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News in English 3 / 2011

International ideas boost a game from a Lapp studio Game company Lapland Studio located in Rovaniemi has published an adventure game for the international market with star actor Wesley Snipes. “The goals are high as the game should sell at least hundreds of thousands of copies,” says president and CEO Ilkka Immonen. “Our strongest asset is Wesley Snipes, who is an extremely well-know name internationally. This will help us get onto the top sales lists. With his help, Lapland Studio will also rise to an international level.” The production of the game started at the beginning of the year, but Wesley Snipes had been on board in the design process for a couple of years already. The majority of the EUR 150,000 production has been done in Rova­niemi, but subcontractors from China, New York and Los Angeles, for example, have also participated.   Lapin Kansa Oy


Holiday village offers accommodation at the Arctic Circle Tourism: 19 new cottages in the Santa Claus Village for the Christmas season. Santa Claus Holiday Village is being constructed in the Arctic Circle, consisting of 38 semi-detached cottages. Four cottages are already completed and another 15 will be ready by Christmas. The construction of another 19 cottages is planned to follow. The cottages are being built for Napapiirin Lahja Oy, a company specialising in souvenirs and cafeterias. The new business has kept

entrepreneurs Marko Jääskö and Inga Jääskö busy. Even the cottages that are not ready yet have been booked for Christmas. “The way things are going, we should be ready by November,” says Marko Jääskö. The cottage village implemented in two phases will offer more than 200 beds. The cottages are located in the Santa Claus Village. The Holiday Village is the first accommoda-

tion offered in the Arctic Circle. The Christmas season also brings international travellers to the cottage village. “We are getting Internet reservations all around the world – from Spain, the United States, Australia etc.,” says .   Lapin Kansa Oy

Talking park bench spouts proverbs A completely normal wooden park bench at the side of the old market at Rovaniemi will take you by surprise. When you sit down, it bursts out with a proverb. To hear more snippets of wisdom, you have to get up and sit down again. Besides offering traditional wisdom, the talking park bench also persuades you to exercise. The idea comes from Lappset Group Oy of Rovaniemi, a company specialising in playground equipment. “We felt that people should have more reasons to spend time outdoors,” says concept manager Reijo Koivula.

Children from the Hungarian poison disaster area visited Rovaniemi A group of children who had suffered in the Hungarian poison disaster visited Rovaniemi in September. The children came from the Kolontari village that suffered the worst damages from the poison leak in Hungary. The group consisted of four boys and three girls as well as three adult carers. The children were aged 7–10. Also four representatives from Hungarian media travelled with the group, covering the children’s adventures with Santa Claus and reindeers. The children and their carers spent two days getting to know a reindeer farm, Santa Claus Village, meeting Santa Claus and visiting Yläkemijoki school, Arktikum and Pilke.

The children were invited to Rovaniemi by the City of Rovaniemi and Hungary’s national airline Malev, who were also responsible for the costs of the trip with the VR Group as a cooperation partner.   YLE Lapland

Children’s stories for children, poetry for adults The proverb-proclaiming bench has been tested since the summer. So far it’s the only one in Rovaniemi. There are also children’s stories on the slide in the Prisma Hesburger play corner. In Pirkanmaa’s Sastamala, on the other hand, there is a Lappset bench which recites poetry next to the museum. “We are now looking for different content

for the speech component for different target groups and will monitor how the existing ones are received. Up till now, the feedback has been positive,” says Reijo Koivula. “This is an economical and versatile component that is undoubtedly suited for export. We have already exported these to Italy and Denmark,” Koivula adds.   YLE Lapland


Rovaniemi Marathon looks for growth in Russia The Rovaniemi Marathon community is intensifying its marketing towards Russia. The community has signed a cooperation agreement with the energy company of Kola region, Energy SC Profkom Kola NPP. As a result of this cooperation, hundreds of runners from Kola are expected at the Rovaniemi Marathon. Director of sports club Kola NPP, Valeriy Saveljev says that an international energy company championship is also organised at the same time as the Rovaniemi Marathon. Some 200 participants are expected from energy companies alone. Race director Olli Tiuraniemi believes that the cooperation with the Russian company will finally guarantee that the thousand-runner threshold is passed. Russians are also eager to bring their expertise to the Jutajaiset festival. Lyudmila Proskurina, Director of the Kola NPP trade union feels that cultural exchange is also important. Knowledge of performing in Rova­ niemi motivates amateurs and professionals to practice eagerly.   YLE Lapland

Vice chairman of Chinese National Congress visits Rovaniemi The Vice chairman of the Chinese National Congress, Sang Guowei, arrived in Rovaniemi with his entourage for a one-day visit in September. The high-ranking delegation with Vice chairman Sang consisted of some twenty people, including Members of the National Congress, Sun Wensheng and Ren Maodong, as well as the Chinese ambassador to Finland, Huang Xing. The visit of Vice chairman Sang’s delegation

to Rovaniemi opened with a lunch put on by the City of Rovaniemi at the Alaruokanen house, hosted by Mayor Mauri Gardin. During his visit to Rovaniemi, the Vice chairman of the National Congress and his delegation visited the Arktikum and an exhibition in the Provincial Museum of Lapland, visited a reindeer farm and met Santa Claus at the Arctic Circle. Tourism manager Tuula Rintala-Gardin

was happy with Mr. Sang’s visit to Rovaniemi as it continued a line of high-ranking Chinese guests to Rovaniemi. The Chinese Vice president visited Rovaniemi last year, and now it was the turn of the Vice chairman of the National Congress. It looks like Rovaniemi has become one of the standard destinations of Chinese statesmen visiting Finland, Rintala-Gardin comments.

