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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.

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.


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Content type(s): Blog
Subject(s): News and events

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October 21, 2021

Moving mountains

By: Graham Iddon


Collage, bank note details, green, face of middle-aged woman, mountains and large number 20.
The $20 bill of 1969 was the prototype of the Scenes of Canada note series. Yet, as more notes were designed, the theme—and the $20 note itself—would change.
Content type(s): Blog Subject(s): Collection, History
September 16, 2021

A mythic metal: Some stories of gold coins

By: Krista Broeckx


In 1896, three enterprising men struck gold in the Klondike region of the Yukon. Their story is just one of many that illustrates the allure of gold through the ages.
Content type(s): Blog Subject(s): Collection, History
September 2, 2021

Virtual Worlds. Real Economies.

By: Adam Young


A cartoon astronaut waves in front of a logo of the game.
The economies in modern, complex video games can teach gamers a lot about decision making and financial literacy.
Content type(s): Blog Subject(s): Education
August 19, 2021

Fur Trade Economics

By: David Bergeron, Graham Iddon, Krista Broeckx


Photo collage, yellowed document with writing, tokens, carved stick, silver beaver trinket.
Over its 350-year lifespan, the Hudson’s Bay Company has had an enormous impact on Canada’s economy and how the nation was settled.
Content type(s): Blog Subject(s): History
June 30, 2021

The house the Bank of Canada built

By: Graham Iddon


Building, old, square, stone building surrounded by 2 glass towers.
The Bank of Canada head office is two structures: the stone cube on Wellington Street and the glass structure that it is nestled into. Both are significant architectural landmarks.
Content type(s): Blog Subject(s): History
June 3, 2021

Value is in the Eye of the Consumer

By: Graham Iddon


Collage, money, graphs and people playing with hula hoops.
Supply and demand is part of the very bedrock of an economy. It's what generates the price of any product or service.
Content type(s): Blog Subject(s): Education
April 30, 2021

Mishap on the dollar

By: Graham Iddon


Bank note engraving, green, logs and 2 boats on a river in front of a tree-covered hill with towers.
An image of a river of logs floating behind Parliament Hill has long lived in Canadian collective memory thanks to a bank note, the Scenes of Canada $1 bill.
Content type(s): Blog Subject(s): Collection, History
March 23, 2021

The Last Smokestack

By: Graham Iddon


Bank note engraving, purple, a large, highly detailed factory complex of pipes, tanks and chimneys.
Putting an industrial facility on a bank note is not a casual decision. At the end of the 1960s, such places were earning a bad reputation for pollution. There was actually a good reason for this choice, but it wasn’t obvious to many Canadians.
Content type(s): Blog Subject(s): Collection
February 26, 2021

Playing with Economy

By: Graham Iddon


A diverse group of 4 young children playing a board game.
There might be only a handful of basic game formats, but there is an infinity of variations—a surprising number of which require the skills we need to manage our daily economic lives.
Content type(s): Blog Subject(s): Education
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