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

February 14, 2014 We’re the Currency Museum, not the Mint

By: Graham Iddon


Royal Canadian Mint exterior view
If we had a nickel for every time people asked questions like that, we’d have… Well, I suppose we have roughly that number of nickels already; we have a long history as a currency museum after all. When the museum was open, somebody would ask a similar question several times a week.
Content Type(s): Blog

February 7, 2014 Notes from the Collection: Moving Forward

By: Raewyn Passmore


After four months in our new digs the Collections Team is starting to settle in. But even though most of the boxes have been unpacked there is still a lot of work to do. In 2014 we will be collaborating with the Exhibitions Team on travelling exhibits and coming up with ideas for the new museum space.
Content Type(s): Blog

January 31, 2014 The Adventure of Exhibit Planning II

By: Graham Iddon


RCMP Musical Ride on the back of the 1979 $50 bill
As ideas and themes began to emerge from the research, the brainstorms and the content meetings, our next touring exhibition began taking on a tangible form. One of the first pieces of that research involved filming interviews with two significant Canadian bank note engravers: Yves Baril and Jorge Peral.
Content Type(s): Blog

January 27, 2014 Musée de l’Amérique francophone

By: Graham Iddon


Musée de l’Amérique francophone on Côte de la Fabrique
Down the slope behind the City Hall of old Québec, attached to the 17th century Séminaire de Québec, stands a beautifully curved Québec Neoclassical façade housing the Musée de l’Amérique francophone. Ironically, given the building’s history, much of the Musée’s collection (acquired as early as 1806 when it was the museum of the seminary) is scientific in nature.
Content Type(s): Blog

January 20, 2014 The Adventure of Exhibit Planning

By: Graham Iddon


Voices from the Engraver / La gravure : un art à découvrir
With the new year, we are right on schedule for developing our next travelling exhibition. Voices from the Engraver is number two in a planned set of travelling exhibitions that will keep our metaphorical doors open for Canadians while renovation keeps our physical doors closed.
Content Type(s): Blog

January 14, 2014 Our Year Ahead

By: Graham Iddon


Our Canada Day Big Top Farewell / Les fabuleux adieux du Musée
We here at the Currency Museum hope you had a fabulous holiday season. We know we did, though maybe a little too fabulous for some of us. As we crossed over into the New Year we had a chance to reflect on the year that had just passed. 2013 presented our team with some pretty big challenges and some tough goodbyes, but it also had some great new adventures and exciting new initiatives.
Content Type(s): 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