Brett Saxby moved to Finland eight years ago. His favourite places are Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art, the main library and the riverside.

Culture Card

  • Culture Card celebrates its 10 years anniversary.
  • Culture Card

The 38-year-old Australian travels often because of his work, so in Finland, he enjoys culture events and also time at home.

Culture defines the city.

Compared to Finland, Australia feels more relaxed.
- The community is very important in Australia. Culture is not just museums, openings and concerts. It’s the way you live your life.

Brett likes open events like the street market in Portsa, because it has a sense of community to it. He recognises some cultural changes in Turku during the eight years he has stayed there.

- I think in Turku, the way of living is changing more. The riverside has become more alive with people spending more time outside.

The most multicultural city in Finland

Culture makes you learn and see new things. It also gives you joy and helps deal with all kinds of things. For example, immigration is a new phenomenon in Finland.

- You don’t have such a big population of immigrants. Another thing that’s different is that in Australia, there are more cultures together, people are coming from Indonesia or Southern Europe.

Turku used to be more closed, but now it’s more European.
- Turku is the most multicultural city in Finland, it’s diverse even though it’s such a small city. You have a large Swedish-speaking population that makes Turku feel more European.

Large Swedish-speaking population makes Turku feel more European.

Moreover, the city centre is not as closed and limited to a specific area as it used to be.
- The Turku Castle is more part of the city nowadays, not just a museum anymore where you travel to see it and that’s it.

Brett likes big events and the international spirit of the city.
- This year, the Tom of Finland musical made Turku more international, it was amazing! Such things help immigrants and visitors adjust more easily.

Walking the riverbank promenade, you can stop by and see the inner yard of the Pharmacy Museum and the Qwensel House. Photo: Tiia Suorsa

The Culture card can surprise

Brett thinks the Culture card and the culture newsletter are good ideas.
- I would like it if there were some benefits like getting tickets earlier.

The content may vary, because interests can change from day to day.
- Relevant content could change on a daily basis, some day I’m not interested in music at all and then the next day I can get excited over an event: “Oh, there’s this musical!”

It is also rewarding to find something completely new.
- When I find something by myself it’s cool, for example a flea market in Kupittaa park. That is what I mean by more organic culture.

We should see the whole city as a venue and not just go to indoor events.

People are more open nowadays and it is easier to get people to be more involved in things.
- Everybody has their own culture and also Finnish culture is changing. People are also travelling more and not everyone goes to sauna on Saturday night anymore, he smiles.

New ideas with open mind

Brett wishes there were more art workshops and classes in English.
- There could be more something that allows dialogue, something that gets people to do things together.
- That should be something cool, he adds with a smile.

What would this Aussie like there to be more of?
- One thing Turku is missing is an opera house.