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KIM BODNIA – ALWAYS ON A MISSION CELEBRATING NORWAY’S CONSTITUTION BIG SCANDINAVIAN FAMILY SPECIAL GEARING UP FOR THE EUROVISION

PROMOTING BRAND SCANDINAVIA

ISSUE 63

APRIL 2014

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Enabling real

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Scan Magazine | Contents

12

Contents 8 14

COVER FEATURE 8

33

Kim Bodnia: always on a mission The enthusiastic actor behind the lovable The Bridge lead, Martin Rhode, Kim Bodnia tells Scan Magazine about being the fastest runner in Denmark at the age of 14, moving to New York, and the upcoming third season of the popular Nordic Noir show.

37

Tradition meets innovation In addition to our usual picks, this month’s design section combines the most groundbreaking hightechnological interiors solutions with the very best of traditional hand-crafted design; everything that Scandinavia does so well, you might say.

58

Emma Johansson’s truths The Swedish pro-cyclist, ranked number 1 in the UCI rankings, tells Scan Magazine about being her own boss, taking in the Olympics podium, and beneficial Scandinavian traits.

70

The sound of music We went music-centric with this month’s special features, discovering Aalborg’s brand new Musikkens Hus and talking to the Swedish culture enthusiast behind an upcoming exclusive Cadogan Hall concert.

SPECIAL THEMES 21

74 29

BUSINESS 92

On communication skills and reaching goals We have two powerful business columns this month, in addition to a report from Nordea Bank S.A., whose CEO is retiring. That, and the story behind some of the best liquorice on the market. Because you can never get too much liquorice.

Norwegian Constitution Anniversary Though celebrations have already started, the big day itself is now fast approaching and we thought it high time to look in more detail at the historical events behind Norway’s radical constitution, the country’s historical hotspots, and the top destinations for celebrating the jubilee.

34

Cultural Finland Festival season is only around the corner, yet it seems to have passed many festival lovers by that Finland is a promising destination for a trip combining culture with nature and relaxation. Here is your guide.

SPECIAL FEATURES 18

Children of Scandinavia: Sweden If you have never seen a BRIO toy, you most certainly are not a parent, and you have missed out on the strong tide of childhood nostalgia that is currently sweeping across Europe. From BRIO to quality teddies and Science Centres, we found out about the family-friendly brands of the country with the most generous parental leave in the world.

SPORTS PROFILE 17

Children of Scandinavia: Denmark Home to LEGO and its legacy, Denmark is renowned for a cycling-friendly, design-savvy, community-focused take on life, and indeed, as Scan Magazine discovered, there are countless Danish brands leading the way for child-focused design and development.

DESIGN 14

Children of Scandinavia: Norway Dubbed a parental paradise, Scandinavia is a place that loves families and makes family life that bit easier. Norwegians, it turns out, are now the happiest people in the world. We set out to explore the crazy fun they get up to in their leisure time.

Discover Svalbard With Norway deserving all the attention it can get this month, we quickly dip into the magical Arctic Ocean archipelago that is Svalbard. Simply stunning.

CULTURE 100 Eurovision special Spring may always seem to arrive late in Scandinavia, so thank goodness for the Eurovision Song Contest! What better way to spend the months leading up to the big show than with countless local and national qualifying contests? Exactly: no better way. Add a Q&A with the writers behind some of Nordic Noir’s most successful shows, and the result is a pretty splendid Culture Section.

REGULARS & COLUMNS 12

We Love This | 13 Fashion Diary | 82 Hotels of the Month | 86 Attractions of the Month

90

Restaurant of the Month | 98 Humour

Issue 63 | April 2014 | 3


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Scan Magazine | Editor’s Note

Dear Reader, Norwegians have always been fabulously brilliant at celebrating 17 May, the national independence day, but in light of the tragic massacre of almost three years ago, it feels more pertinent than ever to give the 200th anniversary of the constitution plenty of attention. We join the Norwegians in celebrating democracy, freedom and equality with a special piece about the historical events that led to the signing of the constitution, alongside features on everything from jubilee highlights and historical hotspots to family-friendly destinations in the great Scandinavian country in the west. And speaking of family-friendly: this, we have plenty of in the April issue of Scan Magazine. Dubbed a parental paradise, Scandinavia offers some of the most generous parental leave packages in the world, in addition to highly subsidised childcare, a love of the great outdoors, and endless child-friendly brands that make family life that bit safer, much greener, and a lot more fun. If in need of children’s wear or toys, or if planning your next family holiday, look no further. While the above may well contribute to the fact that Scandinavians are repeatedly proved to be amongst the happiest people in the world, a less scientifically-proved happiness contributor that we have nonetheless made the most of in this issue is the Scandinavian devotion to the Eurovision Song Contest. Read all about who won, who lost, and who is likely

to take home the big trophy at the European-wide finals next month, in our Eurovision Special. Once done gloating about our highly-held democratic principles, healthy and happy children, and unquestionably world-class songwriting skills, Scandinavians are likely to move on to the slightly less glorifying world of Nordic Noir – which, of course, is just another trend that highlights the world’s current obsession with the cool countries up north. If Nordic Noir is the cream of the crime fiction crop, Martin Rhode and Saga Norén are undoubtedly the king and queen of said cream. It is no exaggeration, then, to say that we have the current King of Scandinavia, the amazingly warm and likeable Kim Bodnia, on the cover this month – a fascinating cover feature for another jam-packed issue. Please tuck in.

Linnea Dunne Editor

SCAN M A G A Z I N E

Scan Magazine Issue 63 | April 2014 Published 04.04.2014 ISSN 1757-9589 Published by Scan Magazine Ltd Design & Print Liquid Graphic Ltd Executive Editor Thomas Winther Creative Director Mads E. Petersen Editor Linnea Dunne Graphic Designer Svetlana Slizova Copy-editor Mark Rogers Contributors Emelie Krugly Hill Julie Guldbrandsen

4 | Issue 63 | April 2014

Emmie Collinge Signe Hansen Camilla Huuse Ulrika Kuoppa Julie Lindén Kjersti Westeng Ingvild Larsen Vetrhus Stian Sangvig Magnus Nygren Syversen Stine Gjevnoe Else Kvist Marjorie de los Angeles Mendieta Nicolai Lisberg Thomas Bech Hansen Tina Lukmann Andersen Sara Mangsbo Astrid Eriksson Taina Värri Mia Halonen Tuomo Paananen Ndela Faye Christina Toimela Johannes Laitila Joanna Nylund Paul Blackhurst Annika Åman Goodwille Eleonoora Kirk Mette Lisby Maria Smedstad Dena Tahmasebi

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Scan Magazine Ltd 15B Bell Yard Mews Bermondsey Street London SE1 3TY United Kingdom Phone +44 (0)870 933 0423 info@scanmagazine.co.uk www.scanmagazine.co.uk © All rights reserved. Material contained in this publication may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without prior permission of Scan Magazine Ltd. Scan Magazine® is a registered trademark of Scan Magazine Ltd. This magazine contains advertorials/promotional articles


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Discover real Private Banking At SEB Private Banking, we acknowledge that everyone has a unique set of challenges. It’s why we do not offer ready-made solutions, concentrating instead on developing meaningful, long-lasting financial relationships and making the effort to really understand you and your requirements. We look after all aspects of your personal and your family’s business finances – from daily transactions to long-term investments. And we offer everything from in-depth financial management to specialist advice on legal and tax matters. As one of the world’s strongest banks and with more than 150 years of experience in private banking, we have just what it takes to ensure your future prosperity. To find out what SEB can do for your personal wealth, contact us in London: Christian A. Hvamstad +44 (0) 20 7246 4307 privatebanking@seb.co.uk

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Scan Magazine | Contributors

This month’s featured contributors Emelie Krugly Hill is a Swedish freelance journalist based in London, working for both Swedish and British publications. Particular interests are Swedish news and current affairs, as well as the export of Scandinavian culture to the UK and vice versa. Prior to her move to the UK in 2006, Emelie worked for a number of newspapers in southern Sweden. She began working as a youth editor, moving on to become a news reporter, an obituary editor and a proofreader. During this time she also studied at Poppius Journalistskola in Stockholm. Emelie has produced numerous cover features, culturerelated articles, news stories and other features about Swedes in London for Scan Magazine ever since the start in 2008. Read more about her work at emeliekrugly.com. For the April issue, Emelie contributes with a cover reportage of an inspiring meeting with the fascinating Danish actor that is Kim Bodnia.

Astrid Eriksson moved to London in 2011 to study journalism at the University of Westminster. Throughout her time in London she has been freelancing as a writer and translator and is looking forward to turning it in to a full-time operation after her upcoming graduation. Astrid loves coffee, working, walking, dogs, singing, Google Translate and laughing at her own jokes. When she is feeling low, she gives herself a high-five to cheer herself up, and if that does not help, there is always dancing. Astrid goes back to her native Sweden as often as she can and is working hard to collect enough frequent flyer points to get a free croissant. But no matter how hard her heart beats and bleeds for Sweden, she fell in love with London right off the bat and has never once regretted her decision to move. This month, join Astrid as she finds out about the Swedish Railway Museum and brings the child inside to life.

Ulrika Kuoppa is a Swedish longterm UK resident working as a TV, radio, web and newspaper journalist and copywriter. Years of live broadcasting have taught her that all people remember is what your eyebrows look like, so there is really no need to stress – unless your eyebrows are untidy. Ulrika is currently working on trying to make her clonky guitar sound better, riding her cyclocross bike faster, and finishing her first children's book. That is when she is not writing for Scan Magazine about all that Sweden has to offer. For the April issue of Scan Magazine, Ulrika finds out why Skansen is the place to go for families on holidays in Stockholm and reports about an exciting upcoming London show.

Thomas Bech Hansen holds an MA in Communications from Aarhus University and works full-time as a PR adviser. On the side, he is a freelance journalist and attends a postgraduate programme at London School of Journalism. After a couple of spells in England, he is now back in his native Denmark, Copenhagen to be exact. Besides writing, his greatest interests reveal that he is a bit of an anglophile, with British football and music at the top of the list. Great stories, Thomas believes, are everywhere. A big part of his motivation is meeting new people and getting into areas he otherwise would never have access to. Indeed, he has covered a variety of topics for Scan Magazine – from architecture to aquavit. This month, Thomas makes his first foray into the world of fashion, as he speaks to the owner of Danish clothing label Danefæ.

6 | Issue 63 | April 2014


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Scan Magazine | Cover Feature | Kim Bodnia

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Scan Magazine | Cover Feature | Kim Bodnia

Kim Bodnia Always on a mission Sporting an impressive sheepskin coat, he is taller than we imagined and broad-shouldered, with intense blue eyes. His hand shake is firm, his voice big and his enthusiasm infectious, yet there is something about Kim Bodnia’s aura that is hard to define. By Emilie Krugly Hill | Photo: Tim Mitchell / timmitchell.co.uk

Most know him as the character Martin Rhode, a Danish detective, and for the last month an estimated one million Britons and expats have been glued to their screens watching double-bill episodes of the 10-part detective drama The Bridge. The series is filmed in two languages (Swedish and Danish) that most have never even aspired to understand, let alone speak, but this has in no way hampered its phenomenal success. It is the day before the final two episodes of The Bridge II are aired, Bodnia is at the Sanderson Hotel in central London, and guests are turning their heads. He has recently returned from New York, where he was busy directing The Tailor’s Tale, a play by his cousin Alexander Bodin Saphir about his Jewish grandfather’s brother’s life in Copenhagen during the Nazi occupation. “It obviously can’t get more personal and intimate than this,” says Bodnia. “This is something I knew I needed to do – it’s a part of my history,

the story I’ve always wanted to tell the world.” He then transports us back in time, recounting anecdotes from his early days in theatre. He is relaxed and clearly excited to be in town to appear at the Nordicana festival at The Old Truman Brewery. The fastest runner in Denmark Born to Jewish parents, Bodnia grew up in Copenhagen and in his youth wrote music, lyrics and poems. He never enjoyed school during his early years, but fortunately a photographic memory helped him pull through. He went on to study at the National school of theatre in Copenhagen. “I'm half-Russian, half-Polish and all Jewish. At 14, I was the fastest runner in Denmark, believe it or not, and a youth champion in the 100-metre run and long jump and later on a professional goalkeeper, but a foot injury put a stop to any plans to become an athlete,” says the actor.

Unperturbed and with the prospect of a new fate, Bodnia eagerly turned to the theatre, which in a sense was the perfect way for him to declare his love of art to the world. “All I want to do with my acting, for as long as I live, is to connect people through love. That’s my mission,” Kim explains in a serious tone. He orders a salad and a tall grapefruit juice, announcing that he is currently going through a vegetarian phase. “When we recorded The Bridge I ate lots of meat to get the energy to keep me going, but normally I don’t need to eat that much; salads are usually enough for me.” We chat casually about his love of acting and passion for performance art, what he describes as his destiny. His grandmother, who played an important role in his life, would often remind him of how far she had predicted he would go, and he gets quite emotional talking about her.

Issue 63 | April 2014 | 9


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Scan Magazine | Cover Feature | Kim Bodnia

A gentle bear of a man Bodnia is often described as a gentle bear of a man with strong and warm characteristics, which leads us to ask about his peculiar interest in animal behaviour, something he has been studying for years. “I study all animals,” he says. “In fact, I’ve always used animal behaviour as a reference for my acting, as their response pattern is different and unpredictable. Take Harald in In China They Eat Dogs: he is a gorilla, and if you look closely, you can see him standing like a gorilla in several scenes – it’s proven to be a very useful skill. I often judge people by what animal they might be.”

share his love of the arts. “My family is everything to me: I need them and would be nobody without them. It’s often very hard to live for long periods without them, but we talk on the telephone and I tell my kids that longing is all about love,” he says.

A father of four, Bodnia’s children – his first son, with the actress Lotte Andersen, and his other three children, with his wife, actress Rikke Louise Andersson – all

Just about to make a big move to New York, neither Bodnia nor his family can wait. “I feel at home over there,” he explains. “It’s easy to fit in. You’re never

10 | Issue 63 | April 2014

alone in a big city like New York as you easily connect with people. Denmark has always felt small and it is a bit claustrophobic; moving abroad is something I’ve wanted to do all my life.” Third season all about Saga

“They’ve got art in their genes; acting is in their blood and they are already showing great potential. My eldest son, Louis, is a terrific piano player: he recently gave a performance in New York and was improvising like I’ve never seen. My two little boys Charlie and Miles are also raving about the theatre, along with my daughter, Nomi, who loves to sing and dance.”

While preparing the move, Bodnia has also started recording the third season of The Bridge, which has already been sold to 150 countries, and is understandably excited about what is to come. “It’s out of control, complete madness – but in a wonderful way. So far it’s all been about Martin, but this time the focus will be on Saga and what’s really going on inside this closed book of a character,” the actor reveals. “At the end of the second season, we just began to find out about her past, but there is more to come. It’s going to be great.”


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Scan Magazine | Cover Feature | Kim Bodnia

From The Bridge II. Photos: Noble PR

Of all the characters Bodnia has played, he insists that he has most in common with Martin, who is strong, warm and sensitive – a far cry from the tormented and unpredictable characters he has played so well in the past, resulting in people actually thinking of him as “a bastard in real life, which in a way is actually the highest praise an actor can receive,” he suggests. “I had a gut feeling that the series was going to be a success,” Bodnia admits. “Yet I had no idea that it would become such a success in the UK. We’ve always held UK productions in such high regard, and now you’re admiring our work, which is incredible. I have loved every minute of it, not least playing alongside Sofia Helin (Saga Norén), a fascinating character and in my opinion far from emotionless as people often describe her; on the con-

trary, I find her full of emotions, almost child-like.” Bodnia’s early breakthrough was as macho character Jens in Ole Bornedal’s Nightwatch (1994). After that, he starred in what many consider his best performance to date, Nicolas Winding Refn’s cult movie, Pusher (1996), where he plays a low-level drug dealer named Frank, alongside Mads Mikkelsen. Since then, he has appeared in nearly 60 films, including Bleeder (1999), In China They Eat Dogs (1999), and its prequel Old Men in New Cars (2002). Bodnia will soon be seen playing alongside Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper in the not-yet released Hollywood production Serena, based on the novel of the same name by American author Ron Rash, and directed by Susanne Bier.

Kim Bodnia with writer Emelie Krugly Hill. Photo: Tim Mitchell

The Bridge Seasons I&II are available on DVD and Blu-ray from Arrow Film’s Nordic Noir label.

For more information, please visit: www.bodnia.dk

Issue 63 | April 2014 | 11


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Scan Magazine | Design | We Love This

We love this... As we are gearing up for weekends devoted to the garden, our selection of home accessories takes an outdoorsy turn this month. And while we do love an unfussy and demure interior style, we cannot resist adding more than a few colour splashes – it just makes us smile. By Julie Guldbrandsen

Royal Copenhagen’s new bonbonniere, with its The graphic minimalism of these luxe knitted cushions by Fuss goes perfectly hand-in-hand with

sweet hyacinth motif, is a little welcome treasure

the unfussy Scandinavian decoration philosophy. There are many cool colour combinations and

for the new season. Use it for Easter sweets or

patterns available.

as a diminutive plant pot for spring flowers. £39.

£73. www.byflou.com.

www.royalcopenhagen.com.

The ‘Pantone’ cups by Room Copenhagen are a cheerful choice for your tea or coffee routine. Made from melamine with a heat-

Finnish interior brand Kauniste has

protecting band in silicone, they are also

created a lovely range of home interiors.

‘On-the-move’ is a stylish and lightweight side

very practical. In line with the Pantone

We particularly love this coral-tinted

table by Cane-Line with an easy-to-grab handle

Universe, they come in a wide range of

wool throw, which will liven up your

and removable tray. Made from aluminium, it is

on-trend seasonal colours. £15.

couch or garden furniture in a flash.

perfect for outdoor use. Available in six colours.

www.royaldesign.co.uk.

£92. www.kauniste.bigcartel.com.

£225. www.cane-line.co.uk.

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Scan Magazine | Design | Fashion Diary

Fashion Diary... Having just recovered from the worldwide frenzy of countless Fashion Weeks, during which we were confronted with some stunning A/W 14/15 pieces, we should probably settle down and focus on here and now: the first buds of spring, the blossom, and bare legs. By Emmie Collinge

This look is a springtime winner: a Rocking these jacquard print shorts will turn

Add a casual dress and ankle socks and

laissez-faire stylish tee rounded off with

some heads. We love the matching top, but

you will get a spring in your step. With the

these suede ankle boots from Samsøe

Clueless was in 1995 and no one will expect

softest of mohair wool, you will be the

& Samsøe. The height is manageable,

you to match this spring – although we

stylish one who knows that spring evenings

the shade summery – what’s not to

would definitely give you a thumbs up. £89

can veer on the chilly side. £45

love? £177.50 (boots) £59 (tee)

www.bruunsbazaar.dk

www.weekday.com

www.samsoe.com

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Opalum’s ultra-thin on-wall speakers are powered through the same thin signal cable connecting loudspeaker and hub, making chunky power cables superfluous.

The new look of Scandinavian sound With a clear touch of Scandinavian design and full, rich sound, Opalum’s on-wall speaker system is transcending the border between interior design and sound technology. The company’s popularity within the design sector stems from its two patented technologies, which make it possible to create not just ultra-thin, but also self-powered, speakers, eliminating the need for unsightly power cables. By Signe Hansen | Photos: Opalum

When first seeing the stylish Opalum speakers, you might be forgiven for being unable to connect those paper-like wall designs to the spacious, round sound that they produce. But that the speakers are the source of one of the most sonicallybalanced, accurate and time-coherent sounds available within on-wall solutions is a fact confirmed by several industry experts and awarding bodies. Many agree that Opalum has raised the sonic bar for lifestyle sound solutions, and to do exactly that was the ambition at the company’s foundation in 2009.

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To put it more precisely, the company’s three founders, sound engineer Pär G. Risberg, managing director Lasse Hald, and vice president of global sales and marketing Ulrik Sindberg, wanted to make the world’s highest-performance, ultrathin, digitally-active loudspeakers. “We always wanted to provide the best solution on the on-wall speaker market, and to do that the main criteria are to avoid too many cables and create a flexible system,” explains Sindberg, adding: “The key to our system’s adaptability is our flexible source, the hub. You can connect every-

thing to this, a multi-room system or just your TV or music system. It is very simple: you can connect the speaker to the hub and then stream music from your phone straight away. That’s why we are traded by so many interior designers – they like our system because it’s so simple.” During Opalum’s short existence to date, its core technologies have secured the brand a firm position on the European and North American markets, and the company is now expanding into the growing markets of China.


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Scan Magazine | Design Feature | Opalum of Scandinavia

Seamless, colourful designs To create a design that matched the Opalum speaker’s extraordinary potential, the company’s three founders secured the assistance of one of Scandinavia’s top designers, Eva Hanner. She initially created the brand’s characteristic paper-like FLOW speaker. The elegance of the FLOW speaker’s wave-shaped cabinet not only gives it what the designer calls “a feminine touch” but also minimises vibrations and directs the sound towards the listener. “Our clients are typically very design conscious, and that’s why, at the heart of it all, it’s about creating a cool piece of what you could call ‘art design’,” says Sindberg. The artistic approach is even more obvious in the brand’s following development, the BREEZE speaker, which with multiple replaceable colour fronts allows the owner to change colours to suit interior, season, or mood. High-tech – low complexity The patented technologies, which allow Opalum’s sleek, almost acousticallyimpossible, designs to accommodate their outstanding sonic performance, are the result of years of research at Linköping University. The first technology, which was developed and patented by Pär G. Risberg, was the Actisonic, which processes the audio signal digitally while enhancing and controlling it all the way through amplification and to speakers. It is, says Sindberg, what makes the sound “magic”.

Another patented technology unique to Opalum is Actiline. Actiline enables the speakers to receive both electricity and sound signals through the same thin signal cable connecting loudspeaker and hub, the latter of which is the focal point for all music and sound devices. The hub is at the core of the system’s flexibility, ensuring that it not only provides a sonic performance unmatched in other lifestyle audio products, but also includes the latest genera- Thanks to Opalum’s patented Actisonic technology, the FLOW speaker’s sound is not constricted by the tiny dimensions of the loudspeaker. tion of high-quality audio streaming “It’s all made very simple, down to the by, for instance, combining Opalum’s Acpoint where you don’t even need a sepatiline technology with the latest generation rate remote control if you don’t want it; of Bluetooth wireless streaming. When you can just use the one for your TV,” extechnological advances happen, the hub plains Sindberg and rounds off: “There is will be updated and can be replaced for a fraction of the price of a new sound sysa lot of technology behind it, but in the end tem. that’s what makes it so easy to use.”

Opalum’s newly-launched Kitchen Sound Unit is incorporated into kitchen designs by Europe’s most innovative kitchen brands, including HTH, Magnet, Marbodal, Sigdal, Novart, Hygena, EWE and Goldreif – all brands owned by Nobia. Opalum will be represented at this year’s NeoCon Conference in Chicago, North America’s largest design exhibition for commercial interiors.

For more information, please visit: www.opalum.com

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Scan Magazine | Design Profile | Aurland Shoe Factory AS

though he is surrounded by shoes daily, there is still one special pair up on the wall that he will never get rid of. “It is a small pair of shoes that my dad wore on Norway’s national day 50 years ago,” he explains. “He was very proud of his loafers, but wearing new shoes in a parade is something every child in Norway today knows not to do.” Even though the small pair of loafers caused the 5-year-old some burning blisters back in 1949, the boy did not give up and continued to wear the brand for years to come, before handing the company over to his son – a man who today can be spotted walking the streets of Aurland, wearing identical loafers. A pair of Aurland shoes in spring colours.

International fashion in Norwegian village design The secret ingredients needed for a flawless pair of shoes might seem difficult to come up with, but for a locally-run shoe factory in Aurland, the answer proved a simple one. Take Native American moccasins mixed with a Norwegian slipper, and add a dash of fresh Scandinavian air – and you have got the perfect product. Aurland shoes being produced.

By Camilla Huuse | Photos: Aurland Shoe Factory AS

This footwear perfection is today known as the Aurland shoe and has been produced at the Aurland shoe factory since the 1930s. Part of a family-run business where the ancestors are watching from portraits on the walls, Geirfinn Lysne is a fifth-generation shoemaker. The history is a complex one: the original factory was started by a family named Wangen and run by them for three generations before the Tveranger clan got involved. Nils Gregorius Tveranger, Lysne’s great-great-grandad, designed the first Aurland shoe in America and started the modern shoe adventure in 1953. The two families partly ran the business together from then on until today, always focusing on maintaining, but also improving, the already one-of-a-kind shoe.

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“My great-great-grandad went to the US to learn shoe production and returned to Norway with his idea,” says Lysne. Today, the factory uses Tveranger’s original design but aims to come up with limited editions in different colours every season. The village on the west coast of Norway is known locally for its shoes, but the Aurland design has also influenced international fashion. After American journalists featured the original shoe in an article, the design was picked up by the US company G.H. Bass & Co, and in 1936 the American brand put a stylish spin on the Norwegian shoe design and playfully dubbed their shoes ‘Weejuns’ – after Norwegians. “We have the original design to what is known worldwide as the penny loafer,” Lysne says proudly, adding that even

Ingvald Lysne, Geirfinn Lysne’s father.

Shoe-making workshop at Onstad-Øyri, circa 1907.

For more information, please visit: www.aurlandskoen.no


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The world’s number one opens up – Emma Johansson’s truths By Emmie Collinge | Photos: CorVos & Davy Rietbergen

Standing on the Olympic podium is a lot of fun. After a silver medal in Beijing, the 2012 Olympics were a lot harder. Mentally, it was a tough year and it took a lot of energy to come back from. Cycling in Sweden is like cross-country skiing in Belgium. Cycling does not get much attention in the Swedish press. Sometimes I think they’re more interested in scandals. I wouldn’t be a pro-cyclist today if it was not for my school. Living in Sollefteå meant I naturally went cross-country skiing and mountain biking a lot, but I spent every weekend driving eight or nine hours to races, so when I started at the cycling-focused Katedralskolan in Skara, it made everything a lot easier. There was a big group of us cycling alongside our normal classes. We had the facilities, the support and the training – we pushed each other on. When we were at school we promised to race the Vätternrundan when we were thirty. Now I think we will have to push that back to 40 – but if I had my choice I’d never do it. I can’t imagine riding 300 kilo-

metres around a lake on my bike. I think I will have to be dragged round.

2014, I just want some nice wins – preferably the World Championships in September in Ponferrada, Spain.

I am my own boss. Life as a professional cyclist is definitely a lifestyle. In a certain sense I am always at work, but you could also say that I am always on holiday. With races all over the world, I get to explore so many places – but I need to train consistently, and it is up to me to get myself out there and push myself. I’m not 20 anymore. I’m married and I want to make the most of the time with my husband. I could have trained in Australia with my team Orica GreenEDGE, but 40 degrees Celsius is not for me! I’m a typical Scandinavian as I am good at building a good foundation in training. Winter training is the best as I love not being on the road bike. I spend my winters in Norway on the mountain bike and skiing whenever possible, as well as power training in the gym. I’m not planning on cycling once I retire. I love racing and being up at the front, but there is so much more out there to do. In

Swede Emma Johansson began her pro-cycling career in 2005, has won countless Swedish national championships and a silver medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. At the end of 2013, she was ranked number 1 in the UCI rankings. Her strength: the tricky cobbled roads of Belgium.

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Scan Magazine | Feature | Musikkens Hus

Lasse Rich Henningsen, CEO of Musikkens Hus, describes the building’s striking exterior as “heavy metal” and its interior as “fine classical”.

