Tampere2026 – let’s make a song and dance about it!

Open Call is now closed! But feel free to read about the criteria

Fire Lady at Tohloppi Tour Skating Candlelight Event / Photo by Laura Vanzo

Dancing on the roofs, art tours in the woods and festivals in the neighborhoods? What does your capital of culture offer? Tampere Region’s Capital of Culture bid’s open call for programme proposals ended on 20 October! Thanks for all sent ideas!

Participate in the open call and propose your own idea!


Tampere and the Tampere Region’s European Capital of Culture 2026 bid is looking for your programme proposals for 2026 and the preceding years. The call for programme proposals has ended on 20 October.

The Capital of Culture will be built together with Tampere, Mänttä-Vilppula and 16 other municipalities in the Tampere Region. Programme proposals are an important part of the European Capital of Culture bid-book that will be submitted in May 2020. In order to make an application that fully represents us, the people of Tampere Region, we hope for content and project proposals from everyone. The call for proposals is open to everybody: you can submit a proposal either as a private person or on behalf of a group or organisation.


What should the Programme Proposal be like? 

Evaluation Criteria


How will the Programme Proposals be Financed

Contact Us



What should the Programme Proposal be like?

The Capital of Equality 


If the proposal is selected to be part of the bid, it will be linked to one or more of the Capital of Culture bid’s themes. The overarching theme of Tampere Region’s Capital of Culture bid is Capital of Equality.  We want to promote equality in all of its various forms. Therefore, we want to take care of the regional equality of the Tampere Region, the rights of children and senior citizens and the accessibility of cultural offerings, among other things.


Equality covers the following sub-themes:



There’s powerful edge in the history of Tampere and the Tampere Region. It’s also present in the city today, whose culture faces its challenges head-on. It can be seen in the courage to be real and to challenge the existing structures. It is visible in the versatility of different cultures like the vigour underground culture. Is the present edge of Tampere about humour dealing with topical issues, courage to swim against the current or modesty in facing its own sore points and global challenges?

sore points of the region • global challenges • industrialisation and technology • sub- and countercultures • underground • humour  • stubbornness



In the Tampere Region, we don’t fancy artificial hospitality. Instead of networking, we favor to talk about village hopping. By hopping, we want to encourage people to work and enjoy together, to move between municipalities sustainably and deepen their knowledge of each other and their cultures. Hopping means visiting and welcoming new people, to and from places nearby and afar. With a small community mentality, how can we strengthen local identity and reflect contemporary Europeanness?  

Tampere Region • regional equality • cooperation between municipalities • sustainability • ecological tourism • waterways • local food • international interaction



Sometimes it is hardest to see up close. In sauna people sit side by side as equals, stripped of all titles – one of the iconic images of Finland. Culture is like going to sauna, isn’t it? Spending time together, just sitting, or doing, in a way that curbs loneliness and creates open and unceremonious discussion? How to create culture that allows people to become themselves, that enables sharing thoughts as well as slowing down and enjoying the silence – in a Finnish way?

meeting people as equals • loneliness • public discussion • joy • democracy • environment • health and well-being • clean nature • silence



Everyone has the right to joy and play. When we create and experience culture, the whole world is our playground. Theatre and  music, playing and games enable us to communicate beyond cultural borders. Games and play are present at the ice rink and the “Pikku Kakkonen” playground as well as in the rising gaming industry and on the Tampere Region arts scene. How can culture help us solve current problems, such as social exclusion of children and teenagers? How could playing be a vital part of adults’ lives? How can digitalisation make culture more accessible for everyone? 

different fields of art • hobbies • sports • games • experience economy  • digitalisation


Longer explanations of our themes can be found here.


The proposal can be a small, medium-sized or big cultural event, a new form of cooperation between different cultural operators and/or people experiencing culture, a concert, a hobby, a new type of a nature trail or a long-term development project, for example. The idea could be carried out in only one municipality or simultaneously or as a tour around different parts of the Tampere Region, Europe or the whole world. Therefore even a small idea could be international; the European identity is built on the cultures of many different regions.  Proposals can be carried out in cooperation with schools, universities or other educational institutions, industry and commerce or associations, for example. Culture provides means to deal with current and global issues. Only your imagination is the limit!

Evaluation criteria

The EU has determined the objectives and the criteria used in the Capital of Culture selection process. The criteria of the programme proposals are also based on these instructions. Proposals do not need to meet all the criteria in order to be selected as part of the bidding. Proposals that meet as many criteria as possible will be selected as part of the programme. Proposals that meet a specific criterion particularly well may also be selected in case they contribute essentially to the wholeness of the programme.

