Inviting Audiences to Cross Thresholds

Partnership with the Ismaili Centre Burnaby

Indian Summer joined forces with the Ismaili Centre Burnaby (ICB) in a unique partnership that began as an exploration of how our two organizations could collaborate, and has become a multi-tiered partnership with multiple outcomes across the country. ICB is part of a network of six Ismaili Centres around the world designed to build bridges of friendship and understanding between Ismaili Muslim communities and their neighbours.

The ICB opened their doors to host two festival events. The first was a masterclass with Sufi music group Rajasthan Josh, translated by renowned local Ismaili musician Mohamed Assani. The second event was an experimental theatre piece entitled ‘Border Crossings’ which featured Zarmina Afghani, an Afghan Ismaili refugee, sharing her life story and simultaneously seeing it brought to life on stage by improv actors and musicians. The amazing synergy that was happening between the festival and ICB then inspired the Ismaili Centre Toronto to invite Rajasthan Josh to extend their Canadian visit and present a concert in Toronto.

This partnership helped to build a new audience for the festival and enabled us to have a national reach. More importantly, it also served to amplify the stories and celebrate the artistic contributions of Muslim communities from around the world. Audiences were warmly welcomed to cross a physical and cultural threshold and build relationships with their Ismaili neighbours – a light-hearted and friendly act that enabled audiences to gain a deeper understanding of the huge historical and contemporary contributions of the Islamic world to society at large.

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