Aalborg’s new music hall is ready to impress Having been in the pipeline for 28 years, Musikkens Hus, Aalborg’s much-anticipated music hall, is ready to open its doors. Located on Aalborg’s redeveloped waterfront, the building presents stunning views of the Limfjord, symbolic architectonic features, and an ambitious yet pragmatic approach to art. On 29 March 2014, Musikkens Hus began its journey with an array of diverse classical, rhythmic and children’s music performances.

cultural project not just in this part of Denmark but also in an international perspective, represents.” Perhaps not surprisingly, taking the long wait into consideration, Musikkens Hus has been received with much enthusiasm, and that has manifested itself not only in impressive ticket sales but also in more than 10,000 likes on Facebook, a record for projects of this kind. But Henningsen is not taking anything for granted: “We are a prestigious project, but we are very humble; of course, we have a lot of ideas, but if peo-

By Signe Hansen | Photos: Elfie Semotan

With its circular windows, raw concrete exterior, and soft, drop-like interiors, Musikkens Hus has already become an architectonic landmark at Aalborg’s waterfront. The idea for the music hall first arose in 1986, and 24 years of fundraising, political work and planning later, the first brick was finally laid. Today, an impressive nine-storey, 20,000-square-metre music hall containing four concert halls, a water

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view restaurant, educational and research facilities, and much more, is adjoining Aalborg’s new waterfront and the inner city. CEO Lasse Rich Henningsen explains why he found the idea of the new music hall irresistible: “What made the project appealing to me were all the big challenges that a house like this, being such a major

Photo: Torben Hansen Nordjyske


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ple will not come, we need to do something else. Until now we’ve had great success and sold a lot of tickets – more than expected – but we have to keep working to get people in.” Pragmatism and artistic ambitions As one-third of Musikkens Hus is leased by different cultural institutions, including Aalborg Symphony Orchestra, Aalborg University’s Department of Music, and the Royal Academy of Music, the building literally functions as a cultural hub for the region. Part of Henningsen’s role is therefore to ensure that the dynamic synergies to work and create content are facilitated. “Another part of our job is to organise and promote concerts, and that is by far the biggest task: it is important to ensure that the profile we have decided on is adhered to, but also that we listen to what the population wants. To me it is extremely important to make sure that what we are doing is also commercial. Finding the right balance between creating a creative profile and running a commercial business is one of our most important and greatest challenges,” explains the CEO. “We should not just facilitate all the great classical and rhythmic concerts but also focus on adding new conceptual thinking and even producing new content.” In the 13-day-long opening programme, guests at Musikkens Hus will experience a bit of everything. One example of the concert hall’s great ambitions when it comes to producing new and innovative content is showcased on 5 April, when Aalborg Symphony Orchestra will perform with three Danish rhythmic artists, Tim Christensen, Jonas Petersen and Silas Bjerregaard, who will perform their own

His Royal Highness Prince Henrik visited Musikkens Hus during its construction. Photo: Mick Anderson

Photo: Henning Bagger

With soft white shapes, the architecture of Musikkens Hus’ largest concert hall depicts the meeting between water and music.

work with the orchestra as well as pieces written and produced especially for this event.

the water is also evident in the spacious, glass-fronted foyer as well as the water view restaurant. Both will be open to the public, and not just concert goers.

Heavy metal exterior, fine classic interior Musikkens Hus not only presents spectacular music but also architecture, and many will be curious to see what is hidden behind the massive exteriors. Designed by the Austrian architect firm Coop Himmelb(l)au, the architecture is, says Henningsen, as full of surprises as the artistic programme: “We like to say that the building has a heavy metal exterior and a fine classical interior,” he jokes, explaining: “From the outside it is kind of a heavy house: a lot of concrete, steel and glass. But when you move around the house, and in the concert hall, you will find white walls, chairs and soft, drop-like shapes – the opposite of the exterior.” The droplike shapes characterising the largest concert hall’s interior are designed to symbolise the meeting between music and water. The building’s connection to

- Musikkens Hus’ largest concert hall seats 1,298; the smallest seats 300. - Among the concert hall’s permanent residents will be Aalborg Symphony Orchestra, Jutland’s Royal Academy of Music, Aalborg’s University’s Department of Music, the Centre for Jazz History, and Musikkens Spisehus (restaurant). - Musikkens Hus opened to the public on 29 March, offering a 13-day string of concerts with local, national, and international artists such as Caroline Henderson, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Jamie Cullum, and many more.

For tickets and more information, please visit: www.musikkenshus.dk

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Emil Jonason. Photo: Andreas Sander

Christian Lindberg. Photo: Mats Backer

Star trombonist Lindberg is back in town! Fresh Swedish air will come blasting in at Cadogan Hall when world-famous trombonist Christian Lindberg returns to London to perform Mozart and his own new piece, written for critically-acclaimed clarinettist Emil Jonason. The dynamic chamber orchestra, Västerås Sinfonietta, will calm the atmosphere down with composer Andrea Tarrodi’s captivating UK premiere. By Ulrika Kuoppa

“This is a concert not to be missed!” says an excited Sofie Haag, founder and MD at London-based From Sweden Productions. And after more than 15 years in the business and arranging several large-scale sell-out performances at top London venues, she should know. On 17 May, she brings the crème de la crème of established and up-and-coming Swedish star musicians to Cadogan Hall, Chelsea. What better excuse to celebrate Norway’s national day in style? Portrayed as ‘the Yngwie Malmsteen of the clarinet’, zany 31-year-old Emil Jonason is one of the leading clarinettists of his generation. The audience at Cadogan Hall will experience an evening of musical excitement when trombonist, conductor and composer Christian Lindberg takes centre stage with Västerås Sinfonietta alongside Jonason. The exhilarating programme includes music by Leopold Mozart (Wolfgang Amadeus’s dad) and Manuel de Falla. Two exciting UK premieres will also make tickets go fast. Christian Lindberg, named

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one of the top brass players of our times, alongside Miles Davis and Louis Armstrong, will perform Mozart’s genial D major concerto. Lindberg has also written the clarinet concerto The Erratic Dreams of Mr Grönstedt, for his musical friend Jonason to reflect the young man’s wit and brilliant musicianship. Grönstedt, meanwhile, is a reference to a famous Swedish brandy. 33-year-old award winning composer Andrea Tarrodi’s new piece, Lucioles (Fireflies), bears the trademark of shimmering and captivating beauty that rapidly shot her to stardom and earned her the job as composer-in-residence with the Västerås Sinfonietta. This 33-strong chamber orchestra, its roots tracing back to 1883, collaborates regularly with soloists. “This orchestra has always been very close to my heart,” says Lindberg. “It is one of the most exciting chamber orchestras in Scandinavia at the moment.” “We are immensely proud to welcome these exciting artists to Cadogan Hall,” says Sofie Haag. “From Sweden Produc-

tions is a leading promoter of Swedish classical music and performing arts abroad. We are passionate about promoting high-quality artists and productions, showcasing the best of Swedish entertainment to an international audience. This evening will be a fresh boost of energy, for everyone!”

Andrea Tarrodi. Photo: Louisa Sundell

The Erratic Dreams of Christian Lindberg is promoted in partnership with the Embassy of Sweden in London and the Swedish Chamber of Commerce for the UK. Tickets £15-£35, www.cadoganhall.com, 020 7730 4500.

For more information, please visit: www.fromswedenproductions.com


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NO RW EG IA

SP EC IA

NC

ON LT ST ITU HEM E TIO NA : NN I

VE RS AR Y

The painting Eidsvold 1814 by Oscar Wergeland. © Stortinget. Photo: Teigens Fotoatelier

1814 – the Norwegian year of miracles For Norwegians, one particular calendar date echoes with loyal resonance. The national independence day of 17 May is a day spent celebrating a country noted for its belief in freedom, democracy and equality, values upheld by the world’s second oldest constitution. This year, the 200th anniversary of this constitution, which has been called miraculous by many an historian, will be celebrated all over Norway. So what sparked the Norwegian year of miracles? By Julie Lindén

In January 1814, Norway was a farming nation ruled by King Fredrik VI of Denmark. As early as 1536 Norway had been dissolved as a nation and integrated into its southern neighbour. From the beginning of the 1800s the Napoleonic wars had raged across the European continent – and had forced King Fredrik to surrender Norway to a fate under Swedish rule. Concurrently, an uprising of unparalleled strength was simmering in the westNordic nation.

Gathering in the name of independence What happened next was to forever mark the pages of history books. Calling 21 notables to a hasty meeting, stattholder of Norway, Christian Fredrik, announced that he aimed to dispute the arrangement between Denmark and Sweden and take to the throne as king. The officials said no. They demanded that the people should decide – but it had to happen quickly, before the Swedish army could attack. Christian Fredrik was overruled. One

choice remained: summoning a constituent assembly in the name of Norwegian independence.

Fragmentary view of seals, Constitution of the Kingdom of Norway, May 17th 1814. © Stortinget. Photo: Vidar M. Husby

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Celebration of Norway's National Day in Oslo. Photo: Nancy Bundt/visitnorway.com

On 10 April 1814, 112 men from different backgrounds, hometowns and walks of life came together on a humble country house estate in Eidsvoll, north of Oslo, to form the Norwegian constitution. They had been elected individually in the towns or rural areas they came from, alternatively in their military regiment. Facing each other sitting side-by-side on wooden benches in the great room decorated by little else than spruce twigs were lawyers, farmers, scholars and theologians. Only five men were over 60 years old. The average age was 42. The youngest member, lieutenant Thomas Konow, was only 17. An extraordinary mix of people and stories, according

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to Odd Arvid Storsveen, professor of history at the University of Oslo: “It was a completely new idea in Norway at the time, that farmers should have an equal right to lawyers in making their opinions heard. This was a time and state of emergency, with the looming threat of a Swedish invasion, but it was still important for Christian Fredrik to have representatives from all counties and social orders present.� The birth of a constitution We know far from all about the proceedings that took place at Eidsvoll, as no ste-

Women in national costumes at Norsk Folkemuseum, Oslo. Photo: Anne-Lise Reinsfelt/Norsk Folkemuseum/visitnorway.com


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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Norwegian Constitution Anniversary

and before any action could be mobilised by neighbouring countries, Norway had built its own national statute. It was based on the idea of separation of powers, and was relatively radical in its democratic approach – an approach that could only be likened to the most liberal states in the US at the time. It gave farmers the right to vote, along with male landowners of a certain level. The final version was made up of a mere 110 paragraphs, a rather short constitutional text compared to other examples. It is still the fastest developed constitution in the world, and is today one of the oldest still in use. “The electorate that was made way for was surprisingly wide compared to other countries. If you owned or leased land you could register your name and vote. This was a huge contrast to the autocracy under the Danish king – the new constitution gave power to the people through a parliament,” says Storsveen.

Democracy two centuries on Two hundred years later, the Eidsvoll estate’s interiors have been restored to as closely as possible resemble the rooms of 1814. Throughout Norway, a year of national celebrations has commenced, honouring the values and rights that the constitutional assembly fought for – and attained. Hanne Hjelbak, head of communications at the Constitutional Bicentenary, the Norwegian Parliament, calls the string of events marking the anniversary ‘the jubilee of the people’. “In some way, this anniversary will highlight many of the social values we take for granted. The jubilee has a remarkable symbolic power, and democracy, freedom and security are key focal points – and we want to teach the constitution in order to build the future ahead,” says Hjelbak. “This is a small document with great content. It’s the foundation for who we are.”

nographer was deemed necessary. Still, diary notes, submissions to the protocol and letters sent home tell of heated debate, drinking feasts and physical confrontations. “There are many stories of how these men at times ended up duelling and fighting. It wasn’t idyllic in any way, but they had grown up in a revolutionary world and were deeply moved by this extraordinary chance to decide over their own lives for the first time,” says Storsveen. The constitution was approved on 16 May, dated on 17 May. In around 40 days,

Oslo on Norway's National Day. Children march with flags. Photo: Nancy Bundt/visitnorway.com

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Left: Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim. Photo: CH-Visitnorway.com. Right: Children playing at Stiklestad. Photo: Marius Rua

Trøndelag

to the venerable Kongsvold Fjeldstue mountain inn. There is also a pilgrim route from Sweden to Stiklestad.

– at the heart of Norway’s history Many of the key events in Norwegian history took place in Trøndelag, and there is good reason why Stiklestad is known as the cradle of Norway and Nidaros Cathedral as Norway’s national sanctuary. By Trøndelag

Stiklestad National Culture Centre is nestled in a picturesque cultural landscape near the Trondheim Fjord, and tells the story of St. Olav and the birthplace of the Norwegian nation. In the year of 1030, Olav II Haraldsson was travelling around Norway spreading the Christian gospel, but was killed in the great battle at Stiklestad. As a result of his death, Norway was Christianised and united under one king. According to legend, Olav’s grave, situated close to the River Nidelven in Nidaros (Trondheim), was opened one year after his death, and it was discovered that his hair and nails had continued to grow. As a result of this miracle, Olav was canonised, and a church was built above his

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When visiting Nidaros Cathedral, you can join a guided tour or explore the cathedral on your own. If you are lucky, someone may be practising playing the organ, or performing an organ concert when you drop in – a wonderful experience. The western façade, with its large number of detailed statues, is also worth studying.

grave. This was the start of what was to become Nidaros Cathedral, which is today Norway’s biggest cathedral, national sanctuary and church of coronation. Together with the Archbishop’s Palace, where Norway’s Crown Jewels are on display, it is one of the country’s major tourist attractions. In the Middle Ages, Nidaros was the destination of pilgrims on a par with Santiago de Compostela, Rome and Jerusalem, which again today attracts ever-increasing numbers of pilgrims who walk along the St. Olav Way. The Pilgrim Route to Trondheim and Nidaros Cathedral is a part of the European Cultural Routes. Along the way, you can spend the night and have a meal at venues ranging from cosy hostels

The St. Olav Way. Photo: Håvard Johansen

Read more about historical Trøndelag on: www.trondelag.com


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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Norwegian Constitution Anniversary

Cathedral tunes at the tip of Norway By Camilla Huuse

Within the four walls of Tromsø’s most recognisable landmark building, designed by architect Jan Inge Hovig in 1965, you can hear beautiful tunes played almost every day of the year. At Tromsdalen Church, commonly known as The Arctic Cathedral (Ishavskatedralen), the musicians only have one day off annually – and that is Holy Saturday. But, as Agnethe Soelberg explains, that is exactly what makes the church special. Both a working church and a tourist destination, The Arctic Cathedral hovers as a guardian angel over the city of Tromsø, a lively city on the edge of the Arctic. And as the winter tourism in northern Norway keeps escalating, so does the church’s reputation. In 2013, the cathedral signed a contract with Hurtigruten (‘the Express Route’), which is a daily passenger service along Norway’s western and northern coast, and today beautiful music can be heard 364 days a year – making The Arctic Cathedral the only church in the country to offer such an extensive range of concerts.

Above: The beautiful cathedral hovers over Tromsø. Photo: Yngve Olsen Sæbbe

“We are the church in Norway that hosts the most live performances throughout the year, and in 2013 we had over 500 concerts,” says Soelberg, who is responsible for cultural events at the church. She reveals that this year’s summer programme includes a new season of the traditional midnight sun concerts originating from the 1980s, starting next month. Audiences can expect a mixed repertoire of singing and traditional music, accompanied on many occasions by an impressive 2,904-pipe organ. The astonishing building draws inspiration from the Norwegian landscape and resembles impressive arctic ice mountains. But, even with its magical, icy Scandinavian look, the church is anything but cold: while the northern lights are dancing on the midnight sky, the cathedral will warm you up with traditional Norwegian tunes inside. For more information, please visit: www.ishavskatedralen.no

The impressive 2,904-pipe organ. Photo: Joakim Enger

Everyone deserves to discover Scandinavia. Taking your car to Scandinavia? Let us share the driving. With a choice of short routes and frequent crossings or longer overnight journeys, you can decide how much time you want to spend driving and how much time you’d like to spend onboard. When you see our fabulous ferries, you’ll wonder why you never took this route before! Remember, book early to get the best fares.

Everyone deserves a break.

www.stenaline.co.uk


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At the architecturally-noteworthy Hamsun Centre, visitors get to familiarise with the celebrated author’s life and works and consider bigger issues such as what it means to have freedom of speech in a democracy. Photos: Morten Aspaas / Hamsunsenteret

The Hamsun Centre – an architectural interpretation of a literary legend He was inspirational and controversial – but first and foremost one of Scandinavia’s most famous and innovative authors of all time. Knut Hamsun was a writer who resisted two-dimensional depictions and went to great lengths to make his fascinating personas come alive and inspire readers – a characteristic aim that now lives on in the iconic and architecturally-noteworthy Hamsun Centre. By Julie Lindén

Situated in Hamsun’s hometown of Hamarøy in the northern Norwegian county of Nordland, the Hamsun Centre (Hamsunsenteret) rises as a monumental beacon of literature interpretation. Designed by renowned architect Steven Holl, the centre was completed on the 150th anniversary of Hamsun’s birth on 4 August 2009, and offers year-round adventures and cultural experiences for visitors of all ages and interests. Interpreting a literary genius The architectural importance of Holl’s design is a particular and popular attraction

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for tourists and enthusiasts from all over the globe. Both the characteristic northern Norwegian landscape and its light were considered from the very first sketches of the centre, resulting in shifting light projections and appearances depending on time of day and season. “The centre as a building is a wonderful architectural interpretation and conveyance of Hamsun’s authorship, and it truly touches people who come and visit us. Holl designed the centre after reading many of Hamsun’s most famous and early works, and was particularly inspired by

Knut Hamsun is one of Scandinavia’s most famous and innovative authors of all times, awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1920. Photo: Nasjonalbiblioteket


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Becoming a writer of the human world The interest in the centre, nationally and internationally, can only be matched by the author’s own impact on the world of his time. As a writer he was groundbreaking, offering a counterpart to earlier authors’ romantic literary characters in his depiction of, as well as deep immersion in, the psychology of the human mind. His work spans more than seven decades and his most noted novels include Hunger, Mysteries and Pan – as well as Growth of the Soil, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1920. “His characters are very complex. He described human beings and their struggles from within, never resorting to twodimensional stereotypes but rather seeing people just as they were. He saw unrest and movement in human beings, something he used to his advantage instead of turning the other cheek,” says Børset. Shadows and challenges

Photo: Ernst Furuhatt / Nordlandsmuseet

Accompanying Hamsun’s firm place in literary history is a great deal of controversy. Beyond inviting debate through his writing, his political sympathy towards the Nazi regime before and during the Second

“We see Hamsun as a great author who pioneered valuable writing techniques and an advanced way of depicting life, but he is also a figure with highly debated and often condemned political views,” says Børset, adding: “These issues can be related to the present time and thoughts we have today. What does it mean to enjoy freedom of speech in a democracy? What does it mean to be part of public debate? This is what we wish to focus on through Hamsun’s link to controversy.” Festivals, exhibitions and a walk through the books Through permanent and temporary exhibitions, mini lectures, literary nature walks and architectural guidings, the Hamsun Centre invites you to take part in a vital piece of literary history – with evident ties to the present. For those who wish to explore Hamsun’s earliest days, his very childhood home is open to the public during the summer and through pre-bookings during the rest of the year. The Hamsun Centre is also happy to tailor-make visits adapted to your needs. In addition, the centre will, from 30 July to 4 August this summer, feature the biannual literary festival The Hamsun Days,

focusing on Knut Hamsun’s social commentary and his days in Hamarøy. “A visit to this centre has so much to offer, no matter what time of the year you choose to come,” says Børset. “There is always a range of activities to take part in, and a lot to learn and understand. We aim to help people see the real Hamsun, including the sunshine stories, challenges and issues – the whole truth.”

Take a 360° virtual tour at: hamsunsenteret.no/no/arkitekturen/36 0-grader-panorama

For more information, please visit: www.hamsunsenteret.no

Photo: Karoline O A Pettersen / Nordlandsmuseet

“Of course it was known that Steven Holl was a great architect, but the impact the mere architectural values of the centre have had on tourism has been no less than astounding,” she adds.

World War has cast a shadow upon his work and continues to challenge new generations of readers. This controversy is an important point of interest for the Hamsun Centre, which in the light of Norway’s 200-year constitution jubilee wishes to encourage openness and dialogue around Hamsun’s multifaceted authorship.

Photo: Ernst Furuhatt / Nordlandsmuseet

his progressive thinking and modernism,” says Bodil Børset, director of the Hamsun Centre.

© Hamsunsenteret. Photo: Morten Aspaas

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Norwegian Constitution Anniversary

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Left: Kongeblod is played late at night with impressive lighting effects. Right: Knut Alvsson and his wife Mette Iversdatter Dyre, played by Gard Skagestad and Anna Bache-Wiig.

Experience medieval history with a modern twist

wonderful experience,” Hjelmtveit concludes, adding that she is excited to entertain both the people of Oslo and the city’s visitors with a truly special cultural event this summer.

Overlooking Oslo from a hilltop by the harbour in the capital’s centre, the landmark building of Akershus fortress blends in with the modern vibes of a metropolis filled with tourists, city strollers and hard-working business people. But the medieval fortress is not just a pretty addition to an already stunning seaside front: the old castle has historical significance unlike any other building in Norway. The fortress is still a military area, but is also one of the country’s biggest cultural arenas. By Camilla Huuse | Photos: Lars Opstad

This year, as the fortress takes part in the 2014 Norwegian constitutional celebrations, one of the most dramatic events in the country’s history is being staged as a play. First dramatised in 2012, Kongeblod returns to the fortress this summer in honour of the document that granted Norway its freedom. The play describes the biggest rebellion against the Danish occupation, led by knight Knut Alvsson. Written by Terje Nordby, the drama tells of a brave man who fought for a country he loved, but unluckily was killed in an ambush. “It is a historical play, but it is also very entertaining and features horseback riding and music by a Swedish medieval rock band that plays modern music on old, traditional instruments,” says Mari Hjelmtveit, responsible for cultural events at the fortress. She explains that the music is composed by Henning Sommero and some

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elements from the production are inspired by modern TV series based on medieval history, such as Game of Thrones.

Kongeblod is not only a play about a great warrior; it is also a story about a kind, loving man and the struggle he and his wife Mette had to go through when deciding between living quietly at the fortress or standing up for what they believed in. The story of the 1502 event is told with a modern twist and performed at the fortress late at night, with the fading summer’s nights and astonishing lighting effects together creating a very special atmosphere. According to Hjelmtveit, this modern production promises a mix of drama and humour which will excite the whole family. “Some of the most famous actors in Norway participate in this production. It is a

Lead actors in Kongeblod: Gard Skagestad as Knut Alvsson Anna Bache-Wiig as Mette Iversdatter Dyre Per Frisch as Henrik Krummedike Experience the play at the Karpedammen stage at the Akershus fortress on 8, 9, 14, 16 and 17 August.

For more information, please visit: www.sakk.no


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Scan Magazine | Mini Theme | Discover Svalbard

At Huset’s café, established in 1951, you will find countless locals, many of who come here almost every evening for their dinner. Photos: Huset

Fine dining at 78 degrees north In a valley between glaciers and stunning mountains lies Svalbard’s finest restaurant. Famous for its gourmet food inspired by arctic cuisine, Huset also hides an extensive wine cellar with over 20,000 bottles of wine. By Kjersti Westeng | Photos: Terje Bjørnsen

At 78 degrees north, Huset is one of Longyearbyen’s most legendary buildings. Named Huset (The House) by locals, the building has served as hospital, school, theatre, church and post office in the past. Beautifully located at the foot of glaciers and huge mountains, it is safe to say that Huset offers a view out of the ordinary. “Svalbard is one of the most beautiful places on earth. In these kinds of surroundings, you deserve to experience the very best of food as well, which is where we come into the picture,” says CEO Bo Tommy Ørnewald, who has years of experience as both sommelier and head chef. Visitors have two options when dining at Huset: the café or the restaurant. The café has been open since 1951 and is a local and historical establishment where many locals go to eat their daily dinner. On Friday and Saturday nights it turns into Longyearbyen’s only night club. The restaurant opened in 1977 and is a finedining restaurant where guests choose

between a five-, six- or seven-course meal. Known as one of the best gourmet restaurants in the country, it has been under the direction of several of Norway’s leading head chefs. The seasonal and arctic-inspired menu features reindeer, goose, seal and grouse. With the skin of a polar bear hanging on the wall, visitors are reminded of the fact that they are eating at the northernmost gourmet restaurant in the world. With one of Northern Europe’s largest wine cellars, Huset’s cellar master proudly invites visitors for a taste of the world’s finest wines and Champagnes. Former manager Hroar Holm spent over 20 years building up the cellar selection, and it is now famous way beyond the islands of Svalbard. Since 2006, Huset has been awarded Best of Award of Excellence with a ‘two wine glass’ rating from Wine Spectator. “With over 1,230 wines and a large selection of Aquavit, we most definitely have something for every taste,” says Ørnewald.

For more information please visit: www.huset.com

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Scan Magazine | Mini Theme | Discover Svalbard

Dreaming of Svalbard By Ingvild Vetrhus | Photos: Olaf Storø

“On Svalbard, I found the landscape that I never sought but always longed for,” says Norwegian painter Olaf Storø, who fell in love with the arctic island’s landscape, where in year 2000 he opened a permanent sales exhibition. Storø is concerned with capturing the small details in nature, “which eventually become one great story,” he explains. His art is inspired by long walks around the Norwegian island, which is the host of some of Scandinavia’s most dramatic scenery. Bringing the outdoors to his studio, located in Longyearbyen, the painter uses the technique of lithography, a printing process that makes use of the immiscibility of grease and water, to communicate the tales of the nature surrounding him. Together with his girlfriend, classical singer Berit Meland, Storø travels around Norway and across the globe to convey the history behind the paintings through storytelling and music. The artist is captivated with Svalbard’s many shades of the colour blue. “My girlfriend’s son

once said that the sky looks like my paintings. That is a great acknowledgement coming from a ten-year-old boy,” he says. This year, Norway is celebrating its constitution’s 200th anniversary, for which Storø has contributed with a spectacular piece of art of a polar bear waking up from a deep sleep. The original print, named What, did you forget me?, is meant to represent the voice of Northern Norway as people from the north were not present when the constitution was signed at Eidsvoll. The painting is also a message from the north.

“The polar bear can see that the snow is melting. The world’s thermometer is here. He tells us that we must protect nature,” says the artist.

What, did you forget me?

I am one with the glacier

For more information please visit: www.storoe.no www.beritmeland.no Berit Meland and Olaf Storø


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Photo: CH/Visitnorway.com

Photo: CH/Visitnorway.com

Photo: Johan Willner/imagebank.sweden.se

Photo: Niclas Ström/imagebank.sweden.se

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Enjoyment of the great outdoors is part and parcel of the Scandinavian lifestyle, be it during long and bright summer’s evenings or in the freezing cold winter.

Parental paradise With Swedish and Danish children continuously in the top-three of Unicef’s rankings for the world’s happiest children, Finland topping all OECD league tables for education, and Scandinavian parental leave by far the most generous in the world in terms of both financial security and equality, is Scandinavia a family utopia? By Linnea Dunne

Picture a nursery playground full of children. Parents are turning up to collect their children; some are sat on benches enjoying a fruit break and chatting to their nursery teachers while others have already finished up and are building snowmen. It is cold, but the sun is shining and the all-weather winter overalls more of a

rule than an exception. There is no distinguishing between parent and teacher, bar the odd suit jacket and smart shoe. More than a situation unheard of, to a Briton this might sound like madness: children playing outdoors in sub-zero temperatures! Moreover, the idea of male

nursery staff might send an unwelcome sense of unease down some British parents’ spines. Much like most Scandinavians would find the lack of playing children on London’s residential streets surprising, Londoners are likely to take their children and run for the airport at the realisation of just how relaxed Nordic parenting can be, so different are the realities of these European nations. Love it or loathe it, but Maria Öqvist, head of famous Swedish children’s wear brand Polarn O Pyret, has been known to say that she was hesitant when expanding to the UK as the brand’s entire philosophy is about being able to play comfortably outdoors, something much less common in British culture. Tourists in Copenhagen,

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Scan Magazine | Feature | Parental Paradise

on the other hand, are often shocked as they find blanket-covered prams with sleeping babies abandoned outside the city’s many cafés; but the prams are not abandoned, as they soon find out – it is thought to be good for the children to get some fresh air while their parents have a coffee and catch up. Scandinavians are happier It is up for debate whether the responsible thing is to protect your child from the cold or to provide them with enough fresh air, but it is more difficult to argue with numbers. Scandinavian children are simply happier than their British peers, as are their parents: in the Legatum Institute’s 2013 Prosperity Index, Norwegians came out happiest in the world, with Swedes in fourth place and Danes in sixth; the UK fell three places to just 16th in the world. Moreover, the Nordic countries are all in the OECD top-6 in terms of the highest spending on education, with the UK at number 17; all countries showed up in similar positions in regards to spending on parental leave per child, the UK struggling to keep up in 10th place. Breastfeeding rates are breaking through the roof in Norway, Denmark and Sweden, while the UK lags massively behind, and the cost of a full-time nursery place averages around £300 per month per child in Denmark and less than half that in Sweden – hovering around the figures Londoners pay for childcare every week. A different work-life balance With continuously record-breaking figures for the Scandinavian countries, a Nordic

Noir craze that is showing no signs of stopping, and the Nordic kitchen, too, more popular than ever, real-life experiments have been conducted in search for answers as to what Scandinavia’s secrets are – and whether they are really so worthy of envy. For example, one Guardian journalist and mother swapped lives with a fellow writer in Copenhagen to find out whether the Danish dream was real. What surprised both women most was the fundamental difference in attitudes to work and the definition of work-life balance. While the huge majority of British women take much less time off work after having a baby than the Danish standard of little under a year, significantly fewer of them return to work on a full-time basis, considering it unthinkable to put their children into full-time childcare. While work-life balance in Scandinavia across the board takes the shape of a heavily subsidised childcare system that not only allows but pretty much expects mothers as well as fathers to work full-time, UK mothers often face the ‘having it all’ discussion, with motherhood seen as a choice at the cost of a career.

