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Voices from the Engraver

A travelling exhibit from the Bank of Canada Museum

From concept to final product, experience the creative process, the technical skill and the sheer artistry that underlies every series of Canadian stamps and bank notes in Voices from the Engraver— a traveling bilingual exhibit produced by the Bank of Canada Museum in partnership with the Canadian Museum of History. The exhibit makes its Canadian debut at the Galt Museum & Archives on February 7, with a grand opening planned for Sunday, February 8 at 2:00 pm.

Original art, printing plates, videos, interactives, rare stamps, and money - lots of money – await in this fun, informative and enriching look into the beauty and intricacy of Canadian stamps and bank notes.

“Bank note and stamp engraving is considered to be one of the most beautiful and the most difficult of the engraving and printing arts,” explains Galt Museum Curator Wendy Aitkens, “as the challenge is to outwit counterfeiters by developing very intricate designs difficult to copy and reproduce.”

The talents of Yves Baril of Quebec and Jorge Peral of Mexico are featured in the exhibition, among several others, as they both became masters of their art. Watercolours, photos and drawings, along with engraver's tool and printing plates used in the production of bank notes and stamps will be on display, and visitors can take a peek behind the scenes at bank notes and stamp designs that were not produced.

“Postal stamps from 1908 to 2013 recognize women such as poet E. Pauline Johnson, baker Rose-Anna Vachon, and social activist Nellie McClung, men like Métis leader Louis Riel, explorers Cartier and Champlain, and hockey heroes Paul Henderson and Yvan Cournoyer” says Aitkens. “Other stamps reflect birds and animals, villages and mountains, the territory of Nunavut and the initial Klondike Gold Strike.”

Four interactive modules are also in the exhibition, including a photo booth where visitors can make their own stamp or bank note featuring their face, design elements and choice of colours, which they can email home as a souvenir.