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!
By Erika Benke Video: Erika Benke and Varikko official trailer by Lentoi Films Oy, Picture: Janne-Pekka Manninen Members of the audience arriving at Oulu City Depot are handed a yellow vest as the door: a visual clue, if you need...
‘FAREWELL TO THE HOPPERS’ September 24th, 2022 On September 24th, Factum Foundation in collaboration with Oulu2026 the European Capital of Culture 2026, will be organising a series of performances, projections and a concert in the iconic Silo by Alvar Aalto in...
The Oulu2026 organisation is offering an unmissable opportunity in autumn 2022 for partners to become part of the capital of culture programme. The autumn 2022 Open Call is specifically aimed at large-scale projects that take several years to prepare or carry out. The...
What do you think about Oulu as a cultural city and how the region is preparing for its year as European Capital of Culture? Let us know your opinion by responding to our survey!
Oulu will be European Capital of Culture in 2026 along with 32 other municipalities from Northern Finland. The role of European Capital of Culture is important for the entire nation and Finnish culture, as the eyes of Europe will turn to the North. Oulu2026 will offer...
Visual artist Eloise Gillow has been selected through a global application portfolio process from among 530 applicants as the artist to create the Oulu2026 mural. The mural will be unveiled in Rajakylä in September. “We hope that culture and art will become an even...
Arctic Food Lab is a trademark of Oulu2026 - European Capital of Culture that aims to promote northern gastronomy focussed on local food. Erika Benke has met two food industry professionals in Oulu to hear their thoughts on how Arctic Food Lab intends to take the...
Our Cultural Personality of the week is Petri Kuusela, an Oulu-based guitarist, producer, songwriter and educator. Petri says he has been given the tools to form a positive and restorative relationship with listening, playing and creating music from a young age....
This week’s Cultural Personality is Charles Gil, Festival Manager heading the Raahe Jazz on the Beach for the seventh year running. Hailing from Lyon, France, Charles arrived in Finland in 1995 and the very next year, 1996, he visited the Raahe Jazz on the Beach for...
The fairy tale wall is a large interactive touch screen that creates a magical immersive space for children. In addition to watching and getting involved with a fairy tale, the screen has an option to create a snowstorm, make waves in a river, build a pile of colourful autumn leaves and even chase northern lights – all that simply by drawing with fingers. There’s also a panel where users can play musical instruments. What makes the screen even more unique is that you don’t even have to touch it: the surface is so sensitive that it reacts to hand waves.
Oulu2026 lounge offers free multicultural performances and live music during Qstock festival weekend
The traditional Qstock Festival takes place in late July, but this year the festival features also free-entry Oulu2026 park in Linnansaari from Thursday 28th to Saturday 30th July. The park is located near the Qstock festival area offering visitors a relaxing place to enjoy festival and culture atmosphere free of charge.
Oulu2026 Producer Heikki Myllylahti tells us that the Oulu2026 programme for the park is now ready for publication!