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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 posts

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May 5, 2022

Between tradition and technology

By: Graham Iddon


Collage, man at an easel, paintings of birds and a goose illustration with comments written on it.
What was proposed was a complete about-face from the philosophy behind recent security printing. If photocopiers could easily deal with the colours and designs of the current series, then the next series should be bold and simple.
Content type(s): Blog posts
April 21, 2022

Teaching the green economy

By: Adam Young


From windmills and solar panels to electric cars, signs of the green economy are all around us. Check out our resources for how to teach about the green economy.
April 4, 2022

Talk to your kids about money

By: Heather Montgomery


Collage, ceramic pig on background of a bank book and a stamp folder with kids on it.
Introduce important financial skills to your children, and help them plan for their futures with free resources from the Bank of Canada Museum and others.
March 3, 2022

Teaching inflation during the COVID-19 pandemic

By: Heather Montgomery


COVID-19 has had an unprecedented effect on the economy: closing businesses, driving down demand and interrupting supplies. With news stories and popular culture addressing inflation and supply chain issues, now is the perfect time to explain this key economic concept to your high school students.
February 3, 2022

Queen of the bank notes

By: Graham Iddon


Few of us have ever met her, and it’s likely none of us are even remotely related to her. Yet, Canadians have carried her picture in their wallets for generations now. She’s Queen Elizabeth II and has been our monarch for over 70 years.
Content type(s): Blog posts Subject(s): History
December 22, 2021

New acquisitions–2021 edition

By: David Bergeron


The Bank of Canada Museum is responsible for the National Currency Collection, and part of its mandate is to foster and develop that collection. Despite the challenges of collecting during a pandemic, curators at the Bank of Canada Museum have acquired some unique artifacts—including some that document the pandemic itself.
Content type(s): Blog posts
December 2, 2021

The true value of money

By: Graham Iddon


Photo collage, old bank notes and coins, gold nuggets and a computer component.
What is money—when you really stop to think about it? To understand how money works, and what it ultimately represents, we need to strip it down to its very basic function.
November 16, 2021

The 1911 silver dollar

By: David Bergeron


In front of a set of coins in a case, two coins, one lead, one silver, each with identical wreaths of maple leaves.
The 1911 silver dollar has a history to match its prestige, and it now has a permanent home in the National Currency Collection of the Bank of Canada Museum.
Content type(s): Blog posts
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 posts
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