Weekly Voice, June 8, 2002
Original Publication Date: Saturday June 8, 2002

Aga Khan and Canada in Commonwealth Tribute to Queen


Toronto- His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan and Begum Inaara Aga Khan paid glowing tributes to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, as Head of the Commonwealth, on the 50th anniversary of her accession to the throne, at a unique international event entitled "All the Queen's Horses". This spectacular equestrian event, which was one of the largest of its kind ever staged in the world, is credited to be the crowning glory of the Golden Jubilee celebrations.

The Aga Khan and the Begum Aga Khan joined with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, members of the Royal Family and Ambassadors of participating foreign and Commonwealth countries that included, besides Canada, the United States, France, Kenya, India and Pakistan, to view the magnificent thoroughbred horses in action. The Aga Khan's support enabled contingents from Canada as well as other Commonwealth countries to participate in this magnanimous event honouring the Queen.

"This event serves to acknowledge the Commonwealth's importance in maintaining relations among countries through both good and less good times in their shared history," said the Aga Khan. "The event honours the personal attention that Her Majesty the Queen has accorded to that history and the admirable manner in which she has exercised, and continues to exercise, the challenging role of Head of the Commonwealth," said the Aga Khan, recognising shared history and traditions as well as the strength of diplomatic linkages.

Canada's colourful presence was evident as officers from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police joined in a unique tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, in the presence of His Highness the Aga Khan.

"We are very pleased to represent Canada in the Commonwealth's tribute to the Queen," said Chief Superintendent Bernard Corrigan, Director General of Public Affairs and Information of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Musical Ride.

Collaboration between Canadian institutions and the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) extends across many fields and countries. The Aga Khan Foundation Canada has, for 20 years, been an important partner of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) in development programmes ranging from rural development in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Tajikistan to early childhood education in East Africa.

Canadian institutions of higher learning and research, amongst them, McGill University, McMaster University, the University of British Columbia, the University of Toronto and the Canadian Institute of Advanced Research, have built mutually beneficial academic partnerships with the Aga Khan University.

A number of private and institutional investors have collaborated in venture capital initiatives in Canada undertaken by Industrial Promotion Services (Canada), an affiliate of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development. Focus Humanitarian Assistance (FOCUS), an affiliate of the AKDN, which has a unit registered and active in Canada, has provided relief and assistance following manmade and natural disasters and engaged in disaster prevention, mitigation and preparation programmes in places as varied as Afghanistan, East Timor, India, Mozambique, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Zanzibar, and in close collaboration with the Government of Canada, undertaken successful resettlement programmes in Canada for refugees from Kosovo and Afghanistan.

The Aga Khan Development Network is a group of private development agencies working to empower communities and individuals, often in disadvantaged circumstances, to improve living conditions and opportunities, especially in Asia and Africa. The Network's agencies work for the common good of all citizens, regardless of their gender, origin or religion and its underlying impulse is the ethic of compassion for the vulnerable in society.

(c) 2002 The Weekly Voice.