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Watch and Listen


Watch and Listen

Date: Last updated on March 27, 2020

Expand your horizons with a world-class selection of music, dance, comedy, and other performing arts. 


Watch this space for videos of new performances and magical moments from the Museum's archives. 


Aga Khan Museum–National Film Board of Canada Sanctuary Short Series 


To celebrate the Museum’s Sanctuary exhibition, we present three short films following artists who use their work to promote understanding and safe haven.


The Museum’s Sanctuary Shorts Series is presented in collaboration with the National Film Board of Canada.


Listen. Dir. David New, 2009, 6 min, rated E*
A portrait of renowned composer R. Murray Schafer becomes a lesson on the lost art of listening.



First Stories – Patrick Ross. Dir. Ervin Chartrand, 2006, 5 min, rated E*
Twenty-nine-year-old Patrick Ross creates one of his extraordinary paintings while musing on art, hope, and his time in prison.



From Baghdad to Peace Country. Dir. Sherry LePage, 2003, 28 min, rated E*
Canadian artist Deryk Houston begins making large-scale eco-art projects after a visit to war-torn Iraq changes his life and his calling.



*Exempt: contains material not subject to classification such as documentaries, nature, travel, music, arts and culture, sports and educational and instructional information, according to the Motion Picture Association — Canada.


Original music for Sanctuary by Afghan-American rebab master Qais Essar


In preparing for the Sanctuary exhibition, the Aga Khan Museum commissioned Afghan-American rebab master Qais Essar to construct a sonic landscape for visitors touring the space. He composed a three-movement score for the exhibition, with each movement tying into a different approach to the theme of "sanctuary." 


Listen below to "Universal Sanctuary," the third movement from Essar's Sanctuaries suite.



Pocket Performance: Carmen Romero and Bageshree Vaze


Every Wednesday, we host free Pop-Up Performances featuring local artists and a diverse tapestry of sounds from around the world.


With the Museum’s doors temporarily closed, we are transporting the experience online with weekly Pocket Performances for you to enjoy.


This week, surrender to the rhythms of this performance of flamenco and Kathak dance by award-winning artists Carmen Romero and Bageshree Vaze — filmed live at the Museum in 2019.


Our #MuseumWithoutWalls Pocket Performances are presented by TD Bank Group.



Sanctuary Mixtape

Inspired by the Museum’s upcoming Sanctuary exhibition, this Spotify playlist is all about finding solace, safe haven, freedom, and belonging. Each selection touches on the theme in its own distinct way. Some tunes in this world-spanning collection look at sanctuary through a highly intimate, personal lens — reminding us that safe haven is not just a place. It can found in spiritual practice, a trusted confidante, a favourite pastime, or even in a song.


Go here to listen to the Museum's Sanctuary Spotify Mixtape


Fareed Ayaz & Abu Muhammad Qawwali Ensemble

On Monday, March 16, the legendary Pakistani ensemble performed a concert that was livestreamed around the world. Watch first half of the concert below, and share the video with people you know!


The concert was originally to be hosted at the Aga Khan Museum, co-produced with the Kabir Center for Arts & Culture and sponsored by the Gulshan and Pyarali G. Nanji Family Foundation, with support from the Ontario Arts Council. We worked with our partners at Small World Music Society to stream a special performance by the group for an international audience.


Known as “the path of the heart,” Qawwali expresses the fervent devotion of the great Sufi mystics. The music begins by drawing the audience in with a meditative rhythm of chants, melodies, and percussion. Steadily, the rhythm builds, reaching ecstatic peaks that transport both musicians and listeners closer to the divine.


Watch Part 1: 

Watch Part 2:


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