Cultural Personality of the week: Charles Gil

Charles Gil

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 first time. Then in his thirties, Charles says he fell in love with the festival right away.

“Since then, I’ve been to Raahe countless times.

The 33rd Raahe Jazz of the Beach took place on 28–30 July 2022, and Charles says it was a great honour to be part of such a committed and professional organising team.

Charles is also the manager of the touring and booking agency Vapaat Äänet. The first tour of the agency started in 1996 from Raahe. Since then, Charles has been the promoter of French jazz in Finland with a passion for building cultural bridges between Finland and France. Vapaat Äänet organise four to five tours of French jazz every year, with Charles in charge of tour planning and the practical arrangements.

“It is important to me that artists feel at home and that things go smoothly. That’s when artists feel welcome, are able to give their best and the audience enjoys the performances.

Charles’ agency also helps Finnish musicians to promote their international careers. Collaboration with artists such as Mikko Innanen started more than two decades ago. The French jazz export through Vapaat äänet has been supported from the beginning by the French Ministry of Culture and the French Institute.

On top of all that, Charles also served as the Artistic Director of the Pori Jazz Ultra Music programme from 2003 until 2013. In addition, he is working on his Slow Touring concept particularly in Finland and the Baltics.

What are you up to these days? How do you spend your spare time?

I’m great, busy getting ready for Jazz on the Beach as we speak. Festival organisation involves a lot of practical, invisible work, from catering to scheduling and logistics, so that’s what has taken up my summer.

I do try to take an occasional break and spend time in the Inkoo archipelago. My aim is to always take some time off even in the midst of a busy schedule. I read a lot and swim in open water all year round. I discovered swimming even before I moved to Finland, it is something that really helps me to wind down. Although I don’t really go to saunas much, I do enjoy a good, traditional smoke sauna.

What does our leading theme, Cultural Climate Change, mean to you?

I started my career as a tour promoter way back in 1987 in Lyon, and the job has taken me around the world. I got tired of one-off events and deliberately try to avoid unnecessary travel. I don’t organise one-off gigs for my artists either, as I’d rather book more gigs within one region to make the journey worth their while. This approach is not just more ecological but it also improves the wellbeing of the crew from the artist to the light technicians. If it means I can’t book a certain act this year, I’m happy to wait until the next year. Life is all about knowing when to give in and wait. Because we postpone one or two artists until next year, does not make this year’s event any worse.

The entire Raahe team is on the same page with me on this, as we don’t want to overburden the planet. Sustainable development is at the heart of what we do and therefore we serve local plant-based food and fish at the festival. We source the equipment locally, which helps us avoid unnecessary transport. Raahe Jazz on the Beach is an artist-driven festival focused on sustainable development.

We have plenty of young, enthusiastic team members with whom the more experienced organisers are happy to share best practices.

What is it like to work in Northern Finland? How do you find the Oulu2026 region at this present time?

The importance of openness and transparency has become more emphasised, which is having a positive impact on culture. Culture is extremely important in the current global situation. We need to think what different cultures can give us and what Northern culture can give to the rest of the world. After the coronavirus pandemic, we must restore the value and status of culture to the level where it belongs and to get back to being a community.

I have visited Oulu several times on tour and I find that Oulu is beginning to come out of its shell more and more. The Oulu Music Festival is a welcome injection of energy to the cultural ecosystem and I enjoy collaborating with people from Oulu.

What will the Oulu2026 region look and feel like in 2026? How do you think the Capital of Culture title will impact Northern Finland?

I hope that by 2026, culture has regained its position. Engaging with audiences is crucial for artists and I hope 2026 offers a major opportunity for that. We mustn’t forget the mistakes that were made in the field of culture during the pandemic, we must learn from them. I believe that as a cultural capital, Oulu will grow even more open and attractive to new international interest and opportunities.

Without volunteers, none of these events would be possible, so I hope that the joy of working together is something that lingers long into the future.

What does culture mean to you personally?

To me, culture is life. It is the film I watch, the book I read, the theatre shows I go and see, and all the dance, music and song. Without culture there is no meaning to life. Culture need not be present at all times but it does need to be accessible, always. It means sensations, and even sports culture is part of all culture. Culture means wellbeing.