Costing just a fraction of most UK nurseries’ fees, Scandinavian nurseries often offer plenty of outdoor activities, and male nursery staff are no longer a rarity. Photo: Martin Svalander/imagebank.sweden.se

That same equality and freedom, on the other hand, has been said to contribute to a society where there is less chance of failure – and as such less pressure on children to succeed. A Scandinavian family utopia? You decide.

Scandinavian parental leave averages:

Sweden: 480 days combined at 80% of salary, 60 days reserved for each parent respectively.

Denmark: 52 weeks, 18 ear-marked for the mother, 2 for the partner (rate depending on employment contract)

Norway: 56 weeks at 80% of salary or 46 at 100%, with nine weeks designated to the

Having it all seems like a no-brainer to Scandinavian parents, though some argue that it comes at a cost. At 50 per cent, Denmark has one of the highest divorce rates in Europe; a result, some would say, of a much too liberal society that allows parents to put their own needs before their children’s, and a trend that can be traced back to the radical Nordic marriage reform of the early 1900s, emphasising equality as well as individual freedom.

mother around the birth and a 12-week socalled ‘daddy quota’.

Finland: 108 days for the mother, plus 158 additional days for either parent.

Iceland: 90 days at 80% of the salary, plus another 90 for either parent.

Cost of full-time nursery daycare:

Sweden: Up to 3% of household income, capped at 1,260 SEK (£120) per month.

Denmark: Varies, but according to state law parents must not be charged more than 2528% of the cost of the child’s care in the institution.

Norway: Capped at 2,330 NOK (£230) per month.

Finland: Capped at €264 (£220) per month. Iceland: No figures, but 12% of the average family’s annual income.

Left: Listen to the league tables: Scandinavian schools continuously show up at the top of OECD league tables, with Finland known as the queen of quality education. Photo: Lena Granefelt / Agent Molly & Co / imagebank.sweden.se

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Photo: Marte Kopperud/Visitnorway.com

Photo: Nils-Erik Bjørholt/Visitnorway.com

Photo: CH/Visitnorway.com

Photo: CH/Visitnorway.com

Photo: Terje Rakke/Nordic Life AS/Visitnorway.com

Photo: Terje Rakke/Nordic Life AS/Visitnorway.com

OR WA Y

Active kids in Norway – discovering the wonders of Norway with children and adults By Line Konstali | Photos: Aktiviteter for Barn

If you bring a child to a whole new place, you might get a very different story than the one you would get from an adult. That is why we at Aktiviteter for Barn (Activities for Kids) are focusing on those wonderful moments with children on our website. Positive moments together in nature, at a museum, inside the house or at the swimming pool – it is in our interest to share all of this, and more, with you. Wherever you are going in Norway, visit our website to find out about the most exciting, child-friendly activities and destinations. Norway has a lot to offer its visitors – the little ones included.

For more information and all the top activities, please visit: aktiviteterforbarn.no

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Children of Scandinavia - Norway

The Hoyt og Lavt climbing park offers fun activities for every age group.

Climb your way to the heart of Norway At Scandinavia’s largest climbing park, an office lunch break does not just involve a sandwich and a coffee. For the team behind some of the toughest mountain hikes in Norway, a trail down the two black slopes tends to be more common than eating when speaking of midday activities. By Camilla Huuse | Photos: Terje Aamodt

“We hate sitting in the office and we take every opportunity to go outside,” confesses Lars Engmark, before adding that the black slopes are the most challenging out of the 14 different hikes offered at the Hoyt og Lavt (High and Low) climbing park in Vestfold, Norway. The park is one of six activity parks across the country built by Engmark and his team, and they offer everything from family fun to businessrelated teambuilding activities. The park not only offers the toughest slopes; it also provides visitors with an opportunity to throw themselves off a 30metre pine. The park imported the second largest tree in Denmark last year to provide the breath-taking experience known as the Sky Fall. He might not be braver than James Bond, but Engmark admits that he loves flinging himself from trees, Tarzan style, together with the kids who come to the park for an adventurous day.

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But, he explains, it is not as scary as it sounds, as security is top priority.

Even if you are not the adrenaline-seeking kind, the park promises plenty of fun for the whole family. Parents can sit back and relax while enjoying a hot cuppa surrounded by beautiful nature. And the kids? Do not worry – they will be up in the trees hurtling themselves around like monkeys with Engmark and his team at their heels.

The park’s founder, Hans Christian Wilson, got the idea while studying in France, where the concept of climbing as a family activity is common. He liked the idea of bringing the family along when going for a hike, and the Norwegian entrepreneur worked out the park’s concept and brought it back to Norway, where the final attraction opened in 2009. Engmark explains that what makes Hoyt og Lavt different to other activity parks is that visitors stay for a good eight hours and therefore get a chance to see their own progress. “It is incredibly satisfying to see how some people start off really carefully – but by the end of the day, we have to drag them down from the trees,” he laughs.

For more information, please visit: hoytlavt.no


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There are plenty of exciting activities on offer for the whole family at the farm, including a theatre where the park’s mascot, Foffa, makes an appearance twice every day.

Where great memories are made Who says farm life has to be hard work? At Foldvik Family Park, you and your family can spend a relaxing day in the country, surrounded by fun activities to choose from and friendly farm animals.

strawberries at one of Noway’s largest strawberry farms, the park was continuously extended due to its rapid growth in popularity.

By Magnus Nygren Syversen | Photos: Foldvik

Just a short drive from Stavern in Vestfold lies Foldvik Family Park, an authentic, down-to-earth Norwegian farm, where families can spend the day enjoying each other’s company. “Our best childhood memories are the moments when our parents participate in activitites with us. Here at Foldvik Family Park, families have the opportunity to just relax and play together,” says owner Sigmund Foldvik. “I think what has made our park so popular is the opportunity to spend time with your family in a harmonious and safe environment, combined with the chance to meet lots of friendly animals and enjoy entertaining activities such as horse riding, miniature golf, train and tractor rides, a huge jungle gym and a theatre where our mascot, Foffa, appears twice a day,” says Foldvik.

Interact with friendly animals While parents might just enjoy a quiet day in the countryside, one of Foldvik Family Park’s major draws for children is the opportunity to closely interact with a range of friendly farm animals. Cows, pigs, donkeys, rabbits and baby goats, as well as chickens, ducks, peacocks, parrots and cockatoos, all live at the farm.

In 1997, Sigmund Foldvik took over the farm from his parents. He made the decision to commercialise the park, and in 1999, after extensive improvements, Foldvik Family Park as it is known today opened its doors for the first time. Last year the park had 36,000 visitors.

“One of our most popular attractions is an area we call ‘the nursery’. Here, children can pet kittens and rabbits, and there’s an incubator where they can watch baby chicks hatch from their eggs. It is amazing to see how some of the kids can spend all day in the nursery,” says Foldvik. While the history of Foldvik farm dates back almost a thousand years, the idea of a family park has its roots in the early 1980s. Starting out as a free offer to keep kids occupied while parents were picking

One of the most popular parts of the farm is an area called ‘the nursery’, where children can pet kittens and rabbits and watch baby chicks hatch from their eggs.

For more information, please visit: www.foldvik.no

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Children of Scandinavia - Norway

Left: In the Lilleputthammer family park, children can ride a rollercoaster and Ferris wheel or explore the many small houses. In miniature town, children feel like adults. Right: One-wheel bike artist Malte Knapp has a show in Lilleputthammer every day throughout the summer.

The fun-packed miniature town Lilleputthammer is an adventure park for families with most activities designed for children up to eight years old. It is located a couple of hours by car north of Norway’s capital Oslo, just north of Lillehammer, which hosted the Winter Olympics in 1994. By Stian Sangvig | Photos: Esben Haakenstad

“The park was built and opened in 1983,” explains general manager Kristin Proeven, adding that the original main attraction was and still is the miniature model of Lillehammer’s main street, Storgata, from the 1930s on a scale of 1:4. Thorough research ensured correct colours, models and sizes, including all the shops of the time, to give visitors an insight into local history. In 2006, the owners decided to give Lilleputthammer a facelift by renovating the miniature town and adding new attrac-

tions such as a rollercoaster, electric cars, a Ferris wheel, and a pool for boats. Today the park boasts twelve attractions and three restaurants. “A unique feature of Lilleputthammer is the Children’s Book City,” says Proeven, explaining that five of the miniature houses contain some 15,000 used books and comic books for children to read and buy. Short plays and readings take place daily. Like any self-respecting amusement park, Lilleputthammer has its very own mas-

cots. They are called Ola and Hedda, and both can be seen in theatre plays in the park and children can meet them several times a day. A small train driving around the miniature town also stops at Ola’s ‘godteritunell’ (sweets tunnel) – a very popular stop. But the live entertainment programme has even more to offer. “In addition to the general fun and readings, Malte Knapp’s oneman circus comes to town with the show A Magical World,” Proeven reveals. Here, visitors are amazed by acrobatics, balancing tricks and juggling of the highest level. New for this summer at Lillehammer will be the famous children’s TV series, City of Friends, with a show every day during three weeks of July.

The park’s season lasts from 24 May through to mid-August. It is open on weekends alone during the first month, and every day from late June.

Children are always keen to meet the mascots Ola and Hedda.

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The train driving around the miniature town is a very popular attraction.

For more information, please visit: www.lilleputthammer.no


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AR K

A kids’ wear brand for active and playful kids The collections of kids’ wear line LEGO® Wear are developed for lively boys and girls, from toddlers to 12-year-olds, who love to play the whole day. Take happy, vibrant colours and add a design that strongly appeals to kids, materials made to last, and characters and heroes well-known from the popular LEGO® universe printed on high-quality t-shirts, jackets and accessories – that’s what makes the LEGO® Wear collections unique. Text & photos by LEGO® Wear

In LEGO® Wear you find a complete clothing concept with everything you need from top to toe. KABOOKI® designs everything from underwear to outerwear, tops and jeans, skirts and dresses, and a mix-andmatch rain wear collection, as well as a LEGO® Tec outdoor collection. LEGO® Wear stands for fun, function, quality, comfort and safety. “Our design is unique because we combine the latest trends with the highly popular LEGO®

themes. That’s why we are in a special position with a very high recognition value,” says Kasper Eis, CEO at KABOOKI, the company behind LEGO® Wear, about the success of the brand. “In our designs you find famous classical themes like Star Wars™ and Ninjago, the five girls from LEGO® friends, and the brand new characters from Legends of Chima. Especially our award-winning outdoor collection LEGO® Tec has a lot of young fans all over the world.”

In addition to the connection to the LEGO® universe, the collections are favoured for their special design, focusing on the needs of children at play. Additional functionalities like adjustable wristbands and trouser lengths guarantee maximum freedom of movement and a long lifespan. For toddlers, LEGO® Wear means a focus on soft materials, a comfortable fit, and easy dressing and undressing. “We are in constant dialogue with kids in order to find out what’s important for them, and what could limit them in a play situation,” Eis adds. “Safety is one of our key priorities. In our collections, strings, reflectors, and safety hoods are all above the usual standards,” Eis continues, ending: “We are a brand for children, and we fulfil the trust consumers put into the LEGO® brand by 100 per cent.” KABOOKI®: the company behind LEGO® Wear KABOOKI® is the company behind the LEGO® Wear brand. It was founded in 1993 to design, produce and sell garments for children under licence by the LEGO® group. The main office is situated in Herning, Denmark, and KABOOKI® has employees in numerous offices all over Europe. Furthermore, there are facilities in the Far East, for instance handling quality control, to the benefit of retailers as well as consumers. www.legowear.com

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Children of Scandinavia - Denmark

Little pieces for little fashionistas Deriving from the company behind 11 of Denmark’s best-known fashion brands, it is not surprising that BESTSELLER’s new children’s wear brand, LITTLE PIECES, is quickly gaining momentum among fashion-forward and cost-conscious shoppers. Like its older sister, PIECES, the brand follows the latest high-fashion tendencies and delivers affordable quality designs for girls between three and 12. By Signe Hansen | Photos: LITTLE PIECES

Almost three years ago, Theresa Damborg Blicher, design and buying responsible at LITTLE PIECES and mother of three, secretly teamed up with a colleague to create a collection of girls’ clothing with distinctive prints and fashionable designs. “I have three girls, and what I found was missing was a brand that looked to the fashion world for inspiration – sort of a mini-version of grown-up fashion, not too cutesy or brightly-coloured,” explains Blicher and adds: “It actually started out as a secret project. While working for PIECES, a colleague and I started creating a collection of similar clothing for girls,

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and when we got the result back, it had turned out even better than we had dared to hope. We went down to our local shop with a sample and they immediately ordered the collection.” The following years, many others – including shops like Selfridges in London – have followed suit, and today, the brand is sold in around 10 countries all over the EU. Furthermore, this year, LITTLE PIECES’ brother, LP BOYS, arrived with a collection of basic and trendy clothes and accessories focused on quality and design for boys aged three to 12.

Fashion and functionality With hand-drawn prints, illustrations, rich textile structures and fashionable colours, LITTLE PIECES appeals to parents and kids looking for distinctive details and high quality. But that does not mean that functionality is sidelined, stresses Blicher: “It’s a challenge to make fashion and functionality come together, but it’s very important to us that our clothes are functional and safe. The clothes need to be comfortable to wear and children need to be able to play in them – that’s what it’s all about really.” By using mainly eco-certified suppliers and strictly controlling that all production units adhere to BESTSELLER’s Code of Conduct, LITTLE PIECES also ensures environmental and social sustainability when producing its garments. For more information, please visit: www.littlepieces.dk


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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Children of Scandinavia - Denmark

Design for kids – made with care By Stine Gjevnoe | Photos: FRANCK & FISCHER

FRANCK & FISCHER is a Danish design brand specialising in organic and natural children's toys and nursery products. Children’s development is strongly impacted by their human and material surroundings, and FRANCK & FISCHER wants to offer the option of safe products in natural materials, without compromising on fun and functionality. In 2005, FRANCK & FISCHER was founded on the principles of social and environmental responsibility by designer Annemarie Franck and business economist Charlotte Fischer. Originally a textile design graduate, Franck developed a passion for children’s toys during her seven-year employment with LEGO. Through their children, Franck and Fischer came into contact, and soon their organic and sustainable business adventure began. Being well-travelled in Asia, the business owners have always been very conscious of their choice of manufacturers and suppliers, and will not compromise on environmental impact and working conditions for employees. ”We've cut out the middle man by travelling

All products are made from organic cotton.

out and meeting our business partners in person, which in turn ensures that our ethical and environmental standards are being met,” Franck explains.

The core of the FRANCK & FISCHER collection consists of cute-looking animal characters, and the sweet and edgy toys are firmly grounded in the timeless, modern Scandinavian design tradition. Franck, who single-handedly designs all the products, takes inspiration from her own childhood as well as the current arts scene. Along with sustainability, children’s safety and development are essential to the duo, and so they only work with organic cotton and natural materials. FRANCK & FISCHER products can be found in shops all over the world, and for the two women there is no such thing as an empty promise: “When we say ‘design for kids – made with care’, it really means something – to us, to our manufacturers, and, hopefully, to you too!”

FRANCK & FISCHER offers safe products in natural materials, without compromising on fun and functionality.

For more information, please visit: franck-fischer.com

The gender benders By Nicolai Lisberg | Photo: Anitta Berendt | Illus: Marie Willumsen

At BANGBANG Copenhagen, unconventional ideas are embraced through the creation of playful design. This is clothing done on children’s terms. Oh, and forget pink for girls and blue for boys: BANGBANG Copenhagen is also known as the gender benders. Five years ago, Louise Lundholm and Mia Risager both felt that there was a gap in the market for children’s clothing. Most designs were too traditional or retro, so they decided to set up BANGBANG Copenhagen and create their own universe – a universe that has become so popular that their collections are sold worldwide, with Asia as the biggest market. “It is essential for us that the children like to wear BANGBANG. All too often, children are wearing clothes in which they can’t move around the way they want to,” say Lundholm and Risager. “Of course, it’s the parents who decide what to buy for their children, but we know for a fact that the parents often buy our design simply because their children like it.”

Playing is serious business It does not take more than a rapid glance at the designs to see how they stand out from competitors. Some outfits directly reference costumes. By using folding techniques and origami, BANGBANG Copenhagen appeals to the curiosity of children. “We are trying to appeal to the imagination of children through the use of humour, so we spend a lot of time having fun during the design process,” say the two founders and designers. “We want to make sure that the shapes as well as the materials we use feel comfortable. Children should not worry about their clothes getting in the way while playing outside, so we have to make sure that the garments are practical for the children as well as their parents. The best compliments always come from the children themselves.” For more information, please visit: www.bangbangcph.dk

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Children of Scandinavia - Denmark

“Through personal stories from the past, we have put together a magical, sophisticated and humorous collection with a scent of childhood joy,” says the design duo behind Soft Gallery, Barbara Hvidt and Tine Holt Møller.

Merging art and clothing By collaborating with artists from all over the world, Soft Gallery and its poetic children’s wear collections are creating a bridge between art and clothing. Tine Holt Møller and Barbara Hvidt, the two fashionistas behind the successful brand, talk to Scan Magazine about their urge to create children’s clothing that is not just personal, exclusive, comfortable, and modern, but also artistic. By Signe Hansen | Photos: Soft Gallery

Designer Tine Holt Møller and fashion photographer Barbara Hvidt first developed the idea for Soft Gallery in London, where they both worked and studied for nearly a decade. Back in Copenhagen in 2007, they set forward to display their love of art through a clothing collection. “The idea behind Soft Gallery came from an interest in art. We fell in love with the possibility of incorporating art into clothing, creating something that was truly heartfelt and special and much more than just a piece of clothing. It was our ambition to share the visions of creative and talented people at the eye level of kids,” explains Hvidt. Shortly after Soft Gallery released its first kid’s wear collection, Hvidt and Møller were contacted by women asking if they might fit into a size 12. The interest led to the brand releasing a small luxury t-shirt collection for women based on the same idea as that of the children’s collection. Since then, the designers have continuously increased their collections of both children’s and women’s wear, and the

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brand is now sold in more than 30 countries all over the world. A gallery on fabric The name Soft Gallery did, explains Hvidt, spring from the idea of a living gallery. “Soft Gallery is first of all the idea of a gallery on fabric – a soft gallery. Each season is a new exhibition, so to speak, and features a wide range of art works.” By collaborating with artists from around the world, Hvidt and Møller wish to give children a small piece of art on a soft canvas and an item with a story behind it. Each of the involved artists brings forward their own artistic take on the seasonal theme, which is derived by Hvidt and Møller. “Most often we work with artists who have their own personal universe but somehow fit and reinforce the theme of the season and the spirit of Soft Gallery. When we contact the artists, we cross our fingers and hope that they feel inspired to work with us as a team and want to show their work at our ‘gallery’,” says Møller. Though Soft Gallery

keeps a close dialogue with the artists about the theme, colours, silhouettes and so on, it is the artists who interpret how the final artwork appears on the garment. A shared love of children Though Soft Gallery has a distinct Scan-


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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Children of Scandinavia - Denmark

Nostalgia, the inspirational theme of Soft Gallery’s SS14 collection, has led to bursts of creative output from the collaborative artists.

dinavian feel to it, the brand indeed also has an international appeal, which, considering the fact that the idea for it arose while both Hvidt and Møller lived in London, is perhaps not surprising. “I guess it came most naturally to us to be an international company as we ourselves are inspired by the world, and we love that we are in contact with people from all over our beautiful planet. Working with artists across a wide range of cultural backgrounds makes our everyday life an unlimited flow of ideas and thoughts,” says Hvidt, adding: “Many ideas come quite naturally, through a kind of intuition and desire and a curiosity about everything that is happening around us. The rela-

tionship between art and fashion makes you focus more on what you are drawn to or inspired by in life – more than just what the fashion is dictating.” With their unique motives and designs, Soft Gallery’s pieces of fashion artwork are likely to be loved, worn, shared and kept by children for a long time. But the fact that the brand has caught on with parents and children all over the world is not just due to its immediate aesthetic expression but also the thought behind it, which is, believes Hvidt, universal. “The shared love for our children and the wish to give them the best of what life can offer is found everywhere in the world,”

she stresses and rounds off: “Everything we put into the brand comes from our hearts, and we wish to pass on something special.” Some of Soft Gallery’s clothes are produced in India, and the company donates a percentage of the sales of this range to Danish Indian Childcare. The pieces made in India are recognised by a special tag. All Soft Gallery garments wear a tag with the name of the artist behind that specific piece.

For more information, please visit: www.softgallery.dk

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Angulus has produced children’s and women’s shoes for 100 years, and next winter, the brand will also release a men’s footwear collection.

The first step in the right shoe For generations Angulus has been the footwear of choice for Danish parents looking for healthy, safe, high-quality shoes for their kids. The company, which was founded in 1904, was one of the first in the Nordic region to consult doctors and physiotherapists on the healthiest shape and functionality of footwear for children. By Signe Hansen | Photos: Angulus

When Angulus started making footshaped footwear for kids in 1928, it was one of the only shoemakers focusing on comfort rather than style. The idea was met with a great deal of scepticism by Danish society, which, back then, expected kids to be dressed neatly, not comfortably. However, thanks to some lucky publicity, the firm’s luck eventually turned, and what was at first seen as a nonsensical idea gradually turned into common sense.

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Today, what most parents look for when shopping for shoes is something that supports the foot while giving it space to grow properly and providing safe, non-slippery footing. What sets Angulus apart from newer entrants to the market is not just the fact that it delivers all that, and has done so for decades, but also the company’s uncompromising quality standards. “I think that people recently have had a real eye-opener on the importance of the

comfort of the shoes they buy for their kids, and more generally on the quality of the footwear on their children’s feet as well as on their own. If you have to buy two pairs of shoes to get through the winter, you might as well spend the same amount on a quality shoe that lasts throughout,”


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Angulus shoes continue to be handmade by professional shoemakers in Portugal, as they have been for the last 50 years.

explains marketing coordinator Line Karen Jørgensen, adding: “What we experience is that when parents have bought one pair, they return to buy more, and that is, of course, a great indicator to us that they like our product, and that it is actually bringing the comfort and quality that we promise.” Angulus, which is today led by Christian Dawe, the son of the company’s former purchasing manager, is not only a leading children’s footwear brand in Scandinavia but also gaining more and more attention from further afield. In 2012 and 2013, the brand received the prestigious British Junior Magazine Design Award as best footwear brand for its comfortable and colourful designs. You get what you pay for Angulus releases two yearly collections of children’s and women’s shoes. All footwear is, as it has been for the last 50 years, handmade by 130 dedicated shoe-

makers in a factory in Portugal. The fact that the shoes are made in Europe and always from high-quality leather is, of course, also reflected in the price. But customers do not pay more than they have to, stresses Jørgensen. “One of the things that we are really proud of is that we have a product with which you actually get what you pay for – every effort is made to make the best shoes possible. With the children’s shoes, what you get is the craftsmanship. The fact that it is handmade, that each piece of leather is cut and sewn by a worker, not by an automatic machine, means that each step of making the shoe is controlled by a human hand and eye, and that is also the reason why we can put some very fine details on our shoes.”

kids. Besides, the designs, which are traditional but with contemporary colours, twists and details, appeal to a broad range of people. “You might think that it would be a special group of a certain income that would buy our products, but through our different social media we have a lot of contact with our customers in Denmark and the rest of the EU, and we can see that there are all kinds of people. They are very different style-wise, income-wise and location-wise – some live in the countryside, others in the capital,” says Jørgensen. “It’s all about word of mouth: when people hear their neighbour talking about Angulus, they try it, and when they’ve tried it, they want to keep buying it for their kids.”

Though the shoe is a high-quality product, it is not seen as a product for the kids of the elite in Scandinavia. Many parents, who have themselves grown up with Angulus shoes, see them as the natural choice when buying shoes for their own

Next winter, Angulus will also release a collection of men’s footwear. For more information, please visit: www.angulus.dk

Though contemporary trends and colours are always represented in Angulus’ two yearly collections of children’s shoes, the main focus is, as it has always been, on comfort, functionality, and health.

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MarMar Copenhagen’s collections are created with the assumption that all children want to wear something that feels like their own, and that shows that someone cares – whether they are off BMX’ing or staying in drawing.

Creating new trends within Scandinavian children’s wear Combining classic French cuts with contemporary Scandinavian trends, MarMar Copenhagen has become a pioneer within children’s clothing. Full of contradictions, the Danish brand allows kids aged 0 months to 14 years to (be) dress(ed) for every occasion, be it grandmother’s birthday party or hanging out at the skate park. By Signe Hansen | Photos: MarMar Copenhagen

MarMar Copenhagen was founded by the Danish designer Marlene Anine Holmboe in 2008. Having worked for several major children’s brands, the mother-of-three had a clear idea of what was missing from the Scandinavian kids’ wear market. “My ambition back then was to create a collection of more classic, uni-coloured children’s clothing, something that was easy to put on without having to think too much about how to combine it with the rest,” says Holmboe. “I used to spend so much

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time trying to get my daughter’s dotted dress to match with the striped socks and print t-shirt, because that was all there was, unless you wanted to buy some of the much more expensive French brands. Back then, everything was about prints, and no one could imagine making a plain t-shirt – and that was definitely something that was missing.” MarMar Copenhagen’s collection quickly gained attention, and soon other brands

MarMar Copenhagen was founded by the Danish designer Marlene Anine Holmboe in 2008.


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started to follow suit, interpreting her simple ‘mini-me’ approach to children’s wear. Holmboe’s ability to stay on top of, and reinvent, new and old trends has been key to the success, which has led to MarMar Copenhagen being traded all over Europe, the US and parts of Asia. Creating new trends The inspiration for MarMar’s characteristic designs, which Holmboe describes as “classic French with a Scandinavian soul” is, perhaps surprisingly, not derived from the newest trends of the fashion industry. “Fashion magazines and shows are not a great source of inspiration for me; of course I read magazines, but really they only allow you to follow everything from behind. Among the things that inspire me most are classic films and old photos, because trends always return. What it’s about for me is looking back and then taking the styles to a new place,” explains Holmboe. Her insistence on not just following the crowd also means that shoppers will regularly find items in her collections that might at first seem out of fashion or odd, but which will, says the designer, be remembered when there is a new trend the following year. “In our newest collection we have created this bottle-green sweater, which might not seem very child-like, but it is extremely beautiful and I feel that it is my job to take some chances, and, hopefully, people will remember that green sweater when they are looking at all the green in the new collections next year,” explains the designer.

Style, practicality and ideals Classically-laced ballerina shoes, softwool vests and baggy jeans are all among MarMar’s many stylish clothing items for kids. But even though it might end up looking like you spent hours dressing your little angels, it is actually made as simple as possible. When designing the collections, practicality is, stresses Holmboe, among her top priorities. “It has to be easy to pull over the head or to close; of course, sometimes I just have to make a shirt full of buttons because it’s just too wonderful not to be made, but everything can’t be that way.” As the mother of two nine-year-old girls and a 12-year-old boy, Holmboe is also acutely aware of the differences in kids’ tastes and characters, but being dressed with care is, the designer believes, something that everyone appreciates. “Kids need to be free, but our clothes are equally suitable for someone who loves BMX’ing through the mud as someone who prefers to play with dolls inside. My own girls are very different: one always has to climb the highest tree, and the other prefers to stay inside drawing, but that does not mean that they can’t both look lovely,” stresses Holmboe, concluding: “I think that it’s important to kids that they are wearing something that is their own, and that they feel that they are wearing something nice that works, something that someone put some thought into – of course your life is not defined or changed by clothing, but it is important to feel that someone cared.” All of MarMar’s products are produced in natural fibres in factories with fair work conditions.

The inspiration for MarMar’s characteristic designs is derived from various sources including classic films and old photos.

