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Get to know Tampere region, candidate for ECoC 2026 from Finland

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

We are really happy that we had time to chat with our friends from Tampere region. They are already at the end of the whole process of second round Bid Book phase. Who from Finland will get the title will be known in summer :) Meanwhile, read more about Tampere region, bidding process and their team :) We questioned Seppo Roth, team member of Tampere 2026.

Photo by: Visit Tampere / Laura Vanzo

1. How was your journey towards the European Capital of Culture so far?

For Tampere and all the other 19 municipalities participating this bid the journey has been a huge boost for new kind of co-operation. It has become more and more obvious that this really is a project for the whole region. It has also become obvious that this is not just a cultural project but also project boosting for example tourism and the general well-being of the citizens. Personally, for me, this has been an once in a lifetime project.

Photo by: Visit Tampere / Laura Vanzo

2. Was there something, what really surprised you in the whole process?

Well, Tampere has been applying for the title once before (in 2011). So the city was somehow familiar with the process. But all the team members are making this application for the first time. Maybe we were a bit amazed how specific, how demanding and how big this whole project was. We are not taking this lightly, so there really is a huge amount of work to be done already in the application phase.

Photo by: Visit Tampere / Laura Vanzo

3. Your first Bid Book name is “Quality by Equality”. Can you elaborate more what is your first Bid-Book about?

We seek to promote equality through cultural sustainability – meaning the shared production of values through human activities. We - the people of Tampere and Pirkanmaa want to join the work of developing sustainable cultural solutions to 21st century problems. This is not the first time our city is responding to global challenges. In 1905, we were one of the first cities in the world to demand equal rights for women, sparking a social revolution giving universal suffrage to women in Finland as early as in 1906. After Finland gained independence in 1917, the country fell into a bloody Civil War, with some of its fiercest battles fought in Tampere, yet we showed exceptional tenacity in recovering from the war. Today, we’ve come a long way to be one of the most advanced cities in northern Europe, and we’ve kept our urban nature clean into the 21st century. We need to test our wings and put ourselves at the forefront not only in matters of equality but also ecology. Such a project demands effort from all – and at the same time we must keep our eyes on the social and demographic problems around us.

Photo by: Visit Tampere / Laura Vanzo

4. Can you please tell us more about your team?

Our team is experienced, international and diverse. It consists of nine people working full time – and several people from city organization and surrounding area are helping us, also. Our project leader Perttu Pesä is working as an the Event Director of Tampere – in the ancient times he used to be an actor! Pauli Sivonen, who is one of the artistic leaders of this project is the Director of world class Serlachius Museums in Mänttä-Vilppula, our main municipal partner. We also have team members originating from France, Austria and Germany! We have had great time together.

5. You are almost at the end of your writing process and you suppose to finish your Bid-Book really soon. When should it be and what are your next steps?

The Ministry of Culture is waiting for our bid on 23rd of April. So, that is our deadline! Meanwhile we are of course preparing to the possible city visit of the ECoC panel and our presentation for the panel. Let’s see how these are done during the Covid pandemic!

Photo by: Visit Tampere / Laura Vanzo

6. What culture look like in your region normally through the year? And what is really interesting in region of Tampere, that you would recommend to us to see?

Tampere is absolutely one of the great cultural cities in Finland already. We have several very good theatres, art museums and also world class symphony orchestra, but we have also vibrant underground culture, so we really have something for everyone. Tampere has a history of an industrial, working class city, and the history can still be sensed in the atmosphere of Tampere. It is very down to earth. And because Tampere is a sauna capital of Finland, we would absolutely recommend you to visit some of the public saunas in Tampere region. We have over 40 of them!

Photo by: Visit Tampere / Laura Vanzo

Read more about Tampere 2026 in their Bid Book.



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