First Nikola Tesla Day in Edmonton – July 10, 2019
PROGRESS REPORT by Lillian Beltaos
It’s been five days since our celebration event and the photos, videos and comments are still coming in, and, simply put, I cannot do a summary report, since that implies the end of this significant moment, but nothing has ended! So, let me put the “pause” button on, and at this moment in time, in this great City of Edmonton, give you all a bit of a reflection on what has taken place thus far.
Nikola Tesla is unique!
Edmonton is unique!
Alberta’s Tesla Wave is growing!
We were, and are still very happy!
We had fun on the 10th!
As the official communication from the City – in the link below – states, the address of Edmonton is now, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, the Earth! We have made a mark and we are the first in Canada to extend our thank- you to Nikola Tesla, for making the world a better place for humanity.
The Theatre at the Whitemud Crossing Library was full beyond capacity. Apologies to those who ended up sitting on stairs and standing against the walls. We exceeded our expectations and we are very happy that you all came. Next time, we will plan for an even larger venue.
The arrival of the dignitaries, including His Excellency, the Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia, and the Deputy Mayor was quickly graced by the lovely voices of the Bozuri choir, singing the national anthems of Canada and Serbia.
The evening progressed with a touch of the future when Dr. Adam Bergren presented his keynote address on the newest developments in nano science and technology, specifically how these related to the area of music. Much like Nikola Tesla, Dr. Bergren is a scientist and inventor. The presentations, slide show and speeches added a new dimension to the world of Nikola Tesla and appreciation of him.
The reading and presentation of the Proclamation by Councillor Tim Cartmell was such a jubilant and emotional moment for us all.
Throughout the formal program we were grounded, much like a grounding wire in an electric storm, by our M.C. Mr. Sam Amelio. Everything was well controlled and flowed smoothly despite the very dynamic proceedings of the event.
The video featuring music from Orchestral Manoeuvers in the Dark’s (OMD) song Electricity was a very fitting closure to the formal program. We contacted and received permission from OMD to play their song in a mere couple of overlapping day-light hours between the U.K. and Canada. The band’s most timely response to our request was a great example of responsiveness and cooperation at its best!
This was a special inclusion into our program, and a very fitting one. The video aspects were very electrifying as well. I noticed a hand-held mixer in one slide of the video and was thrilled, as it was Nikola Tesla’s mother, who was also an inventor herself, and designed a manual handheld mixer.
The reception followed next with a champagne toast and cutting of the cake. We were told that the food was delicious; however, I never even managed to see the food on the table from trying to meet as many people as possible. Clearing the venue in a timely manner was another near miracle as many hands joined in to do so.
We drove to Victoria Park Parking lot – playing the Electricity song on my iPhone – then had the visual delight of a row of shiny Tesla cars draped with a row of leafy green trees. Beyond these, was an impressive site of antique and classic cars dating back to 1924.
The other side of the parking lot was full of a variety of cars. It is estimated that there were 60 cars in the parade. Over a megaphone, I spoke about the parade. First, we distributed wires with blue lights and blue balloons and decorated the cars. We distributed Electricity CD’s for the cars that had CD players. Others got the song off the Internet. A convertible and very comfortable 1964 Chevrolet Impala was to lead off with the Ambassador and his wife – compliments of Mr. William Edward Agnew.
The cars with four-way emergency flashers followed, with the oldest antique and classic cars, each radiant in their own beauty. More modern cars followed with an array of Tesla cars: Model S’s, Model 3’s and at least one Model X. The last car was driven by Mr. Zeljko Sulaver, who over the megaphone was announcing “Salute to Nikola Tesla, Salute to Edmonton, Salute to Alberta’s Tesla Wave”, over and over, while crossing the bridge. The choreographed part included hand signaling in a synchronized wave pattern. We started at the appointed time, disappointed that the bridge was not yet lit, and came up Victoria Park Road and on to the bridge – still no blue lights – and followed according to our plan. I called the City and they were trying to see how to turn the lights on. I heard that much later on, the bridge was lit and so was the Muttart Conservatory. I heard that the site was spectacular. Unfortunately, it was too late for us. We could not wait and crossed the bridge with Mr. Radenko Kosmajac standing at the south west corner of it and video-taping the parade. Once available, we will post the video on the website. Next we were off to Whyte Avenue and the dispersion point on Calgary Trail. But, instead of dispersing, to everyone’s surprise and delight, the entire parade, one car after another, pulled into the same parking lot, and everyone was happy to continue celebrating and participating in the door prizes draw that we didn’t have time to do at the event. And now we did! And it was fun! And the winner of the Google Home was the owner of the oldest car, Mr. Chris Bamford. And we had cookies and sparkling flavoured water. And we took photos of the folks dressed up in period costumes and we watched an impressive music and visual “dance” of the Tesla X with its “wings” going up and down to the rhythm of the music. We could have partied the entire night. Such a festive and happy mood all around! Someone said that this was probably the first night- time car parade and, combining the lights into it, made it indeed very special.
