The exterior of the Islamic Cultural Centre is expected to near completion with $686,910 in funds from the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) announced on March 28.

“There are three phases of the entire project. Phase two is the most critical phase,” said Fouzan Khan, chief executive officer of the Islamic Society of North America-Canada (ISNAC). “Phase one was done in 2019, when we had to demolish the old, small house that was in place, which was being used at that time, and to put up (structural foundation) there to help with the construction to begin. Then Covid happened very soon after and everything derailed and delayed for one reason or the other. Now, phase two will give us a standing structure, weatherproofed with roof, and a usable space to perform all the activities that are needed.”

RELATED REPORTING: New mosque site breaks ground with hope to break barriers, unite community

Khan expects that there will be a “functioning centre” — located on Franklin Avenue near the Racquet Club — by the end of the summer season.

“With this (CanNor) grant, and with the capital investments that we are putting in as well, from our own end, we see no reason why we cannot get this done in the timeframe that we have,” he said.

A construction crew finishes up the foam foundation at the new mosque site earlier this month. Oct. 23, 2019. Photo courtesy of Nazim Awan.

ISNAC’s investment in the project, which amounts to $860,738, helps to meet the total project cost of $1,547,648.

Phase three will address aesthetic items.

“Like doing the pavement, driveway, things like that that aren’t critical,” said Khan. “They are important, but they aren’t critical.”

Upon completion of the building, the centre is expected to fully accommodate close to 600 Muslims living in the area and will offer youth programs, activity-based services and therapy and mental health services, among other items.

Although the cultural centre is set to serve as the hub for Yellowknife’s Muslim community, the broader public will also be welcome.

“It’s open to all religions and all denominations,” said Khan.

Leave a comment

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.