the Media Entrance off Wynford Drive. Parking is limited.
* Media are required to arrive no later than 1:15 p.m.
As Parliament Hill readies itself to shut down for the weekend, both the prime minister and his official opposition counterpart are heading off to Toronto for the day -- separately, not convoy-style, mind you -- at least, as far as we know, although come to think of it, that really would cut down on travel costs, especially when you consider how closely aligned their respective itineraries seem to be.
Artist's rendering of the Ismaili Centre, the Aga Khan Museum and Park to be built in Toronto. The groundbreaking ceremony for the project is on Friday.
New chapter in Canadian Ismaili story set to unfold in the Don Mills neighbourhood of Toronto - 2010-05-26Posted May 28th, 2010 by heritage
The Toronto neighbourhood of Don Mills is one of the city’s most diverse neighbourhoods — indeed, it is counted among the most diverse in Canada.
“This is a very unique place,” says Mohamed Dhanani. “It’s incredible to see families and communities from so many parts of the world come together here.” People from a range of ethnic, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds call the neighbourhood home. A microcosm of Toronto and Canada’s multiculturalism, it is a place where dozens of languages are spoken, and people from all walks of life live and work together.
An aerial view of the Wynford Drive site, which is being developed into a park where the Ismaili Centre, Toronto and the Aga Khan Museum will be situated. The site is clearly visible from the adjacent Don Valley Parkway thoroughfare.
Mawlana Hazar Imam arrives in Canada to lay foundation of Ismaili Centre, museum and park - 2010-05-26Posted May 28th, 2010 by heritage
Ottawa, 26 May 2010 — Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived in Ottawa this afternoon, marking the start of a two-day visit to Canada during which he will participate in the Foundation Ceremony of the Ismaili Centre, the first-ever Aga Khan Museum for Islamic Art and Culture, and the park where they will be situated in Toronto’s Don Mills neighbourhood.
Upon his arrival in Toronto, Prince Rahim is introduced to Jamati leaders by Ismaili Council for Canada Vice-President Malik Talib.
Toronto, 27 May 2010 — Following a short visit to Ottawa, Mawlana Hazar Imam landed in Toronto this afternoon, where he was received by the Honourable James Moore, the Federal Minister of Canadian Heritage, and the Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Ontario’s Minister of Transportation. He was also welcomed by Ismaili Council for Ontario President Karim Sunderji and other Jamati leaders.
At his arrival in Toronto, Mawlana Hazar Imam is greeted by James Moore, the Federal Minister of Canadian Heritage, and Kathleen Wynne, Ontario’s Minister of Transportation.