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.


The buildings and park represent Mawlana Hazar Imam's commitment to Canada, a country that he has described as “a beacon to the rest of the world for its commitment to pluralism and for its support for the multicultural richness and diversity of its peoples.”

Upon his arrival, Hazar Imam was received on behalf of the Government of Canada by the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, as well as Mohamed Manji, President of the Ismaili Council for Canada, and other leaders of the Jamat and AKDN institutions. Hazar Imam was accompanied by his brother, Prince Amyn.

In anticipation of the Foundation Ceremony, which is scheduled to take place in the afternoon on Friday, 28 May, programmes exploring the importance of museums, the diversity and heritage of Muslim civilisations, as well as the symbolic value and lasting legacy of the Ismaili Centres are underway. Jamati celebrations marking the event have been planned across Canada, and in Toronto the entire Jamat will gather on Friday for an afternoon of programmes and festivities.