Abdul Madhani, ex-Ugandan, is a simple, humble and an ordinary but an extremely 'imani' sort of fellow settled in Toronto.
Abdul transports Jamati members to 'Baith-Ul-Khayal' at 3 am every morning and also attends evening prayers at JK ever day. He is a true 'sevadari'.
He also works closely with the Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne, and played a significant role in her last election campaign.
Last Friday, as they broke for the weekend, Abdul and the Premier were saying good bye to each other when the Premier quipped '..see you on Monday [at the Inauguration of The Aga Khan Park]'.
Abdul replied that he would not be there as he had not received an invitation to the ceremony.
The Premier then replied that Abdul would attend the occasion as her guest and gave him an invitation card to both the Parliament and the Park.
Abdul duly arrived at the Inauguration on Monday and was ushered in to a tent a little away from the main tent where the Ceremony was taking place. After the main proceedings, while MHI and the Premier were walking along the Gardens, the Premier spotted Abdul standing on his own and walked up to him. She held his hand and took him to MHI. She introduced Abdul to MHI and told Him all about Abdul. She began by telling Imam how regular Abdul was in transporting the Jamat at 3am every morning without fail regardless of the weather, how regular he was at JK every evening and also heaped lots of praise for Abdul's services to the Premier and her office. Abdul stood with his head bent down and Imam held Abdul's hand during all this time and said 'Thank You' to him.
The Aga Khan Park will come to life on 5 July when the Pan Am lantern makes an appearance at the park’s inaugural event Reflections: Celebrating our Cultures and Communities. The Pan Am flame represents the spirit of the Games taking place in Toronto this summer.
» Upcoming events at the Aga Khan Park
» Aga Khan Park a new place of connection in Toronto
» Aga Khan Park is for now and forever
In anticipation of the arrival of the flame at dusk, visitors from across the city will enjoy entertainment including lantern-making for children, a wellness zone with guided yoga and performances by local Toronto artists. Visitors will be enticed by the sights, sounds and aromas of the souk — a traditional open-air market often found in the Middle East or in Northern Africa — that will feature cultural artifacts and food.
Following the inaugural event, Toronto’s newest cultural hub will host a range of social and cultural activities throughout the summer. Educational programs, art exhibitions, informal musical performances, film screenings and cultural festivals will animate the park in the coming months.
“Such events will bring people of all cultures and religion together to marvel on the beautiful space,” says Ahmed Hussein, Executive Director of Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office, an organisation that serves nearby communities.
When the Aga Khan Park opened this spring, it made a major cultural and architectural contribution to the surrounding community and the City of Toronto. A publicly accessible green space uniting the Ismaili Centre and Aga Khan Museum, the park is a meeting place for people from all walks of life.
With its unique design, the park captures the essence of the traditional Islamic garden in a modern context, making the Aga Khan Park stand out from other green spaces around the city.
“The community in Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park look at the park as a place to connect and reflect,” explains Hussein. “The park offers a safe space for people to explore the natural beauty of environment around them.”
The Aga Khan Park is one of many parks established or rehabilitated by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, including the Forodhani Park in Zanzibar and the Al-Azhar Park in Cairo. Through events such as Reflections, the park brings together a diverse set of people to celebrate the rich culture of the community that surrounds it.
The park is open daily to visitors from dawn to dusk. Guided tours highlighting the plantings and the inspiration behind the design of the park are also available seasonally.
The flame for the Pan Am games was a big attraction in the city Sunday, but first the people of Don Mills had a park to welcome.
Visitors to the first major public event at the beautiful Aga Khan Park had plenty to enjoy. The park, located between the Aga Khan Museum and the Ismaili Centre, has reflecting pools, green spaces and trees.
People were treated to yoga sessions, a souk bazaar with food and drinks, performances on the main stage, more performances by the artists roving the grounds, and kids’ activities zone with Zumba dancing and face painting for kids, and henna for mothers.
•Dos and don’ts of Pan Am spectatorship
•From crossbows to floods – TTC preps for Pan Am emergencies
•Pan Am Games opening ceremony to be broadcast at Nathan Phillips Square
In the evening, they welcomed the Pan Am flame, which arrived not in torch form but in the lantern that’s used to preserve it overnight.
