Oulu is the kingdom of great contrasts – positive, but also challenging. Contrasts such as the nightless nights of the midnight sun and sunless days in the heart of winter. Contrasts have the power both to connect and disconnect, but also to create something new.
Cool Contrasts is about rebalancing our communities. There is already a recognised European need to use culture as a means to help reduce health inequalities. Oulu2026 will work with our citizens and with European partners to develop cultural practices that promote positive engagement to re-balance these inequalities. People are literally dying of loneliness in parts of Europe, both in big cities and in struggling rural hinterlands.
Oulu2026 wants to help Europe to reconnect with itself, promoting community life and face-to-face connection and exploring mental wellbeing through sensitive and thoughtful projects.
How do we learn to better understand each other? What new and surprising connections can we create and nourish? We can listen, appreciate, be curious, supportive and interested in each other. Let’s celebrate our differences in the city of contrasts!
Each of the three programme themes include programme lines which enable us to group connected projects together to maximise synergy and impact.
Art <3 Tech
Every day, nearly three billion people use mobile technology developed in Oulu. The city has long been a pioneer in technology research, product development and start-ups – and now it wants to take over Art&Tech. The models used to produce the culture of the future will increasingly utilise a hybrid strategy, a combination of virtual and physical experiences.
No one has such an intimate relationship with light as us northerners. Acknowledging the dark and harvesting the light for health
Celebrating the city’s resilience and power of reinvention as an inspiration for the future. We want to explore our local identities through outsiders’ eyes, and be surprised by what we discover about ourselves.
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!