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A wide delegation behind Oulu's bid for European Capital of Culture project

Oulu’s bid for the 2026 European Capital of Culture is proceeding with leaps and bounds. On Monday 19th of February, the City Council decided on the composition of a 53 member delegation which supports the preparation of Oulu’s application bid based on their expertise and networks.

The delegation's term is for two-years, 2018-2019, and each representative is appointed from individual stakeholders and neighbouring areas: Ii, Kempele, Tyrnävä, Liminka, Hailuoto, Muhos, Tornio, Lumijoki, Ylivieska, Kalajoki, Raahe, Pudasjärvi, Kajaani, Kemi and Kuusamo. The final composition of the Delegation will be completed by the end of March, when the Representative Assembly will be full at 57 people.

"It's brilliant that the entire region widely supports Oulu’s bid for 2026 European Capital of Culture. It guarantees fairness and increases the opportunities for success. This is not a private project but a complete City of Oulu project”, states Project Director Piia Rantala-Korhonen.

On February 27th, 2017, the Oulu City Council decided to apply for the 2026 European Capital of Culture award. In addition to its own work, the project was named by the project leader Piia Rantala-Korhonen and the Event Manager at the time, Samu Forsblom, who was named Programme Director. In addition, Project Manager Heli Metsäpelto began at the beginning of 2018.

Afterwards, City Mayor Päivi Laajala named 4 working groups for the preparatory works, which are involved in practical arrangements and ideas.

This spring, the working groups are seeking top themes on which to begin building the project.

"We surveyed school children and students, asking them how they view Oulu in 2026. We then began the process based on the values from the responses. We will continue analysing during the next half year to reach the widest possible civic groups and actors. We will get the job done successfully together," adds Forsblom.

The Oulu 2026 ECoC bid is continuing its preparation at various levels leading up to 2020 in order to submit a top class application. In 2022, the European Commission's international jury will make a final decision.


Alatossava Ari, Municipality of Ii
Haapala Anne-Maria, Oulu University of Applied Sciences
Haapaniemi Jarmo, Municipality of Kempele
Harju Pauli, Northern Ostrobothnia Organisation
Hassinen Esko, Northern Ostrobothnia Exercise and Sport Society
Heinonen Paavo J., The City of Oulu
Heiskanen Aki , Municipality of Hailuoto
Hentilä Helka-Liisa, Oulu University
Hänninen Juha, The City of Oulu
Jurkko-Pylväs Kati, The City of Oulu
Juurikka Maria, The City of Oulu Chamber of Commerce Society
Kangastalo Sampo, The City of Tornio
Karvonen Kyösti, Kaleva Newspaper
Keränen Petri ,  Northern Ostrobothnia Business, Traffic and Environmental Centre
Lassila Ulla, Arts Promotion Centre
Lehtoruusu Leena, Municipality of Lumijoki
Leppänen Katriina, Municipality of Ylivieska
Levo Timo, Oulu Co-operative Bank  (Oulun Osuuspankki)
Lohi Tuomas, Municipality of Kempele
Marttinen Tuula/kunnanjohtaja, Municipality of Tyrnävä
Mäntymäki Ritva, Municipality of Kalajoki
Paaso Jouko, Oulu University of Applied Sciences
Parkkinen Eeva-Maria, The City of Oulu
Peltoniemi Ulla, Co-Op Arina (Osuuskauppa Arina)
Poukkanen Iiris, Municipality of Hailuoto
Rajala Pekka, Municipality of Liminka
Riikonen Jussi, Northern Ostrobothnia Pohjois-Pohjanmaan Entrepeneurs
Rossi Paula, Swedish Cultural Fund
Rossi Paula, University of Oulu
Rossi Piritta, The City of Raahe
Saarinen Satu, Evangelical-Lutheran parishes of Oulu
Sankari Erja, Nokia Oyj
Satamo Kari, Municipality of Lumijoki
Savolainen Terttu, Regional State Administrative Agency for Northern Finland
Sivonen Jari, Finnish Cultural Foundation
Soini Janne, Travel Marketing Oulu Ltd.
Suorsa Auli, Northern Ostrobothnia Organisation
Syvävirta Jukka, Municipality of Muhos
Tervo Mervi, The City of Oulu
Tiepuoli Pirkko, Municipality of Muhos
Tolonen Birgit, Municipality of Pudasjärvi
Tolonen Jari, The City of Kajaani
Tynkkynen Sebastian, The City of Oulu
Uitto Tauno, Municipality of Tyrnävä
Vilen Jukka, The City of Kemi
Viljas Mari, Municipality of Liminka
Virkkunen Katja, Oulu Energy Ltd.
Virkkunen Tommi, Oulu Kärpät Professional Ice Hockey Team
Vornanen Marke, The City of Kuusamo
Vuotovesi Leena, Municipality of Ii


Expert Members: Päivi Laajala, Piia Rantala-Korhonen, Samu Forsblom, Heli Metsäpelto


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