The bid team has been visiting several municipalities this autumn. here Perttu Pesä speaks in Nokia.

“It is essential that every municipality finds it’s own highlights”

“Every municipality is guaranteed to be part of the program and projects. See your own strengths and how you could use them as part of the ECoC project. What do you want to tell the rest of the world about your municipality? I am here for you! ”

This is what Maria Peräinen, the municipal coordinator of the Tampere Region Capital of Culture bid, promises. Together with Tampere and 19 other municipalities, he is putting together a great program for Tampere Region for possible Capital of Culture year 2026.

But what could that program be like? Example:

Glass is formed in a thousand degrees. In the glass village of Nuutajärvi, professional glassblowers share their work with visitors. People of all ages can compete in the design of glassware, and glass artists bring ideas to life.

This program idea was described in the first application book of Tampere and Pirkanmaa. This, and also new ideas, are now being refined into the second book under the guidance of municipal coordinator Maria Peräinen.

The provincial ideas of the first application book moved from Urjala’s glass art to Sastamala’s flower medows, from Parkano’s ITE art to the Mänttä-Vilppula International Choir Festival. So nature and culture, even industrial tradition and fine, high art.

Next April, the final application book will be completed, and then it will become clear what the final program sections of Tampere and Pirkanmaa, which have developed even further from the idea, will look like. (The selection process is described at the end of this story)

Weekly meetings

What is going on right now in the development of municipal programming in October 2020?

“Municipal co-operation progresses with each municipality individually. Meetings with cultural leaders are held weekly, where an elected representative from each municipality is present.”

“In addition, we have attended many municipal or city board meetings with Perttu Pesä. Various kick-off and program working group meetings have also been organized in the municipalities,” Maria Peräinen describes.

He says that in addition to meetings, of course, various models of co-operation are planned with both the cultural operators and the production team.

“However, one of the most important things is to improve co-operation networks, create a more cohesive Pirkanmaa and raise local pride!”

The Nuutajärvi glass village project mentioned at the beginning was already included in the first application book. However, the first search book does not mean that something completely new could not come up in the second book.

“Now we are trying to squeeze more gems out of the province to get them in the second book as well. Some of the program proposals are already ready, in other municipalities they are still being filed.”

And if it happens that in a single municipality there are no bundles going to the implementation, the so-called. “Own” program ideas, however, visibility is guaranteed for all municipalities.

“Every municipality is guaranteed to be included in the program and projects, this is guaranteed already at the planning stage. However, the kind of own program proposals, such as events that arise in municipalities, still varies a lot. It is valuable that each municipality finds its own tips that it wants to polish and sharpen and can thus bring out its uniqueness, ”says Maria Peräinen.

Maria Peräinen sends a special message to the municipalities:

“See your own strengths and challenges and think about how you could use them as part of the ECoC project. What do you want to tell the rest of the world about your municipality? I’m here for you, and I’ll help in any way possible. ”

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This is how the selection progresses

The pre-selection of the applicant cities has been made. The first meeting of the International European Capital of Culture 2026 jury was held in June 2020 at the Helsinki Central Library in Oodi.

The jury evaluated the applications of Oulu, Savonlinna and Tampere and heard the presentations of the cities. All three cities proceeded to the second and decisive round.

Now is the time to further develop the applications. The cities have time until April 23, 2021 to develop and refine their applications. The development work is based on the jury’s feedback on the application books.

In May 2021, two to four jury representatives will make a one-day visit to the pre-selected cities just before the final selection meeting.

The European Capital of Culture for 2026 will finally be elected at the jury meeting on 2 June 2021 in Helsinki.