A pavilion will soon rise at the AKG, thanks to donors

Successful fundraising campaign achieves goal

By Mary Lou Reeleder - 21 December 2020

The Aga Khan Garden, Alberta, which opened to wide acclaim in 2018, is being enhanced thanks to the generosity of donors. A new building, called the Diwan, will provide much-needed indoor gathering space and be a key focal point for visitors. 

The Aga Khan Garden, a gift from His Highness the Aga Khan to the people of Alberta, is located within the University of Alberta Botanic Garden. A contemporary interpretation of Islamic landscape architecture in a northern climate, the 4.8-hectare garden features secluded forest paths, granite and limestone terraces, still pools that reflect the prairie sky and a waterfall that tumbles over textured stone.

Part of the original Aga Khan Garden design, the Diwan is designed to be a warm and welcoming gathering place for visitors of all ages and backgrounds. 

“The Diwan will be where cultural interaction and understanding is fostered and taught,” said Anne McLellan, who, alongside U of A chancellor emeritus Ralph Young, co-chaired the Diwan fundraising campaign. She made the remarks in a video sent to donors across Canada to thank them for giving a total of $5.5 million in gifts and pledges to the project. 

In addition to sweeping views of its spectacular surroundings, the new two-storey building will feature a central banquet hall and second-floor outdoor terrace and reception area, both providing space for concerts, lectures, exhibits and other events. Construction of the Diwan is expected to start in 2021 and be completed within one year.

The University of Alberta Botanic Garden is located 15 minutes southwest of Edmonton.