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Yellowknife

Islamic Centre build planned for summer if funding allows


The Islamic Centre of Yellowknife hopes to get the frame of its new mosque built this summer – but first, it needs to raise some money.

Nazim Awan, chair of the Islamic Centre, says the organization demolished its former building on Franklin Avenue a few years ago because it was no longer structurally safe, nor energy-efficient or able to meet the needs of the community.

Around the same time, the centre bought an adjacent lot and combined it with its original property. The new centre will sit in the middle of the expanded property.

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The foundation for the building is already complete and the Islamic Centre hopes the next stage of construction can start this summer. Ideally, Awan said, the shell of the building will be built before winter so inside work, like electrical wiring, can be done during the winter months.

Two things are holding construction back: Covid-19 is limiting the centre’s ability to bring in a construction crew, and more money is needed. Awan says the centre is trying to raise another $100,000 to get the next phase of the project off the ground.

“It will be a very spacious structure which will meet the needs of community … for many years,” Awan said. “It has a special area where women and children will have more space, so it is a real community centre facility where women are not only welcome, but also have a proper area.”

The new Islamic Centre will include an Islamic school, a library, prayer halls, and a youth recreation area to help meet the religious, educational, spiritual, and social needs of the community.

It was designed by a local architect, Awan said, and includes a pellet boiler for energy efficiency.

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A rendering of the future Islamic Centre of Yellowknife posted to the centre’s Facebook page.

On its website, the Islamic Centre states there are more than 300 Muslims in Yellowknife, and that Friday prayers “are predominately attended by 70-80 male Muslims.”

The centre projects the city’s population will grow to more than 800 Muslims in the coming decades.

“It should be noted that the forecasts are very modest compared with the rate of growth in many Muslim communities in the big cities across southern Canada,” the website states.

“However, the growth of Muslims here may be higher as currently Yellowknife provides many economic benefits and it is also a relaxing and family-oriented location.”

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