Baseline for the evaluation of the Oulu2026 European Capital of Culture is published

3.4.2024 | NEWS

The Centre for Cultural Policy Research Cupore explores and evaluates the next Finnish European Capital of Culture – Oulu2026. The English version of the report describing the baseline of the assessment in 2022 has now published on Cupore’s website.

The report shows that expectations for the Oulu2026 cultural programme are high. According to cultural actors in the Oulu2026 area the impression of the of the artistic quality of the programme at the starting point is quite good and citizens are interested in participating in the activities of the ECoC year. The attitude of the decision-makers of the participating municipalities towards the Oulu2026 activities is also positive. 

The programme of the Oulu2026 emphasizes co-production methods and wide-ranging cooperation that involve the public. Additionally, most of the projects are planned to be implemented with international partners. 

The key characteristics for the Oulu2026 activities include inclusion, participation, building a better community spirit and cooperation. However, according to the results of the baseline report, citizens and decision-makers had different expectations regarding the effects of the ECOC activities on the community. Citizens did not see the connection between Oulu2026 activities and strengthening of the community as broadly as the public officials and decision-makers. 

The main goal of Oulu2026, alongside a high-quality cultural programme, is a cultural climate change that means a more open and stronger connection between people and an established rich cultural life in the northern region. The Oulu2026 region consists of Oulu and 39 partner municipalities.  

Cupore will carry out research and evaluation project of the Oulu2026 between 2022–2027.  

The English version of the baseline report is available here:  

Luonila, Mervi, Renko, Vappu, Ruusuvirta, Minna, Sokka, Sakarias, Leppänen, Aino & Okker, Sauli (2024). Towards Oulu2026 – European Capital of Culture. Baseline for the evaluation in 2022. Cupore webpublications 79. Center for Cultural Policy Research Cupore 

Additional information: 

Senior researcher Mervi Luonila, mervi.luonila@cupore.fi 

Read more about the research project: https://www.cupore.fi/en/research/oulu2026-evaluation-research/  

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