Item(s) for the ‘Announcements’ Category

Jul 21,2010

EMC News – A site plan control proposal put forth by a committee of people from the Ismaili faith proposes to build a place of worship on the vacant lot at 3225 Conroy Rd.
The Ismaili faith is one of the smallest sects of the Muslim faith and worships in a mosque during the hours of 7-9 p.m. everyday of the week.
“We want to create global pluralism, understanding, and tolerance,” said Fayez Thawer, member of the steering committee for the proposal.
The proposal stemmed from the growing Ismaili population in Ottawa. Currently, the Ismaili group is sharing time in a place of worship in west Ottawa. However, space, parking, and a desire for more availability have become an issue for the growing community.
“We wanted something we could use everyday,” said Mr. Thawer. “We need the parking and the convenience.”

For the full story, please see the July 22 edition of the EMC.


May 28,2010

Aga Khan Museum project to include Ismaili centre and park

By Noor Javed

The artistic pieces have graced the homes of Mughal emperors, adorned the gardens of Persian palaces and educated the masses of the Muslim world.

Soon, over 1,000 years of Islamic art and culture will find a permanent home in Toronto.

The groundbreaking for the Aga Khan Museum, the first in North America solely devoted to Islamic art, will take place on Friday near Don Mills Rd. and Eglinton Ave. E. The museum will be built alongside an Ismaili centre and park on a 7-hectare site at 49 Wynford Dr.

More than 1,000 Islamic artifacts from China to the Iberian Peninsula will be showcased — with 200 on permanent display — when the museum opens in 2013.

The pieces, which come from the collection of the Aga Khan family, already have more air miles than most Canadians. They have been featured in museums around the world from London to Madrid. Before they settle in Toronto, they will be exhibited in Istanbul and five other cities in the Muslim world.

The Aga Khan, spiritual leader of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, will arrive Friday to put a shovel in the ground and give his blessings to the $300 million project

“While some North American museums have significant collections of Muslim art, there is no institution devoted to Islamic art,” he said. “In building the museum in Toronto, we intend to introduce a new actor to the North American art scene. Its fundamental aim will be an educational one, to actively promote knowledge of Islamic arts and culture.”

The 10,000-square-foot building will be designed by Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki, who is also working on the expansion of the United Nations building and Tower 4 at the former World Trade Center site.

“This project will help to bridge the clash of ignorance,” said Amyn Sayani, a volunteer with the Ismaili Council for Canada. “This is very much an opportunity for people to dialogue and to bridge different cultures and faiths.”

A sampling of the art coming to town:

Manuscript of the Canon of Medicine by Ibn Sina, Iran or Mesopotamia, c. 1052: This manuscript is considered to be one of the most important collections of medieval medical knowledge in the Islamic world. It was used in the 12th and 13th centuries by medical schools in Europe, almost until the beginning of modern times. The document to be displayed is the fifth book, focusing on drugs and pharmacy.

Emerald green bottle, Iran, Safavid dynasty, 17th century: The Islamic world, mainly due to proximity, has always had close ties to the Chinese world. This bottle was made to imitate Chinese ceramics, in both colour and appearance.

Portrait of Sultan Selim, Turkey, c. 1570: A large album portrait done in watercolour, ink and gold of Sultan Selim II. It was his father, Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent, who solidified the geographical borders of the Ottoman Empire. Selim was better known for enjoying finer pleasures such as literature, art and wine. Here, he shown by the painter as larger than life, in a luxurious fur-lined and gold garment.

Standard (alam), Iran, 16th century: Made of steel, standards usually decorated bowls used as drinking vessels or food containers for wandering ascetics. This pear-shaped standard contains an inscription which can be read from different angles. The text from top to bottom says: “Ya Allah, ya Muhammad, ya ‘Ali” (“O God, O Muhammad, O Ali).


May 25,2010

The Aga Khan, spiritual leader of Shia Ismaili Muslims, will put a shovel in the ground Friday, marking the start of construction of a $300-million development in the Don Mills Rd.-Eglinton Ave. area.

Plans call for the building of a museum named after the Aga Khan, an Ismaili Centre and the creation of a park. The massive project is slated for completion by 2013.

“These projects represent a major investment by His Highness in this country’s cultural fabric and are a reflection of the Aga Khan’s commitment to Canada, which serves as a beacon to the rest of the world for its commitment to pluralism and its support for the multicultural richness and diversity of its peoples,” said Farid Damji, of the Ismaili Council for Canada.

The Aga Khan Museum — announced in 2002 — will be built on a 7-hectare site on Wynford Dr. and is the first of its kind in the English speaking world. The 10,000-square-metre structure will house collections of Islamic art, including ceramics, metal work and paintings covering a 1,000-year period of Islamic history. The design was done by Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki.

The second part of the project is the Ismaili Centre — a community centre that includes a place of prayer, library, youth lounge and public spaces for cultural activities. It will be located on the same spot as the museum and is designed by Indian architect Charles Correa.

The park on Wynford Dr. has been designed by award-winning Lebanese landscape architect Vladimir Djurovic. It will surround the museum and project a sense of a traditional Islamic garden.

“I’m excited this is happening because (the Aga Khan) is one of the few Muslim leaders who have reconciled with modernity,” said Tarek Fatah, author and founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress. “He offers a very clear alternative to the Islamism that is being spread by Jihadis. (People in the GTA) will get a view of Muslims and Islam without looking through the prism of Saudi or Iranian-tainted politics.”

The Ismaili Centre Toronto is the second in Canada — the other was built in 1985 in Burnaby, B.C. and opened by prime minister Brian Mulroney in the presence of the Aga Khan. Other Ismaili Centres have been built in London, Lisbon, Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Dushanbe.

Toronto was picked as the site of the museum because of the city’s cultural diversity.

Nearly 100,000 Ismailis are settled throughout Canada — more than 30,000 of them live in Toronto.