News and events

< Back

Together for European Capital of Culture

Oulu is applying to become the European Capital of Culture in 2026. The starting point for this wide-ranging project is the participation of Oulu residents.

 – The status of European Capital of Culture would put Oulu and Northern Finland firmly in the limelight, both here at home and in Europe and around the world, says project manager Piia Rantala-Korhonen.

The Oulu City Council made a decision about the European Capital of Culture project in February last year.

The selection criteria of the European Commission include the long term impacts of the project, its effects on urban development, a clear artistic vision and a realistic budget. The Commission also emphasises the inclusion and participation of people. Therefore, the project should focus on including young people, voluntary workers, marginalised people, minorities, as well as the unprivileged, handicapped and elderly.

– Everyone needs to be given the chance to take part in planning and implementing the project.

The Capital of Culture project is far-reaching with a considerable impact on tourism, the regional economy and the development of the city. According to Rantala-Korhonen, the project combines the unique nature of the region, technology know-how and culture. The impact of the project and scope of the development work will be felt far into the future.

– Oulu is a city for children and young people and the future. This project allows us to create new kinds of employment and develop Oulu for future generations.

What does culture mean to you? How do you include culture in your everyday life?

Jason Brower, 38
Cultural services are important. I use the library more than any other services, since I read a lot and I also borrow CDs. My daughter is very interested in art, and we have visited the Oulu Museum of Art and the Science Centre Tietomaa, which I think can also be considered culture. Every year, we also look forward to the light festivals that mark the beginning of the Christmas season.

Johanna Kärkkäinen, 29
Culture can mean a break in everyday life, for instance an evening at the movies with my partner. There is a wide selection of activities to choose from, but one should just remember to find out in time about interesting shows and concerts. My son is very interested in children’s concerts, and it’s important that there are cultural events for the whole family.

---

Read more Oulu2026

 

Link