Nikola Tesla has been our personal inspiration for as long as we can recall.
For many years, we were astonished at the lack of awareness by the general public about this genius who has give the world so much. In the past few years, however, people have discovered Nikola Tesla.
A small group of us started discussing the opportunities in our community, here in Hamilton. We approached Bob Bratina, former Mayor of Hamilton with our vision. The Mayor asked about Mr Tesla’s connection to Hamilton. He knew the answer and proceeded to educate us about it, as follows:
- Hamilton was the first major city to receive AC electricity in Canada.
- The “Five Johns” built the oldest power generating station, in operation today, in Canada,
- All the power was shipped to Hamilton via the second longest power line in the world at the time,
- Hamilton became to be known as the “Electric City”
- The city prospered and grew partly because it had the “Cheapest Electrical Power”
Our organization was incorporated in April 2014. On May 15, 2014 our organization held its inaugural meeting where we adopted a set of bylaws, a mission statement and appointed our first board of directors and officers. As of April 17, 2015 the Nikola Tesla Educational Corporation is a Canadian Registered Charity in support of schools and education.
On October 6, 2015, NTEC’s president led a group of presenters which included Ves Sobot, Dr. Colin Campbell and Michael Wolfe in a presentation to the City of Hamilton Planning Committee. The Planning Committee was considering NTEC’s request to rename a portion of Burlington Street to Nikola Tesla Expressway. With a unanimous approval of the motion from Councilor Chad Collins, the matter was referred to City Council for final approval.
On October 14, 2015, the recommendation came before City of Hamilton Council, with only a minor motion to replace “expressway” in the name, Council unanimously approved the renaming to Nikola Tesla Boulevard.
NTEC’s next step was to raise the funds, estimated at $150,000, to pay for the necessary signage changes. Target date to change the the name was set for late June 2016 in time for Nikola Tesla’s 160th birthday, on July 10, 2016.
February 1, 2016 NTEC launched the fundraising campaign, “Put Tesla on the Map.” Donation came far and near. Donation were received from private individuals and companies. Tesla’s Ambassadors with their CEO Niko Tesla from Australia joined in on the campaign to help raise awareness of NTEC’s fundraising drive and through their support donations came from as far away as India and Australia. As part of the Fundraising campaign, a Gala fundraiser was held on April 2, 2016. The major event sponsor was Winona Vine Estates, who donated the hall and all profit from the event. Thanks to Paganini Band for the donation and providing the free live entertainment. It was an astounding sold out event with 530 people in attendance. . Anita Djordjevic from All Seasons Travel, after becoming a Platinum Sponsor, took it upon herself and with the support of our director Gordana Lakovic, teamed up to organize a second Fundraiser for April 9, 2016 at SCA Oplenac. That also was a sold out. Thanks to SNA Oplenac the official sponsor for providing the hall facilities. Even though NTEC by April 9th, 2016 had successfully raised the target of $150,000.00 which was enough to pay for the signs, donation continued to come in, including a Double diamond donation of $20,000.00. In the end the fundraising efforts totaled an astonishing $210,000.00. With the extra funds as promised NTEC will be launching the Nikola Tesla awards and scholarship for the 2016-17 school year.
NTEC continues to accept Donation with all funds dedicated to the awards and scholarships for students. Donation can be can be made online using Paypal with the option to use credit cards, wire transfer, e-transfer, by mailing in cheque or in person. Full options and details available on the donation page.
On Sunday July 10th, Nikola Tesla’s birthday, the City of Hamilton officially inaugurated Nikola Tesla Blvd at 12 noon with a parade led by the Burlington Teen Tour Band (BTTB) with over 100 marching musicians. Thanks to many Tesla owners for coming out with their cars to bring the dignitaries and other VIP’s to the to a ribbon cutting ceremony on the renamed Burlington Street in front of ArcelorMittal Dofasco (AMD) headquarters. AMD was very supportive of NTEC’s initiative and they came to the rescue when NTEC had to move the ribbon cutting ceremonies only days before the main event due to the inability to get the signs up on the original site due to technical difficulty.
AMD permitted the complete staging of the BTTB and parking for all to attend. AMD also was successful in adjusting their business traffic for the period of time that the parade progressed and interrupted their vehicle and goods movement.
The procession started at 2 location, the Tesla cars, Dignitaries and VIP’s assembled at the Hamilton Museum of Steam and Technology. The convoy of Tesla vehicles traveled to meet up with the BTTB just as the Band was leaving the parking lot on to Ottawa St and the parade was joined by the Tesla Motorcycle Club. Hundreds of well-wishers joined to see the historic event the Ribbon Cutting with the official naming of Nikola Tesla Boulevard. The whole thing was caught by media and supports on hundreds of pictures and videos. Official photographers and video crews worked to capture this once in a lifetime event.
Dignitaries arrived in a parade of Tesla cars and included the Serbian ambassador to Canada, city politicians, and members of the Nikola Tesla Education Corporation (NTEC), nonprofit group.