With a crowd there for the event, the volunteers who run the park on behalf of the Aga Khan Museum decided to take the opportunity to ask vistors what they would like to see it become.
“Today, in one of our booths we’re focus-grouping and asking people what appeals to them,” said Karim Ladak, who runs all activities at the park. “We did a poll with 300 of our volunteers last week and we’re doing a broader poll today.”
The idea, he said, is to offer both free and commercial activities, possibly including walking and yoga programming, to barbeques, jazz festivals and private events.
“We’re also planning to serve, down the line, pie in the park,” he said. “All of these things, you need and business model for and we’re working our way to it. But to me, the future of the park, and this community, is very exciting.”
The Aga Khan Museum, which opened in 2014, was set up with support from the Aga Khan, a British businessman and hereditary Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, and showcases some of his personal collection of Islamic art.
In the future, the park will have its own management company to run events, said Ladak
Situated between the Aga Khan Museum and Ismaili Centre Toronto, the Aga Khan Park in Toronto has been unveiled just in time for summer. The Museum first opened its doors back in 2014, and has since served as a destination which offers enlightening perspectives into Islamic arts, history and culture.
Saturday, July 16- Sunday, July 17 2016
Ismaili Centre, Aga Khan Park, Aga Khan Museum, Ontario Science Centre
Activities start at 10AM
SOAR INTO SUMMER FUN at the Aga Khan Museum, Aga Khan Park, Ismaili Centre Toronto and the Ontario Science Centre for a family festival inspired by flight, flying, the skies, stars, and heavens.
•Construct and launch your own origami flying creature, kite or paper plane.
•See rockets zoom into the sky. Come face to face with birds of prey.
•Listen to stories from diverse cultures.
•Elevate your hearts with mystical folk music from India and the soaring sounds of Brazilian drumming.
•Marvel at exhibitions of mythical creatures and hundreds of floating balloons.
•Draw and colour flying beasts.
•Watch films about flying carpets.
•Take a breathtaking look at our planet from a space ship and explore the night sky with a telescope.
•Taste food and ice cream flavours that are out of this world!
FESTIVAL PROGRAMS ARE OFFERED FREE TO THE PUBLIC.
Regular Programs at the Aga Khan Museum and Ontario Science Centre will be charged at regular rates.
PARK & RIDE: Shuttle buses will operate between the Ontario Science Centre and the Aga Khan Park.
FOR PROGRAM SCHEDULE PLEASE CLICK HERE AND DOWNLOAD PDF: FESTIVAL OF FLIGHT PROGRAM
Trained in the Kripalu tradition of hatha yoga, instructor Arzina Murji completed her certification at Sunlilyoga in Toronto. Her teaching methodology seeks to unite the mind, body, and spirit through proper alignment and conscious control of posture and breathing — improving circulation, flexibility, and strength while reducing stress on both the body and mind.
Three sculptures by Iranian-Canadian artist Parviz Tanavoli on display at Aga Khan Park
Three sculptures by Iranian-Canadian artist Parviz Tanavoli on display at Aga Khan Park
Three sculptures by Iranian-Canadian artist Parviz Tanavoli will be on display at Aga Khan Park as a free exhibit until April 2017. The three sculptures, which range in height from nine and a half feet to 12 and a half feet, are Poet in Love (bronze); Big Heech (stainless steel); and his most recent work, Horizontal Lovers (bronze), pictured here. September 2016.
North York Mirror
Three sculptures by Iranian-Canadian artist Parviz Tanavoli are on display at Aga Khan Park on Wynford Drive in North York until next spring as a free exhibit.
The three sculptures, which range in height from nine and a half feet to 12 and a half feet, are Poet in Love (bronze); Big Heech (stainless steel); and his most recent work, Horizontal Lovers (bronze), which is on public display for the first time.
Tanavoli will visit the Aga Khan Museum Saturday, Sept. 24 for a special screening of the documentary Parviz Tanavoli: Poetry in Bronze, which tells the story of his career which has spanned three continents and more than half a century. The screening will be followed by a discussion with Tanavoli.
