The Visit Tampere Award, presented annually by Visit Tampere, has been given to Tampere Region Festivals in recognition of the association’s work for responsibility and sustainable tourism. The €5,000 prize was awarded at the new Nokia Arena in Tampere at the Visit Festival event on Monday, 13 December.
Visit Tampere Award
Visit Tampere presents the Visit Tampere Award annually to a distinguished tourism operator that has promoted and developed the region’s tourism and the event and experience industry. Companies were given the opportunity to nominate an operator working in the Tampere Region for the award. In addition to Tampere Region Festivals, the nominees were Finlayson Art Area, G Livelab, Kommee Kurki and Nem Agency.
This year, the award criteria placed special emphasis on working towards responsibility and the development of sustainable tourism, and the final decision on the award recipient was made by the Visit Tampere Ltd board of directors:
“The operations of Tampere Region Festivals have been wide-ranging and of great importance during these difficult times. Their responsibility measures have been exemplary and far-reaching. The events industry will continue to be an important one for Tampere, and the responsibility measures taken during events and communicating about them are an essential part of the work,” says Timo Mäki-Ullakko, Chairman of the Visit Tampere board of directors, with reference to the grounds for the awarding of the prize.
“This year, we had a very wide range of responsibly operating candidates. The final choice is excellent, because events will play an increasingly important role in the future after the opening of the Nokia Arena. In addition, responsibility is today one of the cornerstones of business activities, one for which customers are not ready to pay extra, but which is considered important. Finland and Tampere can be forerunners of this development,” says Noora Heino, Director of Global Sales and Marketing at Visit Tampere.
The responsibility of events enhanced by development and training
ampere Region Festivals has been working for a long time to promote responsibility in the events organised in the region, by providing the members of the association with opportunities to participate in various development projects and trainings. In 2015–2016, the association implemented a joint festival accessibility project, and the next aim is to obtain funding for an equality project that would be run over several years. In addition, the association has invested in the international accessibility of its events, as well as in the development of competence, in cooperation with science congresses, as an example.
In addition to development projects, training is an important part of the association’s operations, and through learning, responsibility work has also been taken forward, one step at a time. In recent years, the festival organisers have received training in areas such as non-discrimination, inclusivity, equality and anti-racism. A series of training courses in these areas, by Javiera Marchant Aedo, was organised for the event and cultural operators in the region during the autumn of 2021. The association’s important training partners have included the Kaikkien Festari (Everyone’s Festival) project, the ACCAC Global network, Visit Tampere and Operaatio Pirkanmaa (Operation Pirkanmaa), which continues the work started by the Tampere Region for the application process for the next Finnish European Capital of Culture.
In 2019, Tampere Region Festivals had the opportunity to participate in a project called Ylennys (Upgrade), by the company Ekokumppanit, which provided the association’s members with up-to-date environmental information and training, as well as a starting point for creating their own Green Festival – The ABC of Sustainable Development guide. The environmental work and actions to fight climate change will continue in future trainings and in the everyday work of the event organisers belonging to the network. Additionally, the members of the association are actively encouraged to share information about their actions in the Think Sustainably service.
Tampere Region as a hub of cultural events
The events organised by the members of the Tampere Region Festivals association embrace 11 municipalities, and as a regional network of cultural events it is the only one of its kind in Finland and, presumably, also in Europe. The Tampere Region, which draws on cooperation between different actors, is an exceptionally vibrant hub of creative events, and Tampere, as its heart, is definitely the most attractive festival capital in Finland.
Festivals, events and the various operators in the artistic and cultural fields are vital to the liveliness and renewal of the Tampere Region, as well as to the maintenance of its attractiveness. The work that the Tampere Region Festivals carries out to promote the special nature of Tampere and the surrounding region will continue also in the future, in cooperation with the cities and municipalities, the various stakeholders in the cultural and tourism sector and, in particular, with Visit Tampere.
The biggest thank you for the award goes, of course, to the members of the Tampere Region Festivals network, the driving force behind the association’s activities. You can read more about the 36 events that form part of the network here: www.tampere.regionfestivals.fi .