It was a six-hour tour: Tampere presented a human-sized city to the panel of the Euopean Capital of Culture on May 26.
The weather was rainy, but the bid project at least did its best to convince the jury of the excellence of Tampere and Pirkanmaa and that Pirkanmaa needs the title. The theme and slogan of Tampere26 is Equally European. The idea of equality is also reflected in the day’s program, designed by director Marika Vapaavuori.
“We want to present an equal, colorful Tampere. A city that is constantly becoming more accessible. We want to introduce a city that feels like a hometown. It is a human-sized city where it is good to live, ”said Marika Vapaavuori.
First thing in the morning Mayor Lauri Lyly addressed the jury in the Moro Bar of the Torni Hotel.
Due to strict corona and safety restrictions, it was not possible to get inside the Uros Live construction site, but Marko Hurme told about the project at the project’s Visit Center. At the same time, Paulina Ahokas introduced the Tampere House and the new cultural director Juha Ahonen also introduced himself.
In the Finlayson area, we visited both the steam engine of the Workers’ Museum Werstas and the Gallery Himmelblau hosted by Pertti Ketonen. Kai Niinimäki told about the history of the property. Representatives of other municipalities also got a voice.
At Finlayson, the jury featured the a cappella vocal ensemble Tuuletar (also familiar from the Game of Thrones series) and Roma singer Hilja Grönfors.
Also present were SirkusRakkausPumPum, the award-winning folk music ensemble Suistamon Sähkö led by Anne-Mari Kivimäki, and kindergarten children making street art. Tampere-based actor Yasmin Ahsanullah performed Arto Lappi poem about the girls of cotton factory. Katariina Lillqvist’s animation art was also shown to the jury.
Due to the tight schedule, the jury was mostly transported by electric bus. However, they got on foot to explore the Palace Bridge and they also walked from Finlayson to the Market Hall and from there to Laukontori.
Due to the stormy weather, the new Black Box Vertical sauna board could not move a meter, but the jury was offered a meal prepared by Santeri Vuosara. However, guests were offered pike-perch as their main course.
Joel Willans also told facts about Finland and Tampere. Willans is the man behind the popular Very Finnish Problems phenomenon. Willans, who moved from the British to Finland with a VFP account, commented humorously on the Finnish way of life.
Heikki Salo, the official songwriter of Pispala, gave his own spice to the visit. He did a day for the jury with his own song about the keywords given by the jury. The song was performed at the end of the day by JP Leppäluoto sauna restaurant in Kuuma. The choir conducted by Petra Poutanen-Hurme also had a performance in Kuuma.
The jury of experts will visit Oulu after Tampere on 27 May. and Savonlinna 28.5.
For a long time, it was unclear whether the visit could be carried out at all because of the corona. It will be implemented with a reduced jury composition and schedule. The original nine-hour visit program was reduced to six hours.
“We have an insane number of great institutions where it would have been great to visit and talk about the projects that are planned with them. And in addition to institutions, we have great underground places. And it is a pity that Hiedanranta, for example, does not go live. Of course, I would have liked to have shown more of what our project proponents are doing at the moment. The city’s cultural offer is nothing without the people who do it”, says Marika Vapaavuori.
The schedule is also the reason why the panel did not visit the main partner Mänttä-Vilppula. In Tampere, however, Pauli Sivonen, the director of the Serlachius Museums, one of the hosts, took care of the view of Mänttä-Vilppula.
Kai Amberla (Finland), Beatriz García (United Kingdom), Paulina Florjanowicz (Poland), Alin-Adrian Nica (Romania) and Riitta Vanhatalo (Finland) came to Tampere. Representatives of the European Commission and the Ministry of Education and Culture also took part in the visits.
The visit was tightly regulated. The jury stayed at Hotel Torni. However, the representatives of Tampere were not even allowed to greet the jury in advance. The total time was limited to six hours. The jury also did not comment on their experiences during the visit. Strict arrangements guarantee fair treatment of cities.