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

March 20, 2014 Cleveland Museum of Art, Part 2

By: Graham Iddon


Visitors interact with the ‘Collection Wall’ in its collection view mode
Upon entering Gallery One, you may see somebody standing on one leg and waving her arms in front of a flat screen. Should we call security? Nope. Here’s what happens next: a camera takes a picture of her, digitally compares the image to images stored in the museum’s collection, and comes back with an image of an artwork that most resembles this pose.
Content Type(s): Blog

March 12, 2014 Cleveland Museum of Art, Part 1

By: Graham Iddon


New wing and entrance of the Cleveland Museum of Art
One of our museum development team and his partner chose to spend part of their Christmas holiday in sunny Cleveland. It wasn’t for the beaches that they went to the rusty shores of Erie but to enjoy one of the most advanced interactive museum experiences available anywhere.
Content Type(s): Blog

March 4, 2014 Three, two, one - In the Money is a go

By: Louise-Anne Laroche


In The Money
On 19 February our newest travelling exhibition In the Money left the Ottawa area to start its journey across Canada. This will be an exciting adventure, not only for us at the Currency Museum (nervously monitoring its progress from afar), but also for the visitors who will learn more about our currency, its history and the technology behind it.
Content Type(s): Blog

February 27, 2014 Notes From the Collection: Recent Acquisitions

By: Paul S. Berry


Command Coins for the Canadian Armed Forces
Before the Museum closed, and the Collection moved to Gatineau, the curators regularly hosted a show and tell session for staff to see new acquisitions. With the help of the Museum’s new blog, that tradition will continue; only now, you too will be able to see and learn about some of the brilliant new stars in the Collection. Get out your sunglasses!
Content Type(s): Blog

February 14, 2014 We’re the Currency Museum, not the Mint

By: Graham Iddon


Royal Canadian Mint exterior view
If we had a nickel for every time people asked questions like that, we’d have… Well, I suppose we have roughly that number of nickels already; we have a long history as a currency museum after all. When the museum was open, somebody would ask a similar question several times a week.
Content Type(s): Blog

February 7, 2014 Notes from the Collection: Moving Forward

By: Raewyn Passmore


After four months in our new digs the Collections Team is starting to settle in. But even though most of the boxes have been unpacked there is still a lot of work to do. In 2014 we will be collaborating with the Exhibitions Team on travelling exhibits and coming up with ideas for the new museum space.
Content Type(s): Blog

January 31, 2014 The Adventure of Exhibit Planning II

By: Graham Iddon


RCMP Musical Ride on the back of the 1979 $50 bill
As ideas and themes began to emerge from the research, the brainstorms and the content meetings, our next touring exhibition began taking on a tangible form. One of the first pieces of that research involved filming interviews with two significant Canadian bank note engravers: Yves Baril and Jorge Peral.
Content Type(s): Blog

January 27, 2014 Musée de l’Amérique francophone

By: Graham Iddon


Musée de l’Amérique francophone on Côte de la Fabrique
Down the slope behind the City Hall of old Québec, attached to the 17th century Séminaire de Québec, stands a beautifully curved Québec Neoclassical façade housing the Musée de l’Amérique francophone. Ironically, given the building’s history, much of the Musée’s collection (acquired as early as 1806 when it was the museum of the seminary) is scientific in nature.
Content Type(s): Blog

January 20, 2014 The Adventure of Exhibit Planning

By: Graham Iddon


Voices from the Engraver / La gravure : un art à découvrir
With the new year, we are right on schedule for developing our next travelling exhibition. Voices from the Engraver is number two in a planned set of travelling exhibitions that will keep our metaphorical doors open for Canadians while renovation keeps our physical doors closed.
Content Type(s): Blog

January 14, 2014 Our Year Ahead

By: Graham Iddon


Our Canada Day Big Top Farewell / Les fabuleux adieux du Musée
We here at the Currency Museum hope you had a fabulous holiday season. We know we did, though maybe a little too fabulous for some of us. As we crossed over into the New Year we had a chance to reflect on the year that had just passed. 2013 presented our team with some pretty big challenges and some tough goodbyes, but it also had some great new adventures and exciting new initiatives.
Content Type(s): Blog