Raahe Jazz on the Beach

Previous Cultural Personalities

Oulu2026 Cultural Personality: Jetta Huttunen

Jetta Huttunen

Cultural Personality of the week is Jetta Huttunen, the executive producer of KulttuuriKauppila Art Centre. KulttuuriKauppila Art Centre is located in Ii, and its core operations include international artist residencies, the ART Ii Biennial and the management of the Ii Environmental Art Park.

The eighth ART Ii Biennial that took place this June featured ecologically sustainable environmental and sculpture art for the northern environment within the areas of significant cultural heritage in Ii and the Ii Environmental Art Park. Involved in the ART Ii Biennial organisation since 2018, Jetta hails from Oulu but has also lived in Lapland for long periods of time.

“I am a strongly art-driven person. I would rather call myself an art producer than just a producer. This is a role that comes up very rarely here in the north. When the position was announced, I saw a dream job for myself.”

ART Ii Biennial is one of the festivals in the European Spotlight programme, which offers European participants a unique point of access to festivals in northern Finland. Other European Spotlight festivals include Raahe Jazz on the Beach, Kajaani Poetry Week and the Haapavesi Folk Music Festival. A wide repertoire of different events reflects the cultural climate change within the extensive Oulu2026 region.

“To me, cultural climate change signifies the idea that even though we live outside major metropolises, we still have the right to culture. It shouldn’t make that much difference whether you live in a big city or a rural community. Everyone should have equal access to enjoying culture and art. I find that the goal of the cultural climate change is genuine equality in cultural production.”

The group of festivals known as the European Spotlight festivals is closely linked with the Capital of Culture theme Brave Hinterland, which brings to the fore narratives about life in the north, climate change and a region that Europe has yet to truly discover. Within the context of this theme, it refers to respecting and working with nature, for example.

“I would love to see a much stronger connection between natural sites and cultural production in 2026. I think we are still under-utilising this resource here in the north, because we have a really spectacular natural environment and unique cultural heritage. I think we should approach this potential in a modern way.”

The Oulu2026 Capital of Culture application involved 32 cities and municipalities alongside Oulu. Some of the localities focus on regional programmes with the aim of revealing some best-kept secrets to a wider international audience.

“The Oulu2026 title is an incredible boost to the entire cultural and artistic production in Northern Finland. I’ve been delighted to see how many municipalities and producers have joined in with such great enthusiasm. At the moment, Northern Finland seems a highly attractive cultural and artistic scene.”

The future cultural programme is put together through open applications. The Oulu2026 programme application opening this coming October is aimed at large-scale projects that require longer preparation and production time. Closer to 2026, a round of applications for smaller individual and community-based projects will be launched.

“2026 will see a wave of powerful, entrepreneurial cultural production in Northern Finland. This year, ART Ii Biennial will invite Finnish and international film production teams with plenty of opportunities and interesting content. We have a wide range of exciting content that will increase the appeal of our locality – and this will also reflect positively on other businesses in the area.”

ART Ii Biennial

Cultural Personality of the week: Anna-Mari Nousiainen

Photo of artists Anna-Mari Nousiainen

Our Cultural Personality of the week is Anna-Mari or Ansku Nousiainen, who describes herself in her Instagram bio as: “Failed film-maker, mediocre artist and soon-to-become bad tattoo artist.” Ansku confirms she is all that but also a lot more. At least, a loyal hype girl, pathetic softie, a bit tough, but deep down a really sensitive soul.

Ansku dreamt of becoming an artist since primary school, but her career in film happened accidentally. After finishing upper secondary school, the doors to the art schools did not open and, in panic, Ansku applied to any further education programme that mentioned the word culture or media. Sitting at the entrance interview for Salpaus Further Education, Ansku was wondering why on earth they were asking strange questions about XLR cables and connections and tried to steer the interview towards comics. Eventually the interviewers asked, “You do know this is an audio-visual media programme?”.

Ansku had thought she had applied to the graphic design programme, so thinking on her feet, quickly replied, “Yes, I LOVE cinema!”

Miraculously, Ansku was accepted and was later able to study film and work in the industry. Throughout her studies, however, Ansku also studied and worked with art and insisted on calling herself an artist.

Today, Ansku makes art across disciplines and her career is currently in transition. Ansku has moved from film more towards festival work, and in her artistic work she has expanded into photography, video and installations as well as 3D and audio works. Stories, not just showing them but also telling them, are at the core of Ansku’s work.

