The Bank of Canada Museum Goes International

By: Ken Ross


Unveiling the Bank of Canada Museum to the World

Well, to a chunk of it anyway. Every year the conference of the International Federation of Finance Museums (IFFM) draws museum directors from five continents to a get-together aimed at sharing best-practices and keeping up with the latest trends in the world of financial museums. Many of the delegates had been following our progress at the Bank of Canada Museum over the past four years, and there was a level of anticipation this year, because they knew I was going to talk to them about our opening and our experience to date.

This year was the Bank’s first opportunity to attend the conference with a museum in fully-operational mode back home, something which gave me the opportunity to step onto the stage as a featured speaker, offering the Bank’s perspective on what our teams accomplished. The presentation was met with enthusiastic interest.

Ken Ross unveiled the Bank of Canada Museum to the World at the International Federation of Finance Museums.

From Paris to Mexico City; Museum Directors Need to Know

Philippe Gineste, Director of CitéCo (Cité de l’Économie et de la Monnaie) in Paris, set to open in 2019, took me aside early on to ask me about the pitfalls and opportunities the Bank of Canada had faced putting together our Museum. His interest was more than passing; his team at CitéCo is gearing up for a full year of trying to get all the myriad things they need done, done. He was happy to know we would offer the benefit of our experience whenever he wanted.

Philip List, Director of the host museum Erste Financial Life Park in Vienna, was happy to compare notes, given that he had just completed a similar museum earlier this year.

Silvia Singer, CEO of the Museo Interactivo de Economía in Mexico City, one of the early inspirations for the new Bank of Canada Museum, told me enthusiastically that she was planning to get to Ottawa as soon as possible to see for herself.

Philip List, Director Erste Financial Life Park, Vienna Austria

Philip List, Director Erste Financial Life Park, Vienna Austria.

Silvia Singer, CEO of the Museo Interactivo de Economía (MIDE) in Mexico City

Silvia Singer, CEO of the Museo Interactivo de Economía (MIDE) in Mexico City. The MIDE provided a great deal of inspiration for the Bank of Canada Museum.

A Conference About Museums’ Place in Economic and Financial Literacy

For the past four years now, the Bank of Canada Museum has been a member of the IFFM, an organization promoting the work of financial and central bank museums from North, Central and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa. The October conference featured numerous presentations and workshops covering different aspects of the members’ work, as well as some lively debates on the state of financial and economic literacy in the world.

I was able to participate in a number of workshops with a variety of international colleagues.

I was able to participate in a number of workshops with a variety of international colleagues.

IFFM workshop on economic literacy and gender issues.

IFFM workshop on economic literacy and gender issues.


I was proud to be able to present the new Bank of Canada Museum to museum directors from around the world.

I was proud to be able to present the new Bank of Canada Museum to museum directors from around the world.

The IFFM draws delegates from the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa.

The IFFM draws delegates from the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa.



IAnnamaria Lusardi, Academic Director of Global Financial Literacy Centre, Washington DC.

Annamaria Lusardi, Academic Director of Global Financial Literacy Centre, Washington DC.

One of the joys of this conference is catching up with colleagues; here I am with Jakub Kunert of the Czech National Bank.

One of the joys of this conference is catching up with colleagues; here I am with Jakub Kunert of the Czech National Bank.


Content Type(s): Blog

The Museum Blog

May 30, 2014 Going to an Opening

By: Louise-Anne Laroche


The Canadian Stamp Collection gallery, behind the Great Hall, Canadian Museum of History
Going to an opening is always exciting. You get to see the reaction of visitors and how other museums treat a given subject - in this case a subject related to our own.
Content Type(s): Blog

May 26, 2014 The Adventure of Exhibit Planning IV

By: Graham Iddon


Canada’s first stamp, the 3 Pence Beaver, 1851
This exhibition is about engravers, production processes and the beauty of postage stamps and bank notes. In the previous episode of this series we talked about the process surrounding securing the bank notes for this exhibition and how it had to take into account both the needs of the exhibition team and the concerns of the collections department.
Content Type(s): Blog

May 20, 2014 Becoming a Collector II

By: Graham Iddon


Acrylic and mylar envelopes will keep bills flat, dry and away from acids
So now you’ve decided that collecting currency is far more fascinating than collecting 14th Century Flemish altar paintings and have begun to accumulate some items. Good for you, those paintings are a bother to dust and currency is far easier to take care of.
Content Type(s): Blog

May 12, 2014 Becoming a Collector I

By: Graham Iddon


You never know what’s in your coin tray at home!
Collecting things is a very common human urge. Be they matchbooks, pop bottles or 17th century Flemish altar paintings, owning large numbers of the same type of thing is a fascinating pastime for many of us.
Content Type(s): Blog

May 2, 2014 The Adventure of Exhibit Planning III

By: Graham Iddon


Proposed back models by Charles Comfort for the 1954 Bank of Canada series
During the planning stages stamping the word ‘final’ on any given aspect of a travelling exhibition can seem less of a directive and more of an overly optimistic suggestion.
Content Type(s): Blog

April 28, 2014 Coming Soon to a Computer Near You

By: Nicole Gurski


As this blog is the only visible result of change, you might think we are doing nothing much to improve our website. Perish the thought! We’d like you to know that the Museum team has been hard at work for the past year upping the game on our website.
Content Type(s): Blog

April 22, 2014 Notes from the Collection: Recent Acquisitions II

By: Paul S. Berry


Canada, Share Certificate, Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company, 1906
This month’s selections highlight various areas of Collection development. These include what are called financial instruments: items such as stocks, bonds shares and other articles that represent a contract to deliver money in some manner.
Content Type(s): Blog

April 10, 2014 Show me the Bunny

By: Nicole Gurski


Commemorative 5 cent Canadian coin, 1967
It seems spring is finally upon us, here in Ottawa (touch wood). I know some of us were thinking, when snowstorms hit at the end of March, that winter would never end. Fortunately the sun is here and that means Easter is not too far away. Mind you, we don’t recommend you take off the snow tires just yet.
Content Type(s): Blog

April 3, 2014 Museum Reconstruction - Part 1

By: Graham Iddon


Lobby and Gallery 1 of the Currency Museum: the gift shop is closed
In early February, a small group from the Bank’s Communications Department booked a brief tour of the main floor and first basement at the Wellington Street head office. It’s still in the demolition phase of the renovation.
Content Type(s): Blog Subject(s): Planning

March 28, 2014 Notes from the Collection: Notgeld, Emergency Money from Interwar Europe

By: Patricia Measures


Freren, Germany notgeld entitled “The Hamster Dream” is social satire at its best
Notgeld, German for emergency money, first appeared at the beginning of World War One and was issued until 1924. Through these notes we can see the entire story of Germany’s experience with out-of-control inflation between the wars.
Content Type(s): Blog