For more information, please visit: www.MarMar.dk

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1970s hippy culture gets a modern twist A trip down memory lane can lead past a big, bold sunflower, and maybe there is a little mouse hiding in the grass. The idea behind clothing brand ej sikke lej, which this year celebrates its 10th anniversary, is that children are inspired by its prints to continue the tale themselves. By Else Kvist | Photos: ej sikke lej

The two women behind the company were among the entrepreneurs responsible for the first retro waves in kidswear to take Denmark by storm. Marlene Ullum and her stepmother, Margit Egeskov, started the Copenhagen-based business ten years ago – and what started out as a hobby took off so quickly that they both had to give up their jobs to keep up with the demand. Today, their wider family is involved in the company, which now distributes 1970sinspired children’s wear to high-street and web shops worldwide. “We caught on to something that appealed to parents and children alike,” says Ullum. “We see ourselves as modernist hippies – modernist because we continue to develop the quality in terms of functionality and comfort, and hippies because of the playfulness and creative approach to our design. The 1970s saw a lot of innovation, so we see things in a bigger perspective than just

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bell-bottoms and laces in the hair – we want to make prints in fun colours, but they also have to last.” The story began when Ullum was on maternity leave from her job as a school teacher and started designing jewellery, and later also old-fashioned women’s vests. Egeskov, who was a nurse, sold the products at the hospital. “When I was looking for clothes for my daughter, all I could find

was light pink and baby blue, and I told Margit, we must do something for children in bright 70s colours,” Ullum explains. “Initially she thought, ‘how boring, just because you’ve had a child’. But I kept showing her these old images of an owl and a cat.” The owl became their logo and clothes featuring the striking image, as a big, bold print or small, knitted detail, continue to be among the most popular. It soon became evident that they had found a gap in the market. “We both loved our jobs, but we just couldn’t juggle everything anymore and had to make a choice.” Today, Ullum is head of design while Egeskov is director of sales.

Marlene Ullum and Margit Egeskov

To view the collection, please visit: ejsikkelej.dk


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Children of Scandinavia - Denmark

Durable designs for tiny Vikings and little mermaids

“We are also part of a government-funded project on Corporate Social Responsibility, which involves a range of other clothing manufacturers. So we are constantly striving to improve our social awareness.”

Danefæ’s range of stylish children’s clothes feature iconic Danish motifs and stand the test of the playground’s hustle and bustle. By Thomas Bech Hansen | Photos: Danefæ

Sift through Danefæ’s collection and you will discover a very Danish brand. Swans, storks, Vikings and mermaids adorn playful designs of a robust quality, taking in traditional icons and using garments made for the Scandinavian climate. Fun to wear, hard to wear out “We make humorous, stylish and colourful products that kids think are fun to wear. High quality is important so that children can play, dance and scuffle about – our universe of happy Vikings and glittering mermaids is made for children that are allowed to be children,” says Danefæ’s owner, Louise Warberg Hækkerup. Contemporary design will always be at the heart of the brand, but Danefæ is also on a mission to assure parents that they are sending their young ones safely into the elements. “It is important to produce quality clothes, for instance so that par-

ents know that their children remain dry on a rainy day. We also emphasise the need for endurance wash after wash, so that the clothes can last longer and get sold on once the children grow out of them. From an environmental perspective, there is no need to produce a load of outfits that last a short time only to be thrown away.” The Vikings are coming

Responsible company

Danish icons like Vikings, mermaids and

Indeed, Danefæ has social and environmental responsibility woven into its fabric. One of the latest initiatives is a fundraising project for Families of Children with Cancer, which among other things involves a specially-designed support jersey. Next up is a project for SOS Children’s Villages.

swans are central to Danefæ’s identity. This

“We draw up contracts with all our suppliers that consider environment and working conditions and of course strictly prohibit the use of child labour,” says Hækkerup.

does not mean, however, that other cultures are not catching on. Far from it. “Our brand is very popular abroad, for instance we have a big German market. You don’t have to be Danish to think that our prints are fun,” says Louise Warberg Hækkerup with a smile.

For international stockists, please see: danefae.dk

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The first seeds for what is today known as AlbaBabY were sown when new mother Majken Banke combined hand-me-downs with additional items and fabrics bought online, creating a brand new look distinguished by playful colour combinations and nostalgic shapes.

Clear lines and colourful details In a little less than 4 years, AlbaBabY has established itself as a well-known lavish quality children’s clothing brand. The distinctive lines and vibrant colours, usually combined with pertinent flowery details, make the brand clearly distinguishable at every retailer. Originally made for infants and toddlers, the brand has now branched out to embrace school children and even markets some products for adults. The story behind it is that of a designer’s knack for creating the exquisite yet practical. By Marjorie de los Angeles Mendieta | Photos: AlbaBabY

In 2006, Majken Banke, a freshly-minted bachelor of architecture, had just given birth to her daughter, and hand-me-down clothes were pouring in from friends and relatives. Now on maternity leave from her studies, and with affordable quality baby clothes in short supply, Majken put her creative skills to use. She supplemented the hand-me-downs with used clothes, bought online, and some new fabrics as well. Armed with a sewing machine from the local supermarket, she set to work. The result was unmistakably frisky and unmistakably recognisable: a playful mix of colours and shapes vaguely reminiscent of those from her parents’ youth. Banke wanted to make clothes from durable fabrics in vibrant colours and with a cut that allowed the wearer to move about with ease. With these parameters

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set, her artistic sense of the broad lines combined with fine details did the rest to create the AlbaBabY look. Though she wanted to create a style inspired by her own childhood, she never intended it to be retro. Instead, she sees her designs as embracing some of the most poignant and memorable details from the fashion of the past, combining them with a modern approach to comfort and flexibility. Thus, the hallmark loose cuts, the quality fabrics and the timeless colour palette have become the main themes of AlbaBabY’s biannual collections.

chitecture looming on the horizon, Banke decided to put the baby clothes project on hold. This would not last long, however, as, shortly later, she fell pregnant with twin baby girls, a spark that rekindled her creative genius – but this time, she wanted to aim at a bigger-scale production. Her designs were presented at fashion exhibitions under the brand of AlbaBabY –

The vision comes to life Banke soon found her handmade quality products in high demand. A local retailer put some of her creations on display, and soon orders were being placed faster than her sewing machine could be threaded. However, with her master’s thesis in ar-

AlbaBabY family portrait


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named after Banke’s firstborn daughter, Alberte. In 2010, the company’s first official collection was launched, but almost immediately, a set-back was encountered, as it turned out that the company’s manufacturer in Vietnam was using substandard parts and fabrics that did not stand up to AlbaBabY’s uncompromising scrutiny. Family and friends were enlisted to help with the repairs and replacements, and the company’s reputation was secured. In 2011, the company found a Polish and later a Ukranian manufacturer who has since been delivering the standard synonymous with AlbaBabY. Two years ago, Banke’s husband joined the company as marketing director, and the company has been expanding ever since, now boasting more than 200 retailers in 16 countries. The company’s entire production line is marked Oeko-Tex class 1, and in their upcoming collection, some articles are even GOTS certified. Visions for the future As the name suggests, toddlers were AlbaBabY’s original target group, but as Banke’s design experience grew – along with her daughters – it was only natural for the business plan to evolve to include clothes for older children. For this purpose, the company has launched collections under the name of Alba KiD for 3-10

year olds, and it recently also produced a line of dresses for adults. As always, the aim of AlbaBabY’s production is to produce durable and lasting items of clothing, providing stretch and comfort: ever-changing but still true to the original concept that defined the brand. Nevertheless, what is just as important to the founder and designer is that the majority of the production is reasonably-priced for the everyday consumer, as she recalls how she, as a young mother, thought that children’s clothes were rather pricy. Making all of the new

designs herself is also of paramount importance to her, as she insists that her job has to remain interesting and present her with new challenges; otherwise, it becomes tedious. Banke sees the future of AlbaBabY in expanding into new markets. Recently, retailers have made AlbaBabY’s new collection available in Asia. What the future holds, only time will tell. For more information, please visit: www.albababy.dk

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Designed in a mixture of soft pastels with turquoise, coral, black and white, Silly U’s Zoopreme collection makes a stylish addition to a modern family home.

Scandinavia’s most squeezable designs With soft colours, graphic designs and lovable characters, Silly U’s Zoopreme collection has struck a chord with parents and children all over the world. The Danish brand is behind a wide range of characteristic stuffed animals, shelves and accessories (for 0-3 year olds) designed to promote play and interaction while, at the same time, stylishly complementing a modern home. By Signe Hansen | Photos: Silly U

Even grown-ups might find it hard to resist picking up the chunky, slightly clumsy hippo, Ozzo, to give him a little squeeze when no one is looking. Ozzo, like all the other animals in Silly U’s Zoopreme Collection, has his own story and personality. His intrinsic lovability is at the core of the brand’s appeal, as is its distinctive Nordic expression, explains brand manager Anne Østrup Hansen. “What characterises our designer’s work is her ambition to create an expression in the animals that signals that they are great friends. Of course, they are also very sweet with their big, expressive eyes, but they are not traditionally cute. What we wanted was something that

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had a very strong Nordic signature and graphic expression and appealed to both boys and girls,” she stresses and adds: “It’s part of the storytelling, which enables kids to create cross-gender friendships. We create different stories and individual characteristics, like Nozo, the rhino who’s afraid of mosquitoes, and Antee, the anteater who loves food. That enables the kids to identify with the animals, and it is also a way for them to learn that it’s ok to be different; that whether you’re orange or striped, we can still be friends!” The Silly U brand, which was established three years ago, has quickly become a

global phenomenon, with the Zoopreme collection traded in most of the EU as well as Japan and the US. Transforming the messy kids’ corner The Zoopreme collection is the result of Danish designer, and mother-of-four, Helene Hjorth’s ambition to create a modern, Danish brand promoting playing, laughter and friendship while also stimulating learning and socialisation. Dedicated to modern design, high-quality materials, and last but not least safety, Hjorth’s first small collection of stuffed animals quickly became a must-have for Scandinavian families. In the following years, she added


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her trademark graphics and colours to a selection of furniture and children’s accessories. Everything is designed to accommodate the Scandinavian lifestyle, in which children’s play areas are often an integrated part of the family space rather than limited to a separate bedroom. The entire collection builds on the zoo theme and incorporates it into, for instance, tables and chairs. But it is also characterised by the same Nordic and stylish graphic expression. “It’s a way of incorporating the Scandinavian style into the children’s world, and it proves that just because it’s for children, it doesn’t need to be in super bright yellow or green colours,” Østrup Hansen explains, adding: “We are very

much inspired by children and their play and creativity; we want to integrate that into the family space with some fabulous materials and wonderful designs, but it will always be on the children’s terms.” Safety and practicality Though Silly U is, as the brand name reveals, about having fun and allowing silly and creative ideas to flourish, a lot of effort has been put into thinking through both the aesthetic and the practical aspects of the design. “Our starting point is of course the needs and comfort of the children. When we design a table, it has to be good to sit at, and bed linen has to be comfy to wrap up in – the quality is unchallengeable. But on top of that, Hjorth, with her four kids, has a lot of experience

to draw on for the smaller issues – like, for instance, the convenience of having a small strap to attach the dummy to. Parents face a lot of small and big challenges, which she has managed to solve with practical but stylish designs,” Østrup Hansen rounds off. When it comes to the manufacturing of the products, Maki, Silly U’s parent company, swears by an equally detail-orientated process, ensuring that all products adhere strictly to all EU safety requirements.

For more information, please visit: www.sillyu.dk

The squeezable hippo Ozzo is the Zoopreme collection’s most clumsy character, but when the music is turned on, he cannot help but dancing right away.

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Promoting Danish children’s wear brands abroad By Marjorie de los Angeles Mendieta | Photos: isaDisa

In recent years, a growing number of Danish children’s wear brands have established themselves abroad, owing to the quality of their products. Brands such as Småfolk, Katvig and Danefæ, to name a few, are becoming increasingly soughtafter commodities in all of Scandinavia as well as Germany. Rita Byskov believes that this is no coincidence. The new-generation brands of Danish children’s fashion generally combine organic fabrics and durability with exquisite design. Byskov’s mission is to make these brands available to a wider audience. Since 2012, she has been running the company isaDisa in Ringkøbing, and through a solely internet-based trading platform, the company is able to do just that. At present, isaDisa is a distributor of more than 15 well-known Danish clothing brands.

The company distributes its products across all of Europe, but so far, it has catered mostly to Danish and German consumers. With Byskov at the helm, however, isaDisa aims to make a push for among others the British market. With a main customer segment consisting of parents of young children, isaDisa focuses on marketing via newsletters and competitions in social media. Right now, the company is garnering an ever-growing number of followers on Facebook and In-

stagram. These new and expanding marketing tools are quick at relaying the message, thus sharpening the demands on the services and products provided. Already a large and increasing number of returning customers testify to the fact that isaDisa is upholding its end of the bargain.

Rita Byskov

For more information, please visit: www.isadisa.dk www.facebook.com/isadisa.dk

Colourful clothing for active children By Nicolai Lisberg | Photos: Peer Klercke Photography

After 30 years in the business, Green Cotton is still going strong. A large, playful print on environmentally-friendly clothing is the formula for success.

for active children – and we aim to make them both fun and durable. There are no little princesses in our universe,” says managing director Sanne Nørgaard.

Fashion might have changed a lot since the founding of the company back in 1983, but Green Cotton still aims to take a Scandinavian approach to design. “We have this colourful universe of large prints on our clothing that children find interesting. In Scandinavia, children often play outside, so therefore our clothes are made

Organic cotton pioneer The colours are not only joyful: they are also amongst the most environmentallyfriendly on the market. Green Cotton was an early adapter of organic cotton for its tshirts, and still to this day the brand prides itself on designing garments that take the environment into consideration. “We want

our design to work on different levels,” says Sanne Nørgaard. “First of all, creating environmentally-friendly clothing also means creating high-quality clothing that lasts not only for a few months. In addition to this, we want each garment to tell a story. The shirt with the monkey and the banana also highlights the importance of thinking about the environment in order to protect the jungle, where the monkey lives. We hope that our clothes inspire parents to tell these stories.”

For more information, please visit: www.green-cotton.dk

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byStroom makes practical yet fashionable bags for the whole family.

Modern mother and fashionable father – multi-functional, unisex and trendy parenthood Maternity wear and changing bags used to be for women only and had one single purpose. Now it is possible to look trendy and use baby accessories in all situations – even if you are the father. By Tina Lukmann Andersen | Photos: byStroom

A changing bag used to be something that came with the pram – with matching flowers and a look that could not hide the functionality. Since 2008, Danish Judith Gerstrøm has been trying to change this with the brand byStroom, which consists of maternity wear, changing bags and accessories. byStroom is sold online and also represented in various shops in many European countries. The design is international but with a Scandinavian touch in its simplicity, detail and minimalistic, clean lines.

Having a baby brings joy, but also a lot of expenses, and Gerstrøm’s vision is that you should be able to wear and use these bags for more than ‘just’ the baby. She feels that a mother-to-be should still be able to feel comfortable and look good at the same time. Therefore, the maternity wear does not look like maternity wear; it has functionalities like chic openings for breastfeeding and a trendy design that makes it possible to dress up and down for any situation – plus it can be used afterwards as well.

The bags are still practical on the inside, but on the outside they look like fashion bags, which can still be used when the nappies are no longer necessary. The mother can still be a woman; a working bag can include a nappy section as well as an iPad section. The byStroom brand is very feminine in some ways, but it also offers solutions for men with unisex bags – black or brown bags that the father can bring on a baby-free weekend trip, too. Even your child can be fashionable, as Gerstrøm just started making backpacks for children that can be used from kindergarden and for years to come. “The backpack grows with the child,” she explains. The quality fabric, timeless design and changing straps make it an essential part of the child’s early years. Choose byStroom’s fashionable collection, and carry your life with you the cool way. For more information, please visit: www.bystroom.com

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Princess with attitude With its edgy yet pretty ‘princess with attitude’ look, Danish brand Creamie has won the hearts of girls all over the world. Creamie is an international brand that designs fashion with an edge for girls. With cool and eye-catching details and a philosophy of quality, value and luxury at affordable prices, the brand has created a universally-appealing, chic

feminine look. “I think that one of the things that make Creamie so popular is that you can combine the items in so many different ways. The Spring 2014 collection makes it really easy to create a fashionable everyday outfit that is easily transformed into a sophisticated dressy look,” explains designer Anne Mette Stampe. Creamie was established three years ago, as a mini version of DK Company’s highly suc-

By Signe Hansen | Photos: Creamie

cessful women’s wear brand, Cream. Creamie, however, quickly developed its own identity, drawing inspiration from the fashion scene at home and abroad. Stampe says: “It’s children’s clothing with an edge – a bit more raw and trendy than what you usually see. The Creamie girl is sweet and tough. She is a princess with attitude.”

Creamie releases 6 yearly collections for girls aged three to 14. The Creamie collections are sold across the whole of Europe, the US and Canada. Creamie is part of DK Company, which since its inception in 2001 has grown to become one of Europe’s leading suppliers of fashion and lifestyle brands catering to men, women and children.

For more information, please visit: www.creamie.eu The Creamie girl is sweet and tough – a princess with attitude.

Less is more High-quality, anti-fashion products that last and can eventually be passed on – that is the main philosophy behind The Organic Company, which is why all their products for children belong in a universe of adults. Six years ago, Joy Vasiljev was tired of always having to choose between ecology and design when looking for a gift or something for the house. She decided that she could do it better herself, so in order to combine ecology and design, she founded The Organic Company. “We avoid trendy patterns, because we think long-term, which means that we are pretty much gender neutral in our selection of

By Nicolai Lisberg | Photos: Line Thit Klein

colours. Instead, we see our textiles as good porcelain you want to collect and keep for many years, because they never go out of fashion,” Vasiljev explains.

are of high quality, which combined with our expression makes the textiles durable and classic. If you create good textiles, you do not need a thousand of them. That is the general idea behind our brand,” Vasiljev ends.

A responsible way of thinking Less is more. That is the company slogan, and that is exactly what separates this brand from many others. Traditionally, a bib, for instance, would be considered a product for children – but not at The Organic Company. Functionally, they are designed for children, but due to their appearance they belong in a universe for adults. “This also makes sense from a responsible and environmental perspective. Our weavings

For more information, please visit: theorganiccompany.dk instagram.com/theorganiccompany www.facebook.com/TheOrganicCompany International

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Children of Scandinavia - Denmark

2014 summer collection.

Dressing organic is a way of life Deeply rooted in the functional and simple Scandinavian design tradition, Serendipity Organics is a reputable Danish design brand specialising in organic children’s wear. With an uncompromising focus on quality and sustainability, Serendipity Organics’ designs have truly captured the spirit of a resurfaced generation of quality-conscious parents. By Stine Gjevnoe | Photos: Heidi Lerkenfeldt

A shared passion for making products that matter, and a shared desire to change consumers’ perception of socially- and environmentally-conscious brands as dull and lifeless – ten years ago, that was how the story of Serendipity Organics began. The brand was founded by designer AnneSofie Tobiasen, and as it grew, her sister Caroline Tobiasen jumped on board. The essence of Serendipity Organics is the love for natural materials. “If we can find an alternative to artificial materials, we do it,” Caroline explains. As a result, Serendipity Organics only uses 100 per cent organic cotton and its entire production process, from cotton growth and spinning to the finished product, is certified by GOTS, the Global Organic Textile Standard – something the sisters are rightfully proud of.

ucts. In addition, the aftermath of the financial crisis has spurred a generation of socially- and environmentally-conscious young mothers and fathers, who value quality over quantity. Serendipity Organics combines this awareness with fun and functional designs.

Natural beginnings Anne-Sofie finds her inspiration in the softness of melange yarns and natural fibres of high quality, as well as in the clean and clear lines of nature. The style is classic, functional and simple – an expression of the globally popular Scandinavian design tradition. But most importantly, the products are designed with children’s happiness and comfort in mind: “We want the child to wear the clothes, not the other way around,” Caroline explains. The core collections are aimed at children aged 0-11, and recently Serendipity Organics added a women’s collection as well as a popular collection for premature babies. As more and more children are born with allergies or hypersensitivity, parents have become increasingly aware of the importance of organic, natural and sustainable prod-

For more information, please visit: www.serendipity-organics.com

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Drawing children’s wear By Signe Hansen | Photos: IdaT

The simple, childlike and genuinely charming drawings of Ida Trads make up the essence of the success of the Danish children’s wear brand, IdaT. With its instantly-recognisable, colourful expression, the brand has become a hit with children (from 0 to eight years of age) and parents in numerous countries from Finland to the US. Having always had a natural creative talent and drive, Ida Trads created her first small collection of children’s wear in 2005, after the birth of her first child. Based on the happy monkey, a character initially intended for a children’s

book, the simple cuteness of Trads’s designs appealed to almost everyone. Soon the happy baby face, one of the designer’s most characteristic drawings and the brand’s logo, was a regular in most of Copenhagen’s children’s wear shops. “I think what appeals to so many people is the simplicity and cute drawings. We also work with a set variety of colours, but it is the cute drawings, which Ida draws by hand, that give the brand its immediately appealing impression,” says Trads’s husband Morten, who runs the administrative side of the design firm, adding: “We are also very well-known for our value-for-

money, high-quality cotton and take pride in having a sustainable product. We take great care to ensure that we only use factories that treat workers properly and do not use child labour.” IdaT creates two yearly collections, sold by retailers in 12 countries and through the brand’s own website.

IdaT’s designs are, thanks to Ida Trads’s characteristic hand drawings, immediately recognisable. Left: The smiling monkey was one of IdaT’s first characteristic drawings, initially created by Ida Trads as the character of a children’s book.

For more information, please visit: www.idat.dk

Inspiring children’s wear of quality and consciousness With timeless and classic, knitted children’s wear, Danish design brand FUB has established itself as a key player on an increasingly popular market. FUB has an unwavering focus on quality and sustainability, and its products are designed to last a lifetime – or at least a childhood.

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Founded in 2006 by designer Anne-Sofie Olrik, FUB mixes traditional traits of the Scandinavian design tradition with current, modern trends. Having lived a number of years abroad, Olrik and her husband decided to return to Denmark when they were expecting their first child, and the designer noticed a substantial gap in the market. “At the time, most children’s fashion was full of patterns and prints. It was too busy for my taste and I was looking for something ‘cleaner’ and timeless that could be handed down to the next child,” Olrik explains. Soon business partner Lotte Bundgaard joined, and the first FUB collection hit the market in the fall of 2007. The simple yet creative and fun designs quickly proved to be in line with the current zeitgeist of quality-conscious consumers; materials are organic when possible, and FUB avoids any harmful chemicals in order to protect the children and help sustain a healthy environment. Children’s comfort and well-being is at the core of every collection, and, as Olrik argues, “it’s not about dressing right or dressing up, it’s about giving the child the freedom to play and have fun.” While quality and durability form the foun-

dation of every design, that does not exclude the fun and playfulness characterising childhood. “Each FUB style stands out as a oneof-a-kind design, but it also challenges you to be creative and mix the different styles into inventive looks,” Olrik concludes. By Stine Gjevnoe Photos: FUB

For more information, please visit: fubchildrenswear.dk


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Your Shortcut to Scandinavia Bergen

NORWAY

Oslo Stockholm Bromma

SWEDEN Aalborg

Gothenburg

Aarhus

UNITED KINGDOM

DENMARK Billund

Manchester

London City

GERMANY Brussels

D端sseldorf

BELGIUM

SWITZERLAND

Munich

Z端rich

S n acks

Me als

Drinks

ba.com

Pap ers

Lounges

Smiles


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N DE E : W ME A - S E I H L T INAV A I EC ND SP SCA OF N E DR

IL CH

Parents: you are not alone “Without my kids, the house would be clean and my wallet full, but my heart would be empty.” When we have children, our lives change: we step right into the children’s world and they step into ours. Nothing will ever be the same again – and how lucky! By Susanne Ståhl, editor of Familjeliv.se | Photos: Familjeliv.se

Anyone with children in their lives knows that they sweep in like a whirlwind of love and chaos. Days get a different rhythm, priorities change, and new discoveries are made. And as the children grow, from that very first smile, the very first step, the first trip on the bike and the first night away from mum and dad, we adults grow. But it is not without growing pains. Suddenly you stand there, bewildered and uncertain, wondering what to do. How do other parents get their children to sleep at night? Are all families this stressed in the mornings? And what is that rash that has suddenly appeared? Today, luckily, you no longer need to stand alone with your concerns. For many parents, social media and the internet are like an extended arm and muchneeded support. The web is where we go for quick answers and to find out what

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others have done. And we share – both the good moments and the not-so-good. This interaction means an awful lot to many people, as we at Familjeliv.se have become aware. For the last ten years, Familjeliv.se is Sweden’s largest meeting place for parents and those expecting, and no issue is too large or too small to be aired here. The heart of the site is the forum, where visitors can find others in the same situation as themselves or ask one of the site’s experts a question. Nothing is deemed insignificant, silly or embarrassing – there is always someone who has experienced the same thing. Thousands of posts are shared on the Familjeliv forum every day. Many visitors find the site when they have just had a positive pregnancy test and find other expectant couples who are due around the same time, sometimes even in the same

town. They stay in touch all the way to the big day, exchanging thoughts and experiences on our forum, and as their eagerlyawaited baby arrives, it continues. Some become friends for life and stay in touch for many years, as one mother wrote to another: “Enjoy the time the baby wants to be in your arms all the time and sleep on top of you, because it doesn’t last long. Since I had my son, I feel like the happiest person in the world – no one can make me laugh the way he does!”

Familjeliv.se was set up by parents in 2003 as an online meeting place, and today it has over 1 million unique visitors every week. In one month, Familjeliv reaches more than half of all mothers in Sweden with children between 0 and 6 years of age (Orvesto 2012). Since 2013, Familjeliv also exists in Norway (Familieprat.no), now Norway’s fastestgrowing women and family site. Familjeliv Media launched three apps in two languages during 2013: Gravidguiden and Babyguiden. Part of Stampen Media Partner, Familjeliv Media runs the sites Familjeliv.se, mobil.familjeliv.se, Familieprat.no, Familie.pl, Bröllopstorget, Gobaby.se and odla.nu.

For more information, please visit: www.familjeliv.se


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Swedish Toy Association – working for safer toys Leksaksbranschen, or the Swedish Toy Association, is the trade association for all players on the Swedish market for toys, hobbies and baby products. The organisation also works at a European level through its membership in Toy Industry of Europe (TIE) and globally through the International Council of Toy Industries (ICTI). Text & photos by the Swedish Toy Association

“We work with the most important, best thing we’ve got – our children. Our top priority is to work to ensure that the toys we sell are safe,” says Jennifer Rydén Englund, CEO of the Swedish Toy Association. The trade association works to safeguard a sound development of the Swedish market by promoting social responsibility and marketing of safe toys. This is done primarily through Icti Care Process, with offices in Hong Kong and 20 employees. Put simply, the initiative is all about ensuring reasonable working conditions, safe workplaces, environmental issues, and the complete absence of child labour at the toy factories. Today, 1,100 factories across 12 countries are affiliated with the programme, and all members of the Swedish Toy Association are obliged to guarantee

that they only do business with certified factories. Toys sold across Europe must meet some strict security standards. Where a toy is produced is irrelevant, since the regulations

apply to all toys regardless of where they are manufactured. Toys sold in the European Union must not contain any substances that may be dangerous for children. Another key part of the work of the trade association focuses on ‘value of play’. A report written by Jeffrey Goldstein and commissioned by TIE has established that play is crucial for the development of human society, and that play during early childhood is necessary for all individuals to reach their full potential. Parents can help their children to play safely by always: - buying toys from reliable retailers; - choosing appropriate toys; - ensuring that the toy is used as intended; - overseeing play; - and keeping smaller children away from toys intended for older children. “We fully support those market control efforts that endeavour to make sure that toys that do not meet all the requirements are removed from the market,” Rydén Englund ends. For more information, please visit: www.leksaksbranschen.se

Jennifer Rydén Englund, CEO of the Swedish Toy Association

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130 years of never growing old Throughout the ages, play has formed the foundation of children’s well-being and development. So when the Swedish toy company BRIO was planning its 130th anniversary, it decided to celebrate by paying tribute to the importance of play and letting adults be children again for a day. By Linnea Dunne | Photos: BRIO

“It’s the act of playing that is of vital importance,” says Sophie Elvefors, Deputy Managing Director of BRIO. “For over a hundred years it has developed us, both as a company and as people.” In 2014, BRIO celebrates its 130th anniversary. Instead of looking backwards and profiling ground-breaking milestones such as its Labyrinth game (1946) and miniature wooden railway (1958), the Swedish toy company decided to pay tribute to the magic of play and celebrate the child within us all. Around the world, there is a growing concern that play is not afforded the important and necessary role it should have in children’s upbringing. Scientific research shows that children are given less and less opportunity to play freely

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and that families are spending less time with each other. In November last year, the Cambridge researcher Dr. David Whitebread was awarded the BRIO prize for his report, The Importance of Play. This spring, BRIO is continuing its work of introducing more play into people’s daily lives.

