Opening of the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat, Ottawa, canada - 2008-12-06
Ottawa, Canada: The Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat building, situated at 199 Sussex Drive in Ottawa, was officially inaugurated in the presence of Prime Minister Harper on Saturday, December 6, 2008.
A secular facility, the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat will serve a representational role for the activities of the Imamat including its development agencies which constitute the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN).
Audio for Opening of the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat, Ottawa, canada - 2008-12-06
Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mrs. Harper
Chief Justice Beverly McLaughlin and Mr. McCardle
Madame Adrienne Clarkson and Mr. John Ralston Saul
Ladies and Gentlemen
Je voudrais commencer mes commentaires aujourd'hui en vous souhaitant la bienvenue dans le nouveau bâtiment de la Délégation de l'imamat ismaili à Ottawa. Nous sommes ravis que vous participiez à cette journée importante pour nous.
A full hour before he showed up, a throng of more than 100 of his followers waited patiently on Sussex Drive Saturday afternoon, enduring the cold for the chance of a mere glimpse of their spiritual leader.
When the Aga Khan arrived at the opening ceremony of the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat, accompanied by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife Laureen, a great cheer arose from the crowd outside.
This in turn set off a round of excited giggling from the throngs of dignitaries inside the dramatic main atrium of the delegation.
We members of the Citizen editorial board had the pleasure of meeting the Aga Khan a few years ago. I'm thrilled to see his new delegation open on Sussex Drive, for many reasons. One of them is that Canada's capital should contain nodes of international networks, and the Aga Khan's network is one of the most effective I know.
Six years ago, the Aga Khan presented architects with an unusual challenge: create for him a headquarters in Ottawa that was both transparent and translucent, pleasing and confusing, mysterious, esoteric and ethereal. The budget was impressive, and the demands were exacting. The stunning $54-million structure that resulted officially opens today. Here, according to Maria Cook, who has spoken with the designers and builders and toured the building, is how it came to be.
The Aga Khan, the Ismaili Muslim spiritual leader who ended an eight-day Canadian tour in Vancouver less than two weeks ago, is back in Ottawa today to open a new architectural landmark on Sussex Drive.
The $50-million building is to be the permanent home of the Ismaili Imamat delegation - in effect, an embassy for representatives of his 15 million followers who are scattered in 25 or 30 countries around the globe.
It's the first such Ismaili delegation anywhere, though another is planned for Portugal, and the Aga Khan says more will be eventually built in other places.
OTTAWA — The Aga Khan, the Ismaili Muslim spiritual leader, opened a new $50-million architectural landmark on Ottawa’s famed Sussex Drive on Saturday.
The new building will be a link between the spiritual dimensions of Islam and the cultures of the West, the Aga Khan said.
“It affirms our intent to share, within a western setting, the best of Islamic life and heritage,” he said. “It will be a site for robust dialogue, intellectual exchange and the forging of new partnerships” with the Canadian government, academics and international organizations.
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