Villa delivered for Medvedev from Lapland The latest top class product of Lapp log expertise was an entertainment and holiday house for the Russian president built in the Kola Peninsula by Puukeskus Oy. The 540 square metre main building made from logs was completed for president Dmitri Medvedev’s use in the beginning of September. It includes, amongst other things, a sauna, yoga room, movie theatre, the president’s study and bedroom as well as a living room with fireplace.

Substantial sale to Murmansk Puukeskus Oy has received an extensive building contract from Murmansk. In the first stage, the company will build 20 single-family homes in a residential area near the centre of Murmansk. All in all, Puukeskus is set to build 60 single-family houses in the area. Puukeskus assembles the Murmansk houses from large elements erected on site. The Rovaniemi office of Puukeskus was crucial to the Russian deal. Sales director ­Juhani Juotasniemi is happy with the building project. “Sales to Russia are always a lengthy process. Things don’t usually happen very quickly.”   Lapin Kansa Oy

The project costs amounted to some four million Euro. The area also includes a separate sauna with swimming pool, three 100 square metre guest houses and a 360 square metre building for staff. Architect Hannu Voutilainen designed the overall architecture of the area as well as the main building. The project was implemented by sales director Juhani Juotasniemi and Puukeskus stores in Rovaniemi, Tornio and Oulu as well as their subcontractors, delivering everything to Russia with the exception of Italian furniture. Deliveries of materials were made by helicopter and a specially equipped caterpillar vehicle.

The holiday area named “Otso” after president Medvedev, whose name means “bear” is located 55 km from the nearest settlement. For security reasons, the exact location of the villa is not disclosed.   Lapin Kansa Oy


Rovaniemi to host Winter Swimming World Championships 2014 The International Winter Swimming Association (IWSA) has granted the City of Rovaniemi and Ounasvaaran Latu ry the right to host the Winter Swimming World Championships in 2014. Important factors in the decision included the originality of the location, good traffic connections from all over the world and first and foremost the organiser’s experience in arranging major events. Ounasvaaran Latu has already achieved fame as an organiser of major events, and Rovaniemi has the capacity to host such events. Mariia Yrjö-Koskinen, President of the International Winter Swimming Association, is delighted about the fact that the World Championships will be organised in the Finnish Lapland in a bit over two years’ time.  “Interest for winter swimming is constantly increasing around the world, and it is important that we can offer unforgettable, one-of-a-kind experiences to the participants. Father Christmas and the exotic Lapland are bound to attract a lot of international contestants,” says Yrjö-Koskinen. 

Spa hotel at the centre of Rovaniemi A spa and conference hotel will be built in the centre of Rovaniemi. The property would be an extension of Hotel Santa Claus.

The extension plan covers 139 rooms, almost doubling the current number of rooms in Hotel Santa Claus. The total number of rooms after the extension would be more than 300. Seppo Aho, owner of the plot, says that the aim is to offer an indoor route between the new and old parts of the hotel. “We intend to build a beautiful bridge-like section between the buildings, connecting the current Hotel Santa Claus with the new spa and conference section,” says Seppo Aho. The spa building will be designed by Matti Sanaksenaho, professor of contemporary

architecture at the University of Oulu. His work can be seen in Finland’s Pavilion at the 1992 Seville World Expo, “Helvetinkolu”, as well as the Ecumenical Art Chapel in Turku. According to Seppo Aho, the building area is some 10,000–13,000 floor square metres and the budget some 30 million Euro. The developer hopes that the building plan of the area would be completed next summer and that the hotel would be operational by the summer of 2014.

Tower-like extension to the Rovaniemi City Hotel President and CEO of the Rovaniemi City Hotel, Mikael Gröhn, is planning to expand the hotel next to its current property. He plans to build a 12 floor hotel and residential building on the small concrete parking garage owned by the city currently located on the plot. The top of the building could host a scenic restaurant and meeting rooms. Depending on the future building plan regulations, the building could have some 50–100 hotel rooms.