Michael Heun

In a recent Facebook campaign, BRIO gives adults a chance to reawaken their inner child. The winners will be paid to take time off work in order to be a child for a day. “It’s a fun way for us to place the focus on something that we think is important. Free play is being given less and less of a role, despite the fact that we know

Sophie Elvefors


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that it’s central to development and creativity for both children and adults,” says Elvefors.

enough to build a railway longer than the circumference of the earth. Timeless yet innovative

Once there was a wooden horse… BRIO was founded in 1884 in Osby, a small community in the south of Sweden. The name is an abbreviation of ‘the BRothers Ivarsson of Osby’. BRIO quickly gained a reputation for making toys of high quality, and in the 1940s, it was appointed official supplier to the Swedish Royal Court, an honour the company retains to this day. The company’s first global success, the Labyrinth game, came in 1946. This was a unique invention, not only adored by children but also used all over Europe in the rehabilitation of thousands of injured pilots, following the Second World War. No other product was as important during the 1950s and 1960s when it comes to spreading the BRIO brand across the world – and no other BRIO product has been copied as much. After the enormous impact of the Labyrinth game, success upon success continued to make its way from the company’s production facilities. 1958 saw the arrival of BRIO’s miniature railway, with tracks and bridges made of wood. Today, BRIO’s railway and train sets are the company’s largest exports, amounting to more than 75 million train sets and in excess of 260 million wooden rails sold to date –

BRIO has noticed that children often inherit their first BRIO toys from their parents and go on to create imaginative worlds by combining the older toys with new, modern BRIO products. Today, monorail trains and aeroplanes run along the same railway that granddad played with as a child. “We have put a lot of energy into raising the value of playing with and expanding, for example, the railway world. At the same time, we are doing this in a respectful way to ensure that the old and the new literally fit together,” says Michael Heun, Product Development Manager at BRIO. BRIO’s railway and builder ranges are openplay systems to which new parts can always be added. There is never a ‘right or wrong’ way to play with the toys. “We want to inspire children to base their play activities on their own imagination and creativity. We are convinced that children are the best creators of their own imaginary worlds,” Heun insists. One of the keys to BRIO’s survival and growth during its 130-year history has been its ability to focus on the act of playing while, at the same time, keeping pace with the times. “BRIO’s history is an inherent part of the company’s identity and will be a strength as we look to the future,” says Elvefors.

For more information, please visit: www.brio.net

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Photo: Mikael Axelsson

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Children of Scandinavia - Sweden

An adventure for change With a proud mission of educating the public and impressive premises in the world’s first ever national city park near Stockholm University, the Swedish Museum of Natural History boasts dinosaurs, a world-class research unit, and a super high-technological state-of-the-art IMAX dome cinema. But this spring, a new exhibition shifts the focus away from historical fauna phenomena and digital 3D systems to put the spotlight on another important issue: that of souvenirs. By Linnea Dunne

“35,000 different species are endangered due to trade alone,” says Martin Testorf, communications director at the museum. “We are not alone to think that this is an incredibly urgent concern, so together with WWF, the Department of Agriculture, and the Swedish Customs Office, we have developed this exhibition to raise awareness.” But what has this got to do with souvenirs? As most keen travellers will know, markets often make the perfect place to pick up a present for someone back home or a little something to help carry the memories of a wonderful trip; yet these markets are not always very well regu-

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lated, and you can forgive tourists for feeling clueless as to which items make ethical purchases and which do not. Following a family on holiday in an exotic country, visitors at A Souvenir for Life get to experience familiar places including a market place and the customs area at the airport, helping the family decide what items to bring home and learning about endangered species as the baggage gets caught in customs. “We’ve got a wide range of items on display at this exhibition,” says Testorf. “You’ll find everything from furs and ivory to bags and snakeskin boots – and they’re all here because they’ve been caught in customs.”

Small in size but big in terms of the message it wants to convey, A Souvenir for Life is a call for consciousness. “The exhibition isn’t anti-consumerism as such, but it aims to make the connection between your choices and their consequences. With thousands of species endangered purely because of trade, together, as conscious consumers, we can change that.” For children, but not childish The Swedish Museum of Natural History prides itself on taking a proactive approach to education, reaching out to schools with ready-made teaching plans and guiding around 30 classes of school


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children every day. On site, it is the concreteness of the museum’s resources that has the greatest impact and leaves the longest-lasting impression. “Many of the museum’s 10 million collectibles are on display here – no nature documentary on TV can beat that,” says Testorf. “The excitement of the children who come here is palpable as they run up to the different items and start touching and getting close up looking at them.” Indeed, what the museum does best, according to one review, is targeting children without being childish, something Testorf feels hits the nail on the head. Yet the exhibitions suit visitors of all ages, and science novices as well as those with advanced knowledge of the subjects explored. And as everyone can learn something new and get something out of the displays, the whole family can enjoy them together – another important strength. Nature, dinosaurs and 3D coral reefs Among the nine permanent exhibitions is Swedish Nature, showcasing a wide range of Swedish animals, including arctic foxes, moose and seals, each display telling its own story. Moreover, this spring welcomes a very special temporary exhibition, while the 4½ Billion Years exhibition about the history of life and earth, including dinosaurs, is closed for reconstruction: the small but equally fascinating Mini Dino exhibition will teach dinosaur fanatics all about the life of the long-gone creatures. But when it comes to breaking records and boasting on paper, Cosmonova takes the prize. The super high-technological IMAX cinema reflects up to 35 billion colours and uses a file format over ten times larger than that of a regular cinema, all within a dome of 23 metres in diameter with 262 tiered and tilted seats. The film Journey Through the South Pacific, which premiered in February, lets the viewer follow a young West Papua island boy on a journey alongside sharks and sea turtles, and teaches an important lesson about living in balance with nature. “You really get to step right into the adventure,” says Testorf about the unique-

Above: The film Journey Through the South Pacific follows a young boy on a journey through coral reefs, presenting the viewer to sharks and sea turtles while teaching a lesson about living in balance with nature. Photos: MacGillivray Freeman films/IMAX

for-Sweden experience. And perhaps that is the secret behind this governmentfunded educational hub: that whatever the exhibition, it is so much more than a flat

screen – from the eagle attacking its prey to the shark that jumps out of the IMAX screen. May the adventure begin!

Below: The new exhibition, A Souvenir for Life, aims to raise awareness around the fact that 35,000 different species are endangered due to trade alone – and help keen travellers become more responsible in their shopping habits. Photos: Sara Ringström

For more information, please visit: www.nrm.se

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Science and technology for everyone Families can be sure to always get a warm welcome at Balthazar Science Center. Located in the town of Skövde, between Stockholm and Gothenburg, Balthazar is a perfect day out for the whole family, catering for visitors of all ages. Science centres are an international phenomenon, represented in almost all European countries and beyond, some large and some very small. Balthazar is modestly sized and prides itself on having friendly staff and a wide range of activities. “Having enthusiastic and engaged staff who know what they are talking about is incredibly important to us,” says Paula Bäckman, centre director. “We encourage a hands-on approach, as well as creativity, discovery, discussion and having fun. There is more to do here than just press buttons on a computer screen, and something for everyone regardless of their age.” Investing in the future, today Several important companies can be found in and around the town of Skövde, and Balthazar is

aware of its role in engaging young people and developing their interest in science and technology. Bäckman thinks it is important to continue to learn about science and technology outside the classroom to make sure that the subject is both challenging and enjoyable. “We want to show the next generation, who are big consumers of the latest technologies, that they can actually influence and contribute to the development of their hometown,” says the director.

Upcoming events at Balthazar

28 April – 1 June: Fun with physics! 2 June – 15 June: Bubbleology! 16 June – 18 August: Summer break – open seven days a week, 10am-5pm

There are three family-focused, staff-led activity sessions every day.

For more information, please visit: balthazar.nu

Relive the best computer games The world’s largest exhibition of computer games, Game On 2.0, has since last October engaged thousands of enthusiasts of all ages at the Swedish National Museum of Science and Technology in Stockholm. Computer games no doubt have a special place in most people’s hearts, and Game On 2.0 has successfully attracted big crowds to the Swedish National Museum of Science and Technology. “Families with toddlers, seniors, groups of teens and fanatic gamers all get together to play, find their old-time favourites

The latest gaming technology as well as retro games from the ’60s are explored at the Game On 2.0 exhibition.

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By Sara Mangsbo Photos: Balthazar Science Center

and discover the worlds of computer games,” says museum director Ann Follin.

By Sara Mangsbo Photos: Anna Gerdén

In fact, the museum’s vision is to be “every little genius’s favourite place.”

Originally created by the Barbican in London, the exhibition is described as an in-depth look at gaming’s fascinating past and limitless future. “The visitors get the opportunity to try over 100 games,” Follin says excitedly. “There’s everything from Pong and other old arcade games to dance mats, 3D glasses and the latest computer game consoles.” Photo: Ellinor Algin

A comprehensive Scandinavian collection But this is more than a temporary theme at the museum. “Game On 2.0 marked the start of our own documentation of computer game development. With many world-leading gaming companies founded in Scandinavia, we feel that it’s an important part in the history of technology,” says Follin. Located in the beautiful park of Djurgården in Stockholm, and with thousands of square metres of interactive exhibitions and activities, the National Museum of Science and Technology makes for a great day out for the whole family.

For more information, please visit: www.tekniskamuseet.se/en


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Awaken the scientist in you Norrköping boasts not just Norrköping Science Park, a hotspot with over 800 entrepreneurs and knowledge enterprises, but also Linköpings University’s science research institution. A hub within this science hub, Visualiseringscenter C is a Science Centre taking all this expertise and presenting it to the public, aiming to increase the general understanding of technology through visualisation. By Linnea Dunne | Photos: Visualiseringscenter C

“Visualisation as a tool, be it x-rays in medicine or maps for spatial relations, can be incredibly powerful,” explains Karl Eldebo, business developer at the centre. “When you’re able to spin around in space, you suddenly begin to grasp just how big it is.” This view is shared by a number of other Science Centres across the world, but what is unique in regard to Visualiseringscenter C is its close connection to both researchers and entrepreneurs. Not only can you contribute to the university’s research by taking part in a visualisation study, but you are also likely to bump into one of the many CEOs and professors who meet in the restaurant and café for a business lunch or chat over coffee. Meet technology early on This buzzing environment benefits both schools and families, as one visiting

teacher once said: “If you meet technology early on, you’ll take the way of thinking with you through life.” And there is no better place for children of all ages to meet technology: while the youngest can explore apps and experiments in Professor Pupil’s brand new lab, the slightly older will be blown away by Kosmos 3D, an interactive dome space tour, and the older still can learn how to code.

keep coming back. “Parents notice that their children leave the centre with a new understanding of science,” he says. “Something tickles their interest, and once you’ve ignited that spark, the school work suddenly feels more enjoyable, too.” Building bridges between the physical world and the virtual, Visualiseringscenter C brings together advanced research with everything from LEGO to Minecraft and 3D cinema, encouraging its visitors to get creative and explore endlessly. Time to awaken the scientist in you!

With regular theme weekends and guest speakers, such as astronaut Christer Fuglesang, who recently came to launch the aforementioned 3D show, there is always excitement in the air. The physical meets the virtual The great advantage of visualisation, according to Eldebo, is its capacity to really make an impact and contribute to a wow factor – which, of course, is why parents

For more information, please visit: visualiseringscenter.se/en

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Clothes with a purpose – and heart After eight years in the advertising industry, Anna Rietz knew that she wanted to create something of her own. She had just became a mother and discovered a new-found enthusiasm for adapting the baby clothes available on the market, all with the help of her seamstress mother. It was 2005, and soon, the foundation for what was to become Geggamoja was born.

but with a new range of overall suits offering a water column of 10,000 mm, a breathability of 3,000 g / m² / 24 hours, and reflectors, there is no need to worry.

By Linnea Dunne | Photos: Geggamoja

Collaborating with charities for which they “have an extra heart”, producing children’s wear so popular that they have had to expand the range to cater for adults, and determined to expand the Geggamoja kingdom to include sports shops, Rietz and Marmsjö have certainly achieved a lot in less than a decade. The next time you see that vertical black and white logo, you know where it came from.

In the beginning, Rietz and her mother mainly produced cotton and fleece hats and baby blankets, based in the seamstress’ workshop. But business picked up quickly and another pair of hands was needed. Along came Rietz’s sister, Sara Marmsjö, bringing bags of sales and marketing expertise from the music industry. And the rest, as they say, is history. “When we spot Geggamoja hats in town, we still think it’s someone we know – but that of course isn’t the case anymore,” say the sisters about the hugely popular hallmark hat. “It’s so instantly recognisable because of the vertical logo at the front, and we’re delighted that it’s still so popular, tens of thousands of hats later!” Though the sisters admit that the early hats and comfort blankets are still among their personal favourites, Geggamoja today makes everything from bibs and

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jumpsuits to dresses, jumpers and highquality durable overalls, now available across 15 countries. The garments are produced with sustainability in mind, the huge majority certified by GOTS, and the company actively works to keep improving everything from environmental impact to working conditions. At the heart of the brand, however, is a love of children – and fun. “We’re inspired by active kids and parents, so we make clothes for the nursery, for parties, and for all kinds of activities,” says Rietz. “We create classic cuts and clever details, working with soft, comfortable materials and long cuffs – clothes we can see ourselves and our children wearing.” Perhaps the clue is in the name: ‘geggamoja’ is a Swedish word for mud, mainly used by children. It is bound to get messy,

Owners and sisters Anna Rietz and Sara Marmsjö

For more information, please visit: www.geggamoja.com


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Signed, sealed, delivered – but how? In an old, listed building dating back to the 17th century, on one of Gamla Stan’s many cobbled lanes, is Postmuseum, owned by the Swedish Post Office and founded in 1906. But while its premises are steeped in history, the museum itself is far from dated. “A lot of people who come here are quite surprised at what they find,” says Malin Valentin, head of communications and hosting at the museum. “Traditionally, Postmuseum was mainly a treasure trove for stamp collectors – impressive, in fairness, with collections dating back to 1855, but perhaps not that exciting for a family with kids. Today, it is an entirely different story.” Recently renovated, Postmuseum boasts

four separate exhibitions: Your Post, about the postal service of the past and present; The Little Post Office, where children can try out the tasks of postmen and sorting officers; Hello! about all things communication and the written word; and, finally, the stamp treasure trove. You only need to imagine a toddler moving letters from one box to another or a primary school child getting ready to deliver the mail or try out a typewriter, and you can see why families holidaying in Stockholm often stop by here. “Everything has been developed with a

By Linnea Dunne Photos: Ulf Michal

child’s perspective in mind, from the height of displays to the approach to discovery,” Valentin explains, adding with a smile: “But it’s not just children who love getting dressed up in postman’s outfits and getting their photo taken!” Put simply, Postmuseum views the world from both the postman’s perspective and the child’s, for example allowing children to interview researchers about communications. “It’s a museum about the postal service,” says Valentin, “but at the end of the day, the history of post also says a lot about the history of society and how it’s changed.”

Postmuseum is open Tuesday to Sunday, except on public holidays, but the library, the shop and The Little Post Office have limited opening hours.

For more information, please visit: www.postmuseum.posten.se

Fun-filled, rural time travel in Stockholm city Skansen is the world’s first open-air museum, founded in 1891: a breathtakingly beautiful city oasis where moose can be spotted, picnics had and the fascinating world of the past experienced firsthand. “There are plenty of opportunities to take part in fun-filled activities here. But Skansen also offers serene tranquility, as this is a place where you really get a rural feeling, despite the fact that we’re right in the middle of a big city,” says Cecilia Törnqvist, marketing officer at Skansen. “Skansen is a perfect place for tourists to visit as you quickly get a feel for Sweden when you embark on a historical and geographical trip throughout the whole country.”

At Skansen, situated on the island of Djurgården, visitors can stroll through five centuries of Swedish history, with a real sense of the past enhanced by the interaction with numerous living history guides in period dresses. In the abundance of furnished houses and farmsteads, cultivated plots and gardens and both domestic and wild animals, visitors can experience and explore everything from the Skåne farmstead in the south to the Sami camp in the north. If you are lucky, you can help feed the hens, learn how to spin yarn, or take part in traditional old-fashioned games. As a zoo, Skansen is primarily committed to showing Scandinavian animals, and visitors get to see both domestic and wild animals such as

bears, wolves and lynx, as well as more than 70 other species and breeds. “At our children’s zoo, Lill-Skansen, our aim is to teach children how to interact with animals in a positive and respectful way,” says Törnqvist. “After a recent refurbishment, there are now even more places where the children can play and have a whale of a time and, above all, some great places for the animals to live.” By Ulrika Kuoppa | Photos: Marie Andersson

For more information, please visit: www.skansen.se/en

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make the doll’s house a blank canvas for you to make your very own. “Though play is always our primary focus, and far more important than design, we’ve seen a real strength in the fact that our products are of such high-quality design,” says Kristin Stafström, Micki Leksaker’s marketing manager. “We’ve developed our website to include lots of creative ideas, just to inspire our customers to continue to play with and enjoy their doll’s house for a long, long time.” Got an old doll’s house in the attic? Why not dust it off and give it a complete facelift with tips, inspiration and accessories from Lundby? But just like Lundby’s story started with the urge to stay close to loved ones, so today it remains bigger than current trends, much greater than the sum of its parts. “There is less and less time for parents to really play together with their children in a creative way, away from the TV couch and touch screens,” says Aronsson. “Our doll’s houses show that we can find a way back to this – to quality family time, and to exploring and creating together endlessly.” Småland doll's house

Make yourself at home With a DIY trend that appears to have a life of its own and Swedish bloggers leading the way for keen home improvers, the story of a doll’s house producer from Sweden is spreading across the globe. Offering houses created by interior architects, endless options for making the house your own, and fancy functionalities such as electric lighting, Lundby encourages endless creativity – and not just for the little ones. By Linnea Dunne | Photos: Micki Leksaker

It started in 1945, as Danish Grete Thomsen moved to Gothenburg’s Lundby and started making doll’s houses and furniture for her niece. Today, the blogosphere is struggling to find enough superlatives to express its love for the toy. Perhaps because it is more than just a toy, as Jonas Aronsson, CEO of Micki Leksaker, owner of the brand Lundby since 1997, suggests: “There’s a growing trend for adults to be creative with doll’s houses, too. While the youngest kids mainly enjoy role play, older children and parents start moving things

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around and getting closer and closer to interior design.” Swedish creatives and bloggers are at the forefront of the recent home improvement trend, so it is perhaps no coincidence that the doll’s house that perfectly embodies DIY enthusiasm originated here. With two ready-made houses to choose from – the traditional villa, Småland, and the luxury architecture version, Stockholm – everything from wallpaper and furniture to addon gardens and DIY picture frames helps

Above: Stockholm doll's house

For more information, please visit: lundby.com/en


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Only the softest teddies become friends for life Anyone who has ever spent a lot of time with a young child knows just how important their comfort blanket or favourite teddy can be: the one thing they just cannot go to sleep without; their best friend for life, whom they tell all their secrets. With this in mind, the Norling family founded Teddykompaniet. Raili Norling was working as a distributor of teddies and had just become a grandmother, but she felt that a certain feeling was missing. “I had obviously just become a mother and completely knew what she meant when she called,” says Anna Norling, who insists that a toy that should be cuddled must be of the high-

est, softest quality. Now, nearly 20 years later, Teddykompaniet’s toys are available in more than 30 different countries, and its focus on top quality and ethical trading is as persistent as ever. “First and foremost, only the best is good enough for our children,” says Anna. “But moreover, we want to be able to look our customers in the eye. As such, we have a very close relationship with all our suppliers, and we visit them regularly to make sure that we are happy with all conditions.” Hand-picked for collaborations by charities such as Astrid Lindgren’s Children’s Hospital and Save the Children as well as the companies

behind Alfons Åberg and That Emil merchandise, Teddykompaniet certainly seems to have succeeded in bringing about the perfect soft, cuddly friends, far from the ever-changing trends of fashion and design, all in the name of making teddies that become friends for life. If in doubt, just look at all those little ones who simply will not let go of their Teddykompaniet Diinglisar range comfort blanket, shaker or teddy. Just one touch, and you will understand why. By Linnea Dunne | Photos: Teddykompaniet

All Teddykompaniet products are certified CE according to EN71.

For more information, please visit: www.teddykompaniet.se

Never before have trains been so much fun The Swedish Railway Museum is a treasure for people of all ages. This summer, it presents a fun-packed programme sure to delight the entire family. The focal point at the Swedish Railway Museum is authentic children’s play, with possibilities to dress up, interactions with the railway characters guarding the rail and managing the train traffic, exhibitions, shows and activities, all part of a world-class collection to be explored by the visitors. Even outside, the fun continues. Some small trains are there to be played with and a real, old railcar is ready for a ride to the world’s largest store for museum trains. Places where children can really be children are hard to come by, but here, kids are encouraged to play using their fantasy rather than modern technology and screens. You do not have to be the world’s biggest train enthusiast to find this delightful. On the contrary, most guests showing up and returning have no burning passion for railways. Rather, they appreciate the interactive playfulness, the way guests are encouraged to get involved in the exhibitions and how free from re-

straint the atmosphere is. Children are allowed to play around and grown-ups enjoy a welldeserved break, a history refinement, points of recognition, or the rewards that come with engaging the whole family in pure excitement. By Astrid Eriksson | Photos: Swedish Railway Museum

For the diary:

14-27 April: The hugely popular LEGO

The LEGO exhibition

exhibition, Wind Wagon, and the display of the functioning, highly-advanced model train and railway.

11 May: The Children’s Festival, with performances and events in celebration of the little ones.

16 June–17 August: The Summer Programme. Event-packed and open every day! Theatre performances, rides on the railcar, and exhibitions are just a few of the activities to be enjoyed.

For more information, please visit: www.trafikverket.se/jarnvagsmuseum

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: ME ND E H A L T INL A I F L EC SP URA T L CU

LEFT: The Ateneum Art Museum hosts a major centenary exhibition presenting Jansson’s impressive career. Tove Jansson: Early Moomins (painting) Tampere Art Museum ©Moomin CharactersTM. TOP RIGHT: Tove Jansson: Alice in Wonderland (illustration) Tampere Art Museum. Photo: Finnish National Gallery/Jenni Nurminen. BELOW: Tove Jansson: Family (painting) Private collection. Photo: Finnish National Gallery/Hannu Aaltonen ©Tove Jansson Estate.

Finnish creative Centenarians are having a ball The Moomins are the creations of the multitalented Finnish artist Tove Jansson (1914-2001), one of the best-known Finnish artists in the world. This year sees Tove Jansson’s 100th birthday, as well as another big anniversary, being celebrated with seminars, concerts, happenings, and children’s events. By Taina Värri

The major centenary exhibition, simply named Tove Jansson, opened in the Ateneum Art Museum in Helsinki in March, and in September it will move from Helsinki to Japan, where the Moomins have long been a huge success. As if that was not enough, a hand-drawn animated feature film, Moomins on the Riviera, will premiere in the autumn of 2014.

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Coincidentally, Finland also celebrates 100 years of Finnish animation this year. The first animated short films by Eric Vasström were shown in theatres before the main feature films the same year Tove Jansson was born. The first animated feature film, Seven brothers, by Riitta Nelmarkka in 1979 was based on the classic story of Aleksis Kivi (1834-1872), the Finnish author who wrote the first significant novel in the Finnish language.

Special events will be held throughout the country. The gaming industry is growing fast and new talents are very much in demand, so there will be a special emphasis on developing education. Rovio with its Angry Birds is a remarkable employer for animation artists, Niko the reindeer is an international movie star charming his way all around the world, and pre-scool animation series Dibidogs has attracted more than 50 million viewers already. Moomin philosophy The Moomin stories are hugely popular among children, but there is a message on a deeper level of the Moomin philosophy about freedom, friends and open-mindedness, which touches grown-ups as well.


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The sympathetic Moomins are wellknown all over the world, not least from the Japanese animated films made for children in the 1980s and 1990s. The new 80-minute-long movie is a FrenchFinnish-venture, the story and visuals based on the original cartoon by Tove Jansson in 1955. At the Riviera, the Moomins get a taste of bright lights, adventure and glamour, which, combined with the length of the film, will make it alluring to adults too. Those already familiar with Jansson’s way of life and philosophy are not surprised: the early Moomins were actually quite liberal in their ways. The first volume of her cartoons was The Moomins and the Great Flood in 1945, and in the 1950s Jansson signed a contract with the largest evening paper at the time, The Evening News in London. Soon, people in more than 20 other countries were familiar with the quirky residents of the Moominvalley. Tove Jansson was raised in a family of artists, and the Moomin family is said to have developed from these experiences. Her brother, Lars Jansson, played a big part in drawing the cartoons. Sometimes he did all the drawing, when his sister was swamped with other passions and duties.

biographical novel Sculptor’s Daughter and went on for decades, and the grownup novelist wrote perceptive stories about people and their complicated relationships. Ateneum’s exhibition covers all the periods in Jansson’s productive career, including her Surrealist paintings of the

1930s, Modernist art of the 1950s, and more abstract works in the 1960s and ’70s, as well as her satirical anti-war illustrations for the magazine Garm, her monumental paintings for public spaces, and, of course, her enormously popular and internationally renowned Moomin characters and stories.

Books: Tove Jansson: Life, Art, Work – biography by Boel Westin, Jan 2014 (Sort of Books) Tove Jansson, Labora et amare – biography by Tuula Karjalainen, 2014 (Penguin)

Major centenary exhibition: Ateneum Art Museum: Tove Jansson, 14 Mar – 7 Sep, ateneum.fi

Hand-drawn animated film: Moomins on the Riviera 2014, Handle Productions Oy, moominsontheriviera.com

Cartoon Digital: A top-level seminar about the latest developments in digital animation and entertainment for connected screens, 5-6 May, Helsinki, www.cartoon-media.eu/ cartoon-masters/cartoon-digital

For more information, please visit: tove100.com and 100vuotta.finnanimation.fi

Full life, love and art Tove Jansson lived in her beloved painting studio in the centre of Helsinki, but also spent as much time as possible at Klovharu, a modest cottage on a tiny islet in the Gulf of Finland. She also travelled the world with her life partner, Tuulikki Pietilä, or ‘Tooti’ (1917-2009), and some endearing moments were captured on their 8-millimetre films, as the artist, full of joy, jumped around. Fortunately, these films were saved and later published in DVD format. But the Moomin cartoons and animations were only one side of Tove Jansson’s persona. Already as a young art student, she was a gifted painter. She also created illustrations, graphic prints and public works from murals to mosaics. Her writing career started in 1968 with the auto-

TOP: Tove Jansson, the ambassador of fun, freedom and open-mindedness (b/w photo) ©Moomin CharactersTM. MIDDLE: Tove Jansson in her studio. Photo: Per Olov Jansson ©Moomin CharactersTM. BOTTOM: The Moomins will party hard on the Riviera this autumn. Moomins on the Riviera (movie) ©Handle Productions Oy & Pictak Cie ©Moomin CharactersTM.

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LEFT: Paavo Arhinmäki, Finland’s Minister for Culture and Sports.

mote and foster a versatile range of art and culture happenings of high quality across the whole country, catering to the whole family. Your place of residence, income level and social status should not be a barrier to participating in these activities. To mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Tove Jansson, the mother of the internationally-renowned Moomin characters, all sorts of celebrations and events will take place this year, including the centenary exhibition at the Ateneum Art Museum in the heart of Helsinki (read more on p. 70-71).

Art flourishes on bright summer nights You have probably heard of the summer nights in Finland, when the sun never sets. During these luminous nights, the normally quiet and reserved Finnish population transforms into fun-loving extroverts. Here are some must-try experiences if you wish to see how exotic a nightless night can be.

The Moomins represent a complete philosophy of life for adults and children alike, and you can experience Moomin life in the idyllic town Naantali’s Moomin World or in Moomin Valley at the Art Museum of Tampere. On the same trip, why not visit the Naantali Music Festival, which, this summer, treats music lovers to top chamber music performances in Naantali and the surrounding archipelago for the 35th time? The world-class Savonlinna Opera Festival is set in Olavinlinna Castle, the world’s northernmost medieval castle, while at Ilmajoki Music Festival, the opera performances are held by the river.

