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Aga Khan Garden, Alberta (AKGA)
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 17618

PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Time lapse video AKDN

https://www.facebook.com/akdn/videos/2239003909712251/
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SPEECH DELIVERED BY

His Highness the Aga Khan

Inauguration of the Aga Khan Garden, Alberta


2018, October 16

https://www.akdn.org/speech/his-highness-aga-khan/inauguration-aga-khan-garden-alberta

Bismillah-ir-Rahaman-ir-Rahim

Your Honor Lois Mitchell
The Honorable Rachel Notley
Honorable Ministers
Your Worships
Chancellor Stollery
President Turpin
Distinguished Guests

It is always a great pleasure to greet old friends and welcome new friends at a celebration like this. But today’s inauguration stands out for me as particularly joyous.

For one thing, the old friendships we renew today are especially meaningful. We look back, of course, to the welcome in Alberta of members of the Ismaili community who settled here almost a half century ago, often in very difficult circumstances. And those bonds of welcome have been continually renewed through the years, especially through our rewarding partnerships with the University of Alberta.

One of the special gifts that old friends offer is introducing us to wonderful new friends, and that has also happened here. The project we celebrate today – the inauguration of the Aga Khan Garden – is a particularly happy example.

I think all of you have had the pleasure – in your personal life or your professional life – of seeing a fascinating story develop happily from beginning to end. We recall the excitement of a new beginning – as well as that deep sense of grateful satisfaction when the planning works – when the hope is realized, and the vision is achieved.

Well that is exactly how I feel today. I was fortunate to have been part of this project’s conception – and I feel fortunate to be here today to help mark its realisation.

I remember well my visits to the University of Alberta during my Golden Jubilee year – in 2008, and again for the graduation ceremonies in 2009. That was when we first discussed this dream of creating here, together, a new Islamic Garden. I paid my first visit to the proposed Garden site at that time, wondering, even then, just how this dream might come true in practice.

It seemed like an unlikely dream to many. After all, the great tradition of Islamic Gardens has its roots in very different times and places. The symbol of the Garden as a spiritual symbol goes back to the Holy Qur’an itself - where the Garden ideal is mentioned many times. Down through many centuries, Islamic culture has continued to see the Garden as a very special place, where the Human meets further proof of the Divine.

The development of the Garden as a symbol of Islamic ideals flourished most magnificently some 500 to 600 years ago – and that happened, of course, in the warmer climates of Southern Asia. And yet, there we were in Edmonton a decade ago, proposing to extend that lovely Eastern and Southern tradition, at the start of the 21st Century, to the unique natural environment of northern and western Canada. This proposed new Garden, to be precise, would be the northern-most Islamic Garden ever created.

Over the past nine years I have been able to watch the dream come true – as we agreed on the configuration of the site, assembled a Steering Committee, chose an architectural firm, and reviewed development plans. And then, with the planning completed, the building process took just some 18 months – finishing “on time and on budget,” as planners like to point out!

As I look out at this Garden today, what I think about – above all – are the people who made it possible - their dedication, their talent, and their remarkable energy. I want them all to know that in celebrating this new Garden today – we are also celebrating them. Theirs is a highly valued gift to the generations to come, who also must be privileged by experiencing the spirituality and harmony of multiple life forms.

They include construction workers and gardeners, planners and administrators, artists and scholars, architects and designers – including the landscape design firm of Nelson Byrd Woltz. They include dedicated members of the Ismaili and other Muslim communities in Alberta – and other parts of Canada, the remarkable family of the University of Alberta, governmental officials at all levels, and those who serve the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and the Aga Khan Development Network.

At the heart of their efforts, of course, was the inspiring power of the Islamic Garden itself. For a central part of the Garden tradition is the high calling of human stewardship, our responsibility to honor, to protect, and to share the gifts of the natural world.

Gardens in this context can be seen not as imitations of Nature but as humanity’s interpretations of nature, their geometric structures providing a human framework in which we can experience – in this case – the magnificent fluctuations of the Albertan landscape.

