The Gryphon Trio perform Constantinople, a multi-media theatrical performance at the Ismaili Centre Toronto
Singers Maryem Hassan Tollar and Patricia O’Callaghan performing Constantinople at the Ismaili Centre, Toronto. Alnoor Meralli
Toronto, 26–28 November 2015 — Constantinople, a multi-media theatrical performance by the Gryphon Trio was showcased for three nights at the Ismaili Centre, Toronto.
Violinist Annalee Patipatanakoon, cellist Roman Borys and pianist Jamie Parker, accompanied by singers Maryem Hassan Tollar and Patricia O’Callaghan explored the spirit of an ancient city at the cultural crossroads of East and West — a diverse urban centre often challenged by political division and clashes of faith.
A reminder of what can be beautiful in our complex, often divergent modern existence, Constantinople is about present day urbanism with its multiple faces and its multiple histories: our cities, which — like the Constantinople of old — are poised to become a living experiment in the future culture of the “global village”.
“It was incredible,” said Nitza Perlman, a first time visitor to the Ismaili Centre. “Every aspect of it — the trio, vocals, visuals — was incredible. It was a prize performance.”
Composed by award-winning, Toronto-based composer Christos Hatzis, Constantinople had its premiere in 2004 and has since been performed to acclaim throughout Canada, the United States and at London’s Royal Opera House.
“Performances are like jigsaw puzzles, they have to fit,” explains 10-year-old Zahra Somji, a performer with the Canadian Children’s Opera Company. “This performance really came together as one. I really enjoyed it.”
Constantinople marked a milestone in programming at the Centre, signalling the end of Cities of Arrival, a year-long curated programme of lectures, workshops and performances at the Ismaili Centre, exploring the past, present and future of cities and urban spaces.
US Consul General Juan Alsace visits the Ismaili Centre and Aga Khan Museum
Consul General Juan Alsace and Ismaili Council for Canada Executive Officer Mohamed Dhanani at the Ismaili Centre Toronto. Ismaili Council for Canada
Toronto, 20 November 2015 — Consul General Juan Alsace toured the Ismaili Centre, Toronto and the Aga Khan Museum with the Centre’s Executive Officer Mohamed Dhanani and Museum Director Henry Kim. The Consul General discussed expanding cross-border and cross-cultural dialogues during his first visit to the site.
Consul General Alsace was joined by Hilary Renner, Public Affairs Officer and Claudia Valladolid, Program Assistant for Cultural/Academic Affairs.
Prince Edward presides over Duke of Edinburgh Gold ceremony at the Ismaili Centre, Toronto
His Royal Highness Prince Edward and the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell enter the Ismaili Centre, Toronto for the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Gold Award Ceremony. Shafiq Shamji
Toronto, 27 October 2015 — His Royal Highness Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex presided over the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Gold Award Ceremony at the Ismaili Centre, Toronto. Gold-level awards of achievement were presented to 117 recipients, including four members of the Ismaili Muslim community.
Hosted by the Ismaili Council for Canada, the ceremony was also attended by the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. Prior to the commencement of the ceremony, Prince Edward and the Lieutenant Governor visited the Aga Khan Museum.
Foreign Minister of Tajikistan and delegation visit the Ismaili Centre, Toronto, the Aga Khan Park and the Aga Khan Museum
Tajik delegates, including Foreign Minister Aslov, together with institutional leaders at the Ismaili Centre, Toronto. Moez Visram
Toronto, October 2, 2015 — His Excellency Sirodjidin Aslov, Foreign Minister of Tajikistan, Dr Zafar Adeel, Director of the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health, Ahmad Saidmurodov, Assistant to the Tajik Foreign Minister and Idibek Kalandrov, Head of the Organizations Department of the Tajik Foreign Ministry visited the Ismaili Centre, Toronto, the Aga Khan Park and the Aga Khan Museum. The delegation was welcomed by the Ismaili Council for Canada and senior executives from the Aga Khan Museum.
The visit was an opportunity to deepen relationships with the Government of Tajikistan and introduce key members of the delegation to the work of the Ismaili Imamat in Canada that is intended to contribute to the global reservoir of knowledge, promote respect and appreciation for pluralism and diversity, and encourage mutual exchange and understanding. Delegates were able to appreciate — through guided tours and their own exploration — how the Ismaili Centre, the Park and the Museum provide fora for articulating thought and make a positive impact on the wider community.
