Toronto, 26 May, 2010 — 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.

Wednesday 26 May, 2010

Foundation Ceremony for the Ismaili Centre, the Aga Khan Museum and Park to take place in Toronto, Friday

The development of these projects, an initiative of His Highness the Aga Khan, the 49th hereditary Imam of the Ismaili Muslims and Founder and Chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network, seeks to foster knowledge and understanding both within Muslim societies and between these societies and other cultures. The Aga Khan Museum and its collection reflect the plurality of the Muslim world, while the adjacent Ismaili Centre will create spaces for interaction and dialogue. Together, they will offer platforms for the search for mutual understanding among all communities and cultures.

Situated on a 6.8 hectare site along a major artery of Toronto, the Don Valley Parkway, the buildings and park represent the Aga Khan’s commitment to Canada and appreciation for the country’s adherence to pluralism and cultural diversity.

WHAT:   Foundation Ceremony for the Ismaili Centre, Toronto, the Aga Khan Museum, and Park – invitation only event
WHEN:   Friday, May 28, 2010 at 1:30pm
(media are required to be in position no later than 12:30 pm)
WHERE:   49 Wynford Drive

The Projects

Designed by renowned architect Charles Correa, the Ismaili Centre, Toronto will be the newest addition to a network of Ismaili Centres worldwide, and will be the second in Canada after the Ismaili Centre, Burnaby which opened in 1985. The Centres are representational buildings for the Ismaili Muslim community, and will include a place of prayer, library and spaces for cultural activities. The Centre will host an active series of programming to engage a variety of stakeholders in dialogue, learning, and bridge-building. This is Correa’s first commission in Canada.

The Aga Khan Museum, devoted to Islamic art, is an educational institution showcasing the intellectual, cultural, artistic and religious heritage of Muslim civilizations with their historic, cultural and geographic diversity. The Aga Khan Museum has been designed by the award-winning Japanese architect, Fumihiko Maki, who also designed the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat in Ottawa.

The two projects will be united by a new landscaped park, designed by Lebanese landscape architect, Vladimir Djurovic. The park will incorporate the Islamic “chaar bhag” or formal garden, and will include reflecting pools, walkways, and four-season components suited to the climate of Toronto. The Park will be open to the public and is intended to be a place of tranquility and contemplation.

Media resources including background information and visuals will be made available upon request.


Media are required to register for this event in advance. Media accredited with the Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery will have access to the event. Non-gallery members must send a letter of assignment to [email protected]. As space is limited, we apologize in advance for not being able to accommodate all requests.

Note that media parking on site is limited. Broadcast media planning live coverage can forward requests to the contacts below.

Registered media are required to arrive by the Wynford Drive entrance no later than 12:30 pm.

For further information, please contact:

Amyn Sayani
Aga Khan Council for Canada
  Telephone: 416.893.1724
E-mail: [email protected]
Laurie Peters
Aga Khan Foundation Canada
  Telephone: 613.237.2532 ext 120
Email: [email protected]