The Garden of Islamic tradition is also a place where the flow of refreshing water reminds us of Divine blessing. It is a place for meditation, and quiet renewal. But I would likewise emphasise that the Garden, through history, has also been seen as a social space – a place for learning, for sharing, for romance, for diplomacy, for reflection on the destiny of the human race. And even as we share the Garden experience with one another, we can feel a connection with those who walked through similar Gardens in the past.

I would also mention one additional aspect of the particular Garden we inaugurate today. It symbolises not only the creative blending of the Natural and the Human – but also the beauty of multiple inter-cultural cooperation.

One of the great questions facing humanity today is how we can honour what is distinctive about our separate identities – and, at the same time, welcome a diversity of identities as positive elements in our lives.

This city and this country have been among the world leaders in providing positive answers to that ancient question. The project we inaugurate today is a beautiful extension of that Canadian tradition.

In Canada and in many other places, the Aga Khan Trust for Culture has made a major commitment to creating and renewing important green spaces in recent years. We can look back on ten recent successes in places ranging from Cairo to Zanzibar, from Toronto to Kabul, from Dushanbe in Tajikistan to Bamako in Mali. In 2018 alone, I helped to inaugurate three such Garden projects – in London, in Delhi, and now here in Alberta.

But the story does not end here. In fact, the story of Canadian Islamic Gardens itself is not yet completed. Our plans are now advancing, in fact, for a new Park to be developed a few hundred miles southwest of here, in Burnaby, British Columbia.

Yes – to be sure – it will surpass Edmonton as the western-most Islamic Garden. But, of course, we can be rest assured, that Edmonton’s Garden will still have a lasting claim as the northern-most!

I have talked about the past, today, but I would close by emphasising the future. It is wonderful at a moment like this to think of all those who will visit here in the years to come. Our work now is to sustain this space, to create new experiences and to meet new challenges.

As you walk through these Gardens, you will see evidence of the ways in which future generations will be able to make the most of this site. It is our hope and expectation on this special day that the Aga Khan Garden here at the University of Alberta will truly be a gift that keeps on giving.

Thank you.
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 17618

PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aga Khan visits namesake U of A garden

Video:

https://edmonton.ctvnews.ca/aga-khan-visits-namesake-u-of-a-garden-1.4137011

*****
Aga Khan visits new garden outside Edmonton

Video:

https://globalnews.ca/video/4559760/aga-khan-visits-new-garden-outside-edmonton
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 17618

PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Video: Highlights from the Aga Khan Garden inauguration

The Aga Khan Garden, Alberta was inaugurated on 16 October 2018 in Mawlana Hazar Imam's presence. Watch highlights from the event here.

https://the.ismaili/news/video-highlights-aga-khan-garden-inauguration

******
16 October 2018 - Lt Governor of Alberta Lois Mitchell, Premier Rachel Notley and the Aga Khan today inaugurated the new Aga Khan Garden, Alberta, the northern-most Islamic garden in the world, and the first garden of its kind in western Canada.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dC44NaRxa-k
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 17618

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any list of world-renowned parks and gardens is likely to feature the great gardens of the western world.

London’s Hyde Park and New York’s Central Park stand as two iconic examples. Yet the Middle East and Asia would also be well-represented. The gardens of the Al-hambra in Spain, Al-Azhar Park in Cairo, and the gardens of Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi, are all magnificent reminders of the Muslim contribution to the world’s horticultural heritage.

Thanks to His Highness the Aga Khan, the 49th hereditary Imam of the world’s Shia Ismaili Muslims, the University of Alberta Botanic Garden is home to a world-class garden and architectural jewel. And while Edmonton may seem an unlikely addition to this list, it is a project which is underwritten by distinctly Canadian features.

Drawing from the rich heritage of the Mughal tradition, the Aga Khan Garden is situated in a firmly Canadian context. The 4.8-hectare Mughal-inspired garden, was made possible by a generous gift from the Aga Khan to the U of A. The garden features secluded forest paths, granite paved pathways, limestone terraces, rippled waterfalls, streams and still pools that reflect the Alberta sky. Fruit orchards extend around the large Calla Pond, and the garden contains more than 35,000 trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals and wetland plants.