In addition to the hotel room, the building would include 40–60 flats – rental studios that could easily be converted into hotel rooms when increased tourist numbers so require. The bottom floor of the building would host a market hall along the lines of strong city feel. “A market hall culture adds to the attraction of the centre and its appeal,” Gröhn believes. Gröhn aims to start construction next summer and complete the extension by the

Christmas season of 2013 or the spring of 2014. Three different versions of architectural designs are available for decision-makers to choose from.   Lapin Kansa

Rovaniemi and Oulu energy companies join forces to build a bioenergy plant The energy companies of Rovaniemi and Oulu build a joint bioenergy plant in Rovaniemi’s Mustikkamaa. For this, the companies set up a new power plant company. The total investment amounts to over 200 million Euro.

The total investment related to the power plant is more than 200 million Euro. The fuel supply is based on local energy, wood and peat. The bioenergy plant to be built is a bleed steam condensate plant with a fuel efficiency of 225 megawatts, a maximum net production of electricity at some 90 megawatts and district heat capacity of 95 megawatts. Seventyfive per cent of the fuel is wood-based and 25 per cent peat. Some 650,000 cubic metres or 16,250 full truck loads of fuel wood are used in the plant annually. Rovaniemi’s Mayor, Mauri Gardin and Oulu’s Mayor, Matti Pennanen are happy with the cooperation. ”Contact between these two Northern growth centres has been good and constructive for some time already. A closer cooperation between cities and municipalities is crucial for the future positive development of all of Northern Finland. Cooperation in a large energy production investment supports such joint development in Northern Finland ideally,” both Mayors report.

  YLE Lapland   YLE Lapland


CHRISTMASTIME IN ROVANIEMI Christmas lunch and dinner

Christmastime Events Sat 26.11. The Opening of the Christmas Season in Rovaniemi

Fri 16.12. at 19.00 Chamber symphony concert III ’Jubilato’

Santa Claus Village, Arctic Circle

by Lapland Chamber Orchestra Korundi-hall. Tickets: 15/12/6 €

Fri 2.12. Night of the gifts, Sampokeskus Shopping Centre Shops are open late at night and also other amusement. Thu 1.12. at 19.00 Chamber music concert II ’Expect the unexpected’ by Lapland Chamber Orchestra Korundi-hall. Tickets: 15 / 12 / 6 € Sat–Sun 10.–11.12. at 10-16 Christmas bazaar Lapland Vocational College (Lapin Ammatti­ opisto), Metsäruusuntie 18 Sat 10.12. at 20 Concert by Hector Lappi Areena. Tickets: 44,90 € Thu 15.12. at 19.00 Chamber symphony concert III ’Jubilato’ by Lapland Chamber Orchestra Korundi-hall. Tickets: 15/12/6 €

Fri–Sun 16.–18.12. Arctic Market Days Arktikum

Santa Claus Holiday Village: Lunch buffet daily at 11–14 Dinner buffet daily at 18–21 Pohjanhovi: Christmas lunch 12.–23.12. daily at 11.30–15.00 33 €/Adult, 17 €/Children (under 14 yrs)

Christmas fantasy 17.-21.12, daily at 18.00 Unique way to explore the nature and Christmas spirit is to join Christmas Fantasy in a small, authentic Lappish Village called Sonka. The elves walk you to the arctic nature! You will see elves in their secret jobs and other creatures of the forest. Tickets from Rovaniemi Tourist Information and Osviitta

Christmas dinner 18.11.–17.12. Fri & Sat at 18–21 44 €/Adult, 22 €/Children (under 14 yrs)

Sun 18.12. at 17 The Holy Mass in English

Old market place in the city centre. Ice skateting rental and teaching service. The price of the service is including skates, helmets and teaching. There is no time limit, so you can skate as long as you want. Also snow slide available. The price includes a special glider. There is no time limit and you can do as many runs as you want.

is celebrated following the Evangelical Lutheran ritus and enriched by international Christian music. Holy Mass will be in Rovaniemi Church Crypt, (entrance from the street Vapaudentie, bottom floor). Tea and coffee afterwards.

Unforgettable dinner in Santamus: 4.11.–17.12. Fri & Sat Fun On Ice –Iceskating in December daily at 12–20

Snow church in Sonka 22.12 at 17.00 Free entrance and bus transportation from city centre. The most beautiful christmas songs 22.12. at 19.00 Rovaniemi Church, Free entrance. Fri 23.12. Santa is on his way Santa Claus Village, Arctic Circle Fun On Ice –Iceskating in December daily at 12-20 Old market place in the city centre. Ice skateting rental and teaching service. The price of the service is including skates, helmets and teaching. There is no time limit, so you can skate as long as you want. Also snow slide available. The price includes a special glider. There is no time limit and you can do as many runs as you want.

Rovaniemi Tourist Information Maakuntakatu 29-31 FI-96200 Rovaniemi Tel. +358-(0)16-346 270 travel.info@rovaniemi.fi

Rovaniemi Regional Development Agency Ainonkatu 1 FI-96200 Rovaniemi Exchange +358 20 152 5000 Fax +358 16 347 351 rovaniemenkehitys@rovaniemi.fi


Rovaniemi City News 3/2011