This spring, Ansku is mostly focusing on her role as the artistic director of the Oulu Music Video Festival, which brings all her professional interests together. Ansku has always loved music videos and is a complete “music video freak”. When she realised she, too, could be making music videos, there was no turning back. Ansku started attending the Oulu Music Video Festival (OMVF) first as a video maker and, inspired by the event, she launched a small Musavideorama music video event in Tampere together with Anna Alkiomaa. Recently, OMVF was looking for a new artistic director, Jaakko Mattila, who was leaving the role, suggested to Ansku that she should apply. Ansku has been working as the artistic director of OMVF since 2019.

You have just moved to Oulu from Helsinki. Tell us more! How did you come to that decision? How does it feel now, to live in Oulu?

Many people have asked me “Why would anyone move from Helsinki to Oulu?”. I could write an essay or a short story about it, but I think I’ll just settle for a short “Why not?”. Helsinki was cold and I was longing for something else. I have managed to travel to Oulu once a month for an entire autumn and winter, for one week at a time, so I thought Oulu could could just as well be my home and I could travel from here. I was nervous about the move mainly because my friends mostly live in the south, but people did support my decision! I have always travelled a lot all over Finland, so this was not as radical a choice as it may sound. My mum agreed with my decision and said “It’s great that things are happening elsewhere as well, not just in Helsinki!” My home has always been critical of Helsinki-centredness and I guess that has rubbed off on me.

My relationship with Oulu was purely the result of the music video festival – first as a visitor, then getting more involved with the event and now finally as the artistic director. I have no family here, and before the festival, I didn’t know anyone in Oulu. Through the festival, I had quickly built a very close circle of people and relationships that are important to me. I called it my music video family, and I started spending more and more time here outside my work as well. Summer 2021 was probably the turning point when my thoughts came together. Elektorni, festivals and events, perfect rollerblading routes and bright summer nights completely charmed me. Oulu was flirting with me like nobody or no other place has ever done before!

I must say that the campaign to get me to Oulu was persistent but subtle (these people are professionals after all!) and eventually very successful. So here I am! As my friend Vilma said: “There must be something very special about Oulu for you of all people to move here!”

What are you up to these days? How do you spend your spare time?

I’m great! I moved here about a month ago, so I’ve mainly been tidying up my place, nest building (and building my doll’s house) and hanging around vintage markets (Oulu has the best vintage markets, I have found the best pyjamas, mesh tops, china and homeware here). The first two weeks I spent just unpacking and decorating my place, and the pastel colour scheme is almost ready. It’s time to move my focus to day-to-day life, and at this time of the year this includes writing grant applications.

I was hoping that after unpacking all my stuff I would be just organising my china, lying in bed and drinking endless cups of coffee in the morning. And that’s precisely what I’ve done all February! I’ve found it difficult to read for the past couple of years, but since I moved, I’ve found myself with a book in my hand every day!

This month’s book and other spring-time tips:

Syyskirja by Johanna Venho

Travelling Light by Tove Jansson

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer


And so as not to sound more intellectual than I am, I have also been obsessing about the reality TV show Too Hot To Handle. To the point that I’ve found out which of the couples are still together… I never used to watch reality TV but then I came across Fboy Island on HBO and I was hooked!

I am also trying to rest more this spring, before the summer’s hectic festival season begins.


What does our leading theme, Cultural Climate Change, mean to you?

Climate change as a term is quite dramatic and of course we associate it with the state of our environment and it makes us worry about the future. I have long been a huge fan of domestic travel and I think that surprisingly few people in Finland have travelled widely in their own country. I really want to encourage everyone to embrace the idea of cultural climate change, and if there was anything positive about the coronavirus pandemic, I would hope it is people discovering domestic travel. For example, the Bättre Folk festival draws wide audiences from outside Oulu, which only goes to show that distance is not an issue. After all, people travel abroad to go to festivals.

As a term alone, climate change is shocking in a negative sense while cultural climate change to me means openness, kindness, collaboration and lack of prejudice.

What is it like to work in Northern Finland? How do you find Oulu at this present time?

I think Oulu is a perfect size to work (and to live!). You can make things happen and people seem very open to cooperation and new experiences.

