CultureEspoo - Venues and Operators
Culture on the map
Explore the cultural life in Espoo with the help of an interactive map!
Museums and exhibitions
KAMU Espoo City Museum protects, studies and records the history and cultural heritage of Espoo and its residents. The City’s diverse offering of museums is also complemented by EMMA, the Gallen-Kallela Museum and the Helinä Rautavaara Museum.
KAMU Espoo City Museum is a museum of cultural history founded in 1958. Through its collection and exhibitions, it illustrates the history of the City of Espoo and its residents. The purpose of the City Museum is to protect, research and record the history and cultural heritage of the Espoo area and its residents in many ways and present and share it with today’s people.
EMMA presents Finnish and international modernism, modern art and design. The minimalist and modern architecture of WeeGee, designed by architect Aarno Ruusuvuori, allows for the collections and changing exhibitions of EMMA, Saastamoinen Foundation and Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation to be displayed in an experience-focused way.
WeeGee Exhibition Centre is a versatile museum, exhibition and event hub. WeeGee operates in the old Weilin&Göös printing press building designed by Professor Aarno Ruusuvuori (1925–1992) in Tapiola, Espoo.
Designed and built by the artist Akseli Gallen-Kallela (1865–1931), the castle-like Tarvaspää studio and residence was opened to the public in 1961 as the Gallen-Kallela Museum. In its changing exhibitions, the museum showcases the life and art of Gallen-Kallela and his contemporaries, as well as modern art. The museum offers a wide range of activities and events and serves as a centre for information on Akseli Gallen-Kallela.
Helinä Rautavaara (1928–1998) was a quirky explorer, journalist and collector who toured the world tirelessly. She wanted to see, experience, understand and participate in the life of various communities. The collection and stories of Helinä Rautavaara come alive in the museum. Rautavaara compiled Finland’s largest collection of West African items, tens of thousands of photos, hundreds of hours of audio recordings and dozens of hours of cine film. The museum continues Rautavaara’s legacy by bringing different people together and promoting understanding and dialogue between cultures in many ways.
Located in the yard of the Exhibition Centre WeeGee in Tapiola, Espoo, the museum Leikki is dedicated to childhood, toys and play. The museum offers interesting, nostalgic and touching cultural experiences for all ages. Both with its insightful temporary exhibitions and with its surprising main exhibition, Laboratory of Play, the museum acts as a mirror of childhood in different times.
The new Finnish Museum of Horology and Jewellery Kruunu brings current and thought-provoking exhibitions related to watches and jewellery to anyone interested in the field. The museum also highlights handicraft and you can try the work of a watchmaker or a goldsmith in various workshops at the museum. Frequently changing exhibitions guarantee that there is always something new to experience! The museum will open 14.4.2022.
The exhibition operations of the Espoo Visual Artists Association are concentrated in Gallery Aarni. The gallery showcases modern art in exhibitions that change every four weeks. The facilities of Gallery Aarni also house the Espoo Artotheque which offers a wide variety of works by professional Espoo-based artists. Key parts of the operations include exhibitions, opening ceremonies, discussion events, school groups’ visits and cooperation with other operators in the culture sector.
Espoo Cultural Centre is the main scene for performing arts and cultural life in Espoo. Tapiola Sinfonietta (the Espoo city orchestra), Espoon Kaupunginteatteri (the Espoo Theatre), April Jazz Festival, Espoo Ciné Festival, PianoEspoo and VocalEspoo Festivals are on stage on a regular basis. Come and enjoy the magic of a live performance!
Sello Hall in Leppävaara, close to Sello shopping mall, is acoustically one of the best music halls in the capital region. With 400 seats and thanks to the adaptable acoustics various art forms can be enjoyed at the Sello Hall. In addition to the wonderful experiences of acoustic music, electronically amplified music, films and performing arts of various kinds fit our hall perfectly. Sello Hall's central location allows for easy connections from within the capital region.
The Exhibition Centre WeeGee is a versatile centre of museums, exhibitions and events. WeeGee is located in Espoo's Tapiola, in a building designed by Professor Aarno Ruusuvuori. The building was formerly used by the Weilin&Göös printing house. The Exhibition Centre includes four museums: EMMA - Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Espoo City Museum KAMU, the Finnish Toy Museum Hevosenkenkä and the Finnish Museum of Horology. WeeGee also includes the museum shop EMMA Shop and the restaurant Lumière WeeGee. In WeeGee's yard, you can find the Futuro house designed by architect Matti Suuronen.
Children's Cultural Centre Aurora is a place of happy experiences for children and adults. This unique complex of three buildings is located close to the charming Träskända Park and Manor and has excellent transport connections. The multipurpose facilities, a courtyard surrounded by the buildings and an outdoor stage, provide a great setting for a wide range of events from performing arts to recreational activities and various art workshops and private events.
At Kannusali, you can enjoy fantastic music clubs, movies, family events and much more such as theatre and stand-up comedy. The multipurpose facilities are located in the Kannu civil defence shelter, a short walk from the Espoo railway station in Espoon keskus. The tiered seating has room for 220 spectators and, thanks to it being movable, there is room for a total of 300 people on the flat floor of the room.
Focus is on the cultural services offered in Swedish by Espoo City and on the basic art education activities in cooperation with Musikinstitutet Kungsvägen. Vindängensalen, located in Folkhälsanhuset enables theatre and concert visits, as well as nights with visiting authors and artists.
Hanaholmen – the Swedish-Finnish Cultural Centre works to develop co-operation between the countries in all areas of society. Hanaholmen organizes conferences, seminars, dialogues, art exhibitions and cultural events.
