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

December 17, 2013 ‘Twas the blog before Christmas

Gumballs / Boules de gomme
While we take our winter holiday this week, so will the blog. To keep our hordes of clamouring followers entertained while we’re away, we’ll give them another window into the personalities of the folks who work at the Museum. We’ve asked some of them to write about their favourite holiday memories.
Content Type(s): Blog

December 2, 2013 The McCord Museum Visit

By: Graham Iddon


McCord Museum permanent exhibit, Montréal - Points of View / Montréal - Points de vue, une exposition permanente du Musée McCord
While visiting bigger institutions in Montréal, the museum planning team decided to drop into the McCord Museum and take a look at the ways they are using tablets and apps in their exhibition spaces.
Content Type(s): Blog

November 25, 2013 We Drop into Pointe-à-Callière in Montréal

By: Graham Iddon


Image from ‘Yours Truly, Montréal' multimedia show / Vestiges sur lesquels le spectacle multimédia Signé Montréal est projeté; remarquez la date
During two trips to Montréal this past July, as part of our ongoing program of museum tours, the planning team visited the Montréal Museum of Archaeology and History at Pointe-à-Callière near the old city waterfront.
Content Type(s): Blog

November 18, 2013 Notes from the Collection: A Buying Trip to Toronto

By: Paul S. Berry


Banque du Peuple 5 dollar bill, 1835 / Billet de 5 paistres de la Banque du peuple, 1835
Recently, from October 3 to 5th, collections staff were at the Toronto Coin Expo, held at the Toronto Reference Library on Yonge Street. The show boasts informative lectures, a large auction of coins, tokens and paper money as well as a showroom, called a bourse, where dealers greet clients and buy and sell material.
Content Type(s): Blog

November 12, 2013 The Last of the New Polymer Notes are Released

By: Graham Iddon


New Canadian Cash Unveiled From Orbit
On 7 November, the Bank of Canada released the new five and ten dollar bills into circulation. I won’t say ‘released onto an unsuspecting public’ as the official introduction to the new bills took place last April in a big event in front of the former Museum featuring a live presentation by Chris Hadfield beamed from the International Space Station.
Content Type(s): Blog

November 5, 2013 A Visit to Centre des sciences de Montréal

By: Graham Iddon


The Montréal Science Centre building at 2 Rue de la Commune Ouest / L’édifice du Centre des sciences de Montréal situé au 2, rue de la Commune Ouest
Twice this past July, members of the museum planning team took the train to Montréal to have a look at some of the excellent museums there.
Content Type(s): Blog

October 28, 2013 Director’s chair : A little help from our friends

By: Ken Ross


In one of my favourite cinematic moments, the 11 year-old chess prodigy, Josh Waitzkin, imagines sweeping the pieces off a chess board in order to help him think more clearly about an important game of chess. It is a championship game and he is on the brink of winning it all.
Content Type(s): Blog

October 7, 2013 The Cases are Almost Empty

By: Graham Iddon


Curator Raewyn Passmore removes coins from shipwreck display / La conservatrice Raewyn Passmore retire les pièces de monnaie d’un présentoir d’objets tirés d’une épave
For the first time since they went into their cases in 1980, over 2000 coins, notes, beads and shells are coming back out. The Museum’s curatorial staff are busily pulling panels from cases, placing coins into specially prepared drawers and sliding notes into acid-free Mylar envelopes.
Content Type(s): Blog

September 24, 2013 Curators Begin Removal of Artifacts

By: Graham Iddon


Collections team removes panel from case
The doors were barely closed following Big Top Farewell event before Chief Curator Paul Berry and his team began emptying display cases that had been sealed shut since 1980. The biggest task involved removing more than 2500 bank notes from the room we knew as Gallery 8.
Content Type(s): Blog

September 16, 2013 Notes from the Collection : 2013 RCNA Convention Winnipeg

By: David Bergeron


Red River Settlement, Hudson’s Bay Co., 19 February 1835, bill of exchange for 10 pounds, 2 shillings payable to the “Fur Trade,” signed by Thomas Bunn, father of John Bunn Councillor of Assiniboia / Colonie de la rivière Rouge, Compagnie de la Baie d’Hudson, 19 février 1835, lettre de change au montant de 10 livres, 2 shillings libellée à « Fur Trade » et signée par Thomas Bunn
Another convention of the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association (RCNA) wrapped up in July. This year the convention was held in Winnipeg, Manitoba. It was the first time in over thirty years that the RCNA Convention made a stop there.
Content Type(s): Blog