I am constantly positively surprised how I don’t have to spend all day commuting and dealing with some complicated issue, as was the case in Helsinki. I love it that getting about without a car is so easy and quick. The city centre is very compact and I absolutely love that about Oulu! As a festival organiser (and visitor!) this is a real positive – people can easily attend several events in one day and with effective marketing, the pre and post-festival parties can also be squeezed in the same night!

Oulu is like a big park, in a good way. The woods and water are never far away. I am impressed by how many accessible, non-commercial spaces there are in the city centre where people can meet up and spend time.

For most of my career I have worked in Northern Finland during the pandemic, which of course has had an effect on what working in the cultural and festival sector has been like for me. I would like to see more cooperation between event organisers in events marketing (we should have our own Oulu Hypend!). I think there are a lot more young party- and festival-goers that we are not yet reaching. It is also interesting how easy it is to travel from here to Sweden and Norway overland! It will be exciting to see how the connections between the neighbouring countries are utilised in the Capital of Culture project.

What will Oulu look and feel like in 2026? How do you think the Capital of Culture title will impact Northern Finland?

It feels a bit wild to think that far ahead at the moment! I hope that Oulu presents itself as the lovely green city that it is, where the sun is shining and people are busy going to events. I hope to see an even livelier and more accessible, diverse and open-minded urban culture.

I would like to be shocked about how many of my friends have never been to Oulu, but then again, before the music video festival, neither had I. But that shows we should never underestimate the power of culture! I believe that the Capital of Culture title will encourage us to build new networks, venture into unknown territories and organise even more and more diverse events.

I also think that the impact will be seen in Oulu residents learning to appreciate their city and the region more, and in that the appeal of Oulu will be noticed further afield that in Northern Finland alone.


Oulu2026 Cultural Personality:Havina


kuvassa Havina -yhtye

The Cultural Personality of the Week is the indie band Havina. Hailing from Oulu, the band makes highly evocative music in Finnish. Havina is made up of musicians Juha Kuusela and Sini Sax.

How are you these days? And how to you spend your spare time?
Havina: Havina is eagerly looking forward to the new year. Our new EP was released on 6 January. Celebrating the release, we will be working with the full line-up of Havina and the rehearsals are well underway. We’re rehearsing songs, writing new ones, and hope to play Havina’s music in all its glory in front of a live audience soon.
Sini: For me, the boundary between spare time and work is blurred. Music used to take up my spare time, and now I’ve moved on to a phase in life where music is no longer a hobby. I was only recently accepted to the artist training programme in Rytmi Institute, starting in January. This means I want to spend even more time playing and writing music. Apart from that, I sit on the board of PAVA (The Association of Audio-visual Professionals in Northern Finland), do macramé and sometimes make digital art, read, do all kinds of exercise, and go to gigs and events whenever they can be organised.
Juha: I’m doing fine as well. I play in bands and do various other things related to music, I cycle, and I play video games.

Oulu, together with 32 municipalities in Northern Finland, is the European Capital of Culture in 2026! How do you feel about that?
Sini: Great! The title has such positive associations, I’m so proud to be from Oulu right now. It’s also nice to see how that recognition will be translated into practice and real action. This takes us in a direction we’ve been hoping for. When I first heard that Oulu was competing for the title, I was a little sceptical about how seriously the city was taking it. In the end, I was positively surprised! Oulu took a giant leap in promoting culture. So, a big thank you for your commitment and the achievements so far!
Juha: It’s perhaps a little early to say. Let’s see what this means in practice.

What does our leading theme, Cultural Climate Change, mean to you?
Juha: Unfortunately I’m not that familiar with the actual content of the theme, but I certainly like the sound of it.
Sini: There will be more room for culture in all sectors of society and, in addition, actors in the cultural field will be actively offered more opportunities to practice their art. New initiatives are encouraged and the established offerings will receive practical support. The value of culture is acknowledged as something meaningful to us all, something that adds value and wellbeing in our lives. Cooperation between different practitioners will become possible.

How do you find Oulu at this present time?
Sini:Oulu is stunningly beautiful on a cold winter’s day. And any time of the year really. It’s a nice size, a village where it’s always a bit too windy and smelly. And yet it’s my home. I’ve tried living elsewhere in Finland but I’ve always returned.
Juha:Oulu is pretty when fresh, clean snow has just fallen.

