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

May 2, 2014 The Adventure of Exhibit Planning III

By: Graham Iddon


Proposed back models by Charles Comfort for the 1954 Bank of Canada series
During the planning stages stamping the word ‘final’ on any given aspect of a travelling exhibition can seem less of a directive and more of an overly optimistic suggestion.
Content Type(s): Blog

April 28, 2014 Coming Soon to a Computer Near You

By: Nicole Gurski


As this blog is the only visible result of change, you might think we are doing nothing much to improve our website. Perish the thought! We’d like you to know that the Museum team has been hard at work for the past year upping the game on our website.
Content Type(s): Blog

April 22, 2014 Notes from the Collection: Recent Acquisitions II

By: Paul S. Berry


Canada, Share Certificate, Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company, 1906
This month’s selections highlight various areas of Collection development. These include what are called financial instruments: items such as stocks, bonds shares and other articles that represent a contract to deliver money in some manner.
Content Type(s): Blog

April 10, 2014 Show me the Bunny

By: Nicole Gurski


Commemorative 5 cent Canadian coin, 1967
It seems spring is finally upon us, here in Ottawa (touch wood). I know some of us were thinking, when snowstorms hit at the end of March, that winter would never end. Fortunately the sun is here and that means Easter is not too far away. Mind you, we don’t recommend you take off the snow tires just yet.
Content Type(s): Blog

April 3, 2014 Museum Reconstruction - Part 1

By: Graham Iddon


Lobby and Gallery 1 of the Currency Museum: the gift shop is closed
In early February, a small group from the Bank’s Communications Department booked a brief tour of the main floor and first basement at the Wellington Street head office. It’s still in the demolition phase of the renovation.
Content Type(s): Blog Subject(s): Planning

March 28, 2014 Notes from the Collection: Notgeld, Emergency Money from Interwar Europe

By: Patricia Measures


Freren, Germany notgeld entitled “The Hamster Dream” is social satire at its best
Notgeld, German for emergency money, first appeared at the beginning of World War One and was issued until 1924. Through these notes we can see the entire story of Germany’s experience with out-of-control inflation between the wars.
Content Type(s): 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