More...
https://edmontonjournal.com/opinion/columnists/opinion-aga-khan-garden-offers-paradise-of-a-different-sort
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Admin



Joined: 06 Jan 2003
Posts: 5547

PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2018 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/news/ea/The-Aga-Khan-Garden-of-Life-gift-to-Canada/4552908-4814868-wgnjd6/index.html

The Aga Khan’s 'Garden of Life' gift to Canadian province, a unique statement

Saturday October 20 2018


In Summary

Construction of the Garden, which was recently completed, marked both the 150th anniversary of Canadian confederation and the Aga Khan’s Diamond Jubilee — 60 years since he became Imam (spiritual leader) of the Shia Ismaili Muslim community.

Garden elements from some of the world’s best Muslim architecture — including the Taj Mahal and Humayun’s Tomb in India — are interspersed with distinctively Canadian features, from Alberta’s wild rose beds to Canadian-quarried stonework.

Conceived as a centre for research and learning, the Garden will also play host to a variety of events including educational programs, exhibitions, performances and recitals, film screenings, and cultural events.

-----------------

By The EastAfrican

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and His Highness the Aga Khan inaugurated the new Aga Khan Garden, Alberta, the northernmost Islamic garden in the world, and the first garden of its kind in western Canada.

The Garden was a gift to the University of Alberta from His Highness the Aga Khan, celebrating over 40 years of partnership between the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) and the University of Alberta.

Construction of the Garden, which was recently completed, marked both the 150th anniversary of Canadian confederation and the Aga Khan’s Diamond Jubilee — 60 years since he became Imam (spiritual leader) of the Shia Ismaili Muslim community.

Stewardship on Earth

The Aga Khan Garden brings to life the principle of pluralism, of which His Highness has been a lifelong advocate.

In the 4.8-hectare Mughal-inspired space, traditional Islamic landscape design takes on strikingly contemporary features.

Garden elements from some of the world’s best Muslim architecture — including the Taj Mahal and Humayun’s Tomb in India — are interspersed with distinctively Canadian features, from Alberta’s wild rose beds to Canadian-quarried stonework.

Ms Notley emphasised the alignment of values between the University and the AKDN, and thanked His Highness for his leadership and generosity.

Calling the Garden “an oasis and a sign of Alberta’s welcome to the world,” she added that, “We stand with you to build a fair and more inclusive world.”

In his remarks at the inauguration ceremony, His Highness spoke of his happiness in seeing the Garden come to fruition, and of the place, throughout history, of the Islamic garden in reminding us of the notion of good stewardship of the earth and “our responsibility to honour, to protect, and to share the gifts of the natural world.”

In considering the role that such green spaces may play, His Highness spoke of the Garden as a social space, “a place for learning, for sharing, for romance, for diplomacy, for reflection on the destiny of the human race.”

Symmetry and serenity

Designed by landscape architect, Thomas Woltz of the world-renowned landscape architecture firm Nelson Byrd Woltz in collaboration with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (an agency of the AKDN), the Garden provides a stunning example of Islamic landscape architecture — exploring the beauty and boundaries of vegetation, light, water, geometry, symmetry, adaptation and human scale.

The serenity of nature is highlighted in each of the design elements including secluded forest paths, granite and limestone terraces, still pools that reflect the prairie sky and a waterfall that tumbles over textured stone.

Fruit orchards extend around the large Calla Pond, and the Garden contains more than 25,000 trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals and wetland plants, selected for fragrance, beauty and the ability to thrive in Alberta’s climate. Twelve water features and fountains are sprinkled around the Garden, which took 18 months to construct.

Conceived as a centre for research and learning, the Garden will also play host to a variety of events including educational programs, exhibitions, performances and recitals, film screenings, and cultural events.

