A day at the Aga Khan Museum

Fri Sep 29 2023 at 10:30 am to 03:30 pm

Aga Khan Museum | Toronto

Rue Pigalle
Publisher/HostRue Pigalle
A day at the Aga Khan Museum
Rue Pigalle invites you to discover Toronto through our immersive artisanal promenades.
About this Event

Rue Pigalle invites you to discover Toronto through our immersive artisanal promenades.

Join us to explore a cultural highlight of Toronto – and meet Rumi.


Date: Friday, September 29th , 2023

Time: 10:30PM -3:30PM

Where: Meet at the Museum entrance hall at 10:30 am (77 Wynford Drive, Toronto, Ontario, M3C 1K1 )


  • Private visit hosted by the exhibition curator Dr. Michael Chagnon to : Rumi: a Visual Journey through the Life and Legacy of a Sufi Mystic.
  • Lunch at the Museum’s Diwan Restaurant
  • Behind the scene visit of the museum’s private collection and vault hosted by Dr. Chagnon.

Cost: $240 includes:

  • Entry ticket to the exhibit and the museum
  • Curator’s fee for the day, to visit the Rumi exhibit and behind the scene museum collection (hosted by Dr. Michael Chagnon)


“...every craftsman searches for what’s not there to practise his craft. A builder looks for the rotten hole where the roof caved in. A water carrier picks the empty pot. A carpenter stops at the house with no door. Workers rush toward some hint of emptiness, which they then start to fill. Their hope, though, is for emptiness, so don’t think you must avoid it. It contains what you need!”

― Rumi (1207-1273).


The day will begin with the fantastic Rumi exhibition, followed by lunch, and then a tour of the collection, on display and in the vault, all in the company of the Museum’s remarkable Curator, Dr. Michael Chagnon.

Event Photos

Michael is an academic with a PhD from New York University, specialising in painting and ‘the arts of the book’ from the early modern Persianate sphere.

Before being appointed at the Aga Khan in 2019, Michael previously held curatorial posts at the Brooklyn Museum, LACMA and Japan Society, and served in curatorial capacities for exhibitions at New York Historical Society and the Asia Society Museum. He will talk us through the thinking behind his Rumi display, and give us his insight into the collection as a whole.

Aga Khan Museum and its Collection

The spectacular Aga Khan Museum of Toronto, opened in 2014, presents and collects art from historically significant Muslim civilisations as well as contemporary Muslim communities and diasporas around the world. It is North America’s first museum dedicated exclusively to Islamic arts, with special exhibitions and a rich roster of performances and public programmes.

The core of its Permanent Collection – spanning a vast geographic area from Spain and North Africa in the west, across the Middle East, to South Asia and China in the east – was assembled by Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan. He began acquiring works of art in the 1950s while studying at Harvard University. Together with his wife, Princess Catherine Aga Khan, he continued to collect throughout his lifetime. His family have supported and expanded the collection since his death.

Commissioned by the Aga Khan, the museum building and the spaces around were designed to be seen as a celebration of the mysteries of light. The rectilinear building is oriented forty-five degrees to solar north where all its sides are exposed to the sun. The form has been chiselled to create a concave angular profile. Clad in sandblasted white granite, the surfaces of the building are set in motion in a constant interplay with the sun in light and deep shadows – like a giant sundial.

Event Photos


One of the world’s most famous poets, Rumi, is a hero of Islam. He died 750 years ago – but his words live on. The Aga Kahn exhibition includes artefacts, manuscripts and contemporary art made in response to Rumi.

Michael Chagnon will take us on a visual voyage through Rumi’s early life in Central Asia, his experiences with displacement and migration, to the Lands of Rum (present-day Türkiye) and his transformation into one of the most important mystical poets of the Persian-Islamic tradition. The exhibition is a deep dive into the ways in which Rumi’s words have inspired arts and culture, both past and present.

Renowned for his vivid stories and meditations on perception, Rumi often explored the relationship between seeing with the eyes, understanding with the mind and sensing with the heart.

Event Photos

Diwan: an extraordinary setting for lunch!

The ornate wooden panels that adorn the walls of Museum restaurant’s bright and modern dining space were hand-carved and painted in 1799 and once decorated a private house in Damascus, Syria. Syrian homes are well-known for their exquisite interiors, and these panels, which are part of the Aga Khan Museum’s permanent collection, evoke those famously splendid surroundings. The panels’ dense patterns and rich textures, known as ajami, are a unique and authentic backdrop to Diwan’s cuisine.


  • No refund available unless the event is cancelled by Rue Pigalle.
  • Wear comfortable clothing and shoes;
  • Bring a water bottle;
  • Do not hesitate to contact us at your convenience if you have any questions about this promenade.


Event Venue & Nearby Stays

Aga Khan Museum, 77 Wynford Drive, Toronto, Canada


CAD 240.00

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