Canada Day was our busiest day of the year. And why not? Not only were we located in the midst of the biggest party on the Canadian calendar, but we offered complimentary frozen goodies too (and balloons and tattoos...). You’d think we’d be more popular than Parliament Hill! At times it seemed like it. We can handle around 350 people at once, so when we hit our maximum capacity, it looked like everybody on the Hill had dropped in for a little economic and numismatic education. Or to use the washroom. We weren’t fussy, just glad to have everyone.
There was certainly lots to do at the Museum this year. In honour of Viola Desmond’s appearance on our upcoming $10 bank note, we offered visitors a trivia challenge about women on currency. We chose 25 bank notes and coins, all featuring women, and came up with a trivia question for each. The artifact images, questions and answers appeared on our digital touch wall as an interactive game. Some answers could be found just by inspecting the artifact, others required some pretty astute guessing but all revealed interesting aspects of these often-surprising individuals. Up to 6 visitors at time could play this game, though lots of people doubled up to test one another.
So popular were the origami folding stations during our Canadian Tulip Festival event that we brought them back for Canada Day. Of course, visitors folded maple leaves instead of tulips, but they still got to use the same cool paper with the bank note patterns. We ordered two boxes of it in red this time and though we didn’t run out, we haven’t got much left over. Despite the fast folding that went on, no paper cuts were reported (though the guides were standing by with bandages).
We usually offer free ice cream to our guests on Canada Day and this year visitors could get frozen fruit pops. However, they needed to do a little work for their treat: they had to go into the Museum galleries, find images of women on bank notes and take selfies with them. Hundreds of our visitors paid this cheap price for a cool bite. Likely most of them were going to take selfies anyway, so they might as well get paid for it (and who wouldn’t want to get paid with a treat?).
About once a week, some visitor will ask our guides if we are giving away samples of money. Every time, the guides smile, laugh and shake their heads. However, on July 1st, 2018 we finally did give away samples! Well, sort of. Coin designer and maker Arthur Ishkaev brought his portable coin mint to the Museum this year and swung the hammer to strike some coins for the visitors. No, the coins aren’t legal tender and wouldn’t fool any store clerk or parking meter, but these little souvenirs were a big hit. And big hits of the hammer are what it took to strike these coins. The line-up was a long one for the Strike Your Coin feature, but nobody’s in a hurry on Canada Day.
So, with the balloons, coin strikes, origami, trivia challenge and selfies, the Museum was a pretty crazy scene. We welcomed over 2,700 guests of all ages through our doors and we were just pleased to be able to offer a little shelter and family fun on such a nutty day in Ottawa.
Happy 151st birthday, Canada, and happy 1st birthday, Bank of Canada Museum!
Ever wondered who decides what goes on Canadian coins or bank notes? Or why our coins have certain names and our notes are different colours? Use this guide to help answer some of your money-related questions!
Authentic, teachable moments show students how the Bank of Canada is helping the economy navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
The men on the back of this bill were part of a small community of families, a summer hunting camp called Aulatsiivik on Baffin Island.
When the Barenaked Ladies released “If I Had a $1,000,000,” they could have considered themselves reasonably rich. And today? Well, there’s this inflation thing…
Johnson’s entire family, two girls and five boys, was involved in the counterfeiting operation: dad made the plates, the daughters forged the signatures and the boys were learning to be engravers.
Among 1975 $50 bill’s various design proposals were three images, three thematic colours and even three printing methods.
Using a Bank of Canada Museum lesson plan, nearly 200 students told us who they thought should be the bank NOTE-able Canadian on our new $5 bill.
Reid was on the verge of ruin, yet insisted on continuing railway construction. Suffering huge losses, and with no credit or cash resources, Reid issued wage notes to pay his employees.
In January 2021, 17 of our old bank notes will lose their legal tender status—what does that mean?
There’s little doubt that the BCP45 is lovingly preserved today partly thanks to being immortalized on this beautiful blue five-dollar bill.
Among the laser pistols, hover cars and androids of science fiction, there’s an elderly elephant in the room: money.
The Bank of Canada Museum set some very ambitious goals at the end of 2018. We have managed to achieve more in one year than we had since we opened in 2017.