It is expected that the addition of the Aga Khan Garden will more than double the number of annual visitors to the University of Alberta Botanic Garden (from 75,000 to 160,000), benefiting the local economy and adding significantly to the architectural and cultural landscape.

Exceptional leadership

The Garden is one of numerous initiatives developed by His Highness in Canada for the benefit of all Canadians, including award-winning architectural landmarks such as the Aga Khan Museum and Aga Khan Park in Toronto, the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat and Global Centre for Pluralism in Ottawa, and the Ismaili Centres in Burnaby and Toronto. Today, the Aga Khan Park in Toronto has become a hub for innovative cultural programming.

The Aga Khan Garden inauguration event is part of a five-day visit by the Aga Khan to Canada, during which he will also travel to Calgary and Vancouver to be conferred with honorary doctor of laws degrees from the University of Calgary, University of British Columbia, as well as Simon Fraser University, in honour of his contributions to humanity and his exceptional moral leadership in the world.
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 17618

PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aga Khan Garden opens at University of Alberta

Excerpt:

“This garden is a testament to a province where differences are valued and diversity thrives,” said Alberta Premier Rachel Notley. “In Alberta, we don’t care who you love, where you worship or what colour your skin is. We respect and celebrate our differences. Alberta’s Ismaili community is a great example of that and so is this wonderful garden.”

More..

https://www.canadianinteriors.com/landscape-architecture/aga-khan-garden-opens-at-university-of-alberta/1003747633/
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 17618

PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Video: Aga Khan Garden inauguration

Lt Governor of Alberta Lois Mitchell, Premier Rachel Notley and Mawlana Hazar Imam inaugurated the new Aga Khan Garden, Alberta, the northern-most Islamic garden in the world, and the first garden of its kind in western Canada.

https://the.ismaili/news/video-aga-khan-garden-inauguration
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.reminetwork.com/articles/aga-khan-opens-garden-edmonton/

Aga Khan officially opens garden in Edmonton

Wednesday, October 24, 2018



His Highness the Aga Khan officially opened the Aga Khan Garden this month in Edmonton. The Aga Khan Garden, located at the University of Alberta Botanic Garden, features an idyllic expanse designed for education, reflection and the promotion of intercultural understanding and harmony. The garden was opened to the public for the first time on June 29, 2018, following 18 months of construction.

Designed by world-renowned landscape architectural firm Nelson Byrd Woltz, the Aga Khan Garden, Alberta features secluded forest paths, granite and limestone terraces, still pools that reflect the prairie sky and a waterfall that tumbles over textured stone. Fruit orchards extend around the large Calla Pond, and the garden contains more than 25,000 trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals and wetland plants, selected for fragrance, beauty and the ability to thrive in Alberta’s northern climate.

The 4.8-hectare Aga Khan Garden is a stunning contemporary interpretation of Islamic landscape architecture. A gift from the Aga Khan to the University of Alberta and all Canadians, it joins a network of 11 gardens around the world built or restored by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture — and is the northernmost in the world.

“Our responsibility to be good stewards of the earth extends to cultural heritage, whether in the form of parks or monuments. I believe this stewardship is even more critical today than ever before,” said His Highness the Aga Khan.

The gift of the Aga Khan Garden is a symbol of the continued intellectual, educational and cultural collaboration between the University of Alberta and the Aga Khan Development Network. In 2017, the University of Alberta and the Aga Khan University renewed a memorandum of understanding, originally signed in 2006, to move forward their respective goals of increasing global engagement and promoting equitable human development for citizens around the world.

During the inauguration ceremony, the future site of a pavilion, named the Diwan, at the Aga Khan Garden was also dedicated. The Diwan will provide a much-needed indoor space at the University of Alberta Botanic Garden. The signature building will complement the beauty and function of the botanic garden and maximize opportunities for programs and events that will benefit the entire community.

A public celebration of the Aga Khan Garden will take place in 2019.
Tags:

Aga Khan,
Aga Khan Garden,
Islamic landscape architecture,
Nelson Byrd Woltz,
Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects,
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