Oulu2026 -programme aims for Cultural Climate Change!

The main message of our culture programme is Cultural climate change that is present through three main programme themes: Brave Hinterland, Wild City and Cool Contrasts.  Cultural climate change creates an inspiring future for northern Europe in a sustainable way. It highlights the importance of art and culture in the future of cities, villages and regions. Cultural climate change also reunites us in crisis-ridden Europe. We need cultural climate change more than ever.

We are building our programme through Open Calls. Next open call will be We are the Culture on 2025.

Oulu2026 Culture Programme’s values


Our cultural program is inspiring and unique. Culture is also taken to new arenas and audiences with experiences created in unique places. The participants are experiencers, but also creators. Together we make cultural climate change.


We are committed to building an ecologically, socially, culturally and financially sustainable cultural program. We support responsible cultural production and develop our operations in accordance with the UN’s global action program for sustainable development.


The purpose of the European Capital of Culture is to emphasize the richness and diversity of European cultures and to increase the sense of belonging and unity among European citizens. One of the main goals of the European Union is to promote peace, and in times of difficult crises these goals are even more relevant.

Programme themes

The structure of the cultural programme divides the story of Cultural Climate Change into three chapters or themes. Each chapter includes a group of exciting projects which bring our story to life. Together they produce a compelling glimpse of what the future could hold.

Kuvassa tanssivia nuoria

Wild City

We bring wildness into the city by celebrating the wilderness around it. Creating a new cultural approach with our unique northern vibe. Oulu as a cultural laboratory, going wild for Europe.

kuvassa nainen seisoo selkä kameraan lautalla talvella

Brave Hinterland

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.

Kaupunkimaisema Oulu

Cool Contrasts

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.