Special Exhibition | Cipher Decipher

Cipher | Decipher is an interactive exhibition developed by Ingenium – Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation, in partnership with the Communications Security Establishment (CSE).

Providing visitors with a rare and exciting opportunity to view an authentic Second World War Enigma cipher machine, Cipher|Decipher breaks down communications encryption: what it is, how it works, and how it affects our lives. The 500-square-foot exhibition showcases a wide range of historic communications encryption artifacts on loan from the CSE, and contains both hands-on and digital experiences, as well as custom illustrations that visually demonstrate key processes in cybersecurity, and making and breaking ciphers. Visitors will be able to scramble their own messages using a cipher wheel, see how an Enigma cipher machine works, and tackle puzzles to learn if they have what it takes to work in the field of cryptology.

Also on view is a complementary mini-exhibition, Floriography: The Language of Flowers. Beyond their beauty, flowers can share deep and symbolic meaning. Sending flowers to a special someone can allow us to confide our true feelings or let a loved one know that we’re thinking of them This meaning is taken a step further through what’s known as “floriography”, the Victorian era art of combining flowers to send coded messages – a language based entirely on flowers. Using images taken from the Museums of Burlington’s collections and floriographies on loan from the Royal Botanical Gardens, visitors will uncover the subtle art of floriography and can even try their luck at decoding a bouquet mural for the chance to win a prize.

The exhibition runs from October 15, 2021 to January 8, 2022. Museum hours of operation are Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 3:30pm. In accordance with COVID-19 protocols, the Museums of Burlington has procedures in place to allow the public to safely enjoy the galleries and exhibitions currently on view. Visitors to the Museum are asked to pre-pay admission online for a designated entry time. Entry times are available on the 1/2 hour. Walk-in visitors will be accommodated space permitting. 

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