Driving back across the river in the Tesla Model X – compliments of Mike Pybus – was a very different experience from the ride over it in a convertible from the sixties. The first one was very romantic, while the return ride took everyone’s mind into space travel. The ride in the Tesla Model X was smooth and silent cutting through the night air, as if we were riding on the wings of an eagle. The spectacle of the blue-lit High Level bridge was still not there, but the bridge was definitely visible.
The passage of time from the 106-year old technology of the bridge and the old cars crossing it, which laid down the foundation and shaped the future, to the newest bridge and the newest Tesla car returning downtown, surrounded by the novelty and conveniences of our modern world, was an illustration of “time travel”, that I am yet to comprehend. One can say that there was a touch (and more) of Nikola Tesla’s mechanical and electrical ingenuity in each one of these cars.
As the President of our own Alberta’s Tesla Wave, and on behalf of the Board, I would like to thank you all for being very active participants in this dynamic celebration of the very first Nikola Tesla Day in any city of Canada! Thank- you, your Worship Don Iveson, thanks to His Excellency Mihailo Papazoglu for coming, thank- you all honorary and distinguished guests and all those who travelled from afar, and thanks to our local crowd of enthusiasts. While Sam Amelio was our grounding wire, Dr. Lela Maslesha was the conductor to get the electricity flowing into all of us. Her donations year after year keep us going and we are all grateful for her generosity. It is Dr. Maslesha who simply stated: “This contribution of mine is for Science, Innovation and Education.” We are already making some difference and will continue to do so. Like Nikola Tesla, and now together with all of you and the City of Edmonton, we want to make this world a better place.
A year ago, Nikola Tesla Day was our dream. Now it’s our reality! We made it happen.
And what about the next year? One thing is for sure: we will all be surprised!
Please join us in any capacity you can. Be an active participant in planning – conceptually already on the go – for the next year. Alberta’ Tesla Wave is spreading and we will set up teams to work with the organizing committee for next year’s festivities and the car parade, scientific circle, and a membership/fundraising group. With our AGM coming up in early Fall, it gives us all an opportunity to spark some new thinking and creating. Join us!
Send us your impressions, photos and videos from the event. This write up is very much from my own limited experience.
I am closing with “Nikola Tesla is still designing our future!”
Orchestral Manoevres In The Dark Links
Credits and thanks for Nikola Tesla Day Festivities
His Worship Don Iveson, Mayor of Edmonton, Alberta’s Capital City, Canada, the Earth
Mr. Tim Cartmell, Councillor, Edmonton, Alberta’s Capital City, Canada, the Earth
His Excellency Mihailo Papazoglu, the Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia
Ms. Milica Opacic, Honorary Consulate, Calgary
Mr. Matt Jeneroux, MP Riverbend, Edmonton
Ms. Shannon Haggarty, Chief of Protocol, Ministry of Executive Council, Canada
Mr. Tim Marriott, Manager of Visits, Alberta Protocol Office at Government of Alberta
His Grace, Bishop of Canada Dr. Mitrofan, Milton, Ontario
Father Desimir Vidovich, Priest of Serbian Orthodox Church St. Sava
Ms. Lillian Beltaos, President, Nikola Tesla Historical Society of Alberta
Ms. Lydia Emanuel, Vice President, Nikola Tesla Historical Society of Alberta
Mr. Robert Litschel, Treasurer, Nikola Tesla Historical Society of Alberta
Dr. Elaine Beltaos-Kerr, Secretary, Nikola Tesla Historical Society of Alberta
Mr. Mirko Dumanovich, Director, Nikola Tesla Historical Society of Alberta
Ms. Sreyasa Mainali, Director, Nikola Tesla Historical Society of Alberta
Ms. Gordana Vilimanovich, Member, Nikola Tesla Historical Society of Alberta
Dr. Angela Beltaos, Member, Nikola Tesla Historical Society of Alberta
Mr. Andrew Beltaos, Member, Nikola Tesla Historical Society of Alberta
Dr. Spyros Beltaos, Member, Nikola Tesla Historical Society of Alberta
Dr. Robert Agostinis, Founding Member, Nikola Tesla Historical Society of Alberta
Mr. Harold Hornig, Founding Member and Webmaster, Nikola Tesla Historical Society of Alberta
Mr. Gene Emanuel, Member, Nikola Tesla Historical Society of Alberta
Mr. Zeljko Sulaver, Volunteer
Mr. Milos Dumanovich, Volunteer
Mr. Radenko Kosmajac, Volunteer
Bozuri Choir, Volunteers
Ms. Snezana Andrejevich, Ms. Biljana Stojich and Ms. Milica Samardjich, Volunteers
Upper Crust, Caterers
Door Prizes & Gifts
Nikola Tesla Historical Society of Alberta
Dr. Bradley Kerr, Member, Nikola Tesla Historical Society of Alberta
Councillor Tim Cartmell’s Office, City of Edmonton
Ms. Ellie Shuster, Sculptor
Edmonton Antique Car Club (EACC)
Electric Vehicles Association of Alberta (EVAA)
Edmonton Heritage Council
Edmonton City as Museum Project
Calgary Tesla Society
Ms. Natasha Bizic
Mr. Zeljko Sulaver
Dr. Rob Agostinis
Dr. Angela Beltaos
Mr. Gene Emanuel
Ms. Lillian Beltaos