Helsinki libraries, cultural centres and youth services to feature an exeptional number of rainbow-coloured events on Pride Week

The City of Helsinki’s libraries, cultural centres and youth services celebrate the Pride Month by organising a variety of events promoting equality for sexual and gender minorities, such as workshops, movie screenings and Pride evenings for young people. Equality and human rights are among the City of Helsinki’s core values, which are reflected in the city’s services throughout the year.
Helsinki’s cultural centres, libraries and youth services will hold Pride Week workshops where visitors will, for example, have the opportunity to make accessories for the Pride parade to be held on Saturday 1 July.  Photo: Mika Ruusunen
Helsinki’s cultural centres, libraries and youth services will hold Pride Week workshops where visitors will, for example, have the opportunity to make accessories for the Pride parade to be held on Saturday 1 July. Photo: Mika Ruusunen

“The objective of the Pride partnership is to increase community spirit, inclusion and the city residents’ awareness of non-discrimination, gender equality and human rights. The theme of this year’s Pride, “Joy and Riot”, also perfectly reflects the values of the City of Helsinki as we proudly cherish diversity and call for human rights and respect for them,” says Laura Aalto, Acting Executive Director of the Culture and Leisure Division.

Movies and Pride evenings for young people in cultural centres 

The City of Helsinki’s cultural centres will be packed with rainbow-themed events in June. Malmitalo will screen three movies that fit the theme of the Pride Week celebrated between Tue 27 June and Thu 29 June: the heartfelt movie about coming-of-age and self-discovery Love, Simon, the comedy based on real events I love You, Phillip Morris and the award-winning portrayal of first love Call Me By Your Name. The workshop on Thursday 29 June, visitors will also have the chance to build their own rainbow arrangements.

Stoa and Vuotalo will host Pride pre-parties for young people. At Stoa Square on Wed 28 June, it is possible to make Pride accessories, participate in graffiti-making and try out circus equipment under the guidance of Circus Magenta. Stoa will also host the Queer youth exhibition of the Rainbow Cities network until Sun 23 July. At the Vuosaari House’s Youth Pride evening on Thu 29 June, there will be a chance to make pins, tote bags and signs for the Pride parade. RuffleArmy’s glitter artists will make glitter tattoos and make-up from biodegradable eco-glitter, and queer comedians, such as Jamie MacDonald and Illusia Sarvas, will provide entertaining stand-up.

Workshops and story hours in libraries

At Helsinki City Library’s rainbow workshops, visitors will have the opportunity to make the most amazing accessories for the Pride parade. The workshops will be organised during the Pride Week in Kontula, Maunula, Oulunkylä and Vuosaari libraries and Central Library Oodi.

Drag artist and poet Maimu Brushwood’s story hours will explore friendship and different emotions together with Olavi the marionette, Ulla the rag doll and Marina the rainbow-coloured stuffed snake. Drag is an art form in which a person expresses themselves through dressing up, acting, applying make-up and playing with gender and other roles. The drag story hours, suitable for children of all ages, will be held on Thu 29 June in Kallio, Oulunkylä and Vallila libraries and Wed 28 June in Maunula House Summer Square’s event for the whole family, where there will also be other children’s activities, such as magnet and pin workshops and face painting.

Kimmo Lust, winner of the 2023 Comics Finlandia 2023 with his work Silmukka, will be Oodi’s Pride Week author guest on Tue 27 June. Silmukka is a personal account of childhood and adolescence with a mother with a substance abuse problem. The Pride Week’s literary discussion will also touch on gender diversity and Lust’s background as a queer and transgender artist.

Youth Pride House is open in Vallila

During Youth Pride Week, the city’s youth services will organise a diverse programme where young people can meet each other, make friends and spend time in a safe environment. At the events, you can take part in discussions, make your own headdress and flag or create your own role-playing character. The objectives of the Youth Pride Week are to introduce young people to different actors in the youth sector, increase young people’s well-being, prevent loneliness and boost the young people’s self-confidence.
Rainbow-themed activities will take place at different locations across the city. Fredriksberg, located in Vallila’s Konepaja area, will serve as a Youth Pride House, a space where young people can, for example, hang out, participate in workshops or play board games. The space will be open 26–30 June 14:00–20:00. The Youth Pride Week closing party is held at the Helsinki City Museum on Saturday 1 July.

The city’s services offer rainbow-themed activities all year round 

The city’s services will also offer rainbow-themed activities throughout the year. Helsinki City Library will offer information, stories and discussion about gender and sexual diversity. Nearly 30 libraries will feature a rainbow shelf full of books and movies about gender and sexual minorities. Helsinki City Library will also promote rainbow-themed literary discussion through author visits and reading circles.

Helsinki’s cultural centres will host various rainbow-themed performances, events and workshops. The culture of sexual and gender minorities will be promoted in particular at Cultural Centre Caisa in Kallio, which will promote the development of Helsinki as a diverse city through art and culture. Sexual and gender minorities will be taken into account both in the themes of the performances and in the diversity of the artists.

The centre for rainbow-themed activities for young people will be IrisHelsinki, which will offer sensitive and safe youth centre activities on Monday and Wednesday evenings for young people who belong to sexual and gender minorities or are reflecting on related issues. In addition to casual hanging out, the programme will take into account young people’s wishes and include, for example, games, workshops, movie nights, handicrafts, and information and support. The activities will not require prior registration, and you may participate according to your own mood. Rainbow-themed activities will also be organised in other youth centres around the city.

Find out more about the City of Helsinki’s Pride Month events and rainbow-themed programme at leads to external service).