The recreational branch of the city of Turku joins the Finland 100 centenary in offering residents and tourists jubilee events and services throughout the year. The anniversary of the Reformation also lends some colour to the offering.

Concerts and lectures in the Change series of the Turku Philharmonic

In the centenary, the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra (TFO) wants to know how we can make the world a better place. A series of six concerts and lectures has been composed in keeping with Mahatma Gandhi’s famous quote: ”You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” The series examines themes like freedom of speech, peace and pluralism. The Change series incorporates large orchestral pieces that have been used for social impact.

The Die Kalewainen in Pochjola premiere in February

The opera “Die Kalewainen in Pochjola,” composed by Karl Müller-Berghaus and forgotten for 127 years, premieres in Logomo on 28 February. It is the first original composition of a Kalevala-themed opera in the world. The premiere, a cooperation between the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra and Turku Music Festival, celebrates the Finland 100 centenary. The opera is conducted by Leif Segerstam. Tenor Christian Juslin, soprano Johanna Rusanen-Kartano and baritone Tommi Hakala shine in the lead roles.

WAM showcases Wäinö Aaltonen and Touko Laaksonen

The Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art opened two centenary exhibitions in January. The major exhibition ‘Wäinö Aaltonen and 100 Years of Independence’ reflects Finnish independence through the art of the museum’s namesake artist. The exhibition features sculptures, paintings, graphics, drawings and drafts from his early career into the 1960s

Image: Courtesy Tom of Finland Foundation.

The play about Tom of Finland that opened in January at the Turku City Theatre is completed by an exhibition on Touko Laaksonen. The exhibition details the life of Laaksonen before and after he created his brand. His life as a musician, his work in advertising and his life as the artist known as Tom of Finland are all explored.

Citizen space in Forum in February

The pop up space is opened to the public on 14 February in Forum in the centre of Turku. The project is organised by the Museum Centre of Turku. The citizen space has a versatile programme centred around the Finland 100 centenary theme of Together after an open call for performers. The staff at the Museum Centre introduces the public to museum work on #museoduuni-themed (work at the museum) days. The residents of Turku are encouraged to participate in the “Museum of your dreams – Museum of History to Turku” project in workshops.

Image: TMK

Power games – The Reformation in Finland

“The Power games – The Reformation in Finland” exhibition opens on 17 February in Turku Castle. Gustav I of Sweden rose to the Swedish throne in 1523 and started the Reformation. After this, the realm saw a major change, during which religion was entangled with political power games. The exhibition takes the visitors through the cultural changes started by each sovereign during their rule. The exhibition ties together with the 500th jubilee year of the Reformation. In the spring, the “Adults’ parlour” lecture series focuses on the themes of the Reformation and separate exhibition tours are organised.

Lecture and discussion series, exhibitions and themed days at the library

The “Discussion and debate on literature” event of the studia generalia lecture series at the Turku City Library focuses on Finnish fiction and non-fiction. At the beginning of the year, the main building of the Turku City Library celebrates Kalevala: On 28 February, we will be witnessing a multilingual reading aloud marathon and a book art exhibition by Anja Harms will be opened in the Kalevala Book Art lobby.

A reading adventure (Lukuseikkailu) intended for children and young people will continue throughout the jubilee year. The polar night in November and the Finnish independence festivities on 5 December are also integrated into the Finland 100 centenary. In April, the library main building will host the annual exhibition of the Finnish federation of camera associations (Suomen Kameraseurojen Liitto) with the theme of independence. Anniversaries are also incorporated into the library’s celebration of Laina’s nameday on 8 February (Laina is a woman’s name and it translates to loan), the national week of reading (Lukuviikko) and Mikael Agricola day celebrating the Finnish language on 9 April. In August, the theme of the Night of the Arts event is Finnish music.

An excellent year for exercise and sports

The jubilee year of Finnish independence can also be celebrated through sports and exercise. The national Dreams into Motion programme coordinated by the New Olympic Committee (Uusi Olympiakomitea) is part of the jubilee programme of the Finland 100 centenary. This magnificent programme will consist of exercise and sports to encourage Finns to move, enjoy sports events and celebrate independent Finland together.

Image: Matti Paananen.

The dream year for exercise contains the 5th anniversary of the Impivaara swimming hall on 14 February, among other events. In May, the programme includes the Exercise Day of Your Dreams and functional field trips organised by the Finnish Schools on the Move project, among other events. The summer season of the sports park is kicked off in June, and the re-opening of the renovated Samppalinna outdoor pool is celebrated in July. The Dreams into Motion / Finland 100 jubilee weekend is celebrated toward the end of August. The autumn season will see sports introductions and the activating month for the Exercise Year of Your Dreams. A sports and exercise themed day is celebrated at the beginning of December.

One hundred events organised by youth services

The City of Turku Youth Services offices are organising one hundred events with the centenary theme. The Youth Services and young people from Turku participate in implementing the centenary events in the city. An international team will organise two international events in Turku on the significance of youth work in Europe, Finland and Turku.

Youth services are also involved in designing and implementing the various centenary-themed pieces of light art work around Turku. In the autumn, the Turku Youth Council will host its own jubilee gala in connection to the Finnish jubilee year.

One hundred apple trees – multicultural Finland

The Hundred Apple Trees project has been awarded support from the EU Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund. The goal of the project is to promote the integration and participation of youth from third world countries in municipalities and support two-way integration between young asylum seekers and Finnish citizens through social influence, physical exercise and culture groups. The Humak University of Applied Sciences is organising workshops in Halinen together with youth services. The workshops will continue into the autumn of 2017. They are intended to result in the Multicultural Finland 2017 event organised by the youth themselves in the autumn.

Turku and Kotka to send 100 young people sailing

The international sailing event Tall Ships Races 2017 will arrive in Finland next summer. Finnish harbours participating are Kotka and Turku. Altogether 2,500 sailors will participate in the race, of whom half are 15–25 years old. Kotka and Turku are sending a total of one hundred young people on the sailing cruise.

Suburban Symphony created in cooperation with residents to premiere

The multimedia artwork Suburban Symphony celebrating the Finnish centenary premieres in Pansio and Lauste next spring. The local residents and operators have participated in creating the communal art work last year. In the Suburban Symphony, the soundscape of high rise neighbourhoods is combined with nature photographs created by the residents, transforming the residential area into a multicultural fairy-tale landscape.

The symphony is composed by Joona Lukala, a composer from Turku, and the birds and plants drawn by the residents have been animated by artist Maria Lukala. The Suburban Symphony is part of the Sata kohtaamista (Hundred Encounters) project and it is produced by the recreational branch of the city of Turku.