Together we make Europe's best application!

The Oulu2026 open call for proposals has ended. The purpose was to find the most interesting programme proposals that will become part of our European Capital of Culture application. 

Right now each application is carefully studied. Programme proposals 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.

Thank you for participating in the open call!

This was 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,
Project Director Piia Rantala-Korhonen, tel. +358 44 703 1116,
Project Manager Heli Metsäpelto, tel. +358 44 703 7554,

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 (, 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: