A Cultural Space in a Natural Place

    New Islamic cultural garden set to open in 2018

    By Staff on May 19, 2017

    Aga Khan Garden, Alberta concept art

    Concept illustration by Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects

    In 2018, a new Islamic cultural garden is set to open in Alberta. The Aga Khan Garden will feature a courtyard with stepped terraces and a panoramic view, a fountain, an orchard and an amphitheatre.

    The University of Alberta Botanic Garden (formerly Devonian Botanic Garden) is creating the space, a gift from His Highness the Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of 15 million Ismaili Muslims around the world.

    Measuring roughly the size of six Canadian football fields, this is the first garden in Western Canada and the northernmost in the world supported by the Aga Khan, who donated in excess of $25 million to create it.

    Like the existing Native Peoples Garden and Kurimoto Japanese Garden, the new garden will be a place where people can meander and learn while connecting with culture and nature.

    An interpretive program will help visitors understand the garden’s plants and design, as well as Islamic traditions, music and poetry.

    The University of Alberta Botanic Garden, part of the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences, is a 97-hectare property 15 minutes southwest of Edmonton. The garden is not only a visitor attraction, but also a research facility and home to educational programming such as summer camps, visual arts and a master gardener certificate program.