Umeå’s Capital of Culture year was a joint venture with the four northernmost Swedish counties and Sápmi (the lands inhabited by the Sami people). Sápmi stretches through northern Norway, Sweden and Finland and all the way out to the Kola Peninsula in Russia. These northern lands were a natural part of a European dimension, promoting cross-border cultural meetings and long-term collaborations.
Several of the towns in northern Sweden had their own offices supporting the Capital of Culture year locally. This created new relationships and we could see a growing interest in intercity projects in the northern lands as the Capital of Culture year approached. Major projects like River Stories also embraced several towns and communities in Västerbotten, offering a myriad of events rooted in the northern lands.
Collaborating this way between counties not only creates exciting, fertile projects but also opens the door for a wider public to enjoy even more activities. The four northernmost counties and the Sápmi region are today home to more than 2.3 million people.
The Northern Room
During Umeå’s Capital of Culture year, lots of things happened outside of Umeå. A map on the website made it easy for visitors to find out what happened in the region.
The municipalities that were included on the map were Bjurholm, Dorotea, Härjedalen, Härnösand, Lycksele, Malå, Nordmaling, Norsjö, Piteå, Robertsfors, Skellefteå, Sorsele, Storuman, Sundsvall, Vilhelmina, Vindeln, Vännäs, Åsele, Örnsköldsvik and Östersund.
Photo: Tobias Myrstrand Leander (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)