Finland: Seminar on Cultural Routes in North Karelia

Nurmes, Finland 9-10 March 2020
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© Harri Tarvainen/North Karelia

© Harri Tarvainen/North Karelia

On 9-10 March 2020, the Seminar on Cultural Routes “A Route to Regeneration” took place in Nurmes (North Karelia), Finland. The event was organised by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture and Business Finland/Visit Finland, in collaboration with the Runosong Academy.

Mrs. Susana MARKKOLA, Programme Manager of Cultural Tourism for Visit Finland, opened the Seminar along with Mr. Pentti MALINEN, Executive Director of the Kainuu Regional Council, and Mr. Pentti OJAJÄRVI, Cultural Coordinator of the North Karelia Regional Council.

The Seminar was devoted to introducing the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe programme to the Finnish regional authorities and civil society organisations of North Karelia, with a view to promoting its rich cultural heritage, and strengthen transnational cooperation and regional development. In particular, a cultural route project on “Intangible Cultural Singing Heritage” linking singing traditions from North Karelia and the Baltic Sea region was presented.

Mrs. Anne MATTERO, Special Government Advisor (Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture) and Representative of Finland to the Governing Board of the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe, and Mrs. Marianne LEHTIMÄKI, Cultural Routes and heritage expert, provided a very interesting presentation on Cultural Routes’ development in Finland.

On 9 March, Mr. Stefano DOMINIONI, Executive Secretary of the EPA and Director of the European Institute of Cultural Routes, presented the 2020 activities of the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe Programme.




The Presidents of two certified Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe delivered well-received presentations: Mr. Miguel Ángel MARTÍN RAMOS (European Routes of Emperor Charles V) focused on Cultural Routes as tools for regional development and Mr. Michael CRAMER (Iron Curtain Trail) discussed European cultural tourism networks.

The Seminar provided regional authorities, cultural tourism actors and Cultural Routes operators from Finland the opportunity to learn theory and practice related to the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe programme and certification, and share best practices.

On 10 March, the discussion focused on the exchange of good practices on practical tools available for developing Cultural Routes, with a particular focus on the Baltic Sea Region, through the Routes4U Joint Programme, presented by Mrs. Constanze METZGER, Senior Project Officer.


Member since 2018, Finland is currently crossed by 5 of the 38 certified Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe: The Hansa, Viking Routes, Route of Saint Olav Ways, European Route of Megalithic Culture, European Route of Industrial Heritage and Iron Curtain Trail.


The complete programme of the Seminar is available here.

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