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.
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.
October 28, 2013 Director’s chair : A little help from our friends
In one of my favourite cinematic moments, the 11 year-old chess prodigy, Josh Waitzkin, imagines sweeping the pieces off a chess board in order to help him think more clearly about an important game of chess. It is a championship game and he is on the brink of winning it all.
October 7, 2013 The Cases are Almost Empty
For the first time since they went into their cases in 1980, over 2000 coins, notes, beads and shells are coming back out. The Museum’s curatorial staff are busily pulling panels from cases, placing coins into specially prepared drawers and sliding notes into acid-free Mylar envelopes.
September 24, 2013 Curators Begin Removal of Artifacts
The doors were barely closed following Big Top Farewell event before Chief Curator Paul Berry and his team began emptying display cases that had been sealed shut since 1980. The biggest task involved removing more than 2500 bank notes from the room we knew as Gallery 8.
September 16, 2013 Notes from the Collection : 2013 RCNA Convention Winnipeg
Another convention of the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association (RCNA) wrapped up in July. This year the convention was held in Winnipeg, Manitoba. It was the first time in over thirty years that the RCNA Convention made a stop there.
September 6, 2013 First Artifacts to Leave the Museum: And they were big
Before the museum closed for renovations on 2 July, technicians began to remove the heavier artifacts in late May. First to go was the strong box. Built of ¼” thick welded steel plates, this trunk was used by the Bank of Upper Canada in Toronto between 1821 and 1866.
Most of us know the first part of Alexander Graham Bell’s take on opportunity: “When one door closes, another one opens…” What we often don’t recall is the second half of that quote, where he says: “…but we so often look so long and regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”
August 26, 2013 Big Top Farewell, a Big Success
It was farewell to the Currency Museum as we know it this past Canada Day. Our annual 1 July event was circus-themed this year, featuring children’s games, clowns, balloon sculptures and ice cream.
August 14, 2013 Museum on the Go: In The Money on now at the Canada Science and Technology Museum, Ottawa
Summertime: a time to relax and, for most of us, to travel. Years ago, advertisers used to tell us how easy it was to travel: you only needed your bikini, your toothbrush and, naturally, a good travel agency to set you up anywhere in the world. That might still be true for people but for travelling exhibitions the packing process is a bit more involved.
July 30, 2013 Remembering Alex Colville (1920-2013)
The Staff of the Currency Museum was saddened to learn of the passing of artist Alex Colville who died on 16 July at his home in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. He was 92. One of Canada’s most celebrated painters, Colville is not as well-known as a sculptor but if you look carefully through your pocket change you might just find an example of his work.