By Paavo Arhinmäki, Minister for Culture and Sports, Finland

The midnight sun in northern Lapland really is incredible. Every year, Sodankylä, a small place a thousand kilometres north of Helsinki, hosts an international film festival. When you leave the cinema in the middle of the night after a film, you have to put your sunglasses on because the summer sun is so bright. Did you know that Ruisrock, a rock festival held on the island of Ruissalo outside Turku in Finland every year, is the second longest-standing in Europe? One of the concert stages is situated right by the sea, facing a narrow strait that is a major sea route between Finland and Sweden. Oc-

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casionally, foreign bands on stage stop playing in awe when huge multi-storey ferries sail right past the shoreline. Summer theatres are another Finnish curiosity. While theatres close for the summer and the staff take holidays, many actors carry on working in theatres erected outdoors. The programmes at these theatres differ from the usual in that there is a lot of comedy and farce, including plenty of amateur performances. Finland’s Ministry of Education and Culture gives financial support to countless art and culture events. Our aim is to pro-

Also take the chance to appreciate a wellestablished Art Festival, one of our most prestigious summer exhibitions in contemporary art, in the small town of Mänttä. This year is particularly interesting as a brand new museum of contemporary art, an extension of the Serlachius Museums, will be inaugurated. Come and delight in a unique summer experience in Finland!

For more information, please visit: www.festivals.fi


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LEFT: Tove Jansson swimming (Photo: Tove100.com). MIDDLE TOP: Hietalahti Market Hall (Photo: Visit Finland). BELOW: Fresh Finnish food (Photo: Visit Finland). RIGHT AND BOTTOM: Midnight Sun Film Festival (Photo: Midnight Sun Film Festival).

Three reasons to visit Finland in 2014 By Visit Finland

Finland is well-known for its untouched, pure nature, the one and only Santa Claus, and iconic, timeless design.

Jansson-oriented tours for visitors around the old coastal town of Porvoo. The Finnish food scene

These are three reasons to visit the Land of a Thousand Lakes – but here are three more, specific to the year 2014. Tove Jansson and the Moomins The white, hippo-like Moomins are probably the most-known and most-adored Finnish creatures of all time. They came to life in the 1940s and 50s when Swedishspeaking author and artist Tove Jansson made her first Moomin book and comics. Tove Jansson was born in 1914, and 2014 celebrates the 100th anniversary of her birth. This year will see Moomin-related activities popping up all over the country and beyond its borders. One of the most exciting happenings is the Finnish National Gallery Ateneum’s major centenary exhibition, presenting Jansson’s impressive career. Another great experience is the

Today’s Finnish food scene is cutting-edge and ever-changing. Pop-up restaurants and the Restaurant Day phenomenon, known across the globe, are both brainchildren of Helsinki-based food enthusiasts and a whole new generation of chefs. Their latest invention is Helsinki Street Food Festival, which sees the capital’s coolest culture districts change into street food hubs. While Finnish food itself is all about local, seasonal, wild and fresh, with game, fish, mushrooms and berries at the heart of it all, these innovative food events embrace all culinary cultures and tastes of the globe.

tural activities can be mind-blowing. One such event is the legendary Midnight Sun Film Festival in Finnish Lapland. Owned and established by the famous film director brothers Aki and Mika Kaurismäki, the event hosts a breathtakingly vast array of films, shown around the clock. To top it off, 2014 is a jubilee year for Finnish animation, and exhibitions and screenings will take place throughout the year from Helsinki to Rovaniemi.

Midnight Sun Film Festival While Finnish summer is in itself an experience (in the northernmost parts of the country the sun does not set at all for 70 consecutive days), combining the phenomenon of the midnight sun with cul-

For more information, please visit: www.visitfinland.com www.tove100.com streathelsinki.com/en www.msfilmfestival.fi

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Al di Meola plays The Beatles and more at Tampere Guitar Festival.

Can you festival? On the map of Finland, the Pirkanmaa region is the pocket on the Finnish maid’s dress. In this pocket, you will find a treasury of festivals: poetry, music, art, playfulness and natural beauty. Summertime by the lake or hot spices in the city – it is all there for you to choose from. And in the autumn, when the evenings get dark, it is time to get indoors, get together and just enjoy. By Taina Värri | Press Photos

STRINGS ATTACHED Al Di Meola plays The Beatles & more, 31 May – 8 June Acoustic guitar music lovers will have a great start of the summer during the first week of June at Tampere Guitar Festival. The happening will sport guitar classes, workshops and church concerts along with networking, camps and sales

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events in seven municipalities across Tampere. Tampere Guitar Show is a two-day sales show at the Tampere Hall, which is also the venue for the Momentous Concerts. Guitar Camp in Ylöjärvi offers professionally-guided lessons to amateur guitarists and chamber orchestras, for both adults and children over 11 years.

The acoustic guitar music includes a wide range of styles: from classical to flamenco, fado, Argentinean tango and Brazilian choro. The festival concerts are designed for different tastes and the performers represent the top of their league. Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the festival’s live stage will be taken by one of the most prominent fusion guitarists, Al di Meola, and his trio, together with a string quartet. This guitar master has an illustrious history with the likes of Paco de Lucia, John McLaughlin, Stanley Clarke and Chick Corea. The Al Di Meola plays Beatles & more project is the maestro’s lifelong dream coming true.

www.tgf.fi


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Also available Guitar Train from Helsinki P119; package for four P109/person; with buffet, P149, for four P139/person. Hotel packages from P188. A 10th Anniversary Buffet will be served before the concert in Tampere Hall. PLAYTIME Annikki OFF, 4-6 June Annikki Poetry Festival, 7 June Annikki Poetry Festival in Tampere takes fresh views on poetry and puts together surprising combinations of performers, redefining the boundaries of poetry events. It is a non-profit event, run by volunteers, and takes place in a quarter of old wooden residential buildings in Annikinkatu (Annikki Street). The 100-year-old houses were in bad shape, but the tenants loved the place and the community feel, took initiative and after some hair-raising turns managed to save them from the bulldozers. The houses and homes are fine now and the Poetry Festival, the foremost in Finland, now celebrates 10 years.

brave selection of contemporary art, Mänttä is seen as a beacon for the state of the contemporary art scene in Finland. A new curator every year keeps the festival alive and surprising. There are no compromises – only one personal vision. The main focus at this summer’s Mänttä Art Festival is in seizing the moment, and one way of doing the carpe diem thing is to go travelling. In and around the Pekilo Art Center, artists will observe moments, create and immortalise them. Performances and poetry collide with visual arts; the visitor will be taken from the Antarctica to Burma and from the rhythms of Jamaica to the coolness of Norway’s Lofoten archipelago. Mysterious trips to the land of coffee and the borders of death are also on the itinerary. A boat, made from recycled materials, will be sailing between Tampere and Vilppula.

Through this work, three environmentallyconscious artists explore life as lake district nomads and comment on the state of the Baltic Sea. Kaarina Kaikkonen, a Finnish artist who creates touching installations using old clothes, will collect shirts and coats from the people of Mänttä and use the old church wall as her canvas.

www.mantankuvataideviikot.fi NINO ROTA MEETS THE ACCORDION Sata-Häme Soi Accordion Festival, Ikaalinen 1-6 July The accordion reflects the Finnish soul, creating happiness, joy, and good ambience. Founded in 1972, the annual SataHäme Soi International Accordion Festival embraces the art of the instrument. Think hip hop, pop, jazz and rock, classical, modern and world music. Did we miss something? If so, it will probably be cov-

Jenni Haukio, the First Lady of Finland, was the patron of the festival in 2013 with Earth as the main theme. This year, the theme is Playtime: joy, humour and experimentation. The pre-festival, Annikki OFF, sprawls around the city offering dozens of cultural events put together by independent event organisers. The Annikki festival’s focus is still on poetry, but it has expanded to include prose, music and visual arts. This year, Finnish performers alongside visiting international guests such as Hasso Krull (Estonia), Ron Whitehead (USA), Gerður Kristný (Iceland) and Henry Bowers (Sweden) provide a rich combination. There will also be a lot of special events for children.

www.annikinkatu.net/runofestivaali JUST A MOMENT! Mänttä Art Festival, 15 June – 31 August The festival started with volunteers in 1993 and has since grown to an event with 10,000 visitors. Known for its bold and

LEFT: A live performance at the Annikki Poetry Festival in Tampere (Photo: Ville Koivisto). TOP RIGHT: Sata-Häme Soi Accordion Festival (Photo: Minna Plihtari). BOTTOM RIGHT: Visitors will be taken on a journey from the Antarctica to Burma at the Mantta Art Festival (Photo: Pekka Niskanen).

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from this year onwards. Due to the new location, this year the festival is held in August instead of July. The five-day festival hosts ten concerts. The last one will present Paul Lewis (UK), who as a top performer follows earlier years’ guest stars Cyprien Katsaris and Marc-André Hamelin. Opening the festival are Anna Vinnitskaya (Russia), the winner of the 2007 Queen Elisabeth piano competition, Laura Mikkola (Finland), and Slawomir Zubrzycki (Poland). The latter plays the viola organista, inspired by the drawings of Leonardo da Vinci. Mänttä Music Festival brings several international masters to the stage, but there is also a strong emphasis on promoting and supporting young, talented Finnish pianists. After all, these gifted musicians were the ones who founded the festival in 1999.

www.mantanmusiikkijuhlat.fi www.serlachius.fi/en

TOP: Paul Lewis (UK) will headline the Mänttä Music Festival (Photo: Josep Molina/Harmonia Mundi). BELOW LEFT: The youngest and hottest festival of the Pirkanmaa region is Chilifest Finland. RIGHT: Anna Vinnitskaya (Russia), winner of the 2007 Queen Elisabeth piano competition (Photo: Gela Megrelidze).

ered in Ikaalinen. Add summer, add lake and there you go: a perfect festival. The happening takes place during the first week of July in the town of Ikaalinen, just one hour’s bus ride from Tampere and three hours from Helsinki. The major highlights of the festival will be the Golden Accordion Award (held since 1983), the Silver Accordion Award for children (since 1986) and the Primus Ikaalinen International Accordion Competition (since 2005), as well as dancing and getting together with like-minded people – usually around 30,000 of them. Every year, individuals, whole families and sport club members serve the festival in capacity of volunteers for the joy of hearing music and meeting friends, old and new. You never know: you could end up jamming with a lively Romani band during the bus ride from the airport...

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The highlight this year will be worldfamous French-Italian Richard Galliano with his orchestra playing Nino Rota’s soulful movie themes.

RED HOT AUGUSTO Chilifest Finland, 15-17 August The youngest and hottest festival of the Pirkanmaa region is Chilifest Finland, dedicated to, well, chilli peppers. The festival is free and suitable for the whole family, from babies to grannies. This one and only Finnish chilli festival was born in 2010 and gathered 8,000 visitors in its first year.

www.satahamesoi.fi BLACK AND WHITE KEYS TO YOUR HEART Mänttä Music Festival, 6-10 August The only international annual piano music festival in Finland brings together top names in the realm of piano music as well as domestic stars and young talents. In addition to piano concerts, the programme includes a children’s concert, an entertainment evening at Klubi with surprise artists, and a free-admission programme. The brand new Gösta’s Pavilion, designed by Spanish MX_SI architecture studio, will serve as the main venue of the festival

Now situated in the very heart of Tampere, it has grown into a fiesta of nearly 28,000 visitors, many of who wish to see and taste new hot stuff and test their limits with chilli foods and other chilli pepper products, from seeds to ice cream and cider. It will come as no surprise that the land of competitive sauna bathing is also home to the Naga Morich Chili Eating World Championships. It has already become a tradition, fulfilling the expectations of suspense and drama, fire and pain associated with chilli peppers. There are, however, thousands of different chillies: some that will make smoke come


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out of your ears, yes, but also milder, mellow types. Garlic is also invited to join the party, so there will be quite a rush of sensual experiences among the BBQ stands. The most recent addition to Chilifest Finland’s programme is Chilirock, introducing young talents along with well-known Finnish artists. Outdoor concerts combined with a picnic? Not a bad idea. Chilifest Finland 2014 will be sizzling all over Keskustori, Tampere. Since the square is located in the very heart of Tampere, it is easy to access from everywhere.

www.chilifest.fi SOLIDARITY THROUGH DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHY Backlight Photo Festival, 5 Sep 2014 – 4 Jan 2015

forms a new, unique entity, with social themes, a new, innovative structure, and challenging content. This year, five photographers from the Middle East have been invited to exhibit their work as part of Backlight’s theme at the Tampere Art Museum. Curated exhibitions from nearly 700 submissions from over 60 countries will be shown in galleries and public spaces around the Tampere region. On the jury judging the open-call submissions are Tuula Alajoki (Finland), Miha Colner (Slovenia), Anahita Ghabaian Etehadieh (Iran) and Issa Touma (Syria). During the festival, Backlight 2014 organises a symposium, workshops, seminars and a portfolio review in collaboration with Backlight’s local and international partners. The main language of the festival is English.

well as intimate club sessions until the small hours of the night. The main venue, the Old Custom’s House at the heart of the city, plays its part in creating the warm atmosphere with its red brick walls. The festival started in 1982 and has grown significantly since. The uncompromising focus on the selection of music has created a trust in the quality of the programme and keeps people coming back year after year, even if they are not familiar with the artists beforehand. The late club concerts are now also tempting younger audiences. Tampere Jazz Happening provides a convenient and hospitable melting pot for musicians, producers, event organisers and journalists in the backstage area, where discussions flow and new connections are made.

www.backlight.fi September 2014 will see the international triennial in photography for the tenth time in Tampere and Valkeakoski. The theme of Backlight 2014 explores the tensions between individuals, communities and societies and the forces that both unite and separate us: trust, love, fear, addiction, hope, suspicion, values, isolation, religion, poverty, shared history, self-indulgence, sense of safety, money, desperation... Themes focus on the phenomena of people’s solidarity (and the lack thereof), incorporating individual as well as collective responsibility. How do we picture trust and confidence in a world that mainly seems to value money and power? How are these issues represented through contemporary photography? Photographic Centre Nykyaika started the festival in 1987, and in 1999 the event was given the name Backlight. Backlight has exhibited more than 200 artists of at least 30 different nationalities in the Tampere region and internationally. The festival is rooted in documentary photography and open to innovative concepts and approaches extending and updating culturally-rooted perspectives on reality. Themes about migration, laughter, childhood and identities have been in the spotlight at earlier festivals. Each Backlight

WELCOME TO THE JAZZ CLUB. NICE! Tampere Jazz Happening, 30 Oct – 2 Nov The international programme of Tampere Jazz Happening, known for its warm atmosphere and open-minded approach to modern jazz, brings together the top names and future trend-setters of modern jazz. The most current Finnish performers and international top artists play and improvise in the festival’s concert halls as

The complete festival programme will be published in September. Once again, the festival promises a crowd of international stars, promising new talents and the most interesting performers of the Finnish jazz scene.

www.tamperemusicfestivals.fi/jazz

For more information, please visit: www.pirfest.fi

TOP LEFT: The theme of Backlight 2014 explores the tensions between individuals, communities and societies (Photo: Gohar Dashti/Iran). BELOW AND RIGHT: Tampere Jazz Happening brings together the top names and future trend-setters of modern jazz (Photos: Photo Maarit Kytoharju).

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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Cultural Finland Left: The Finnish group Värttinä. Right: A live performance on the kantele.

Authentic folk music by the Russian border If you wish to experience something authentic, come to Sommelo Ethno Music Festival in Kainuu. At the height of the summer you can enjoy international folk music stars and genuine local performers in the pristine nature on both sides of the Finnish-Russian border. By Mia Halonen | Press Photos

The Kainuu region in the north-east of Finland is one of the very few remaining places in Europe where you can truly experience the sounds of the nature without noise pollution. It is also a region with a long, uninterrupted tra-

dition of runo singing: for thousands of years, people told stories and shared their understanding of the world by singing and chanting. With literary culture, that tradition died long ago in most places in the western world, but in

The roots of pop and rock: BRQ Festival is a triumph of baroque The baroque era has greatly impacted on popular artists such as The Beatles and The Beach Boys. BRQ Vantaa Festival aims to celebrate this influence and the unifying power of baroque music. By Tuomo Paananen | Photos: Katri Somerjoki

BRQ Vantaa Festival takes place in the breathtakingly beautiful neo-gothic surroundings of the St. Lawrence Church of Vantaa, Finland. The festival offers a vast variety of compositions from the 13th century to the present day, with a particular focus on authentic style instruments from the baroque period, dating between the years 1650 and 1750.

“Authentic pieces of gear are preferred by many listeners. This goes for every kind of music; for example, tributes to Jimi Hendrix work best played through vacuum tube amplifiers,” says the artistic director of the festival, Markku Luolajan-Mikkola. “At BRQ you will also hear contemporary compositions made for baroque instruments. The audience can associate BRQ

Markku Luolajan-Mikkola Photo: Marco Borggreven

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Kainuu and in Viena Carelia on the Russian side of the border the oral tradition of runo songs is still alive and well, as is the use of the ancient instrument kantele. This is the scenery of the Finnish national epic, Kalevala. This summer, a wonderful opportunity to hear the runo singing, along with a versatile selection of other traditional and modern folk music, is on offer at the ninth Sommelo Ethno Music Festival on 2-6 July. This very special festival includes concerts, courses and seminars in several locations in both the Finnish Kainuu region and Viena Carelia in Russia. “They are genuine, living Carelian villages, not some movie sets,” reminds Pekka Huttu-Hiltunen, the chairman of the Pro Sommelo organisation. “The atmosphere at the festival is always wonderful.” Celebrated Finnish group Värttinä will perform in Kuhmo, as will the world-famous American Ruthie Dornfeld Trio. Maybe you will also get to hear the next big thing on the ethno music scene in the greenery of Kainuu? For more information, please visit: www.sommelo.net

with anything freely. We give the artists the freedom to perform how they wish and the listener the chance to enjoy music without constraints.” Baroque music has also had a great effect on popular music. In the 1960s, The Beatles and The Beach Boys were the top names of the ‘baroque pop’ wave, utilising instruments such as harpsichord and zither on their albums. “Every era comprises splendid compositions, but it was during baroque that the rules of western music were developed, including tonality and melody structures.” The festival will showcase the top performers of the country, as well as a selection of artists from outside of Finland. “Baroque has influenced everywhere. It is an easy and universal gateway to classical music, and we have a great diversity of performances for everyone from advanced listeners to children. We avoid using the same compositions over and over again to show that there still are unexplored unique experiences.”

This year, BRQ Vantaa Festival takes place 3-10 August at St. Lawrence Church of Vantaa in Finland. Tickets are available at www.brq.fi.


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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Cultural Finland

TOP LEFT: Toronto Symphony Orchestra (Photo: Sian Richards). BELOW: Inside Huvila Tent (Photo: Simo Karisalo). RIGHT: Cirque Eloize (Photo: Valerie Remise). BOTTOM RIGHT: Night Of The Arts (Photo: Saara Kähönen).

Circus, music and dance The Helsinki Festival is the largest multi-arts event in Finland. It is organised annually by the city of Helsinki and was established in its current form in 1968, attracting over 200,000 visitors every year.

book to see events they have never seen or heard before, we have a sort of ‘quality stamp’ – people trust us to provide acts of a high standard,” says Koskimies.

By Ndéla Faye | Photos: Helsinki Festival

The Helsinki Festival offers a range of events, including music, theatre, art exhibitions, circus, film, dance and children’s performances. “We aim to offer something for everyone and have a huge repertoire of different kinds of events, including a number of free events,” says Sini Koskimies, the festival’s press officer. This year, the festival runs 15-31 August with over 70 events happening around Helsinki. In addition to big names, the Helsinki Festival has featured many rising stars. The Huvila Festival tent, erected in a Helsinki park, hosts several well-known artists each year, ranging from pop to rock, world music to jazz. Big names have included Lou Reed, Allen Toussaint and Yoko Ono. One of the main events of the festival is The Night of the Arts, which comprises a

number of free events and performances throughout the night, the streets and parks of Helsinki coming alive with a range of performances. The events are held in art galleries, book shops, cafés and museums, many of them staying open throughout the night.

This year’s full events line-up will be announced on 24 April.

This year, there is a lot of excitement surrounding the home-grown contemporary circus act, the Race Horse Company. Among the international performers, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra has been confirmed as one of this year’s performers. The Helsinki Festival is one of the main events of the summer, and its popularity is ever-growing. “For many, the Helsinki Festival is a last celebration before the summer ends. People come back and

For more information, please visit: www.helsinginjuhlaviikot.fi/en

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Photo: Riina Aarrekorpi

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Cultural Finland

Turku with its beautiful archipelago is a place where locals and tourists enjoy the long, bright summer nights together.

City culture in the arms of the archipelago Versatile Turku offers both city culture and island hopping in beautiful seaside nature with more than 20,000 islands. By Christina Toimela | Press Photos

Turku is the oldest city and former capital of Finland (during Swedish rule), situated on the southwest coast of Finland. Pargas, the gateway to Turku Archipelago and Scandinavian Islands is the only city in Finland surrounded by water across all its borders. These two cities, 23 kilometres apart, are connected by two ring roads leading from Pargas to Turku, as well as ferries. The Archipelago trail is 250 kilometres long and the Archipelago short-cut used for day trips is 100 kilometres long. “The best way to do your island hopping is by bike. The ferries always have space for a leisure bike, whereas a camping car may have to wait for the next ferry,” says tourism director for Turku Archipelago, Martti Nilsson, who is passionate about leisure cycling. He has been promoting the route, originally built to serve the local people, for tourists since 2001.

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“The best time for cycling is from mid-May until late August. During spring the water is cold, but the colours of nature are beautiful. The scenery is ever-changing and one village after another provides cyclists with various services.” According to Nilsson, the Baltic Sea is normally calm, but those interested in extreme sports can rest assured that the 3to 4-metre waves further away from the shore are challenging enough even for experienced kayakists. “I went out there very brave and came back very humble, missing my mum,” says the director. Pargas is also known for fresh local food and the new potatoes that come first onto the Finnish market at the end of May. The locals celebrate the crops like the French do their Beaujolais Nouveau, says Martti. Both Pargas and Turku are perfect for business travellers because many differ-

ent tailored packages with leisure activities by the sea can be organised. Lotta Bäck, international marketing manager of Turku Touring, sums up the destination as a “funky university city by the River Aura that turns into a place where locals and tourists enjoy the long bright summer nights together.”

For families with children: Moominworld For sailors: Gangut Regatta 31 July – 3 Aug (with traditional sailing ships) For culture lovers: Museum Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova, Luostarinmäki Handicrafts Museum, Salvador Dali Drive (Pargas) For international congresses: Turku Castle for banquets For rock lovers: Ruisrock, the oldest rock festival in the Nordics For sports fanatics: Paavo Nurmi Games, 25 June, and Paavo Nurmi Marathon, 28 June For foodies: Market Hall, Turku Food Walk, Baltic Herring Market, 23-26 Oct

For more information, please visit: www.visitarchipelago.com www.visitturku.fi


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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Cultural Finland

The Hunting Museum of Finland is located in Riihimäki, 40 miles north of Helsinki.

Thrill of the hunt With a tradition lasting for more than 10,000 years, Finland is a nation with one of the strongest hunting cultures in Europe. Approximately 300,000 people own a hunting licence in the country of 5.4 million inhabitants. The collections of The Hunting Museum of Finland offer an explanation as to why hunting is so popular in the north. By Johannes Laitila | Photos: Ilja Koivisto/The Hunting Museum of Finland

“Up until the 1960s, hunting was for many a notable addition in earning one’s living,” says Ilja Koivisto, head of public relations at The Hunting Museum of Finland. “Also, hunting has never been a privilege of the elite here. One hundred years ago it still was everyman’s right.” Nowadays, hunting in Finland is regulated by a licence system, but it still remains a hobby for all social classes.

The Hunting Museum of Finland, located in Riihimäki, 40 miles north of Helsinki, is currently renewing its permanent exhibition. The first part, Thrill of the Hunt, opened last year and gives an overview of modern Finnish hunting, made complete with the newest technology and video documents. “Part of the charm of hunting is the interaction with nature. Then there’s the added ex-

Top-notch singing in Helsinki

citement: will there be prey or not?” Koivisto explains. The second part of the renewed exhibition opened in January, displaying Jaakko Ojanperä’s extraordinary trophy collection of exotic animals from all over the world. A big part of the popularity of hunting of course lies in the sheer fact that Finland is a sparsely populated country with lots of forests. Therefore it is no wonder that hunting also is a defining and meaningful part of social life for many. As Koivisto puts it: “The forest is the opera house of the local people.”

For more information, please visit: www.metsastysmuseo.fi

Julia Lezheva, winner of the 2009 Mirjam Helin Singing Competition

The Mirjam Helin International Singing Competition brings the very best young singers to the capital of Finland every five years. 4-13 August this year, the new Helsinki Music Centre will be filled with future stars and friends of classical music. By Mia Halonen | Photos: Heikki Tuuli

When the world feels cold, take comfort that there is still something warm: on top of being one of the most prestigious competitions out there, the Mirjam Helin International Singing Competition has a reputation for being an extremely warm-hearted event for some of the most talented young singers in the world. Naturally, a competition at this level is very demanding, but it can also be rewarding – both financially and emotionally. “The prizes the winners in both female and male categories get are substantial. But another valuable prize for most singers is to get a positive competition experience and new connections,” says executive director, Marja-Leena Pétas, from the organising Finnish Cultural Foundation. Competitors stay with Finnish host families and get a different kind of view of Helsinki, as well as personal support. “Team spirit is exceptional every time.”

The Mirjam Helin International Singing Competition has also proved to be a gateway to international fame: opera house directors, managers and agents follow top competitions like this closely, so Helsinki can be a starting point for a fantastic career on the classical music scene. This happened, for example, to the Mirjam Helin 1999 winner, Elı¯na Garanˇ ca, and 1989 winners René Pape and Andrea Rost. “The exposure at the competition can certainly open many doors,” says Pétas. You can follow the VII Mirjam Helin Singing Competition anywhere through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE’s live streaming, but why not experience the wonderful spirit of Helsinki in person? For more information, please visit: www.mirjamhelin.fi

Jorma Silvasti, Chairman of the Jury

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Scan Magazine | Hotel of the Month | Finland

Owned in the 1920s by Prince Alexander Oldenburg and his wife, Rantalinna is an old Art Nouveau mansion that still today offers its guests nothing short of a royal treatment.

Hotel of the Month, Finland

A royal holiday Nestled between the tranquil waters of Lake Saimaa and a fragrant pine forest lies Rantalinna, one of Finland’s best-preserved Art Nouveau mansions. Today, this comfortable castle turned hotel welcomes visitors with the perfect mix of friendly service, great cuisine and old world charm. By Joanna Nylund | Photos: Rantalinna

Built in 1912, Rantalinna, which literally means ‘castle on the beach’, is an architectural pearl of the Art Nouveau movement. It has a past that tickles the imagination: in the 1920s, it was owned by Prince Alexander Oldenburg and his wife, who were members of the imperial Romanov family of Russia. They first kept Rantalinna as their summer hideaway and moved there permanently following the revolution. Since their time, Rantalinna has served as a resting home

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and now a hotel. The building is listed and its interiors and furnishings are original. Fit for a prince The royal couple enjoyed their surroundings at Rantalinna. Prince Alexander and his wife, Princess Eugenia of Leuchtenberg, were known for their philantrophy, establishing schools, hospitals, orphanages and other charitable organisations in Russia.

Just like in its golden age, Rantalinna is a popular venue for celebrations and large gatherings. The hotel itself has 13 rooms decorated in typical Art Nouveau style with much of the original furniture, as well as a restaurant seating 70 guests. The cozy, nostalgic atmosphere of the main building is paired with newly-built, state-of-theart accommodation by the beach. Modestly referred to as ‘cottages’, these grand guesthouses feature the best of Nordic design in pure, clean lines and natural wood. It is also possible to rent the entire castle for corporate events, conferences and weddings. In nature’s lap The castle has equally long traditions as a place of recreation and rest. General


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Lehtinen has clearly not tired of the hotel’s peaceful surroundings. “I hear birdsong as I walk to work in the mornings. And sitting in the hot tub under a starry September sky, looking out over the lake… it’s magical.” It should come as no surprise that the plans for Rantalinna involve establishing a spa hotel on the grounds. Built partly into the hill, the buildings will feature separate open-air baths and blend seamlessly with the landscape while offering expansive views of Lake Saimaa. The customer is king

manager Soile Lehtinen describes how the nearness to nature has always shaped life at Rantalinna. “We offer some of the same types of recreation that the Prince and Princess would have enjoyed: fishing, boating, swimming, berry-picking. Paired, of course, with modern-day activities!” Waterskiing and kayaking are popular, and the castle still has its own pier and regularly receives guests by steamboat.

