Call for proposals for brighten up “the Polar Night” 20–29 Nov 2020!

Do you have an idea, a work already done, or some other content that you think would be appropriate for the November event and you are also ready to produce it? The production money granted for each event varies between EUR 200 and 3,000. The programme call ends on 4 October 2020.

The City of Helsinki is arranging a series of events titled ‘The Polar Night’ from 20 to 29 November 2020. We want to surprise people in their everyday lives and give them the opportunity to meet each other and a reason to go outside and have a break. The programme with its works and performances is arranged outdoors in locations that are easy to neglect in the darkness of autumn.

Polar night is everywhere, and events are to be held in a variety of locations, including Sitratori square at Kanneltalo, front yard of Malmitalo, the square of cultural centre Stoa and around the City Hall in the city centre. The series of events is live in different locations for one or two days per location. The programme is open and free of charge to everyone.

Programme search

We are issuing an open call for Helsinki-based parties involved in culture, arts or sports to provide surprises, light and warmth. The programme call begins on September 23rd and ends on 4 October 2020. Submit your application with this form.

Helsinki-based people, communities and companies all around the city can suggest and provide content for the programme. A large variety of ideas are welcome, for example, from short poetry events, walking tours or dance solos to spatial art installations lasting several days.

We are not developing a new city festival or a major public events, so all ideas, even the small ones, are welcome! Please note that the programme will be arranged outdoors following the safe distance and other coronavirus guidelines.

Production money

The production money is intended for the costs of designing and arranging the programme. The City of Helsinki is responsible for the costs of electricity supply, safety, security and marketing as well as acquiring any permits required.

You can participate in the open call for events with the following form, where you can also enter the sum of production money you are applying for and how you intend to use it. The production money granted for each event varies between EUR 200 and 3,000.


The programme search begins on September 23 and ends on 4 October 2020. The parties arranging the events selected will be informed personally in week 42.

Selection criteria

In order for an event to be selected to the programme, it must reflect local identity, fit the theme and be responsible, easily accessible (both technically and temporally) and suitable for an outdoor environment. In addition to this, the works should be available at different times of the day whenever possible. Promotions, for example, do not meet the criteria described.


The jury will select the events to be arranged and it reserves the right to change the sum of money granted for each event. Members of the jury include: musician Jesse Essel ‘Grande Mahogany’, Chief Design Officer Hanna Harris, Producer Joni Käenmäki, Creative Director Ramon Maronier, entrepreneur Anna Moilanen, artist Anne Naukkarinen, Producer Sanna Nuutinen and Producer Liisa Paatsalo.

Marketing and communications

The City of Helsinki will perform marketing and communications related to the series of events through its channels. The City of Helsinki reserves the right to edit the event information provided. The selected content will be part of the marketing communications performed by the City of Helsinki.

The selected content providers undertake to perform communications about the event through their own channels by including the #hashtag(s) and/or link to the event schedule to be provided later.


Payment details will be sent to the selected content providers at a later date. The invoice/fee will be paid in one instalment immediately after the event (by a single operator, on behalf of the entire work group). The money is not exempt from taxes. Whenever required, VAT at the applicable rate must be added to the sum of money granted and, if the money is considered a fee (reimbursement), a withholding tax must be paid according to the rate specified on the tax card.

Photo: Samuli Vienola

Published 23 September and updated 1 October