You need to be brave to live here. Brave too to pack up and leave, starting a new life elsewhere. But even braver to stay and try to change things.
Far away from everything, on the periphery of Europe we face an uncompromising nature, extreme climate (change), enormous distances and wild vastness, excessive light and excessive darkness. Only a few in Europe are willing to live with extreme hardship and extreme beauty.
Yet Europe is much more than just its geographical core. We want Europe to get excited by its edges in 2026!
Finally, actual Climate Change impacts us more visibly here than almost anywhere else in Europe with biodiversity already significantly diminished. The global response to climate change has so far been too timid. We explore this topic in our theme Brave Hinterland.
Each of the three programme themes include programme lines which enable us to group connected projects together to maximise synergy and impact.
Between East and West
Oulu exploring its roots and the routes linking it to Europe. These routes shaped the identity, cultural and societal development of the city and deserve exploring.
Pulsing forces of the North – Nature and Art. With the growing focus on climate change, we cannot ignore or deny nature’s forces – whether you live in Oulu region or on the southernmost shores of Europe. We wish to showcase our region’s traditional engagement with nature reminding us how it enriches our lives, sharing
its vibrant inspiration with a broader Europe.
We do things differently here. We sit in hot saunas and then dive into frozen waters. We cycle on our bikes in minus 25-degrees Celsius. It’s an everyday experience for us, but a surprise to most of the rest of the world. Having fun in the snow hides a deeper message about the sensitivity and disappearance of our traditional habitat. Join us on a journey through our unique way of living and learn to appreciate winter’s natural wonders!
Upeart, a Finnish public art professional, is involved in our cultural program with the “Joy from Urban contemporary art” -project, which produces mural artworks around the Oulu area. The locations for the murals are chosen by the residents of Oulu in annual votes,...
Tartu, one of the European Capitals of Culture in 2024, is looking for three young people aged 18–30 from the Oulu2026 region to volunteer between January 25 and February 13, 2024. The selected young people get to create a unique youth celebration on International...
Organizer Oulun kulttuurisäätiö sr Y-tunnus 3246820-6 Torikatu 18 1 krs., 90100 Oulu firstname.lastname@example.org Lottery You can participate in the lottery from November 1, 2023, to November 30, 2023. The lottery will be drawn every Monday among those who have participated in...
Glowember is coordinated by the Oulu Culture Foundation. The Glowember events are organized by various entities, including municipalities and associations. Some of the events are already well known, while others are being organized for the first time. The whole spectacle takes place over a broader area, as part of the journey toward the Cultural Capital Year in 2026.
The Tales of Tar route that can be experienced digitally on mobile devices around Oulu will open in November. The cultural history route consists of 10 fascinating short stories written by author Katariina Vuori. The stories are based on authentic locations, events...
Oulu2026 has launched the Hybrid Event Producer 2026 project in cooperation with Oulu University of Applied Sciences (OUAS). The ESF+-funded project will develop and pilot more interesting digital concepts for the event industry on how live events can be experienced...
On the upcoming weekend, Qstock, celebrating its 20th anniversary, invites the audience to festival vibes starting from Thursday, when the Oulu2026 stage kicks off its program. The area on Linnansaari island is free of charge, and there will be concerts on Friday and...
A new “African Cultural Festival” will be organized in Oulu this summer with the theme ‘The Colors of Africa’. The event is organized by Africans in Oulu community.
The residents of Oulu have voted for Tuira as the location for the Oulu2026 mural. The artist selection and the exact location of the artwork will be announced in August. The public vote for this year's Oulu2026 mural has concluded. A total of 1521 votes were cast,...
Come and feel the atmosphere and culture of the city at the common dining table in Mannerheim park in the Oulu Arts’ Night on August 17. from 18:00 to 20:00.