The culture and leisure sector to be launched on 1 June employs almost 1,700 professionals responsible for the City Library, City Museum, Helsinki Art Museum HAM and Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, cultural centres, sports and physical exercise as well as youth work. The sector offers more than 18 million cultural and leisure experiences each year.
“The employees in our sector wish to make Helsinki a city of equal opportunities, which offers a wide range of experiences and where nature is present in everyone's life. It is easy to commit oneself to such goals,” says Tommi Laitio, Executive Director, Head of the Culture and Leisure Sector. Employees’ thoughts on the future were charted in a survey conducted in the spring. An analysis prepared on the basis of the results is also offered as basis for the strategic work of new decision-makers elected in the municipal elections.
According to Tommi Laitio, the aspects strongly emphasised in the employees’ responses include increasing diversity and city services being based on an unprejudiced approach, accessibility and equality. The services are planned and implemented together with the residents, organisations and businesses. Employees also wish to see Helsinki as a prime example of a green, surprising, stimulating urban capital, attractive for tourists and a safe place to live in together.
Examples of the respondents’ descriptions of a good Helsinki:
Light in the darkness. Because it is pitch black in Finland for most of the year, all light that can be achieved is greatly appreciated.
In the future, Helsinki will ensure that in addition to the hustle and bustle of hectic urban life, the city provides access to green spaces, fresh air and peace. When I moved to Helsinki myself, that exact thing was the main added value of the city. In my opinion, that was what made Helsinki a fantastic big city.
A strong connection to wild nature is maintained and made feasible for everyone in the city. A gentle but innovative touch of the human culture, challenging to the intellect, is identifiable in the environment. It would also be equally possible for all to produce it.
Read more about the topic in Tommi Laitio’s blog (in Finnish)
Where to go in the summer?
Next summer, the services of Helsinki’s culture and leisure services sector will be available to enjoy throughout the city. Pick up the best tips here:
• The beaches and the city’s recreational islands invite you to relax.
• The libraries organise ‘Tuning and stories’ workshops for children and young people to engage in arts and crafts, playing games and telling stories.
• In June, after years of renovations, the Burgher’s House, one of the most atmospheric home museums of Helsinki, will reopen in Kruununhaka.
• The new A stage of Annantalo is active all summer.
• The 135-year-old Espa stage will feature jazz, ethno music and much more.
• The circus company Sisus will bring high-flying trapezes and acrobatic skipping rope dance to the Sitratori square in Kannelmäki on 5–7 June.
• Singalong hosted by Vuokko Hovatta on Helsinki Day, 12 June, in Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra's sing-song concert at the Helsinki Music Centre.
Read other news on the city site of Helsinki.