International cultural and event collaboration

The City of Kuopio cooperates internationally with an extensive network, and new contacts are constantly obtained through international cooperation and exchange of experiences, such as foreign on-the-job learning or international conferences. 

Kuopio schools also have extensive international project activities. Traditionally educational institutions have the most extensive international contact networks. Practical international cooperation is carried out in expert networks for example to promote student mobility. 

International events 

Every year, Kuopio plays host to events of different sizes, from culture to elite sports. The largest events attract visitors from around the world. 

Kuopio Tanssii ja Soi, internationally known as the Kuopio Dance Festival, is the oldest international dance festival in the Nordic countries. It showcases local culture, increases awareness of art, raises awareness of dancing as a form of art, and promotes well-being by bringing dancing into the lives of the people. Starters, enthusiasts, and professional dancers from Finland and around the world participate in the week-long festival, which has been organised since 1970. 

First held in 2002, the ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival takes the works of Finnish and international artists from their traditional venues to the public spaces around the City of Kuopio for the public to enjoy. 

Kuopiorock is an annual three-day rock festival organised for the first time in 2003. The line-up is always made up of both national and international top artists. 
Finland Ice Marathon is an outdoor skating event organised annually on the naturally frozen surface of Lake Kallavesi. Participants compete in ice skating, skating with poles, winter cycling, winter running and kick-sledding. The event has been organised in Kuopio since 1984. 

In the coming years, several international orienteering competitions will also be organised in Kuopio and Tahko: the prequalifier for World Orienteering Championships (WOC) in 2023, the World Cup in 2024, and WOC in 2025. 

More information on the events

Gastronomy and international cooperation 

Kuopio impressed even those deciding on the European Region of Gastronomy award, and the region was given the official ERG award for 2020–2021. Gastronomy is a holistic experience. It means delicious, pure food and tasty drinks combined with memorable moments and genuine presence. It concerns culture, handicrafts, music, people, and encounters. We have something unique here in the Kuopio region: clean waters, forests, and air – and the skill to make good use of nature’s own rhythm. 

With the ERG award, the region has succeeded in attracting the attention of the international public (at least for the award years), and it has the potential to achieve a great deal, also from an economic perspective. The tourism industry is one of the most obvious sectors in which gastronomic enthusiasm can be utilised, but at the same time the doors are open to anyone who wants to explore new business opportunities and create partner networks. 

Food bring families and cultures together, and prepares the way for businesses and even entire states to succeed together. 

Get to know cultural exchange in­sti­tu­tions