Reverse Mission 2023 : TAMPERE 

From June 13 till 15, 2023 the city of Tampere hosted the annual gathering of the DC Network during the 2023 Reverse Mission, bringing together cities and regions from Shanghai to Catalonia. The network had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with Tampere’s creative industries and its economic impact on the region. During the three-day visit, network members were given an exclusive glimpse into Tampere’s event industry and audiovisual sector.

This remarkable city by the lake, where nature is the so-called oxygen of its inhabitants, grew out to the second largest city of Finland, counting 200 lakes and ponds 3800 hectares of forest in the Tampere area. Thanks to its competitive development plan, Tampere is with its 250.000 citizens spearheading as the most recommended student city and the most attractive residential destination.

With a long history as a culture, event and film city, Tampere is also home to many creative people and is internationally known as the centre of large-scale (sports) events and culture. 

The first day of the Reverse Mission focused on the audiovisual assets of Tampere, starting with a tour at Mediapolis, located in the Tohloppi district to familiarize with the range of educational programs available, and the offerings of Yle, the Finnish Broadcasting Company. A visit to the Pikku Kakkonen aka Tiny 2 studios, for more than 40 years known as the magazine show for the little ones. 

Fanny Heinonen, the Business Advisor of Film Tampere, introduced the network to Tampere’s internationally significant audiovisual cash rebate, which attracts film productions from distant locations as well. The regional cash rebate in the Tampere region is 10-15 percent, compared to Finland’s 25 percent of production costs, this makes Tampere an internationally attractive production destination. In addition to the cash rebate, the area offers both urban and lake scenery, countryside settings, studios, as well as the infrastructure and expertise required for executing productions at an international level. Beside, Ilkka Rahkonen, CEO of Ilkka’s Creative Studios (ICS)shared some interesting insights into business models for intellectual property rights.

The visit to Tampere film studios was followed by a discovery tour at the extraordinary Hiedanrante site, the future hub of Western Tampere, and Lielahti Manor. The historical factory community in Tampere’s Hiedanranta is transforming into a modern and sustainable city district, home to 25.000 future residents with an ambitious focus on culture, events and innovation. The visit to the historical manor and the mill, surrounded by the park and a lake are nowadays the center point of multiple cultural events and venues and the colourful mills (graffiti) will be dedicated to creative spaces in the future.

Day 2 started with a deep-dive into the congress and large-scale event capacities of Tampere. One of the advantages of the city is the short distances between residential and venues spaces, which raises the attractiveness of the city in the organization and mobilization of citizens in the major international sports events Tampere is hosting every year. Perttu Pesä, the Event Director of the City of Tampere, engaged in discussions with the network about the significance of major events for the regional economy and the social and branding impacts on the city, giving some interesting insights in the financial model of cooperation of the Tampere Region For instance, the Ice Hockey World Championships brought over 60 million euros to the Tampere area, which accounts for eight percent of the annual turnover generated by events.

According to Kati Kuusisto, current CEO of Kuusisto & Sahlstedt Oy and former Advocacy Director of the Finnish event industry association, a shared vision is essential for the event industry. “The societal impact of the event industry is significant, but if each event sector conveys its message individually, the societal effect remains fragmented and limited”, Kuusisto states.

The visit to the 15.000 multifunctional Nokia Arena at the heart of Tampere, opened in December 2021, and the impressive Tampere Hall showed us the potential of the city, with a glimpse at the Tampere Vocal Music Festival.

Tampere also has a young artistic underground scene with multiple artists squatting in the Demolition Art House Pinni47, a five-story building where visual art, graffiti and video art have taken over the walls, stairs and spaces before the demolition of the building will start.

As the world capital of sauna, we closed day 2 with a must-experience in a Finnish smoke sauna where temperature usually goes over 100°C . Nice to know: Finland is counting 5.5 million inhabitants and has 2.5 million sauna’s.

On Day 3 we discovered the industrial history of Tampere, starting with a visit to the old Finlayson factory, better known as the old cotton factory turned into a hub for creatives. The Factory hosts the Himmelblau studio and gallery, the leading professional printmaking studio and gallery of Finland, as well as the Finlayson Art Area, a temporary art event showcasing a versatile selection of 14 Finnish artists (June – August 2023). 

The industrial area offers more creativity, in the name of the Vapriikki Museum Centre, home to five different museums including The Finnish Hockey Hall of Fame and The Finnish Museum of Games. 

Creativity strengthens by collaboration and proud; this leading example on how decision-makers, entrepreneurs, and citizens come together to build a city supporting events gave us much inspiration to strengthen DC Network local cities and regions.

Are you interested in joining the next Reverse Mission 2024 to one of our member regions? Contact us for more info!

credits : Luca Randecker
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