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Oulu2026’s Creative Advisors Selected

City of Oulu Mayor Päivi Laajala has named the Oulu2026 bid’s creative advisors. There are a total of 20 advisors whose age ranges from 17 to over 70 years old and includes 9 females and 11 men. All represent a broad range of expertise in various fields of arts, science, culture and creative economics.

Oulu2026 Project’s Creative Advisors:

Ahtinen, Lauri, Cartoonist, Oulu Cultural Artist
Haanperä, Heta, Theatre Director, Oulu Theatre
Harju, Timo, Writer, Speech Art Director, Culture Co-Operative Ilme Chairperson
Herneoja, Aulikki, Architecht, Doctor of Technology, Oulu University

Iljana, Katja, Clothing Designer, Event Producer, Musician

Isohookana-Asunmaa, Tytti, Cultural Artist, former Minister of Culture, Oulu University
Kinnunen, Tiina, Finland and Northern Europe History Professor, Oulu University

Korpelainen, Raija, Professor of Health Management, Oulu University, ODL
Jaakko Kuusisto, Conductor, Oulu Music Festival Artistic Director
Kääriäinen, Kalle, Student, Youth Ombudsman Oulu
Magga, Sigga-Marja, Saame Culture Instructor, Oulu University
Manninen, Tony, Game Studio LudoCraft CEO
Mattila, Jaakko, Visual Artist, Oulu Cultural Artist
Roukala, Aki, Photographer, Cultural Event Producer, Bättre Folk
Röyhkä, Kauko, Writer and Musician
Satulehto, Merja, Dance Artist, City Dance Managing Director
Stevenson, Blair, Cultural Researcher and Teacher at Oulu University of Applied Sciences
Sulkala, Roope, Restaurant Entrepreneur, Dancer and Cultural Actor
Takalo, Jukka, Musician, Oulu Cultural Artist
Yli-Maunula, Pirjo, Professor of Art, Dance Artist

The creative advisor’s tasks are to create European ideas that are suitable for city development themes for the Oulu region to be used and developed for the 2026 European Capital of Culture application.

They do not write the application, but develop the key themes that are the basis for the future cultural programme. "As a base material for creative thinking, advisors will use extensive material collected over the last couple of years in workshops, surveys and encounters with local people, decision-makers and stakeholders," states Programme Director Samu Forsblom.

The Oulu2026 project requested proposals from more than 200 different organisations, associations, cultural and non-governmental organisations for which 100 candidates were nominated. The Oulu2026 project team and the Oulu2026 programme group chose 20 of them, whose final names were today confirmed by the mayor.

The advisor’s term lasts until the beginning of February, when the main themes of the program are published. Participation in this group will not result in any challenges in the future.

The first phase of the application process for the 2026 European Capital of Culture bid is to be submitted in 2020. The decision will be made by a EU selected international expert panel. The final cities that have been selected to proceed will be able to improve their application and the final decision for 2026 European Capital of Culture will be made in 2022.


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