All programme proposals will be evaluated according to the following criteria:


1. The proposal promotes equality and reflects the rest of the themes. The proposal considers as many different population groups as possible and promotes equality. In addition, the proposal can be linked to the application themes as efficiently as possible (as stated above).


2. The European/international dimension. The programme proposal has potential for European/international cooperation and brings forward the richness of cultures and their shared characteristics. From the European/international point of view, the proposal has above all accurate contents and it looks to the future. Big and small projects alike can represent the European identity through cooperation with, for example, a European artist, a twin city or cultural operators of another European Capital of Culture.


3. Local and national cooperation. The proposal considers the possibilities of regional cooperation with other operators in the Tampere Region and/or operators on the national level. If Tampere and the Tampere Region are selected, we will represent the entire Finland abroad. The local proposal is also preferred to include a dash of internationality.


4. Long-term basis. The proposal (depending on its character) has the potential to be developed into an activity of many years. It can be aimed towards the Capital of Culture year or it can continue thereafter as well. The proposal commits to strategically develop the regional culture in the long term, and it can potentially provide positive, long-term social effects.


5. Active participation of cultural operators and residents. The proposal enables cultural operators and residents to participate in making and experiencing culture in various ways.


6. Accessibility. The proposal considers making culture as accessible to everybody as possible. Different age groups, people with physical and sensory impairments and local cultural minorities have been included when planning and/or implementing the proposal.


7. Artistic quality and crossing the borders of culture sectors. The proposal is of high quality artistically. The proposal is not limited to only one form of art or culture sector but combines creators, operators and practices from various sectors.


8. Trying new things and combining old and new. The proposal tries new, unconventional contexts for creating and experiencing. It combines traditional culture and/or cultural history with new customs and therefore brings traditional art forms to the reach of new target groups.


9. Sustainability The proposal considers climate effects, and the planned action promotes sustainability.


10. Digitalisation. The proposal utilizes digitalisation and new forms of action, which promote accessing, spreading and replicating it in an environmentally friendly way on local, regional, national and international level.


11. Feasibility. A preliminary plan has been drawn for the proposal to show that the proposed programme can be carried out and/or it is developable in cooperation with the Capital of Culture office and possible local, national and international partners.


12. The proposal has the potential to be linked to international funding programmessuch as the Creative Europe programme.



More information:

For the promotion of multiculturalism, sense of community and inclusivity, see Meaningful in Finland action plan. For the promotion of equality, see Act on Equality between Women and Men (609/1986) and the Non-discrimination Act (1325/2014) whose principles also concern activities and projects funded by the ministry. You can find more information on sustainable development here: Society’s Commitment to Sustainable Development. We also recommend following the discussion of our themes on Facebook and Twitter. For more information on the criteria of the EU, see this document.


Have a look at different examples of Capital of Culture programmes here.


Schedule of the open call

The open call opened on 17 August 2019, and has ended on 20 October. Everybody who has submitted a proposal will be contacted by the end of January 2020.

During the autumn, the programme groups formed for the Capital of Culture bid will consider the proposals together with the Capital of Culture office. About the usage and the publication of the proposal, the submitter in question will be contacted later.

The best proposals will be selected as part of the programme plan of Tampere Region’s Capital of Culture bid. The first bidding phase, which will be submitted to the Board in 5 May 2020, presents a programme plan for 2026 and the years preceding it and describes the potentially carried out programme proposals.  If Tampere and the Tampere Region make it to the second bidding round, the plans will be developed and improved according to the Board’s feedback for a second bidding phase in 2021.

Carrying out the programme proposals

If Tampere and Tampere Region are selected as a European Capital of Culture in 2021, the proposals can be carried out. Most of the programme takes place between 2023 and 2026 and culminates in the Capital of Culture year 2026.

However, the impacts of the Capital of Culture bid go beyond the actual Capital of Culture year, and therefore we are looking for proposals that have the potential to continue past 2026. Smaller proposals can be carried out immediately after the selection has been confirmed or already in the bidding phase.

In principle, the submitter of the proposal is its primary producer. The best proposals will be prepared, planned and carried out together with the Capital of Culture office. Proposals with similar contents can be combined. The Capital of Culture office has the final word in accepting the programme proposals and developing them into projects . Proposals that have been selected as part of the bidding will only be carried out if they qualify also after further development and planning.

How will the programme proposals be funded?

If Tampere and the Tampere Region are selected as a European Capital of Culture, the majority of the culture programme will be funded by the Tampere Region’s Capital of Culture office. The applicant is also recommended to apply separate funding for the project.

Read more about different funding options here.


If you have any questions, please contact the Capital of Culture office on social media (@tampere2026team) or by sending email to kulttuuripaakaupunki2026@tampere.fi .

Let’s build the best culture programme for Tampere and Tampere Region together!

Pispala Schottische / Photo by Kari Savolainen