Tampere is the best choice as the European capital of culture, because people here are willing to step up and actively do things

Streets are at the same place, but Tampere around them has changed. That’s my first thought that hit me, when I moved back to my hometown in cold, frosty day in November. That is when I started as the executive director of Tampere Deck Arena.

My old hometown has moved on with leaps from the years I spent my youth in Viinikka and lots of other parts of Tampere. For that I ought to be happy, after getting over the initial confusion at the beginning. Tampere is an important hometown to me; my new job is here, and I have returned home. Returning home has been on my mind many times; I was just waiting for the right time for it to happen.

At the moment city is developing more rapidly than ever: after the Deck is ready, Tampere will get a new district, and the new Deck Arena will give it its beating heart. Arena will bring an amazing base for the experience industry of Tampere and whole of Finland. It is amazing to be part of this development. Tampere is a big city, that has a soul of a small town and where everything is close. Tampere will offer a unique culture combination from art to theatre, from music to world of flavours and versatile experience centre meant for sports and entertainment

Tampere is the best choice as the European capital of culture 2026, because people here are willing to step up and actively do things. Here and now, and especially in the future. Together we can build Tampere to be a brilliant capital of culture and Finland’s business card to Europe. For all of us working in different fields it will give an opportunity to bring Tampere to the next level, when it comes to the service industry, communications and what we can offer to others.

Marko Hurme, executive director, Tampere Deck Arena.