What will Oulu look and feel like in 2026? How do you think the Capital of Culture title will impact Northern Finland?
Sini: There will be more opportunities for live gigs and their organisers are supported. The region already has a certain reputation and appeal as a city of film, comics and adverts, and the gaming industry also has a clear presence. The region boasts a high concentration of audio-visual talent. It’s quite possible to make a decent living here in the field of culture. Oulu is known for unique events such as the Air Guitar World Championships, Bättre Folk, and Polar Bear Pitching, as well as for smaller and less eccentric festivals which are nonetheless organised with great panache and vision. I also think that more recently, the sea and the rivers and the lakes, and phenomena like the polar night, our flat landscape and sauna culture have also been utilised better. The best thing is that culture will be seen and heard even after 2026, there is already a plan in place for that.
Juha: I think it would be an excellent idea to have plenty of cultural events in the city throughout the year – to state the obvious!

Photo: Petteri Stavén

Oulu2026 Cultural Personality: Sanna Korpi

kuvassa laulaja Sanna KorpiThe Cultural Personality of the Week is Sanna Korpi, who originally hails from Oulainen. Sanna Korpi completed her vocal teacher training at the Oulu University of Applied Sciences in spring 2020 under the tuition of Soile Isokoski. The same spring, she also earned a master’s degree in music education and qualified as a primary school teacher. Sanna Korpi started her career as a soprano in the Youth Choir of Oulainen in 2008. She is currently studying towards a master’s degree is classical singing at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre in Tallinn. Korpi has been involved in various choir, opera and music productions particularly in Northern Ostrobothnia. She sang the role of Prince Leo in Jaakko Kuusisto’s opera the Princess and Wild Swans in Oulu in 2017 and in the same year the role of Miss Iida as well as ensemble parts in Jukka Linkola’s opera Abraham’s Banquet (Liminka 2017 & Helsinki 2018). Since 2018, Sanna has appeared in the leading role in the multi-artistic dance work Rauha. Sanna participated in the 2021 Timo Mustakallio Singing Competition in Savonlinna and will next participate in the forthcoming Lappeenranta Singing Competition.

Oulu, together with 32 municipalities in Northern Finland, is the European Capital of Culture in 2026! How do you feel about that?
That’s absolutely amazing! I hope that it gives us musicians and artists plenty of opportunities to practice our profession in a new way and to show our skills and talent to the local audiences. Once I return to Finland from Estonia, I would love to be part of promoting the cultural life of Oulu and Oulu Region.

How are you these days? How do you spend your spare time?
I’m feeling great at the moment. I had the chance to relax and see my family and friends over Christmas in and around Oulu. My plan for the spring term is to study hard and finish my studies at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre. I also hope that the pandemic is soon well and truly over and that cultural life can be in full swing again.

In my spare time, I enjoy knitting and sewing, doing exercise and being active outdoors. Lately, I’ve been enjoying Nordic walking and indoor cycling in particular, and I would love to go hiking a bit more in the future. When I’m in Tallinn, I go to see opera and ballet. This spring I would also like to visit cultural events again in Finland.

What does our leading theme, Cultural Climate Change, mean to you?
The purpose of art is to arouse feelings and show different aspects of phenomena. As a theme, the Cultural Climate Change lends itself to observing life and humanity from a variety of perspectives. Art inspired by this theme has the potential of closing the gap between the people and nature. Perhaps it could remind people of our basic values in life and give us a much needed break from the hectic pace of life and consumerism.

How do you find Oulu at this present time?
Because of the lockdown and all that it entailed, it’s still difficult to say how I see Oulu as a cultural city at the moment, but the Capital of Culture 2026 title is definitely a crucial injection of life for Oulu and the nearby region. The Oulu region continues to produce a huge amount of artistic talent that deserves the opportunity to shine and claim its space in people’s awareness.

What will Oulu look and feel like in 2026?How do you think the Capital of Culture title will impact Northern Finland?
I believe that the title will support the future cultural offering in Northern Finland in general. It would be great to see and hear all kinds of talent across the cultural spectrum.

