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The Kianto Institute
Funded by Euregio Karelia Neighbourhood Programme 2001-2006

Objective of the project

The aim of the project was to design and establish a permanent, nationally and internationally known cultural centre, the Kianto Institute. The institute would cherish Kianto’s literary and other cultural heritage and present local and Karelian traditions.

Main activities

• Development of the operations of the Kianto Institute, • Research cooperation, • Construction of a permanent high-quality exhibition of Kianto at the Main Library of Suomussalmi • Organisation of temporary exhibitions, seminars and other cultural events • Completion of three publications, assisting in the making of one • Creating a website • Promotion of cultural tourism by organizing test trips and by producing a travel guide titled “Kiannon Kehät”.


The activities of the Kianto Institute were developed with regard to constructing permanent structures to the cultural centre, cultural tourism, cherishing Kianto's spiritual and literary heritage and supporting the local cultural identity. Following the project outline, a permanent high-quality exhibition was constructed from the objects of the Kianto Exhibition at the Main Library of Suomussalmi, archived material and objects and other material acquired by the project. The project also implemented temporary exhibitions, seminars and other cultural events. Three publications were completed during the project, and assistance was given for making one publication. The project also created web pages about Kianto's life and production: http://poro.koillismaa.fi/kiantoinstituutti. The project co-operated with local parties, as well as with parties from both East and North Finland and from Russia. The project consolidated the cooperation in the municipality of Suomussalmi and, in particular, Kalevala, creating connections with the cultural department of the town of Kostomuksha, the University of Petrozavodsk, the authors and influential literary figures in Karelia and the cultural press of Karelia. Cultural tourism in the Republic of Karelia and Kainuu was promoted by, among other things, designing and making test trips, the experiences of which also produced a travel guide entitled ”Kiannon kehät” (Kianto's Circles). The project managed to create versatile operational models and activities for the cultural centre in Suomussalmi and there was also involvement in a discussion concerning the future of the cultural life in Suomussalmi. The cultural strategy of Suomussalmi for 2006-2010 includes continuation of the project under the name ”Kulttuurikeskus Kianto” (Kianto Cultural Centre). Permanent financing for the cultural project has not been arranged, but the activities initiated in the project will be continued by the cultural and tourist services of the Suomussalmi Municipality, the Main Library of Suomussalmi and the Kianto Institute.

Basic information



2002-12-01 - 2006-01-31

Total Budget / Programme funding

307 780 € / 272 077 €

Lead partner

Suomussalmi Municipality
Lead partner web-site


Cultural Department of Kalevala
Cultural Department of Kostomuksha
Provincial Archives of Oulu
Kainuu Museum
Juminkeko Foundation
Ilmari Kianto Society