The Finnish city of Oulu

The Finnish city of Oulu, European Capital of Culture 2026, announces an Open Call for cultural programme partners

Register to an online info webinar on 6th Sep to learn how to apply.

Finland will take the cultural center stage in Europe in 2026 as the City of Oulu, together with 32 municipalities in Northern Finland, holds the title of the European Capital of Culture 2026. The year will
be full of inspiring, diverse, and unique cultural offerings delivered by thousands of contributors from all over the world.

To learn more about the application process and criteria, we invite potential applicants to join our one-hour info webinar on 6th September at 14:00 (EEST) via Zoom. More info webinars will be held in October and November.

Culture programme with European dimension

At the heart of the European Capitals of Culture is the cooperation between European countries and cultural actors. To ensure strong, continuous cooperation and communication with international partners, the Open
Call applicants are encouraged to include a European dimension in their proposals.

The goal of Oulu2026 is to achieve a permanent cultural climate change and to use culture to fuel positive development through three programme themes:
Wild City, Cool Contrasts and Brave Hinterland.

Samu Forsblom, Oulu2026 Programme Director recommends that applicants familiarize themselves with the European Capital of Culture application book, Bid Book, and the main themes in advance.

“We are looking for unique projects with far-reaching impacts. Combining art and technology and unique artistic experiences created through this process are of particular interest to us. Co-funding
is available for projects carried out in the Oulu2026 region, which means they must take place partly or entirely within this region,” says Samu

The submission for proposals will be open from 3rd October until 9th December at

For more information, please visit where you will find:

  • Application criteria (available 1st Sep 2022)
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Upcoming webinars and recordings of previous webinars
  • Online booking for personal Helpdesk-meetings with our team (booking open 7th Sep onwards)
  • Oulu2026 region: 32 cities and municipalities in Northern Finland

Questions? Send us email at

The Finnish city of Oulu is the European Capital of Culture in 2026. Our main goal is to start a sustainable Cultural Climate Change to help us reconnect with the world around us, and to create a new sense of togetherness. By bringing together culture, art and technology in an exciting and unexpected way, new encounters and possibilities arise. Culture has the power to turn regions creative, vibrant and attractive.

Apply here