Breathtaking surroundings aside, what matters most at Rantalinna are the people. The hotel attracts a wide range of customers, from retirees seeking peace and quiet to couples and families looking for an activity-filled holiday in beautiful surroundings. “The team of staff shares the same mindset: making every visit so great that people will want to come back,” says Lehtinen. And they do. One of the reasons for this is undoubtedly the Rantalinna customer service, intent on going the extra mile to make visitors happy. Lehtinen tells of arranging faraway outings and fireworks at visitors’ request, but what literally takes the cake is the story of a thirteen-year-old girl in love

with the Moomins who came to celebrate her birthday here. When no Moomin costume could be found to rent, the hotel commissioned one from a local seamstress! The Rantalinna staff is multicultural, ensuring service in a number of languages. This comes in handy also in the hotel restaurant, led by a distinguished chef. Today’s menu is a marriage of classical Russian and Finnish cuisine: plenty of fish, game and traditional dishes, everything locally sourced and grown, and paired with a royally exclusive wine list. “We take extra care to also include dishes that were made here during the castle’s princely era,” says Lehtinen. In tastefully mixing traditions and modernity and serving it all up with plenty of heart, Rantalinna seems to have entered a second golden age.

For more information, please visit: rantalinna.eu

On land there are nature walks and several luxurious saunas to choose from. This tradition harks back to the Prince. “Our pride and joy is the wood-burning sauna, which we leave burning with fragrant birch wood for a whole day before use. In the outdoor terrace kitchen we cook meals for our guests that they can enjoy afterwards in a covered dining area.” Should land and water not be enough, there is now the air as well. In partnership with the local aviation society, Rantalinna offers certificate courses in small-plane piloting.

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Scan Magazine | Hotel of the Month | Norway

The reception is open during working hours, with a 24-hour security line making sure that guests feel safe at all times.

Hotel of the Month, Norway

Exactly what you need With a range of low-cost flights to choose from online, many of us can now afford to travel more. But the price of accommodation can often get in the way of a spontaneous weekend getaway. Luckily, there are alternatives available for those wanting to spend their money on experiences rather than over-priced hotel rooms. In Bergen, that alternative is called Basic Hotels. By Kjersti Westeng | Photos: Basic Hotels

Why pay for more than you need? This was the question that led managing director Mona Sandvik to start her own lowbudget hotel chain in 2011. Basic Hotels are not like other hotels. Instead of paying to have everything included, you pay for what you need – and nothing more. By removing unnecessary elements, Sandvik has managed to offer her customers a place to stay at a far lower price than other hotel chains.

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The rooms are still high-quality hotel rooms, with free high-speed WiFi, a private bathroom, kettle, TV, refrigerator, hairdryer, desk and wardrobe. The idea is that you have everything you need for a comfortable stay, without having to pay for what you might not need, such as a 24hour reception, a breakfast buffet, common areas and daily cleaning of your room. “Basic Hotels are perfect for those who want a nice room in a central location

of Bergen. We offer low prices all through the year,” says Sandvik. Central location The Basic Hotels chain currently consists of three hotels, all located in the heart of Bergen. Basic Hotel Bergen is the newest of the three. It opened in April 2011 and has 43 rooms, all recently renovated with a contemporary design. Located in an area with lots of bars and restaurants, it is a great place to stay when exploring Bergen. Basic Hotel Marken and Basic Hotel Victoria both opened up in January 2011. The latter lies on a quiet street just 100 metres from Bryggen (The German Wharf) and is only open during the summer season. Basic Hotel Marken, on the other hand, is located just 250 metres


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Scan Magazine | Hotel of the Month | Norway

from the train station, offering a total of 5 rooms, some of them family rooms. Guests at Basic Hotel Marken have access to a common room, kitchen and laundry room at the neighbouring hotel, Marken Guesthouse. Better solutions Although Basic Hotels have stripped their hotels of unnecessary elements, guest will never feel like they are missing anything. When arriving at a Basic Hotel you feel instantly welcome, with a comfortable, freshly-made bed in a bright and elegant room with words of wisdom written on the walls. Additional cleaning services, change of towels and bed linen can be ordered, so it is entirely up to each individual guest to determine what he or she wants to pay for. There is a receptionist at the hotel during working hours and a security line open 24 hours a day, so guests feel safe at all times. With no restaurant or breakfast buffet, Basic Hotels instead provide their guests with discounts at restaurants in the area. “Some people think this is a better alternative as they can choose between a range of restaurants instead of having to eat in the same hotel restaurant every day,” says Sandvik. Guests can purchase

Despite their low prices, Basic Hotels offer excellent-quality rooms. Funny quotes or words of wisdom on the wall make guests feel welcome and at home.

breakfast coupons for a nearby hotel or take advantage of the standing offer with Godt Brød, a bakery where Basic Hotel guests can purchase a healthy and tasty breakfast at a lower price. A new trend Sandvik noticed the trend of low-cost hotels in Europe long before she opened Basic Hotels. “There are a number of lowbudget hotel chains in Europe doing very well at the moment. I think a lot of customers are sick and tired of over-paying for a bed to sleep in and take advantage of hotels such as Basic Hotels,” she says. She continues to explain that tourists in Bergen are mostly visiting to see the sights and experience the culture, not to stay in a specific hotel. All they want is a

base: a room in a good location where they can get a good night’s sleep and store their luggage. Saving money on things they might not need seems like the perfect solution, even if it means that they have to leave the hotel for breakfast in the morning. It is safe to say that Basic Hotels have been a success so far, with great feedback from returning customers and the opening of a new Basic Hotel in Bergen in the near future. Sandvik believes that this is just the beginning and will soon look to expand into other locations in the country. For more information, please visit: www.basichotels.no

TOP LEFT: Fløybanen is a funicular taking you up the mountain Fløyen, where you get a stunning view of the city. BELOW: Fisketorget (the fish market) is a popular tourist attraction in Bergen. RIGHT: Bergen is a beautiful city well worth a visit, and this is where Mona Sandvik decided to set up her low-budget hotel chain, Basic Hotels.

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Scan Magazine | Attraction of the Month | Sweden

Attraction of the Month, Sweden

Where fantasy meets reality, signed Astrid Lindgren With an incredible knack for taking the issues closest to our hearts and turning them into magical yet always credible stories, Astrid Lindgren is the most-read children’s author in the world. At Astrid Lindgren’s World, her stories come to life, allowing you to walk right into those picturesque, exciting worlds and shake hands with everyone from Pippi Longstocking to Karlsson on the Roof. By Linnea Dunne | Photos: Astrid Lindgren’s World

Combining fantasy and adventure with a good dose of contemporary history, Astrid Lindgren’s books paint vivid pictures of life in Sweden during the early 1900s. Yet her extraordinary strength was perhaps less in the worlds she described, and more in the emotions she evoked. “She dealt with so many incredibly difficult topics, such as death in The Brothers Lionheart, and she blurred the lines between fantasy and real life,” says Nils-Magnus Angantyr, head of marketing and IT at Astrid Lindgren’s World. But as anyone with experience of reading books for children will know, the author had another invaluable skill. “Reading for children, you always have to stop to ex-

plain a word or two at some point. But not with Astrid’s books. She writes so that children understand. You never have to change the stories and add your own perspective – it’s all her,” Angantyr enthuses. The urge to stay true to Lindgren’s vision has shaped Astrid Lindgren’s World, from the very beginning in 1981, through to 1989 when she gave the theme park permission to use her name and appointed a Programme Committee, and until the present day, the committee still providing advice and ideas on all aspects of the park. Angantyr explains: “Everything from marketing materials to the building of new environments is about what Astrid would have liked. For example, we only sell sou-

venirs in the commercial area. We could make three times what we make if we sold Pippi merchandise at the Villekulla Cottage – but we know that it would interfere with the overall impression.” With regular theatre performances both on stage and in the theme park settings, including everything from Katthult and Matt’s Fort to the Cherry Tree Valley and Noisy Village, visitors are likely to bump into everyone from That Emil to Ronja and Prussiluskan as they explore the environments so familiar from the books – and perhaps this is where the real magic happens: where fantasy meets reality; where Pippi shakes your hand; where Astrid Lindgren’s Sweden is as alive as ever.

Astrid Lindgren’s World in Lindgren’s hometown of Vimmerby covers an area as large as 36 football pitches. Astrid Lindgren’s World has ditched fast food in favour of healthy, Swedish meals made of local produce. Astrid Lindgren’s World is open 16 May to 31 August and on weekends in September, as well as certain weeks in October and November.

For more information, please visit: www.alv.se/en

LEFT: At Astrid Lindgren’s World, the stories and settings from the popular children’s books come to life, and you can explore everything from Villekulla Cottage to Hoppetossa, Pippi’s father’s boat. TOP MIDDLE: Theatre performances take place every day, both on stage and in the settings from the books. Here Rasmus and the Tramp. BELOW: You will bump into familiar characters along the way, including That Emil if you decide to swing by Katthult. RIGHT: The Brothers Lionheart .

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Scan Magazine | Attraction of the Month | Denmark

ABOVE: During the summer peroid, Madsby Legepark is bursting with activities. RIGHT: The large and hugely popular sandpit. BELOW: The kiosk offers a number of delicious treats, including sandwiches and ice cream.

Attraction of the Month, Denmark

Priceless ‘hygge’ in the heart of Denmark Easily accessed from all corners of the country, park and playground Madsby Legepark offers its visitors an array of activities suitable for all ages. Whether you are looking to challenge your family to a game of mini golf, want to take a closer look at the park’s many animals, or simply want to relax and enjoy the scenic surroundings, Madsby Legepark has it all. By Stine Gjevnoe | Photos: Madsby Legepark

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow a mystery, today is a gift – that’s why it’s called the present,” reads a famous old poem, and this feeling of presence is the essence of Madsby Legepark. Situated in Fredericia, a beautiful part of the ‘Destination Lillebælt’ collaboration, Madsby Legepark is an oasis of tranquility and ‘hygge’, where people of all ages can enjoy a rewarding day in the presence of family and friends. The Danish concept of ‘hygge’ is the founding element of Denmark’s biggest playground, located in close proximity to many other popular attractions, including Legoland and Givskud Zoo. “A lot of our visitors come to enjoy a relaxing, inexpensive day with lots of activities for both chil-

dren and adults, after they’ve spent a somewhat overwhelming day at one of the other nearby attractions,” deputy manager Kim Ekstrøm explains. Most activities at Madsby Legepark are completely free and include a sandpit, a Tarzan track, a moon car track, an underground tunnel maze, and a mini zoo, where visitors can feed and pat a number of friendly animals. For a small fee, visitors can also sail around the beautiful lake in little rowing boats, take a trip around the park on a fairytale-like train, or challenge friends and family to a game of mini-golf on the brand new, recently opened track. While the popular playground mostly captures the interest of children and playful

souls, the park’s many walking paths, green spaces, and rental community houses attract visitors of all ages and nationalities. Madsby Legepark accommodates all kinds of occasions: be it a family reunion, a birthday party or even a business event. Last year more than 300,000 people visited the park, where Danish culture and togetherness is paramount. “While the fun might be free, experiencing Danish ‘hygge’ with your family is priceless,” Ekstrøm concludes.

For more information, please visit: www.madsbylegepark.dk

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Scan Magazine | Attraction of the Month | Norway

Attraction of the Month, Norway

A southern sanctuary for mind, body and soul When was the last time you spoiled yourself with a facial treatment or massage? We thought so. Then why not combine an energetic workout session or swim with some well-deserved moments of pure pampering, offering a relaxing escape from everyday stress and worries? It is all available in top-quality facilities right on the doorstep of one of Norway’s most beautiful coastal towns.

waterpark for the youngest as well as leading-edge competition pools for competitive swimmers. Hægeland reveals that many athletes have set their personal best in the Aquarama pools, a telling trait of the centre’s commitment to quality.

By Julie Lindén | Photos: Aquarama

“Our gym floor is absolutely amazing, with a stunning view of the ocean,” says Hanne Slyngstad-Hægeland, head of communications at Aquarama. “You can run on your treadmill and see all the way to Denmark. Now that is quite tough to beat!” Downtime in the south Indeed it is. Aquarama, a multi-purpose activity centre located along the very coastline of Kristiansand in southern Nor-

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way, is only a year old and boasts one of the largest facilities of its kind in the country. Over three floors, visitors can frolic in a multitude of swimming pools, enjoy some relaxing downtime in the state-ofthe-art spa and opt for a physical challenge in the modern gym – fully equipped with a view to be remembered.

“We want to be much more than a communal swimming pool, offering the best for children, families and professional swimmers alike. It’s important to us that we appeal to a healthy and active everyday lifestyle, no matter what age group or proficiency level you belong to,” Hægeland says. Caring for quality – and for you

The swimming pools come in a multitude of variants, offering splashy fun in the

Similarly, Aquarama has set a goal to take great care of all visitors and meet their in-


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Scan Magazine | Attraction of the Month | Norway

dividual needs – from school children taking their first swimming strokes to mothers and fathers in need of a good day’s rest. Perfect then, that the Aquarama day spa is only a mere slipper walk away from the pools – and that the Scandic Kristiansand Bystranda hotel is conveniently located next door. What better way of completing a day of activities than being pampered and getting a good night’s sleep? Offering treatments for mind, body and soul in separate treatment rooms as well as a special section with saunas ranging from the conventional to eucalyptusinfused, the second floor of Aquarama Kristiansand is the perfect place to let go of stress and tensions. Try a full-body massage and facial, including time in a post-treatment relaxation space enjoying delicious meals served at your convenience. “Our spa is easily southern Norway’s richest and most copious when it comes to a good range of offers. We are also unique in the way we combine these treatments with the rest of the activity centre. Our aim for both tourists and locals is that they can use the gym or take their family to the water slides for the first part of the day, and then opt for a relaxing afternoon with a facial or some time in the spa sauna,” says Hægeland.

Aquarama boasts pools for all types of activities and proficiency levels, from a waterpark for children to a topquality competition pool for professionals, many of whom have set their personal bests here.

further in order to reach your personal fitness goals. And, as already pointed out by Hægeland, your sessions will be accompanied by a stunning view of one of Norway’s most spectacular coastlines. No bad way to spend your free time – and improve your physical stamina. “Consistency is key when talking about workouts of any kind,” Hægeland says. “By investing in appealing interiors, clever architecture and state-of-the-art equipment and group sessions, I think we have made it interesting and fun for our visitors to take that trip down to the gym a couple of times a week.” All guests at Scandic Kristiansand Bystranda hotel have free access to the

Aquarama gym, allowing visitors to maintain their preferred workout schedule also while away from home. In addition, Aquarama’s vast outdoor area invites its guests to enjoy the beautiful spring and summer seasons in spectacular Norwegian nature, whether it is for a walk in the sun or a swim in the heated outdoor pool. “Ours is a new, modern facility that goes unmatched in Norway. The lovely town of Kristiansand combined with the active lifestyle of Aquarama – it’s definitely a win-win for all,” Hægeland says.

For more information, please visit: www.aquarama.no

She insists that the most important notion is that the entirety of the Aquarama experience reflects a healthy lifestyle, acknowledging that a lavish bathrobe and comfortable slippers never hurt. “We want our visitors to enjoy the luxurious feeling that the spa gives, but more so realise that these treatments have a real effect on everyday health and wellness,” she explains. “I think that is the main reason why our visitors are so happy, and keep coming back to make use of our facilities.” A healthy challenge on top of the world The top floor of Aquarama is the health aficionado’s paradise. Offering a dense schedule of lively and stimulating gym classes along with both strength- and endurance-training spaces, there is no doubt this gym will push you that little bit

In addition to fun in the water, Aquarama offers spa treatments for mind, body and soul, as well as a state-ofthe-art gym, a selection of exercise classes, and immediate access to spectacular Norwegian nature.

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Scan Magazine | Restaurant of the Month | Norway

With an illustrious collection of awards between them, the chefs at Spiseriet promise to serve up a feast of food and drinks that play together – even when the concert hall is in fact free from music.

Restaurant of the Month, Norway

Unforgettable culinary experiences Described as one of the most exciting restaurants in Stavanger, Spiseriet is located on the first floor of Stavanger Concert Hall. With an exciting menu, excellent service and a stunning view, the restaurant is more than worthy of a visit – even when music is not on the menu. By Kjersti Westeng | Photos: Spiseriet

“Established by professionals, developed by foodies, run by experts and open for everyone.” This was the motto when Spiseriet first opened its doors in September 2012. 18 months later, the team looks back at a fantastic first year with thousands of satisfied guests and amazing reviews. “Spiseriet is a restaurant for everyone. We work very hard every day to provide our guests with exciting culinary

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experiences and great service,” says operations manager Raymond Helland. Where everyone fits in Spiseriet is located at Bjergsted, just a few minutes’ walk from the centre of Stavanger. The elegant, contemporary interior is complemented by a fantastic view of the sea. During the warm summer months guests can sit outside and enjoy

the fresh sea breeze while watching cruise ships come to shore. Inspired by cuisines from around the world, the chefs at Spiseriet are known for being creative when compiling a new menu every other week, without being too advanced. The focus is not on making the food look exclusive or sound impressive; the focus is on the taste. “We always try to use local produce, but due to our seasonal menu we sometimes have to travel to other parts of Norway to get the very best products. Guests should always recognise the food they are eating, both in flavour and appearance, which is why we always make sure to maintain the natural


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Scan Magazine | Restaurant of the Month | Norway

flavours,” says Helland, explaining that although Spiseriet is a casual fine dining restaurant, it is a place where everyone fits in. It is somewhere you can go with friends, your partner or just by yourself. It is a restaurant you can go to celebrate something, to see an important client or to simply enjoy some fantastic food on a regular Tuesday night. Whatever the company or the occasion, Spiseriet will always make you feel welcome. Award-winning chefs A total of nine chefs work at Spiseriet, led by head chef Andreas Myhrvold, an awardwinning chef with years of industry experience. Andreas has won gold in both the Culinary Olympics and the World Food Championships with the Norwegian Culinary team, in addition to securing a bronze in the Chicago Culinary Classic with the junior team. Working alongside him are sous chefs Christian André Pettersen and André H. Slettevold. Pettersen has had a very impressive career so far and won a number of titles with the Norwegian Culinary junior team, such as Nordic Chef in 2012, the Norwegian Food Championships in 2011, and Seafood Chef of the Year 2013.

LEFT: Spiseriet caters for all of Stavanger Concert Hall’s events, regardless of the location. This image was taken during Spellemannsprisen 2013, when Spiseriet catered for over 2,000 guests. TOP RIGHT: Head Chef Andreas Myhrvold. RIGHT: Sous Chef Christian Pettersen.

Creative menu Spiseriet is open for lunch from Monday to Saturday and has become a popular destination for the many businesses nearby. The à la carte lunch menu offers a variety of choices, from the very popular green curry with Atlantic halibut to pasta, soup and entrecôte. They also serve Norwegian ‘lefse’, a traditional, soft flatbread, with various toppings such as salmon, Parma ham, prawns and veal. From Tuesday to Saturday, Spiseriet is open for dinner. Although often combined with an evening of music at Stavanger Concert Hall, a number of people visit Spiseriet solely for the food and wine. Guests can choose from a seasonal menu of two, three or four courses, or go for ‘the full package’, which is a five-course meal plus three extra tasters with wine. The menu also offers a surprise option, where you choose between fish and meat. “If you ask you can find out what type of meat or

fish the chefs are using, but not how it’s prepared or what it comes with. The rest is a surprise – but luckily a good one,” says Helland. A promising future Helland continues to explain that the restaurant has received a lot of positive feedback, from both guests and restaurant critics, which only inspires them to work harder. “We will continue to work hard to create memorable experiences for our guests and are excited to see what

2014 has to offer,” he says. The people of Stavanger certainly seem to agree with him. In the words of Stavanger Aftenblad’s food critic: “Make your way to Bjergsted even when music is not on the menu. The food and drinks play excellently on their own.”

For more information, please visit: www.spiseriet.no www.facebook.com/restaurant.spiseriet

Issue 63 | April 2014 | 91


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Scan Magazine | Business | Column

Scan Business Columns 92 | News 95 | Feature: Panda 96 | Business Calendar 97

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Keep it simple I bet that in your industry, as in mine, there is a clamour for the ‘latest’ thing, the big idea that will transform challenges into opportunities and remove the need for hard work. This Holy Grail is bought and sold in many fields, from self-help to management and leadership: a new acquisition, a new Performance Management system, or simply a new 4-box model might help us to achieve our goals. The disappointment for those seeking short-cuts to improvement is obvious. The tool itself often takes the blame for lower-than-expected results and so we seek out the next ‘big thing’. One of the lessons I have learnt is that there are rarely short-cuts to improvement; most success comes from doing ‘old things’ well and persevering. These are not the words of a Luddite: I embrace new technologies where relevant but most human systems are hard to change. If change is to be successful, it comes about because of hard work and deliberate practice: not just mindless repetition, but rather the mindful attempt to achieve a goal, the awareness of what you did to achieve said goal, and the willingness to experiment until the goal is reached. Last week, I was working with a global client who has embraced technology in

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learning and focused on trying to develop most leadership competencies on the job. Their workshops act as a pit stop and check-in rather than focusing on new learning. This is cutting edge in concept, but in reality the participants are incredibly busy senior managers who only give 100 per cent of their attention to the faceto-face sessions. When physically in a room with peers and coaches, their attention is fully on learning. In the workplace, there are so many competing commitments that the learning agenda becomes subsumed under a raft of other priorities. As with much e-learning and self-directed learning, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Another of my clients is working with a trusted Mannaz advisor on a programme that is low-tech in many ways, but the impact so far is measurable and impressive. The CEO of a part of a famous Scandinavian business has asked us to help reenergise the management team as the company moves from survival mode into growth. We have a year-long commitment to work directly with the top two levels of management. Our approach is actionbased and each participant is working on a real project, directly linked to the corporate strategy, whilst receiving one-toone coaching between workshops to cover

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specific challenges faced. The impact is palpable in terms of real-world results, yet the tools would be familiar to Aristotle: a highly skilled consultant, who listens, challenges and supports a team of people who have learnt to coach each other and to be open and honest together. As you consider how best to achieve your goals, keep it simple and expect hard work. I want my surgeon to use the very best tools available to her, but in areas of human behaviour, the tools may be more sophisticated than we need. Ultimately, it is the confidence and competence of the surgeon that matters; the tools can only multiply the impact, not replace the human being who wields them.

By Paul Blackhurst, client director at Mannaz

For more information, please visit: www.mannaz.com or email pbl@mannaz.com


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Scan Magazine | Business | Column

Mankind’s most powerful tool – and it is not even on the school curriculum! Abraham Lincoln suggested that, when responding angrily to a message, particularly one of criticism, one should wait 24 hours before re-reading one’s letter and only then decide to re-write or bin it. Not so difficult in his day, but trickier advice to follow in this age of instant messaging – though, judging by some mails in my usual inbox, perhaps we should heed it more often than we do.

After all, effective communication is our door to loving relationships, to financial wealth and to so much that is good in life. Don’t you remember all the best speeches you ever heard more by the emotions they made you feel than by the words?

Column by Annika Åman-Goodwille

Currently, 294 billion messages are sent by the world’s 1.9 billion email users every single day. I do wonder how many of those emailers seriously consider whether their messages are received as intended or how many fail to get their message across, or worse, cause confusion, misunderstanding or even dispute. “First learn the meaning of what you say, and then speak,” said the Stoic philosopher Epictetus. They say he was a powerful orator who could “induce his listener to feel just what he wanted him to feel.” Isn’t that just what we want of our communications? We communicate not just through our written and spoken words but also through our facial expressions, body lan-

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guage, behaviour, dress, art and even our very presence. Communication is the most talked about and least understood of the tools that mankind has developed. Like all powerful tools, it needs handling with care. It can be put to good use or bad. Hitler and his coterie were superb communicators. So, too, thank goodness, was Churchill. Isn’t it incredible then, that effective communication is so rarely taught? The skills of language, of writing and speaking with the objective not only of conveying the true meaning of what we want to communicate but also the sentiment we desire to elicit are skills, in the main, we are expected to pick up as we go through life. Yet are such skills not so fundamental to life that we should be taught them at an early age?

So, isn’t it time, Mr. Gove, that communication should be a key subject on the school curriculum?

Annika Åman-Goodwille www.goodwille.co.uk


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Scan Magazine | Business | News

Mr. Private Banking in Luxembourg retires Jhon Mortensen, 62, will at the end of April 2014 retire from his position as CEO of Nordea Bank S.A. During the years of Mr. Mortensen’s leadership, the bank developed into the leading Nordic bank in international private banking. By Rune Wangsmo, Nordea International Private Banking

Before joining the Luxembourg subsidiary in 1991, Mr. Mortensen worked for the London subsidiary of Nordea and later headed the banks’ branch in Singapore. Founded in 1976, Nordea Bank S.A. is the largest Nordic bank in Luxembourg and Switzerland, serving an international clientele in 120 countries throughout the world. “To accomplish growth and stability for the bank, we have focused on our clients. We would like our current clients to still be our clients in 20 years’ time – and we would like to welcome their children as clients of Nordea, too,” says Mortensen.

clients in the preparation of their periodic tax declarations to the authorities. Nordea’s tax report facilitates the completion of tax returns, even for complex account structures, and provides a clear tax overview for clients and their advisors,” he adds. The Nordea Group has a very strong capital base and benefits from an excellent credit rating (AA-), and is the leading fi-

nancial services provider in the Nordic area. For six consecutive years, Nordea was named the best provider of private banking services in the Nordic & Baltic region by the international financial magazine Euromoney. Nordea is among the ten largest universal banks in Europe in terms of total market capitalisation. Thorben Sander, 40, will from 1 May 2014 succeed Mortensen to safeguard and continue the business development of the 23 years under Mortensen’s management, developing best-in-class clients’ services and offerings. Sander has since 2010 been head of Investment Advice & Brokerage in Nordea.

An increasing number of individuals is becoming more globalised, working and doing business abroad, sometimes in several countries. These individuals have more complex needs with regards to banking and international wealth management. In Luxembourg, Switzerland and Singapore, Nordea has assembled a broad team of experts in wealth management and wealth planning specialised to provide the services requested by these globalised individuals. “The days when private banking clients simply required investment advice are long gone. Now, an increasingly complex legal and regulatory environment has obliged providers of financial products and services to take a comprehensive advisory approach that also includes taxation, inheritanceand succession-planning, as well as insurance and real estate,” says Mortensen. “As a good example of this, Nordea is one of the few banks who can provide tax reports for all relevant countries to assist

Jhon Mortensen, formerly CEO of Nordea Bank S.A.

Issue 63 | April 2014 | 95


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Scan Magazine | Business | Panda

The real taste of liquorice Finnish confectioner Panda is a pioneer and expert innovator in the world of liquorice, Nordic people’s beloved sweet. The real taste of liquorice lies at the heart of a company committed to the highest standards in its products, also showing commitment to sustainability and reputed as a sought-after employer.

at Edinburgh Zoo, offering a tasty snack for visitors drawn to see the zoo’s special visitors from China, panda bears Tian Tian and Yang Guang, with proceeds going towards the upkeep of the two bears.

