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2018/05/31 8:41am

The Hosts of Brussels Winter Event Got to Know Kainuu

By the Fire
The parties responsible for arranging the annual Winter Wonders Christmas event in Brussels are visiting Kainuu during 28th - 30th May. The purpose of the visit was to discuss how Finland will be introduced in the event of 2018 with a Kainuu twist.

Three people from the organisation of Brussels Major Events (BME); Director Olivier Mees, Coordination Manager Delphine Romanus and Sponsorship Advisor Jacques de Blieck have come for a visit to Kainuu. They have got to know for example our nature and traditions at a sauna evening in the middle of forest, visited a husky farm and seen the latest technology at the Vuokatti ski tunnel and at the site of the new hospital being built.  

Winter Wonders Christmas Market is one of the biggest Christmas market events in Europe, annually attracting a breath taking amount of 2, 5 million visitors! A celebrated country is invited to participate each year. This year the celebrated guest is Finland. The city of Brussels, Visit Finland and the Regional Council of Kainuu in Northern Finland have agreed of the concept to be realised. The event will take place from 30 November 2018 till 6 January 2019.

During the five weeks, Finnish experiences, food and culture are offered with Kainuu twist. Kainuu will bring Kalevala Spirit Oy's Finnish Christmas Market, which has long traditions in the German Christmas market, to Brussels. The Finnish Christmas Market will include authentic elements such as live fire, real spruce trees, Finnish style mulled wine and blazed salmon. Pure natural products and foodstuff from the Kainuu region will be offered by local actors such as the Arctic Flavours Association.

The Finnish culture will be displayed in many ways in Brussels during the event. The outlines of the five-week Christmas market event should be programmed by the end of June 2018. At least Finnish tango and traditional Kantele music will be heard, a men’s modern dance group Äijät from Kainuu seen performing, not to forget the real Santa Claus from Finland and the elf from Kainuu.  

From the Kainuu point of view, one of the main goals related to the event is to support the growth of tourism in Kainuu from new markets in Central Europe. The event arrangements are coordinated by the Regional Council of Kainuu and supported by a 175 000 € project administered by the regional development company Kainuun Etu Ltd. The tourism attractions in Kainuu like the wilderness, Hossa and the other national parks, the snowy winters and distinctive four seasons, the possibilities of wellness tourism and virtual tourism services are brought up. In addition to Visit Finland, the cooperation partners from the field of tourism include for example Finnair and Metsähallitus (a state-owned enterprise responsible for the management of one third of Finland’s surface area, for example the national parks).  

During the event weeks in Brussels, the Kainuu region will be working in close cooperation with the Embassy of Finland in Brussels and the East and North Finland EU Office. We also plan to represent the strong fields of expertise in Kainuu, such as wood construction, technology related know-how and the game industry. Cooperation partners in this field include for example the Kajaani University of Applied Sciences.

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