The new Museum’s first special exhibition
Unlike renovating a house, when we closed the Museum for its four-year re-invention, we couldn’t just “stay” at another museum until the water got turned back on. Or could we have? In fact, once the renovation was under way, that’s essentially what we did. Though we didn’t sleep on anybody’s couch, we did create a travelling exhibitions program to keep the virtual doors open while the actual doors were closed. We stayed at museums from Kitimat, B.C., to Gimli, MB, and from Timmins, ON, to Chicoutimi, QC, and we still have a few bookings available for 2019. Now that we are again back in our own house, we’ve invited one of our wandering exhibitions home for a visit: Decoding E-Money.
As the title suggests, this exhibition aims to remove the confusion about what exactly e‑money is. It’s important to make the distinction between what people think of as e‑money and what, in fact, it is. In a backgrounder on its website, the Bank of Canada defines e‑money as
…monetary value that is stored and transferred electronically through a variety of means—a mobile phone, tablet, contactless card (or smart card), computer hard drive or servers.
Despite their fully electronic environments, debit cards, e‑mail transfers and credit cards are not examples of e‑money. They are methods of payment that follow electronic pathways along which transaction information travels. It might be more helpful to imagine e-money as money that has been withdrawn from a bank account and stuffed into an envelope waiting to be spent. The “envelope” just happens to be an electronic device.
The version of e‑money we are most concerned with in this exhibition is cryptocurrency and, specifically, the ever-newsworthy Bitcoin. You can purchase it using your national currency, and it can be sold for currency, but in between it acts all by itself as a token of exchange that exists entirely online. Bitcoin doesn’t actually meet the criteria for a currency, but its underpinning technology, called the blockchain, is ground-breaking—a system that allows for secure transactions without third-party oversight. We studied it for you so that you can explore it too.
Like its mother museum, Decoding E‑money has a great number of interactive features. It is, fittingly, a very digital exhibition, with games, a timeline, videos and interpretive content all accessed using touch panels and computer consoles. The only significant part of the display that is not digital is the artifact zone, a breath of old-fashioned air in a very modern exhibition. Here, you will see money that was, in its day, as difficult for some to accept as digital currencies are today. To help visitors explore in-depth information about these artifacts, we provide you with a book, an appropriately low-tech medium.
So please drop by the Museum and check out Decoding E money. It will be in our special exhibitions space until May 6, 2018.
August 5, 2015 Swindle! Canadian Phantom Banks
In exchange for pizza and a day out of the office, several Bank employees were persuaded to dress up in period costumes and re-enact three key moments from the history of this shady “bank”.
June 2, 2015 Rebellion at the Museum
For a little inspiration and a sense of compatibility, we took a field trip to see 1867 Rebellion and Confederation at the Canadian Museum of History.
May 6, 2015 Alex Colville at the AGO
Alex Colville is a very broad retrospective that covers Colville’s entire career from before the Second World War until his final paintings of his lifelong muse, model and beloved wife Rhoda.
April 6, 2015 The Adventure of Exhibit Planning IX
Our little team from the Museum stood in the education space of the Sherbrooke Nature and Science Museum on a chill November morning while the exhibition technicians assembled our finished exhibition. Yes, finished.
March 23, 2015 Musée des Ursulines de Québec
Like so much in Québec City, the convent somehow manages to be tucked away and hidden. The buildings are the largest 17th-century structures in Canada and some appear monumental, with soaring stone walls and gleaming silver dormers.
March 11, 2015 An Exhibition Installation
You could work in the exhibition-fabrication business all your life and still run into things you wouldn’t expect: a never-ending series of “uh-ohs.” It’s one of the things that makes the job so interesting and demands a high level of creative problem-solving skills…
February 18, 2015 2014 Ontario Museum Association Conference - Part 2
At any given time, there were 3 concurrent sessions happening at this year’s OMA conference, making it a bit difficult to see all you want to see. Fortunately we had a few folks attending who could share out some of the important programs.