Let’s make Europe’s best application!

The Oulu2026 European Capital of Culture project is launching an open call for proposals. The purpose is to find the most interesting programme proposals that will become part of our European Capital of Culture application. 

Each application is carefully read. The more thought out and prepared the application, the better chances it will have to proceed. Acceptable programme presentations will be used in the European Capital of Culture application, which will be submitted in May 2020. We will look at the funding opportunities together with the applicant and possibly help them move forward.

More detailed instructions can be found on the right side of the page. Now is your time to be active and submit your proposal!

This is the question

We are searching for content and project proposals:

1. From applicants who are prepared to carry out their proposed project

2. From creative humans who want to submit their proposals to the Oulu2026 idea bank


All proposals submitted must be in line with the main objective of the European Capital of Culture application, Cultural Climate Change and be linked to one of the following themes: Hinterland, Contrasts or Wild City.

You can find more detailed instructions and application forms on the right side of this page. You can find more detailed descriptions of the European Capital of Culture themes application under this link.


More information:
Program Director Samu Forsblom, tel. +358 44 703 7558, samu.forsblom@ouka.fi
Project Director Piia Rantala-Korhonen, tel. +358 44 703 1116, piia.rantala-korhonen@ouka.fi
Project Manager Heli Metsäpelto, tel. +358 44 703 7554, heli.metsapelto@ouka.fi

Application instructions for ready-made programme proposals

An open call for proposals will be organised from February 11th to May 31st, 2019. The Oulu2026 cultural programme content will be built around the programme proposals. Anyone can participate in the programme search, as an independent individual or with an organisation they represent or with a wider network. The search brings together unique content for the European Capital of Culture year.


Oulu2026 Programme Application Guidelines for ready-made programme proposals and projects

Application Form for Prepared Programmes (Word-document)
Application Form for Prepared Programmes (PDF-document)

Submit your application to the City of Oulu Registry by 15:30 on May 31st, 2019.

Instructions for idea proposals

Suggest your idea for the Oulu2026 Programme!

Do you have an idea that would suit well in the European Capital of Culture programme, but you cannot implement it yourself? Submit your programme proposal with us at the idea bank for possible implementation at a later date! By submitting your proposal, you agree that it can be used in the Oulu2026 European Capital of Culture project. 


Frequently asked questions


Programme proposals must be submitted by 31.5.2019. After the deadline, the programme work group will review the proposals during the summer and early autumn. Project applicants will be contacted if the proposal is accepted to progress further. Proposals with similar content can be combined into a broader unit. All of the programme applicants will be contacted by the end of 2019. In this case, you will be informed of the programme proposals that will be included in the first phase of the European Capital of Culture application in May 2020.

The first-stage of the application outlines the major programme and flagship initiatives. If Oulu is selected to continue their ECoC application bid, the second stage of the application process will begin in 2021 and will describe the 2026 cultural programme in more detail.



This programme search seeks programme ideas and project proposals, but does not distribute funding.

The important aspect is that the programme proposal has a preliminary cost estimate, but there is no need for a final financial plan.

If Oulu becomes the European Capital of Culture, Oulu2026 will fund a significant part of the cultural programme. However, the applicant is also advised to apply for their own funding for their project. In this way, we can grow the cultural programme as broad and versatile as possible.

You can receive more information on various funding means here (in Finnish).


Completing the application form?

Pay close attention to filling out the application form. Describe the major aspects of your programme proposal. If you need assistance completing the form, please contact Mirja Syrjälä (mirja.syrjala@ouka.fi, 040 1834 382).

On Thursdays in May at 14-17, you can refine your programme ideas at Oulu2026 clinics in Oulu10, where you can also get help completing the form.


Commitment to project implementation?

The final European Capital of Culture submitted application in 2021 will bind the city of Oulu. The cultural programme presented therein must be implemented as set out in the application.

In principle, the applicant commits to implement their programme proposal. It is possible to update the project plan based on any changed data.


European Dimension?

European dimension means:

  1. Projects will be designed and implemented with European partners
  2. Projects that highlight the richness of European cultures and their common features
  3. Projects with topical content from a European perspective

The Oulu2026 area: