Nanaimo Museum hosts exhibit about Canadian currency and stamps

NANAIMO - The Nanaimo Museum hosts Voices of the Engraver exhibit about Canadian currency and stamps until Nov. 21.

The Nanaimo Museum’s latest exhibit features artifacts such as engraver’s tools

The Nanaimo Museum’s latest exhibit features artifacts such as engraver’s tools

Voices from the Engraver, the latest feature exhibit at the Nanaimo Museum, allows people to learn about Canadian currency and stamps.

It is a chance to see and learn about the artistry behind the images on money people use in their daily lives, said Aimee Greenaway, interpretation curator for the Nanaimo Museum.

She said the exhibit should appeal to a wide range of people from currency and stamp collectors to artists and families and children.

“Everyone can relate to money and stamps because you see them. They are something that you interact with in your everyday life, so regardless of your age or your background this is something that you will recognize and hopefully be interested in learning more,” she said. “With all of us using debit and credit a lot, maybe some of us aren’t interacting with money as much as we did before.”

The travelling exhibit is on loan from the Bank of Canada Museum in partnership with the Canadian Museum of History.

Voices from the Engraver runs at the Nanaimo Museum until Nov. 21.

Greenaway said the museum requested to feature the exhibit because the organization is continually looking for exhibits that will appeal to different groups in the community.

Voices from the Engraver features currency and stamps from various time periods. Greenaway said one of the interesting things she came across while doing research was the difference technology makes in creating the items.

“One of the benefits with computers is you can be saving every step of the way, so if something goes wrong you can backtrack so you have a saved file,” said Greenaway. “But with engraving if something goes wrong they really have to start from scratch because it’s on the metal.”

One of the aspects Greenaway said she enjoys about the exhibit is being able to see the different stages in creating currency from the inspiration right up the final product, including the printing process of layering different colours on top of each other.

The exhibit includes interactive displays, a photo booth and a guilloche machine, similar to a Spirograph, where people can draw and take their work home with them.

As part of the exhibit the museum is offering a workshop, Engraving Fit for a Queen, for home-schooling families with children between the ages of 10-14 on Nov. 9 from 12:30-2:30 p.m. at the museum. Pre-registration is required and the cost is $5 per student.

Some interesting pieces on display in the exhibit include a Birds of Canada $1,000 litho proof from 1988, a Scenes of Canada image proposed for the back of a 1967 $2 bill and artwork on the back of a 1954 $2 bill.

It includes artifacts such as watercolours, photos, drawings, engraver’s tools and printing plates.

The Nanaimo Museum, located at 100 Museum Way, is open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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