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Folk Music development project in support of cultural tourism (see The Roots and the Shoots of Runic Song)
Date du début: 31 juil. 2005, Date de fin: 30 déc. 2007 PROJET  TERMINÉ 

The most important goal of the Folk Music development project and its parallel, The Roots and the Shoots of Runic Song, was to create a joint centre of expertise of folk music, cultural heritage and travel in Kainuu and White Sea Karelia as well as establish folk music activity unit in Kainuu, serving the entire Finland and beyond. The project wanted to take advantage of the results of the previous projects by the Juminkeko Foundation and their subsequent know-how, continuing the documentation and revival of runic singing – with the emphasis on the revival and presentation of folk music tradition, which would also emphasise the aspect of cultural tourism. Creating a centre of expertise was a means of supporting the tourism strategy of Kainuu, based on the Kalevala theme, and supporting the sustainability of the runic villages of White Sea Karelia. The unique culture of White Sea Karelia is in a state of a fast-pace change and is at a risk of losing its cultural roots. The traditional ways of living no longer guarantee the population a sufficient income, and new jobs are needed to replace them. The aim was to include in the joint centre of expertise local tourist companies and businesses and to support them, but it also included starting new local business activities based on the said joint centre of expertise. Achievements: The project was included in organising cooperation between Finnish and Karelian actors, particularly the Research Institute of the Karelian Language, Literature and History of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Petrozavodsk State Music Academy and the Kalevala School of Music, and, on the Finnish side, the department of folk music of the Sibelius Academy and the Kuhmo Music Institute. The project increased the know-how among those working with and researching culture as well as with those involved in cultural tourism. The project coordinated, among other things, cultural excursions, seminars and cultural events. The project collected 150 hours of folk music recordings, which were digitised and transferred to the archives of the Juminkeko Foundation. The collected recordings were indexed and classified so, that they can be added to the search programme of the Juminkeko Foundation to be published in the Internet. Several dissertations were made from the collected material in the Sibelius Academy and the Petrozavodsk State Music Academy. The project offered, to the travel business entrepreneurs in Kainuu, the possibilities to acquire programme services based on the expertise in the Finnish-Karelian runic song tradition in addition to information to develop them further. Based on the initiative of the project, the Sommelo Folk Music Festival is a concrete addition to develop cultural tourism in Kainuu. The Sommelo Festival was also organised in Kalevala (formerly known as Uhtua), and a special cultural Sommelo excursion to White Sea Karelia was organised jointly with an entrepreneur. Cultural tourism to the villages of White Sea Karelia was boosted by the project, and the inhabitants’ self-esteem and sustainability of the villages increased. During the project, a plan was drafted about establishing the Runic Song Academy in Kuhmo: a separate establishment plan began in the beginning of 2008. A separate building is being planned for the Runic Song Academy, which should be completed in 2010.



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  • 2000 - 2006 Euregio - Karelia  (FI-RU)
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