Photo: Arttu Haimi

Oulu2026 Cultural Personality:Tessa Astre

kuvassa Tessa Astreen omakuva Ränni-galleriassa

The Cultural Personality of the Week is Tessa Astre, a multidisciplinary artist and art teacher. Tessa teaches comics and animation at the Liminka School of Arts and also serves as a planner and group leader in the Theatre Programme of the same school.
Tessa Astre has served for two years as a member of the board for Oulu Artists Association and for six years as the vice-chair and member of the board for Oulu Comics Association. She is a founder of the Performanssilupi club, has performed as her burlesque alter ego Regiina Dieder, particularly at Oulu Pride Vaimola events, and promoted the Open Stage clubs in her hometown Liminka.

In 2021, two comic books edited by Tessa in cooperation with students were published: one based on Juha Hurme’s play and the other in cooperation with comic artists from the Komi Republic. Together with Aapo Kukko and Niko-Petteri Niva, Tessa has also co-authored the graphic novel “Huojuva Torni”, which is set in Oulu . Last summer, she created installations in two spaces: a room for the Ars Kärsämäki summer exhibition and the August exhibition of the RÄNNI gallery.
Tessa operates within and across several artistic disciplines and cultural genres. “Artistically I’m most interested in combining performance art, drawing and narratives. To me, the different media are tools that I use whichever way the purpose and content of the work demands. In social and political terms, I’m interested in the accessibility and inclusivity of culture and art. Collaboration between different media is an asset,” says Tessa.

Oulu, together with 32 municipalities in Northern Finland, is the European Capital of Culture in 2026! How do you feel about that?
I feel so lucky to be a cultural creator in Oulu right now! I believe that being in the international limelight creates job opportunities for artists and improves the accessibility of the arts. Art education could be made available to all age groups through various projects to enrich our day-to-day lives. Cultural discourse on the interface of science and art will be made visible and collectively accessible. The significance and meaning of art and cultural practitioners should continue to be acknowledged and taken into account in planning after the Capital of Culture year ends. In Liminka, the impact of art and culture is increasingly understood, and the Capital of Culture title serves as confirmation that we’ve chosen the right path!

What does our leading theme, Cultural Climate Change, mean to you?
My personal identity is deeply rooted in Northern Finland and this influences my artistic work. Nuan 65 was a life-changing project for me: it meant a recognition of the uniqueness of Northern practitionership and finding my own circles in different media here. The Cultural Climate Change forces you to think what the optimum climate on these latitudes is. What type of climate can the existing infrastructure and system offer creators and audiences? What can we do?
The climate belongs to all of us, regardless of the system, which means that we also share the responsibility for it. The authorities must take responsibility for the actions that harm the climate while making it feasible for everyone to protect the climate.

How do you find Oulu at this present time?
Oulu is a beautiful city full of secret places and imaginative routes. For some reason, the local authorities seem hell-bent on doing away with grassroots activists and old buildings. I hope that the Capital of Culture title encourages decision-makers and gatekeepers to see the seemingly unprofitable underground scene and the multiple layers of history and culture as an opportunity rather than a threat.

How do you spend your spare time?
I watch films with my kids and talk to my chickens, tend to my garden, and write stories.
When possible, I go to gigs, especially in Rauhala, Tuba, and Voimala. Tarkkis 14 is a treasure trove and there are several places just outside Oulu where you can get rescue food. You can always meet nice people at Tukikohta and the Northern Ostrobothnia Museum in Ainola park is an excellent place to visit. In the summer, the best part of Oulu is the waterfront, and the parks with their plant life and graffiti walls are a must in all seasons. The Escurial Zoo and Flower Park in Liminka is a unique destination. Rantakylä is the best place for swimming. We have the whole world in miniature here, in and around Oulu. I’ve no reason to leave!

What will Oulu look and feel like in 2026? How do you think the Capital of Culture title will impact Northern Finland?
In 2026, the Liminka School of Art will start offering basic and intermediate Open University courses in theatre and comic art. The capacity of the school has expanded and it will be offering tuition round the year. The resources of private operators in other municipalities have also been increased to an all-time high and long-term employment for professional art and culture practitioners is guaranteed. Every public and private project will allocate a fixed percentage to art acquisitions, and the commissions of art for public spaces are lot more imaginative than mere lifelike statues. Performance art will have established venues with sufficient funding and grassroots actors are automatically involved in cultural projects. Art and creators are an integral part of Oulu’s diverse urban image.

Photo: Tessa Astre