A book launch will be held the following day at the Ismaili Centre, 49 Wynford Dr., for Tanavoli’s latest book, European Women in Persian Houses.
Tanavoli’s work has been shown at museums around the world, including the Davis Museum in Wellesley, Massachusetts; the Tate Modern in London; Grey Art Gallery in New York City; and most recently at the Teheran Museum of Contemporary Art in Iran. Along with his international exhibitions, Tanavoli’s works have also become part of the permanent collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art in New York City, as well as the British Museum and the Tate Modern in London.
Aga Khan Park wins two honors in the inaugural American Architecture Prize 2016
NEW YORK, NY, USA – October 27, 2016 – Over 200 guests, some of the world’s best architects and designers, attended the first annual American Architecture Prize Winners Cocktail Evening at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City on Tuesday evening, October 25, 2016.
Aga Khan Park, by Vladimir Djurovic won two awards in the landscape architecture category: silver in the “Gardens” category and bronze in the “Public” category.
Aga Khan Park wins two American Architecture Prize honors: silver in the “Gardens” category and bronze in the “Public” category (image credit: The American Architecture Prize)
The American Architecture Prize (AAP) jury selected exceptional designs in over 40 categories across the disciplines of architecture, interior design, and landscape architecture. Over 60 platinum, gold, silver, and bronze prize winner teams were presented with their certificates.
Stone adds a timeless quality to a Toronto landmark
The Aga Khan Park in Toronto includes three distinct stone elements on a 7-ha (17-acre) campus-like property. The Aga Khan Museum and Ismaili Centre are light-coloured stone buildings. The space between them encompasses reflecting granite pools, and stone accents. A formal 1-ha (2.5-acre) garden connects the structures. The whole complex is a cultural hub and represents Canada’s vibrant diversity.
The $300-million campus was formally inaugurated on May 25, 2015. Approximately 8361 m2 (90,000 sf) of stone was employed in the project.
DANCING IN THE PARK: ON SCREEN BALLERINA (ÉRIC SUMMER AND ÉRIC WARIN, 2017, 89 MIN., G)
Date: Sat, Sep 01, 2018 08:00PM
FAQ: All you need to know about Dancing in the Park events in the Aga Khan Park
Back by popular demand! Our Dancing in the Park series returns for a second season with performances and films guaranteed to get you moving. These events take place in the public space of the Aga Khan Park, a venue for individuals and families to gather and enjoy social and cultural activities all season long. We look forward to welcoming you!
Bring the kids and celebrate the last weekend of the summer with this family-friendly screening. Ballerina follows Félicie, a young orphan with only one passion: dance. With her best friend Victor, who wants to become a great inventor, Félicie devises a wild plan to escape the orphanage and make her way to Paris, where she dreams of starring onstage as a prima ballerina. Will Félicie’s passion for dance and movement be enough to help her succeed? Find out during this whimsical film.
Keep up with the summer fun! Download our Dancing in the Park program guide
MAJMA-UL-BAHRAIN, THE MINGLING OF THE (TWO) OCEANS
Sep 29, 2018 - Oct 31, 2018
Don’t miss this free, outdoor art installation in the Aga Khan Park Reflecting Pools. Artist Javid a.k.a JAH explores sacred Vedic and Islamic geometries through his paintings on corrugated steel. The metal comes from the scrap left behind in the process of cutting out the doors and windows of re-purposed shipping containers.
MESSAGE FROM THE ARTIST
The title of this exhibition — Majma-ul-Bahrain, The Mingling of the (two) Oceans — is taken from a 17th-century book examining the pluralistic and mystical correspondences between Vedism and Sufi Islam. Written by Dara Shukoh (eldest son of Shah Jahan), some of the key concepts discussed in this book coincide with the research manifest in this body of work — explorations of sacred geometry that have symbolic roots in multiple religious and spiritual traditions.
