Ted Szilva, creator of Sudbury’s iconic Big Nickel, remembered as visionary innovator

March 11, 2016

Science North and Dynamic Earth extend sincere condolences to Ted Szilva’s family and friends on his recent passing.

Created by Ted Szilva in 1964, Sudbury’s Big Nickel has remained one of Northern Ontario’s most beloved and iconic landmarks for over 50 years.

“On behalf of Board Members past and present, employees and all the visitors who have come to see the Big Nickel, the Science North Board of Trustees offers our heartfelt condolences to the Szilva family,” said Scott Lund, Chair of the Science North Board of Directors. “The community of Greater Sudbury owes a great deal of gratitude to Ted for his visionary thinking and ability to bring his Big Nickel dream to life.”

A true community leader and visionary, Ted overcame many obstacles in his mission to create the Big Nickel as a symbol of the region’s mining heritage and prosperity.

“We are deeply saddened to learn of Ted’s passing today. He was a visionary person who showed great passion for this community and for the industry that built our city,” said Guy Labine, Science North CEO. “The Big Nickel and Dynamic Earth would not exist today if, 52 years ago, Ted Szilva had not persisted with his vision to create the Big Nickel attraction. Ted’s dream will continue to shine as the Big Nickel and Dynamic Earth go on to celebrate our rich mining history and heritage for decades to come.”

In 2009, Ted Szilva was named to the Order of Ontario for his efforts in recognizing Sudbury’s heritage.

“Ted’s passing is a sad day for Sudbury.  His persistence in overcoming resistance to building the Big Nickel is an example for young leaders in the community today,” said Jim Marchbank, former CEO of Science North.  “Great projects and legacies are the result of leadership, determination, patience and persistence in addition to great vision.  Ted demonstrated all those qualities in creating a community symbol whose concept has been copied by other places across Canada.  Ted’s Big Nickel remains the biggest and best known of all those monuments and will remain a testament to his vision and drive for decades.  Sudbury will miss him but his legacy remains for us all to see.”

Along with his son Jim Szilva, Ted published The Big Nickel: The Untold Story in 2014, which chronicles the history of the Big Nickel.

“Ted’s vision and determination enhanced Sudbury’s nickel history in the global community.  His involvement in social causes benefited many and serves as an example of his dedication and commitment to our community,” said Richard DeStefano, Executive Director, SAMSSA (Sudbury Area Mining Supply & Service Association).  “He will be missed. We extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends.”

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