Really well, as a matter of fact
“Key performance indicator.” That’s business lingo for measuring how well we’re doing. Unlike many of the Bank’s departments, it’s easy to measure the Museum’s success: visitor numbers. Not to brag (Ha, who am I kidding?) we had 2,823 people visit the Museum on Canada Day. The following Sunday and holiday Monday yielded a further 933 and 756 visitors, respectively. Visitorship has stayed extremely healthy since then, averaging between 350 and 400 visitors a day. For the month of July and the first three weeks of August, that adds up to just over 25,000 visitors (wow). As an unfair comparison, the Currency Museum (as the Museum used to be called) pulled in just under 9,000 visitors for the same period in 2012. I say “unfair” because Ottawa had an unprecedented influx of tourists this summer. There was just so much going on. One day this month we recorded a whopping 902 visitors when “La Machine” roared through the neighbourhood. So, it would seem that when a giant, fire-breathing mechanical dragon-horse battles a two-story-tall spider near the Museum, it’s a boost for our attendance numbers. Or maybe it was our fine display of share certificates that was the draw. There’s just no way to tell.
Complicating these straightforward statistics is the attendance we recorded at our information kiosk on both Canada Day and Colonel By Day. Together, the two events drew 4,300 people to the kiosk. If you add this to the visitors in July, nearly 30,000 people (from all over Canada and the world) know we are here and have taken an interest in us—if only a mere 25,000 actually visited the Museum. It’s all good, and we couldn’t be happier with our first few weeks of business.
One key feature of the Museum was not available during these few weeks: the gift shop. Every museum needs a gift shop; it’s a traditional part of a family visit, but ours wasn’t going to be ready for opening day. We opened the doors at 10:00 on August 22. OK, it wasn’t Black Friday at the mall, but a very respectable number of visitors perused the items on the shelves on what turned out to be a miserably rainy day. We hit our targets on the following two days.
So, what’s the key performance indicator for the gift shop? To have a respectable day, the number of transactions should equal 8 per cent of the number of visitors to the Museum. This sounds pretty paltry, but the gift shop is not mandated to turn a profit. Its purpose is more closely related to the Museum’s mandate. The gift shop is a last chance for visitors to ask questions and to solidify or broaden their experience. It’s one more space for conversations about the Bank and the economy and is considered an “experience augmentation.” However, we still want you to buy stuff!
I will say again just how happy we are with our first few weeks of operation. The good reviews are rolling in, and we’re already well on our way to meeting our visitorship targets for 2017. Yay!
The Museum Blog
Decoding E-Money Is Here
Now that we are again back in our house, we’ve invited one of our wandering exhibitions home for a visit: Decoding E-Money.
The Bank of Canada Museum Goes International
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. This year was the Bank’s first opportunity to attend the conference with a museum in fully-operational mode.
A Curator’s Favourite Task
I have several key responsibilities to meet the requirements of my job. None of them is more gratifying than conducting research about the incredible artifacts in the Bank’s collection.
Unpacking the Collection 6
In 1934 the Department of Finance invited Emanuel Hahn to submit a design for a silver dollar to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of King George V’s reign.
Our Grand Opening…
After four years of plans, worries, setbacks, successes and sheer hard work, the Bank of Canada Museum opened its doors—on Canada Day, right on schedule.
Museum Reconstruction - Part 8
The last few stragglers among our artifacts are ready for installation and the interactives and digital labels are bulking up with the final software and data, in them, so it’s all there, functional and looking fantastic.
The Yap Stone Returns
For us, its removal from the Garden Court dramatically marked the Currency Museum’s closing. The big stone’s return now performs the opposite role for the new Bank of Canada Museum—heralding its opening.
A New Ten on the Block
In a modern twist, Governor Stephen S. Poloz took a “selfie” while holding a C150 note before meeting up with the Honourable Ginette Petipas Taylor for the main photo op.
Although never released for circulation, these two pieces were part of the first official initiative to mint coins in Canada.
150 Years Since Confederation
Canada’s cultural and regional diversity is a key part of our nation’s identity. However, it’s an enormous challenge to represent such concepts on a 7 by 15 centimetre piece of polymer.