Studying the roots of geometric representation from Vedic origins, such as the chakras, and overlaying cosmological principles that form the basis for Islamic pattern, in particular, the formation of muqarnas, the paintings in this exhibit reflect on this ancient conversation on the intrinsic, transcendent unity within diverse global spiritual practices.
Interview with landscape architect Vladimir Djurovic
When Lebanese landscape architect Vladimir Djurovic was commissioned to design the Aga Khan Park in Toronto in 2005, Mawlana Hazar Imam suggested he take a tour of Islamic gardens and architecture around the world, ranging from Fatehpur Sikri in India to Alhambra in Spain. In this interview, he explains how the research trip helped his design of the Aga Khan Park to capture the essence of the Islamic garden.
Though Djurovic is based in the Middle East and well known for developing urban spaces that help people connect with nature, he had never designed an Islamic garden before. Both the tour and the experience of designing the Aga Khan Park proved to be transformative for him. They have influenced “every single project” he has taken on since the park’s inauguration in May 2015, he says.
The Ismaili Canada spoke with Djurovic about his experience designing the park, and how the space brings people together.
What was your approach to designing an Islamic-inspired park in a North American climate?
Across different continents, Islamic gardens always adapt to their context and culture. We had to envision this new adaptation for the North American context. We embarked on thorough research on Islamic gardens across the world: what unifies them and makes them unique. And then, of course, a lot of research on the climate and the context, the materials, vegetation, and the construction standards in Canada, because we had to adapt the garden to the North American context.
As a part of your research, you saw Islamic gardens around the world. How did seeing these gardens influence your design of the park?
When His Highness sent me on a tour of Islamic gardens around the world, I saw gardens that were designed centuries ago. I saw projects that transcend time and that have lasted for generations. So we wanted to achieve that somehow. From these classic Islamic gardens, we abstracted what we felt was their true essence and translated it into a language that addresses this new context.
I remember sitting in the garden outside Humayun’s Tomb in New Delhi — the last stop on my tour — and it just struck me how spectacular it was, hundreds of years after it had been built. Yet it was simple, too. There was just sand and water channels and a strong geometry, but the sum is much greater than the parts. It was poetry. If you added something, you would destroy it, and if you removed something, it would fall apart.
So in the Aga Khan Park, those few elements—water, gravel and the orchard—are conceived in a certain way so the garden captures you and takes you away from the spaghetti junction all around you. And the context is a tough one: the park is right on the edge of the highway. The garden needed to have a certain presence to cast its spell on visitors. Its bold geometric layout with five major reflecting mirrors of water, and a native orchard in the middle, all surrounded by an expanse of loose gravel, offers a serene and engaging atmosphere for everyone. It’s a contemporary reinterpretation of Islamic gardens.
How did you incorporate elements of environmental sustainability into your design?
The park is built and designed to stand the test of time. We used solid granite for maximum durability, and incorporated native species. The ground is mainly covered with loose gravel that soaks up water and replenishes the water table.
The formal garden is currently surrounded by grass, but in our initial vision for the park, that area was meant to be an indigenous botanical garden to raise awareness of the value of biodiversity. We plan to create this garden in the near future.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF VLADIMIR DJUROVIC
May 2020 marks the five-year anniversary of the park’s inauguration. What role does the park play in Canada? How do you see this role evolving in the next five or 10 years?
First and foremost, the park is an inclusive place that brings people together to celebrate diversity and the richness of cultures. It showcases Islamic culture and its perpetual evolution and adaptability to different times and places. The park has a big role to play in our current condition. There is a dire need to bring people together and to address our mounting environmental challenges. The park is still new and trying to find its place. We have to push it further with more innovative programming that brings more culture, more art and more people together.
How has your recent work been influenced by your experience designing the park and working alongside His Highness?
It has been a major influence, to say the least. Everything we do now is somehow shaped by our relationship with His Highness. Seeing his vision of what a project should do has transformed the way we do things. He asked us to build something that transcends time, which led to a big shift in how we work. Now, we don’t build for the present. We design every single project to last for generations.
His Highness also highlights projects that have an impact on the community that reverberate way beyond the project itself, and every project has to somehow be exemplary in what it is trying to do. That has become ingrained in how we approach every single project.
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