The Pan Am Flame has been making its way around the city before the start of the games. The newly opened, Aga Khan Park, located right above the Don Valley Parkway in between the Aga Khan Museum and the Ismaili Centre, was one of the many venues that welcomed the flame on Sunday, July 5th. This event was the first major public event held at the park since its opening in late May.
The event started at 4 p.m. and consisted of various food stalls, a souk bazaar, performances, face painting, henna and yoga for all. Food stalls included food from Masala Kitchen, Simba Grill and more. The souk bazaar featured stalls from individuals that had their own small businesses.
Owner of Azki Jewelry, Jehan Teja had her own stall displaying her homemade jewelry. “I am thrilled to be a part of this event, the first of its kind at the beautiful Aga Khan Park,” she said. “The energy levels have been incredible throughout the day, I couldn’t have asked for a better day,” said Teja.
During the event, Sheniz Janmohamed facilitated a community mandala. “People were asked to think about their experience at the Aga Khan Park and come up with a word or a symbol to represent that experience,” said Janmohamed.
“They were then asked to pick up a stone or shell of their choice and write their symbol or word on the stone, placing it back in the spiral for other people to reflect upon and add to,” she said. Janmohamed mentioned she admired that all spaces (indoor & outdoor) were utilized– from the reflection pools outside to the hallways inside the Aga Khan Museum. Spaces were animated with song, dance, music, art, and creative interaction. People were encouraged to reflect, contemplate, co-create and celebrate together.
The flame arrived later in the evening in lantern form. Leila Keshavjee, who is a sports enthusiast, was the flame bearer. She walked with the flame through the Aga Khan Park, Museum and Ismaili Centre. No matter where you were standing on the property you had the chance to see the flame up close.
The event attracted thousands of people and was a great success.