Libraries are meeting places and cultural centres, open to everyone. They offer newspapers, magazines, books, music, films and other materials that you can enjoy at the library or borrow and take home with you. Libraries have spaces where you can study, take part in recreational activities or just spend some time. Libraries also provide information and guidance services and arrange events and exhibitions.
Theatre, dance and cinema
Espoo City Theatre is also the International Theatre of Finland and the only professional theatre intended for adults in Espoo. The theatre’s programme consists of its own productions and both Finnish and international guest performances
Theatre Hevosenkenkä, founded in 1975, is a professional theatre that uses the forms of puppet and musical theatre in various ways. The theatre’s main target group are children aged 2 to 12. The theatre is located in Juhannusmäki, Espoo. The theatre building – an idyllic school building from 1899 – has been renovated and expanded to be an ideal setting for child audiences
Unga Teatern, previously known as Skolteatern, was founded as a touring children’s and young people’s theatre as early as 1960. It is the oldest theatre for children and young people in Finland. In 1985, the theatre received a fixed stage from Espoo. Over the years, Unga Teatern has become well-known for its performances, the humanism of which speaks to audiences of all ages
Glims & Gloms is an award-winning dance theatre from Espoo, the artistic goal of which is to produce performances with touching comedy, surprising humour and uplifting dance. The theatre aims its performances at a wide audience – children, young people and adults.
Theatre Taimine, founded in 2002, is a touring theatre for children and young people. Taimine holds performances at daycare centres, comprehensive schools and upper secondary schools. The theatre produces new drama scripts for children and young people living in the Finnish reality. The theatre consisting of professionals performs for 45,000 spectators every year, primarily in Finland, but also in other Nordic countries.
TOTEM Theatre is an Espoo-based professional theatre founded in 1986. The theatre’s main form of operating is touring in the lower stages of comprehensive schools in Espoo and elsewhere in Finland. The performances of TOTEM Theatre are aimed at children aged 6–12 years, and they are implemented in both Finnish and Swedish.
Kino Tapiola is a premiere cinema that mainly selects the best of European and Finnish cinema into its programme. Located in Tapiola, Espoo, Kino Tapiola is one of the few old-fashioned cinemas in the Metropolitan Area that remains in its original form, protected on the basis of cultural heritage values. In Kino Tapiola, the stylish 1950s appearance renovated with reverence meets the latest performance technology.
Orchestras and choirs
The City’s orchestra Tapiola Sinfonietta and other high-class choirs and orchestras are responsible for the music offering in the City of Espoo.
Tapiola Sinfonietta is Espoo’s city orchestra, particularly renowned for their stylish interpretations of classical works, chamber-like performances without a conductor, presenting rarer works and making bold programme selections across art forms. Unlike many other orchestras, Tapiola Sinfonietta themselves are in charge of their artistic focuses.
Tapiola Choir is an internationally renowned and award-winning children’s and young people’s choir from Espoo. The choir was founded in 1963, and it has grown from an ordinary Finnish school choir into one of the best-known instruments of the international choir scene.
Espoo Big Band – EBB – is one of the most celebrated big jazz bands in Finland. In addition to tours of Asia, Australia and Brazil, EBB has also performed at some of the best-known jazz festivals in the world – including Detroit, Montreux and Paris – and released ten albums. At the April Jazz festival hosted annually by EBB, the band has had several world-class stars as their guest vocalists, including Freddie Hubbard, Ray Charles, McCoy Tyner, Joe Henderson, Billy Cobham, Trilok Gurtu, Diane Schuur, Patti Austin, Carla Bley and Maria Schneider.
City events and festivals
Espoo offers a wide variety of festivals and urban events – from music to film and urban culture.
In the city, you can encounter art and culture outside the familiar cultural spaces. A neighbourhood park may serve as a venue for a concert or circus performance. On the streets, you can spot street art in underpasses or on the walls of buildings. Events organised all around the city can turn the city into a living stage for delightful performances and turn streets into surprising art galleries.
The Event and Cultural Services of the City of Espoo produce and coordinate big events. Such events include the annual Independence Day celebration concert at the Espoo Metro Arena and the Espoo Day, which engages the entire city at the end of August. We also implement many interesting art projects and extensive event series with partners all around the city.
Website of the City Events Espoo unit (In Finnish only)
April Jazz is one of the largest jazz festivals in Finland. It has been held in Espoo every April since 1987.
Espoo Ciné is one of the largest film festivals in Finland. Over the years, Espoo Ciné has become an essential presenter of new European cinema in Finland. At the festival, you can see the most fascinating new films both from established auteurs and new talent. The event pays special attention to women as filmmakers.
The roots of the JuuriJuhla-RotFest festival are in Espoo folk music. However, the festival’s branches also reach towards new musical winds from around the world. Both Espoo-based folk musicians and other top Finnish folk musicians, many of whom have received international recognition, take the stage at JuuriJuhla.
At the unique late-night concerts of the Organ Night & Aria festival, you can enjoy diverse high-quality programme throughout the summer in Espoo’s medieval stone church (Espoo Cathedral). Top performers of vocal, organ, chamber and orchestral music create unforgettable experiences during atmospheric summer nights in the middle of the historical cultural heritage landscape.
The biennial PianoEspoo festival presents piano music in all of its richness. The festival was held for the first time in 1991 on the initiative of Espoo Cultural Centre, and since then, it has spread beyond the Cultural Centre to other concert halls in the Metropolitan Area. Over the years, PianoEspoo has established itself as one of the most significant events focused on classical piano music in Finland.
The biennial Vocal Espoo presents the spectrum of vocal music in its many forms. As an instrument, the human voice is extremely versatile, and its richness is celebrated at the festival through choral, ensemble and solo concerts. The festival programme focuses on all kinds of music where the human voice plays a central role, regardless of genre.