The delegation also met with two Tajik artists who designed and continue to work on the magnificent original decorative carvings in the Ismaili Centre that are similar to those that adorn architectural monuments in Tajikistan. Those delegates who had also visited the Ismaili Centre, Dushanbe remarked on the beauty of each Centre, which is evident not only in their uniqueness but also in their commonality.
AKFC’s mobile exhibition comes to the Ismaili Centre Toronto
The Together exhibition, ready to receive visitors on the grounds of the Ismaili Centre, Toronto.Moez Visram
Toronto, 17–19 September 2015 — Aga Khan Foundation Canada’s exciting mobile exhibition visited the grounds of the Ismaili Centre, Toronto. This interactive display has been travelling across the country in a 53-foot-long trailer that has made stops at universities, museums and cultural centres.
Titled Together: An Exhibition on Global Development, the bilingual educational experience showcases the long-term work of Canadian non-governmental organisations to combat global poverty. It help Canadians understand that we are all global citizens and encourages everyone to participate in making the world a better place.
While parked at the Ismaili Centre, it hosted visits from local Bait-ul Ilm students, national committee members, and donors and supporters of AKFC. Gazalla Hirji, a visitor, shared her impressions: “During my tour of the exhibit, I learned how Canadians just like us are making a difference by turning their personal interests and strengths into opportunities to create global change. I was inspired to take AKFC’s Global Citizen quiz and find out how my own interests can blossom into great ideas. It was remarkable to discover how various Canadians’ simple notions have become widespread solutions to combating global poverty!”
The mobile exhibition, which will be closing down for the winter, begins a tour in western Canada in the spring.
Promoting Health Equity for Residents of Toronto, Ontario
Dr Kwame McKenzie presents the keynote address at the LHIN symposium held at the Ismaili Centre, Toronto. Scott Baker
Toronto, 10 September 2015 — In an effort to promote health equity for Torontonians, over 300 health care providers attended the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Networks’ (LHIN) Health Equity Symposium at the Ismaili Centre, Toronto.
The Toronto Central LHIN has placed renewed emphasis on the importance of taking a population health approach to regional health planning. By bringing together a broad group of partners with strong representation from outside the healthcare system, the symposium aimed to strengthen cross-sector communication, coordination and collaboration.
The symposium was divided into two sessions. The first session focused on affirming health equity’s growing presence on provincial and municipal agendas and aimed to inspire a coordinated, cross-section approach, backed by strong organisational leadership. The second session drew on the unique and complimentary expertise of cross-sector partners to inform the development of the Toronto Central LHIN’s 2015-2018 Strategic Plan.
Speakers included Dr Robert Bell, Deputy Minister of Health and Long Term Care, Dr Kwame McKenzie, CEO of The Wellesley Institute and Sophia Ikura, Senior Director of the Toronto Central LHIN.
Ontario Historical Society holds AGM at the Ismaili Centre Toronto
Members of the Ontario Historical Society Board of Directors at the Ismaili Centre, Toronto. Ismaili Council
Toronto, 22 June, 2015 — The Ontario Historical Society held its annual general meeting at the Ismaili Centre, Toronto today. The selection of the Ismaili Centre as the venue for the meeting was in keeping with the Society’s effort to celebrate new cultural assets in Ontario.
Established in 1888, the Ontario Historical Society is a non-profit organisation that provides a forum for individuals, organisations and institutions to exchange ideas, research and experiences related to the rich history of the province, including built heritage, natural heritage, cemeteries, and research and scholarship. OHS members participated in tours of the Ismaili Centre, the Aga Khan Park and the Aga Khan Museum.
Sufi music ensemble performs at the Ismaili Centre Toronto
The Sufi music ensemble captivates the audience at the Ismaili Centre, Toronto.
Gulam Ali Kassam
Toronto, 20 June 2015 — Echoes from the Mughal era, a music and culture programme featuring Dr Karim Gillani and a Sufi music ensemble, enchanted the audience at the Ismaili Centre, Toronto.
Based in Edmonton, Alberta, the ensemble is a blend of Persian and Indian musicians. Using stories of the past, musical compositions and interpretations of modern art, the ensemble echoed the sentiments of tolerance and acceptance of the Mughal civilisation. The musicians used a variety of traditional instruments such as the Persian santur, Persian sitar, Persian tombak, Persian tar, Indian sarangi, Indian tablas, Indian harmonium, and their voices.
The ensemble performed original compositions based on classical poems of the Mughal era with a theme of Rah e Ishq – The Path of Love. This theme is particularly relevant in the Canadian context, where traditions from around the world come together.
See more on The Ismaili org