- Ms. Maria Pearson, Deputy Mayor, City of Hamilton & Mr Steven Pearson
- Mr. Bob Bratina, MP, Hamilton East-Stoney Creek & Mrs Carol Bratina
- Ms. Filemona Tassi, MP Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas,
- Mr. Paul Miller, MPP, Hamilton East-Stoney Creek & Mrs Miller
- H.E. Mihailo Papazoglu, Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia,
- Mr Veroslav Djurdjevic, Director, President of NTEC & Mrs Svetlana Djurdjevic
- Mr Milan Lesic (Diamond donor)
- Mr Aleks Novakovic & Mrs Donna Novakovic (Diamond donor)
- Mr . Mile Popovic, Director & Vice-President NTEC & Mrs Nada Popovic
- Ms. Anita Djordjevic, All Season Travel,
- Mrs Gordana Lakovic, Director NTEC
- Mrs Milena Balta, Director NTEC
- Mr Dejan Vicentijevic, Director NTEC
- Mr Rajko Djurdjevic, Prsedient St Nichola Serbian Orthodox Church
- Very Rev Vojislav Pavlovic,, St Nichola Serbian Orthodox Church
- Mr Spasoje Milicevic, General Consulate, Republic of Serbia
- Stevan Rasula, Representative of Movement of Serbian Chetinks Ravne Gore (Winona Vine Estate)
Once all assembles the BTTB played the Canadian & American anthems and the Serbian Anthem and the Song “Tamo Daleko”, which was played at Tesla’s Funeral, were sang beautifully by Kristina Bijelic.
Mr. Maria Pearson, Deputy Mayor and Councillor of the City of Hamilton proclaimed the naming of Nikola Tesla Boulevard and the ribbon was cut as the pigeons flew off in the background.
The celebration then moved to the Tesla Electric Festival site on Van Wagner’s Beach Road adjacent to the Nikola Tesla Boulevard exit ramps from QEW.
Visitors and supporters heard speeches delivered by representative from all 3 levels of Government, The Serbian Ambassador and NTEC’s own president. The Festival included both live music and Serbian dancers who entertained the public all day long. The vendors on hand presented a wide sampling of amazing technology that materialized from Nikola Tesla’s patents. They include the Tesla cars, ozone machines, award winning battlebot robots, and the new Tesla ElectroYoga mats from Austria, Switzerland and Italy that are energized by Tesla’s most well-known invention – The Tesla Coil.
The signs have been installed on both Nikola Tesla Boulevard and along the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW). Exit #90 is now official Nikola Tesla Blvd. Ministry of Transportation have even installed 2 new signs recently to assist motorist adapt to the new name.
2016 was the “Tip of the Iceberg”. For 2017 a student at McMaster University will be awarded the 1st Nikola Tesla Scholarship in the amount of $10,000.00 payable in equal installments over the next 3 years. The scholarship will be awarded to a student who is studying in a field related to Nikola Tesla and his body of knowledge.
Now that we have adequate funds for scholarship for the upcoming few years, NTEC will work on raising funds for item 7 below.
NTEC is turning its attention to the next priorities:
- Established post-secondary scholarship,
- Working to secure the naming of a high school – “Nikola Tesla Secondary School”,
- Inclusion of Nikola Tesla in the school curriculum,
- Awards for elementary and secondary schools, Up to 60 awards,
- Delivering presentation to school on Nikola Tesla & connection to Hamilton,
- Awarding “‘Nikola Tesla Innovation Awards” at Bay Area Science and Engineering Fairs (BASEF), over 40 awards,
- Partnership with City of Hamilton on Public Art Project “Hamilton the electric City, Nikola Tesla & the 5 Johns”.
City of Hamilton has listed item 7 above as one of 14 public art project priorities for the 2017-2023. Project will proceed when NTEC raises sufficient funds to cover their share of the project.
New sign has been placed to mark the location of the Public Art Project.
On June 24, 2017, as part of the St Catharine Doors Open, Decew 1 Power Generating Station was open to a limited number of public visitors. Among the visitors were 3 of NTEC Directors, Milena Balta, Gordan Lakovic and Vic Djurdjevic. Significant connections were established with OPG staff that will be followed up in the future. More to come on this as it unfolds.
July 9, 2017 NTEC held the 2nd Annual Tesla Electric Festival. The priority for this event was getting the word out about Nikola Tesla, NTEC initiatives, specifically collecting signatures for the Nikola Tesla Secondary School petition. The petition is going strong and has exceeded 6,000 as of July 9th, 2017.
July 8, 2018 – 3rd Annual Tesla Electric Festival (details to follow).
November 2018 – Celebration of NikolaTesla’s contribution at the 120 Anniversary of Hydro arrival in Hamilton. Celebration will include the 3rd Annual Gala and other events coinciding to be announced. This will mark a historical day for Hamilton, St Catharines & Nikola Tesla.
- Veroslav (Vic) Djurdjevic, BA, CPA, CMA – President
- Mile Popovic – Vice-President
- Gordana Lakovic – Secretary & Director of Marketing and Outreach
- Dejan Vicentijevic – Membership Registrar
- Blagica Vincic – Director for Toronto area
- Jagoda Mirceta – Treasurer
- Dr. Colin Campbell
- Milena Balta
EDUCATION & CURRICULUM COMMITTEE
- Jelena Ivković ( Chair)
- Dr. Colin Campbell
- Dušan Ivković
- Vic Djurdjevic