The Joint Working Group on Culture

Cross-border regional cooperation in the field of culture is an integral part of the Barents cooperation. The development of cultural life serves the social and economic development in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region.

The aim of the Joint Working Group on Culture (JWGC) is to strengthen cultural identitiesmulticultural dialogue and cultural ties between the Barents countries and the regions. In addition to the regional cultural administrations, the JWGC has representation from the Finnish, Norwegian, Russian and Swedish ministries responsible for culture and from the Working Group of Indigenous Peoples.

In the line with the overall vision of the multilateral cooperation formulated in the Barents Programme 2014-2018, the JWGC strategy Cultural Cooperation in the Barents Region 2014-2018 highlights the importance of capacity building and exchange. It also encourages facilitating and promoting networking, creating different kinds of new cultural meeting places, focusing on the strong relationship between culture and cultural and creative industries as well as creating new international opportunities for strengthening the competitiveness of the cultural operators in the Barents Region.

JWGC established Barents Scholarship for Cultural Cooperation in 2016. More information here.


Previous programmes:

New Horizons in the Barents Region (2011-2013) was the third Cultural Programme. It highlighted the importance for further strengthening cultural cooperation and its impact on regional, social and economic development in the Barents Region.

The second programme of Cultural Cooperation 2008-2010 was "New Winds in the Barents Region" was the framework for inter-regional cultural cooperation in the region. It highlighted cultural diversity and the importance of culture and cultural industry as a unique tool for the development of the region. The overall objective of the Programme was to further strengthen cultural cooperation and thus increase the impact of culture in the Barents Region.  

The first Programme Voices in the Barents Region was implemented in the period of 2003-2006. 



Mr. David Ek (chair)
Ministry of Culture
Tel: +46 84053897

Ms. Kristina Nilsson
Head of Culture
Region Norrbotten
Tel: +46 705730881

Ms. Camilla Thorn-Wollnert
Head of Cultural Affairs  
Region Västerbotten 
Tel: +46 70 377 5779  

Ms. Pia Brinkfeldt  
Region Västerbotten 
Tel: +46 705165745 

Ms. Helena Aaltonen
Regional Development Specialist
Regional Council of Kainuu
Tel: +358 447100854 

Ms. Maija Lummepuro
Counsellor for Cultural Affairs
Ministry of Education and Culture

Tel: +358 295330198, +358 400800218

Mr. Tomi Aho
Special Advisor
Arts Promotion Centre, Lapland 
Tel: +358 295330850

Ms. Auli  Suorsa
Regional planner
Council of Oulu Region
Tel: +358 503868443

Ms. Ulla Lassila
Special Advisor
Art Promotion Centre, Oulu
Tel: +358 295330860

Ms. Hanna Susitaival
Special Advisor
Arts Promotion Centre Finland
Tel: +358 295330910

Ms. Olga Andonieva
Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation
Tel: +7 495 6294394

Ms. Maria Sergienko
Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation
Tel: +7 9099 974155

Ms. Veronika Yanichek
Minister of Culture of the Arkhangelsk Region
Tel: +7 8182 286369, +7 921 2980366

Mr. Alexandr Batigin
Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Karelia
Tel: +7 8142 785507

Mr. Sergey Emelyanov
Minister of Culture, Tourism and Archiving of the Republic of Komi 
Tel: +7 8212 255480

Mr. Sergey Ershov 
Chairman of the Committee on Culture and Arts of the Murmansk Region
Tel: +7 8152 486319

Mr. Sverre Miøen
Senior adviser
Ministry of Culture 
Tel: +47 22248013 

Mr. Charles Petterson
Deputy Head, Department of Culture, Cultural Heritage and Environment
Finnmark County Council
Tel: +47 78 96 31 07

Ms. Nina Merete Austad
Finnmark County Council
Tel: +47 78 96 30 38

Ms. Bjørg Helene Jenssen
Director of Culture, environment and public health
Nordland County Council
Tel: +47 95867220

Ellen Østgård
Director of Culture
Troms County Council
Tel: +47 77788224, +47 91324339

Representative of Indigenous Peoples Working Group (WGIP)
Ms. Alexandra Fomina
Member of the Working Group on Indigenous Peoples 
Tel: +7 9116717621




Project funding in Barents

The IBS has gathered information for all Barents relevant funding sources - more information below!

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Internship at the IBS

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