The rain held off for our adventure as 17 sketchers made our way past the construction of the upgrade and enhancement project at Fort Edmonton Park. Thanks to the Park staff for giving us special permission to sketch the historic Al Rashid Mosque while the Park is closed.
Sketch by Karen Wall
Sketches by Angie Sotiropoulos
The Al Rashid Mosque was built in 1938 – the first in Canada. As stated in the website, A New Life in a New Land, “In the early 1930s, the total Muslim population in Canada was 645, with highest concentrations in Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia. Edmonton was home to the largest Muslim community whose members became increasingly concerned about preserving and passing on their faith and traditions to their children.”
Sketch by Florian Beltran, Age 9
Sketch by Berta Beltran
The proposal and fundraising to build the mosque was led by local Muslim women, most notably Hilwie Hamdon, after whom an Edmonton Public School has been named.
Sketch by Karen Wall
The Al Rashid Mosque bears some resemblance to the style of a Russian Orthodox Church. The Muslim community hired a Ukrainian-Canadian builder, Mike Drewoth, for the construction of the mosque.
Sketch by Brenda Raynard
Sketches by Asma Burney
Sketches by Marlena Wyman (in my second sketch, the crescents ended up looking like chickens!)
Sketch by Janet Bertsch
Sketches by Julie Daly
Sketches by Yvonne Rezek
Sketches by Luise Mendler-Johnson
The Al Rashid Mosque was built on the corner of 101st Street and 108th Avenue in Edmonton, but was relocated to 102nd Street and 111th Avenue in 1946 to make way for the expansion of Victoria Composite High School. In 1975, a new, larger mosque was built and in 1988, the original mosque was under threat of demolition. A proposal and fundraising to move the mosque to Fort Edmonton Park was again led by local Muslim women. The 1938 Mosque was formally opened at Fort Edmonton Park on May 28th, 1992.
The sketchers also made their way around to a couple of nearby sites in Fort Edmonton Park.
Sketch by Terry Elrod of the Capitol Theatre and Selkirk Hotel on 1920 Street
Sketch by Karen Wall of the same scene, with construction machinery
Sketch by Angie Sotriopoulos of the Fort Edmonton Park Midway
Sketch by Julie Daly of Fort Edmonton Park’s recreation of the Silver Heights Peony Garden. The original garden was situated on 5 acres of land in the Bonny Doon area. It operated as a garden and business by Dr. James Brander from 1921 to 1949. If you live anywhere from Vancouver to Winnipeg and have peonies in your garden, they are very likely descendants of peonies from Dr. Brander’s Silver Heights Peony Garden in Edmonton.
Sketch by Lucy Rachynski. Lucy turned around and sketched into the past at Fort Edmonton Park. The gray building on the right is the J.B. Little Brickyard on 1920 Street. On the left is Ramsay’s Greenhouse, and in the centre distance is Reed’s Bazaar and Tea Shop, both on 1905 Street.
Posted by Marlena Wyman
Information sourced from the Edmonton City as Museum website