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Image of a woman dancing, text says Open Call for Culture Programme

We are now accepting applications!

Submit your proposal by 9th Dec 23:59 (EET)
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Open Call for partners to create the European Capital of Culture 2026 programme!

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 call for applications for individual, communal projects will be announced nearer 2026.

The Open Call 2022 will be launched in October 3rd 2022 to allow the projects selected for funding sufficient time to create genuine impact and change within the region.

 

Important dates

  • 18th Oct Helpdesk clinic *all our producers are currently fully booked*  If you have questions, please email us at opencall(a)oulu2026.eu
  • 19th Oct 14:00 (EEST) Webinar – Open Call Sign up here
  • 22nd Nov 14:00 (EEST) Webinar – Open Call
  • 9th Dec 23:59 (EEST) Open Call closes

 

Frequently asked questions

1. What type of projects are we looking for?

The goal of the Oulu2026 cultural programme is to achieve a permanent cultural climate change and a positive development fuelled by culture in Northern Finland. Naturally, the operative focus of the projects is on the capital of culture year 2026 but they may be launched earlier.

The projects are expected to deliver a European dimension through, for example, involving international cooperation partners.

2. Who can apply?

The Open Call for applications in October is open for Finnish and international actors. Funding may be applied for by private individuals, groups, associations, networks, businesses, organisations, and public institutions. The application must indicate the lead organisation or person in charge of the project.

The project plans are expected to be suitable for independent delivery.

The Open Call of autumn 2022 is aimed at large-scale projects for the Oulu2026 programme. The “We are the Culture” call for short-term projects will be announced closer to the capital of culture year, in 2024 at the earliest.

3. Application process

Start by familiarising yourselves with the three main themes and the cultural programme described in our Bid Book.

More detailed application instructions, criteria and terms and conditions for funding will be published on our website on 1 September 2022. The application form will be available on this website from 3 October 2022.

The call for applications closes on 9 December 2022. The final decisions will be announced by 31 May 2023.

4. What are the application criteria?

The autumn 2022 Open Call is aimed at projects related to the main themes Wild CityCool Contrasts and Brave Hinterland

The project must be linked to one or several of the three main themes. Focus areas relevant to the themes include art and technology, the cultural history within the Oulu2026 region, creative spaces and places, regional food culture, combining nature and art, festival development, the promotion of minority cultures and a sustainable future.

The projects must be ready to be delivered independently with funding provided.

The projects must have a wide-reaching impact and the ability to offer unique experiences, permanent change or new models of operation. The focus of the project must be on 2026 but it may be launched earlier if this supports the achievement of the key goals.

The purpose of the Open Call is to support unique artistic and cultural initiatives. The purpose is not to offer funding for regular operations of organisations and actors, but rather encourage established organisations and actors to envision programme that complements and furthers the daily operations.

The project must mainly take place within the Oulu2026 region.

5. What type of costs can be covered?

As a rule, the funding awarded will cover up to approximately 50% of the total budget. The application must include a budget for the project. The self-financing may be obtained through, for example, sales or fees, grants and sponsorship. The remaining funding may also include salaries and voluntary work.

The Open Call is specifically aimed at projects, not regular and established activities.

Infrastructure and property costs (e.g., rent, building service charges, repairs and building work and equipment) may be funded only if they form an essential part of a larger project and account for a reasonable part of the overall budget.

The application instructions published on 1st September will provide further details about the application and funding.

6. Need further information?

The webinars and help desks organised during the summer and autumn will provide more information about the Open Call.

You can book a time from our Oulu2026 team in September to discuss more about your project, how to apply and get prepared for submitting your application!

7. What is meant by the large-scale projects which the autumn 2022 Open Call focuses on?

By large-scale projects we refer to projects that may take several years to prepare or carry out. The goal of the Oulu2026 cultural programme is to achieve a permanent cultural climate change and a positive development fueled by culture in Northern Finland.  The project plans are expected to be suitable for independent delivery. The operative focus of the projects is on the capital of culture year 2026 but they may be launched earlier. A call for more individual, communal projects will be announced closer to the capital of culture year.

8. How big are the events arranged as part of the projects expected to be?

Each project is expected to open up to audience as part of the Oulu2026 Culture programme. This can be done e.g. in the form of events which are open to the public, but there are no preset audience goals for individual projects. When evaluating the scale of the projects overall, also other activities and schedule will be taken into account.

9. Do I need to set a schedule for my project already in the application stage?

Yes, in your application you are expected to share the expected timeline for the project and outline which activities will take place at what point of the process. The Open Call of autumn 2022 is aimed specifically at larger-scale projects, which may take up to several years to plan and carry out. The funding provided by Oulu2026 is focused especially for the years 2025 – 2026, but the projects may also be initiated earlier if seen necessary.

10. Can pre-existing events and festivals take part in the Open Call?

Pre-existing, established events and festivals are welcome to apply with a proposal of e.g. a development project relating to the themes of the Culture programme of Oulu2026.

Please note that the Open Call is specifically aimed at projects, not regular and established activities.

11. Where can I learn more about the projects which have already been selected to be part of the culture programme of Oulu2026?

All projects which were included in the culture programme in the application stage are included in the Oulu2026 bid book. The bid book can be found online at Bid Book – Oulu2026

12. Can the projects receive partial funding, or can only some part of the proposal be accepted as part of thec culture programme?

Projects may also receive only a part of the applied funding. During the evaluation period we may also ask the applicants to provide further information on the project, and discussions on aspects of projects are possible prior to final funding decisions. 

13. What are the themes of the culture programme?

The structure of the culture programme divides the story of Cultural Climate Change into three main themes. Each main includes a group of exciting projects which bring our story to life, and more will be added through the open calls. Learn more about the themes Wild City, Cool Contrasts and Brave Hinterland here: Culture programme – Oulu2026

14. What does the European dimension mean?

European dimension in the projects refers to e.g. European partnerships as well as discussion of themes that are relevant and shared by all Europeans.

15. Are there set budget limits for the projects?

There are no budget limits set for the projects in the autumn 2022 Open Call. However, please note that the open call is focused on larger scale projects, and a call for more individual, communal projects will be announced closer to the capital of culture year. As a general rule, the funding awarded can cover up to approximately 50% of the total budget. The application must include a budget plan for the project.

16. Can the self-financing include also grants?

Yes, the self-financing may also include for example grants. The self-financing may be obtained through for example sales or fees and sponsorship as well. The remaining funding may also include salaries and voluntary work. As a general guideline, the funding awarded by Oulu2026 can cover up to 50% of the total budget.

 

Questions?

Please email us at opencall(a)oulu2026.eu Answers to the frequently asked questions will also be updated on this website throughout the open call process.

Open Call will be launched in