By Eleonoora Kirk | Press Photos

Nordic people are renowned for their love of liquorice, that dark, soft sweet with its distinctive, slightly earthy texture. Liquorice, or glycyrrhiza glabra, also known as ‘sweet root’, is derived from a perennial plant commonly found in southern Europe and Asia. Favoured for centuries by ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, liquorice root and its extract were developed into the liquorice confectionary we have come to love by a British chemist, no less. George Dunhill, a chemist of Pontefract, Yorkshire, produced the eponymous ‘Pontefract Cake’ by adding sugar and flour to the costly liquorice extract. Today, liquorice confectionery in its delicious forms – salty ‘salmiak’ or sweet, soft liquorice – enjoys a firmly established eating culture in the Nordic countries. Founded in Finland in 1920, the cheerful Panda has become a leading brand on the domestic and international markets, known

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for its product lines of plain liquorice cuts and bars, candied drops and dragées, and fruit-flavoured and chocolate-blended liquorice, sold across 25 countries. Panda’s range of liquorice products caters for a whole range of consumer tastes. With a closely-guarded recipe used since 1933, Panda’s ‘Soft & Fresh’ liquorice is carefully produced by selecting the highest-quality raw materials, then cooked to form a doughy mass to be extruded as a rope and cut into pieces. The ‘Natural Liquorice’ line is lovingly made with natural colours and flavours, using only molasses syrup, wheat flour, liquorice extract and aniseed oil in the black liquorice. In 2012, Panda launched a fourth fruit liquorice flavour to complement the existing blueberry, cherry and raspberry flavours, made using pure fruit puree. ‘Natural Strawberry Bears’ went on sale

Launching this spring are two exciting new novelty liquorice products, ‘Choco Liquorice Maximilk’, a mouth-watering combination of UTZ-certified milk chocolate and soft Panda liquorice, and ‘Panda LicoriceMix Black & White’, comprising of original soft liquorice and crispy white liquorice dragées in different shapes and forms.

For more information, please visit: www.pandalicorice.com


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Scan Magazine | Business | Calendar

Scandinavian Business Calendar Workplace pension event As the 2014 Pension Reform takes effect, is your business ready for the changes ahead? Attend this Danish Chamber event to learn more about Auto Enrollment, small business outsourcing, and how to minimise the administrative burden on your organisation. Date: 8 April

COBCOE Gala Dinner and Chamber Awards As the above conference wraps up at Moorgate Place, head to The Law Society in Chancery Lane, where the COBCOE will continue a spectacular day with a prestigious gala and awards event. Guests include members of parliament, journalists, diplomats and business leaders. Date: 9 April

Aberdeen networking with the Norwegian Chamber With welcome drinks, a presentation by and Q&A with Control Cutter, and more drinks and canapés on the agenda, this networking event courtesy of the Norwegian-British Chamber of Commerce is ideally located at the Park Inn Hotel just minutes from Aberdeen’s train station. Date: 9 April

Nordic Thursday networking drinks This month like all other months, the Nordic Chambers of Commerce will meet to drink and forge friendships, this time at the Strand Palace Hotel. Expect an informal atmosphere, a cash bar and canapés. Date: 24 April

COBCOE Annual Conference 2014 The Council of British Chambers of Commerce in Europe’s annual conference is the highlight of its annual events calendar and somewhat of a focal point for the exchange of ideas and information about the greater economic landscape in Europe. Expect a fascinating keynote speech as well as plenty of thought-provoking discussions in addition to lunch at the Chartered Accountants’ Hall, Moorgate Place. Date: 9 April

Exclusive Tiger of Sweden preview If you are a Swedish Chamber member with a keen eye for fashion, this month you get access to an exclusive preview of Swedish fashion brand Tiger of Sweden’s high summer collection at the brand’s own flagship store in Piccadilly. There will be a reception, a presentation, and of course endless cool and trendy vibes. Date: 29 April

Nordfyns Museum The history of the town of Bogense and North Funen, in words, artifacts, paintings and pictures. Nordfyns Museum Vestergade 16, DK-5400 Bogense, Denmark Phone: +45 6481 1884 E-mail: nordmus@mail.tele.dk www.nordfynsmuseum.dk

DUCC

– Highlights of Scandinavian business events

The Walpurgis Ball As any self-respecting Swede will know, Valborg, known as Walpurgis in English, is an occasion not to be missed. For the Swedish Chamber, that means a black-tie ball with a three-course meal, lots of dancing and live music. Chamber members and their spouses and friends can purchase tickets now for this event sponsored by Nordea and SAS. Date: 2 May

The Swedish Chamber’s Industrial Forum Hosted by Her Excellency Ms Nicola Clase, the Swedish Ambassador to the UK, this forum will take place at the Ambassador’s residence and is by invitation only. Details will be confirmed nearer the time of the event. Date: 8 May


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Scan Magazine | Humour | Columns

IS IT JUST ME...

By Mette Lisby

Who’s missing Chandler and Monica? You know Chandler Bing and Monica Geller – THE Monica and Chandler from Friends? Yes, I am aware that they are not real, but I still find myself wondering what they’re up to these days – just like I would with real people. Probably because for 10 years, every Thursday, it was time to check in and see how they – and Joey, Ross, Phoebe and of course Rachel, and not least Gunther and the naked man across the street – were doing. It was something you would talk about with your real friends and look forward to: the weekly episode of Friends. And because you saw them every week, it felt like they were your, yes – friends. After all, we followed them for 10 years and more than 200 episodes. 10 years! I have family that I saw less regularly and know less about than Monica and Chandler. But now that ‘friendliness’ with TV characters is fading fast. Today, nobody

wants to wait a whole week to check in and catch up with the new Chandlers and Monicas. We simply can’t be bothered to wait for a week between visiting our TV friends, so we binge watch numerous episodes a day, following them in intense, short bursts – not like family or real friends at all. For me that has resulted in complete knowledge of House of Cards’ Frank Underwood’s entire life, gained in just 48 hours. In the old days, that would have taken me half a year to watch and digest. For four weeks, I followed Breaking Bad’s Walter White and Jesse closer than I’ve followed my sister’s life. I know more about cooking crystal meth than I know about how my sister makes carrot cake. But I somehow reminisce about visiting my TV friends once a week and my family about the same, and miss it; there

Lawlessness

I am often asked how life in Britain differs from life in Sweden. There is one, perhaps rather strange, answer to which I often find myself referring. It is the ability to indulge in a little benign lawlessness every now and then. Sweden is, generally, an extremely law-abiding country. Following the rules is something that is deeply ingrained in my DNA.

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was a nice balance to it. Now it’s getting difficult to find the time to watch all seven seasons of West Wing. Binge watching TV series forces me to ‘binge see’ my family for a whole week, since I won’t be seeing them for the next 3 months because I HAVE TO watch 144 episodes of Josiah Bartlett and his staff in the White House. I mean I HAVE TO – as they’re my new friends. Mette Lisby is Denmark’s leading female comedian. She invites you to laugh along with her monthly humour columns. Since her stand-up debut in 1992, Mette has hosted the Danish versions of “Have I Got News For You” and “Room 101”.

By Maria Smedstad

Several years ago, that left me with a serious dilemma involving the daily struggle to find a parking space for my Citroen 2cv outside what was then my Art College. The car park was always full. Being a Swede of course also means that I am petrified of being late for anything, which is what finally pushed me over the edge, one sunny spring morning. I had circled the car park about 15 times and could feel the panic building up. Something made me glance up at a great Weeping Willow that stood in the middle of a hill leading up to the college, its lush branches reaching all the way down to the ground. I made a quick calculation as to what might be underneath those branches. I guessed a space. A hidden, 2cv-sized space. I went for it. If you have ever driven one of these cars, you will know there is not much use in subtlety when trying to negotiate a steep, grassy hill. I put the car in gear

and hurtled towards the tree. The branches engulfed me. I slammed on the brakes and looked around. Success! From then on, this became my secret, private parking space. Only once was I caught out, when I had left the headlights on and someone noticed that the tree outside appeared to be glowing, like some magical phantasm. But then this was Art College, so not much was made of it, and my unlawful space remained safe.

Maria Smedstad moved to the UK from Sweden in 1994. She received a degree in Illustration in 2001, before settling in the capital as a freelance cartoonist, creating the autobiographical cartoon Em. Maria writes a column on the trials and tribulations of life as a Swede in the UK.


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Scan Magazine | Humour | Blogger’s Corner

Are you ready for love?

By Dena Tahmasebi

Bloggers’ Corner: The very best of the Anglo-Scandinavian blogosphere: from films to fitness We are experiencing an early spring here in London, and as the trees bloom, it seems so do everybody’s hearts – or perhaps it is just our hormones going wild. Everyone single around me is either entering a relationship or looking for one. Suddenly it is the only thing on our minds: someone to share those park walks with or that summer holiday on a Greek island. What is love? This is such an important question. I remember the first time someone asked me this. What did he mean? Was he suggesting that I did not know, or was he looking for answers himself? Surely everyone knows what love is? The truth is that so many of us use the word without ever putting much thought into it. When I was asked this question, I had never thought about it, yet I was blog-

ging about love every single day. This thing called love – we see it as the solution to all our problems and we all try to define it to best suit our life situation. But let us think about it: can there be love where there is jealousy, possessiveness and domination? And how about the need for comparison: did you love her more than me? Depending on someone is very different from loving them. I love you only when you love me – is this love or a simple trade? If you do something out of duty, is that love? Must love and pain go together? I believe that to be able to love, we must be present and let go of the thought of yesterday and tomorrow, because anything but now cultivates fear. I do not believe that love is meant to save us and

Lost for words Whatever their length, words have provided excellent material for games from the earliest times. One of the more pleasing arrangements is the palindrome, which is spelt the same backwards as for-

make us whole; rather, when we are at peace with ourselves, when we have learnt to accept ourselves, only then are we ready for love.

Dena Tahmasebi is a Persian Swede who moved to London six years ago when she joined the BBC as a Broadcast Journalist. In her spare time, she runs the lifestyle blog beingdena.com.

By Adam Jacot de Boinod Illustration by Markus Koljonen

wards, and can create some bizarre meanings. While Danish has ‘Selmas lakserøde garagedøre skal samles’ for ‘Selma’s salmon red garage doors must be assembled’, it is the Finnish language that goes further, not so much with its ‘neulo taas niin saat oluen’, meaning ‘knit again, so that you will get a beer’, as with these three long palindromic words: Saippuakivikauppias – a soapstone seller Saippuakuppinippukauppias – a soap cup trader Solutomaattimittaamotulos – the result from a measurement laboratory for tomatoes Sweden, on the other hand, is a country that not only

values the concept of a lack of extremes but even has a word for it – lagom. In this society, equality is everything, hierarchies are supposed to be non-existent, and it is generally not thought to be good to stand out too much. Everything and everyone is supposed to be just lagom – which is not to say ‘boring’, so much as ‘not too much and not too little’, ‘not good and not bad’, ‘ok’, ‘just right’, ‘so-so’. You might just wonder what the Swedes would make of the Finnish peculiarities above…

Adam Jacot de Boinod was a researcher for the BBC television series QI and is the author of The Meaning of Tingo and the creator of the iPhone app Tingo, a game involving interesting words. Here, he looks at what interests the outside world about the Scandinavian languages.

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Scan Magazine | Culture | Eurovision

Sanna Nielsen. Photo: Magnus Liam Karlsson/SVT

A wilder song contest Next month it is Eurovision season, which means that last month it was Eurovision Selection season. And no other region takes its Eurovision selections as seriously as Scandinavia does, the biggest of the lot being in Sweden. By Karl Batterbee

Sweden’s epic, six-week-long Melodifestivalen competition pulls in more domestic ratings than the Eurovision itself. More a showcase for established pop stars and launchpad for new artists than it is a Eurovision selection process, that, nevertheless, is the end prize – and one which the nation does not take too lightly. This year’s contest was more varied than ever. It had more debut acts than any year before, giving it a fresher vibe, and there was also a larger rock quota than normal, which widened the musical appeal even further, and beyond the usual fans. Swedish pop exports Alcazar reformed especially for the selection process, and critically-acclaimed artists like CajsaStina Åkerström finally buckled and entered the contest, despite a lengthy career thus far managing without it. The line-up also boasted a former Eurovision winner: Helena Paparizou, who won for Greece in 2005 (she is half Greek, half Swedish). And then there were the usual Melodifestivalen stalwarts: the schlager divas who have shaped the con-

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test into what it is today, artists such as Shirley Clamp, Linda Bengtzing, and Sanna Nielsen. And in the end, it was one of those ladies who triumphed against all of the new blood. Sanna Nielsen, on her seventh attempt to win Melodifestivalen since her debut in 2001, finally took the crown at Friends Arena in Stockholm with her song Undo, a minimal ballad, packed with fragile emotion. And few can deliver such emotion in the same way Sanna Nielsen can. It all gets quite dramatic by the end – be prepared. The big story of the year, however, and perhaps the real winner of the 2014 Melodifestivalen, is Ace Wilder. Last year, she released her debut EP, A Wilder EP, to little attention or success. But this year, she used Melodifestivalen as the launch for her new single, Busy Doin Nothin, and caught both the eye and the ear of the viewer more so than anyone else. The song, a cross between Icona Pop and Avicii, and therefore arguably a much better representation of Swedish music in 2014 than the winning track, has gone on

to be the bigger hit. It has had the most streams on Spotify, claimed the number 1 spot on the Swedish singles chart, received the largest support from Swedish radio, and clocked up the most views on YouTube – and the list goes on. On the night of the final, it even received the highest number of votes from the international juries – an element that Melodifestivalen has brought into the voting system to give the contest a ‘how would the songs do at the Eurovision’ angle. In the end, though, it was Sanna who won the public televote (albeit only by two points – 212 to Ace Wilder’s 210), with viewers feeling that it was very much ‘Sanna’s turn’. But it is Ace Wilder who stands to gain the most from it: now that she has finally caught their attention, the Swedish public and media are all waiting to hear what she comes out with next, and many are predicting an international launch for her, too – all without that pesky task of having to go to the Eurovision Song Contest first. As for Sanna Nielsen, Undo’s selection has helped Sweden move up the betting agencies’ leader board. And only two years after it took victory at the Eurovision with Loreen’s Euphoria, Sweden is now one of the big favourites to take the prize once again. Something they will obviously take more pride in than most nations would.

Ace Wilder. Photo: Jeremias Mielonen


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Scan Magazine | Culture | Eurovision

Norwegian tattooed balladeer now bookies’ favourite By David Nikel

Carl Espen was the overwhelming winner of this year’s Melodi Grand Prix and goes forward to represent Norway at the Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen this May. His song, Silent Storm, received 53,712 votes, more than 14,000 clear of its nearest rival. Espen is a popular figure in his home region of Western Norway, whose votes were the main driver behind the massive winning margin. The former bouncer is a likeable guy with tattooed arms, about as far away from a typical Eurovision entrant as you can imagine, and his down-to-earth attitude was reflected in the way he took the victory in his stride.

Silent Storm marks a different approach for Norway, whose previous three entries stuck rigidly to the Europop formula. This

is a deep and meaningful piano-led ballad, delivered by Espen with genuine emotion. Norwegian fans must hope that the song’s fragile nature tugs on the heart strings of Europe’s voters, as it did theirs. It could well stand out as memorable amid the usual sugar-coated Eurovision formula.

Winner Carl Espen. Photo: NRK

finalists stood out as plausible winners that would do their nation proud at the Eurovision. More so than in Sweden or Norway, Denmark’s national selection is always impos-

The Danish national selection is not as big as that of Sweden or Norway. The Danes prefer to scale it down to a one-night-only affair – although that does not stop them from putting on an equally spectacular show. Danish broadcaster DR took over Arena Fyn in Odense, and had ten artists competing for the chance to represent their country in Copenhagen later this year. The Danes seem to employ an outlook of all-killer-no-filler when selecting their Eurovision entry. And so this year, much like the previous few years, most of the ten

The biggest cheer of the night was reserved for the interval act, Margaret Berger, who performed her 2013 Eurovision entry, I Feed You My Love, while the votes were being counted. Can Espen repeat Berger’s fourth place in Malmö? Already a bookies’ favourite, it does not seem impossible.

It was a disappointing night for Utøya survivor Mo, who hoped to represent his country with Heal, a song about moving on, and the other finalists, Knut Kippersund Nesdal and Linnea Dale. However, all three look set for future success in Norway. Nesdal has already been offered a deal

Another cliché love song Denmark is of course hosting the whole Eurovision shebang on 10 May this year, thanks to former Scan Magazine cover star Emmelie de Forest bringing it victory in 2013 with Only Teardrops. And so, last month, the Danes also got to work with choosing the entry that will represent the country on home turf.

by Starbox Music, a subsidiary of Universal, due to his Rick Astley looks and polished delivery of the catchy song Taste of You.

Basim celebrating. Photo: Bjarne Bergius Hermansen

By Karl Batterbee

sible to predict, such is the strong line-up of potential winners. But in the end, it was Basim who triumphed with his up-tempo and infectiously positive track, Cliché Love Song. It is a brilliantly-catchy, retroflavoured ode to self-aware declarations of love. Sound wise, think Bruno Mars covering The Real Thing’s You To Me Are Everything – as a Eurovision interval act. This track has already got countless pundits predicting that Denmark could likely win the Eurovision Song Contest for the second year running. Those Scandinavian melodies, eh? Watch this shoot up the scoreboard and finish in the top five in May. With a shortage of pure party songs in this year’s Eurovision so far, Cliché Love Song will make a big impression on tipsy viewers watching on the night. The Danes can consider their national pride, and potentially their title too, well and truly defended.

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The power of the pen: writing for social justice (and goosebumps) Rolf and Cilla Börjlind, also known as the literary couple behind scripts for TV series such as Arne Dahl and Wallander, are busy planning the TV script of their own crime thriller, Spring Tide, as well as writing the third book in the series. Here, the Nordic Noir writers answer all our questions. By Linnea Dunne | Photos: Hesperus Press

Arne Dahl and Wallander became hugely popular in the UK, and the latter can be said to have kickstarted somewhat of a Nordic Noir obsession. What is the secret behind Nordic Noir?

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We don’t know if there is a secret. Perhaps UK TV channels weren’t previously that interested in buying from our countries since they produce such good detective dramas themselves, but once they got the opportu-

nity to watch some of our crime series they realised that we make them pretty well, too? Authors like Henning Mankell and Stieg Larsson certainly helped open the world’s eyes to Nordic crime thrillers.


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Scan Magazine | Culture | Cilla & Rolf Börjlind

If Nordic Noir is special, perhaps it’s because it paints a different picture of society. Sweden, for example, used to be a leading country when it comes to equality and a high standard of living, but that society has since been dismantled and many writers tend to write much more about those darker sides, often with a critical view. From a more positive point of view, perhaps Nordic Noir has simply become so special because we have so many talented writers/scriptwriters and directors, who really know how to tell a story!

Detective dramas often seem to be written by literary couples. What do you think you gain from working as a pair? A lot. Two brains definitely work faster than one! When one of us has an idea, the other can take it further – and you are never alone if there are problems to solve or if you get stuck. We produce something that neither of us could write alone, and being a woman and a man writing together, we also gain the different gender perspectives.

How does the creative process work? We work almost the same way when we write for TV or film as we do when writing a book. We create the story and the characters together, very thoroughly from beginning to end. The result is a so-called treatment: we have the whole TV series or book in short form, all divided up into scenes or chapters, and we put it all up on a wall in our study. At this stage it’s not a problem to change things. The next stage, when we actually start writing, it’s more complicated to change key details; but when you write scripts, you always have to be prepared to change things because there are so many parties and opinions involved, not to mention budget restrictions. You have much more freedom when writing a book.

Where do you find inspiration for these sometimes quite dark, melancholic storylines? And how do you balance that with a happy life?

It’s not hard to be inspired these days – you just have to open a newspaper and real life beats all your stories. And when you write crime you don’t look for the bright sides of life. We also try to always have a social theme within the story; we want to put the spotlight on social injustices that upset us. We do disconnect our daily life from solving murder cases on paper now and then; long summers in our summerhouse in the Stockholm archipelago and fishing trips to the Northern parts of Sweden help us restore our brains from death and destruction.

How did you end up here? What led you to this point of fiction and script writing? Rolf has been writing all his life and as a scriptwriter since the late ’70s and has many films and TV series on his conscience. Cilla worked in public service, SVT, in the drama department, and we met there when working together on a comedy show in 1989. Cilla started writing for TV while working at SVT but eventually quit her job and began writing with Rolf. So we have been writing together for nearly 20 years.

there to be drowned by the spring tide. When Olivia studies the case as a voluntary task at the Police Academy, she wants to get in touch with the person that led the investigation back then, detective superintendent Tom Stilton, but no one seems to know where he is. But Spring Tide is not just about a terrible cold case; it is also about homeless people in Stockholm, violated kids in the suburbs, and a multinational mining company that exploits developing countries in Africa.

What’s next? We are now working on our third book in the same series as Spring Tide. After that, we will start to write the Spring Tide TV script. All going to plan, the book will make a ten-hour long series – but that could still change. We will be working with Filmlance International, the same production company that produced the Arne Dahl series and The Bridge. As for the future, we are hoping for more time to write books!

Next up is Spring Tide, which is being produced for TV this year. What should Nordic Noir fans expect? What’s new to us is that we will write a script on our own book for the first time. Other than that you could say that our characters differ from what you might be used to: instead of a group of experienced police officers as main characters, we have a young woman, Olivia Rönning, who studies at the Police Academy. Then there’s former detective superintendent Tom Stilton, who definitely has seen his best days and no longer works as a police officer. When their paths cross, they make quite the odd couple. The main theme in Spring Tide is Olivia’s struggle to solve a cold case from 1987: a horrifying murder of a pregnant woman who was buried in wet sand on a beach, only her head above the sand, and left

Spring Tide By Cilla & Rolf Börjlind ISBN 9781843915157 £8.99, 476pp Published 28 March

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Scan Magazine | Culture | Olof Arnalds

base, and a good place to deflate and relax. Fortunately it’s well-situated: midway between the US and Europe. In 15 minutes you’re in the countryside, so you can’t really call it a city, as it possesses a calmness that other big cities don’t have. On touring: I’ve been almost constantly on tour for two years, so now I am spending more time at home – I’ve exhausted myself. It feels good to take time to catch up with life before full steam ahead when I go back on tour in late spring. Since I’ve been back in town I’ve been helping to set up a new live music venue in Reykjavik: Mengi, which opened in December. On comparisons: I’m very honoured to be compared to Björk, Vashti Bunyan and the like. Who wouldn’t be? I see it as more of a comment on how my work moves people than on my work per se. I don’t spend too much time thinking about this though. On singing in Icelandic:

Ólöf Arnalds – on life With intimate, hauntingly beautiful lyrics permeating the folk-infused tracks sung in her native Icelandic as well as English, multi-instrumentalist Ólöf Arnalds is one of Iceland’s strongest musical exports. Duets with Björk, a private concert for Yoko Ono, and an album produced by Sigur Rós testify to the calibre of this mild-mannered Icelandic charmer who weaves a tragic tale with voice and guitar.

I tell a story with my music, so with English I can reach more people. But it’s also possible to understand the journey without understanding the lyrics. I use the lyrics as a form of expression – they’re very personal to me. On music fit for driving in Iceland: Hawaiian music strikes me as the best music to listen to while driving through the countryside. We’re both volcanic islands – perhaps this has something to do with it. The only thing that differs is the flora, thanks to our very different climate.

By Emmie Collinge | Photo: Hulda Sif Ásmundsdóttir

On the rhythm of her day: I spend the day writing either music or lyrics, or recording. Then my six-yearold son comes home from school and I like to take him swimming. The best days are when we escape to the peaceful

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countryside and my parents’ summerhouse. On Reykjavik: I’ve always lived here, apart from a year in Berlin when I was 20. It’s the perfect

Catch Ólöf Arnalds live at the ACE Hotel in London on 24 April, or for more information on releases and upcoming shows, please visit: www.olofarnalds.com


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Scan Magazine | Culture | Scandinavian Music

Scandinavian Music

Listen up: here are three ladies and three boybands to get yourselves acquainted with this month. I heard a stunner of a soul ballad on Swedish radio station P3’s website recently. It was a bit of a stop-in-your-tracks moment and was the debut single, Scarred For Life, from Swedish singer Sabina Ddumba. Starting off as an icy and

atmospheric track, it soon becomes warmer and more comforting thanks to the melody and Sabina’s rich vocal. But the warmth is certainly not down to the lyrics: “Cuts are getting deeper. You really f***ed me up this time. I just can’t stop bleeding. Baby I am scarred for life.” That is the chorus – major sad face. Based in Stockholm, and still involved in the Tensta Gospel Choir, Sabina is set for a big launch with Scarred For Life. One of 2013’s most notable successes in Norway was undoubtedly December’s Scan Magazine cover star, Margaret Berger. Now she is back with a new single in the hope of making 2014 just as fruitful. Scream is a continuation of the sound that Margaret has been playing with up until the release of her forthcoming album, New Religion, in that it sounds like a cross between previous singles I Feed You My Love and Human Race: a chugging electro production over which Margaret trills an upbeat melody. Finland last year spawned an exciting new electropop lady, too: Suvi. She returns this month with new single Find You,

By Karl Batterbee

a military beat with electrified brass. Electropop with actual trumpets! It is all a bit dramatic – and that can only be a good thing in pop. The theatrics in the production are paired with a drunken, delirious vocal from Suvi, in which she sounds happier than your standard Nordic electro vixen. She is a little bit in love with someone, and the end result is that we can all fall a little bit in love with the song. Finally, if you are in the market for a Nordic boyband, you will be pleased to learn that no less than three have been showcasing their wares this month – their wares being their new singles, of course. Check out Sweden’s The Fooo and their new track, 97 Ways (their first ever ballad), Finland’s Kliff with their debut single, Mun Jopo (r&b pop), and another debut single, this time from Sweden’s own Level5, releasing the late 90s Backstreet Boys and *NSync sounding My Number One.

www.scandipop.co.uk scandipop@googlemail.com

Scandinavian Culture Calendar – Where to go, what to see? It’s all happening here! Von Hertzen Brothers on tour (April) Finnish rockers Von Hertzen Brothers are touring the UK with their new six-track digital EP, Flowers and rust. For more information, please visit: www.vonhertzenbrothers.com

Built in 1535, the house contains a fascinating juxtaposition of oak-panelled Tudor rooms, Jacobean wall paintings and Georgian and Victorian interiors. Sutton House, London, E9. www.shms.org.uk

A Norwegian night (13 April) Norway’s foremost player of the Hardanger fiddle, Ånon Egeland, and pianist Christian Grøvlen bring together an evening of traditional Norwegian violin music and piano pieces by Grieg. Ticket holders are allowed free admission before the concert to view Sutton House, which is owned by the National Trust.

Sibelius’s violin (27 April) This will be a rare opportunity to hear a concert played by Satu Jalas on the violin given to her by her grandfather, Jean Sibelius, accompanied by the pianist Folke Gräsbeck. They will play music by Sibelius, Respighi and Grieg. St Mark’s Church, London, NW8. www.anglofinnishsociety.org.uk/events

By Sara Schedin

Sakari Oramo conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra (3 May) An evening of music by Debussy, Pascal Dusapin, Honegger and Elgar, conducted by Finnish Sakari Oramo and featuring the BBC Symphony Orchestra. The Barbican Centre, London, EC2Y. www.barbican.org.uk The Great Escape in Brighton (8-10 May) This year’s festival has teamed up with Music Finland and will feature several Finnish acts, including Jaakko Eino Kalevi, Mirel Wagner and Satellite Stories, to mention a few. For more information, please visit: mamacolive.com/thegreatescape

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Scan Magazine | Culture | Culture Calendar

Christian Lindberg. Photo: Mats Bäcker

Agnes Obel on European tour (April - July) Norwegian singer-songwriter and pianist Agnes Obel is on tour with her second album, Aventine. For more information, please visit: www.agnesobel.com

JH Engström in Berlin (Until 10 May) In the exhibition From back home, Swedish photographer JH Engström pays homage to the people and landscapes of his home county, Värmland. Wed-Sat 12noon-6pm. Swedish Photography, Karl-Marx-Allee 62, Berlin. www.grundemarknilsson.se The erratic dreams of Christian Lindberg (17 May) A breath of fresh Swedish air will flow through Cadogan Hall when worldrenowned Christian Lindberg – trombonist, conductor and composer – takes centre stage with Västerås Sinfonietta and clarinettist Emil Jonason. The exhilarating programme includes music by Leopold Mozart and Manuel de Falla as well as two UK premieres. Cadogan Hall, London, SW1X. For more information, please visit: www.cadoganhall.com

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Emil Jonason. Photo: Andreas Sander

Tove Jansson centenary exhibition in Helsinki (Until 7 Sept) A major exhibition presenting the impressive career of Tove Jansson (1914-2001) as an artist, illustrator, political caricaturist, author and creator of the Moomin characters and stories. The exhibition covers all the periods in Jansson’s productive career, including her surrealistic paintings of the 1930s, modernist art of the 1950s and more abstract works in the 1960s and ’70s, as well as her satirical anti-war illustrations for the magazine Garm, her monumental paintings for public spaces,


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Scan Magazine | Culture | Culture Calendar

chronologically, partly thematically, as we follow the artist’s efforts to liberate herself from a naturalistic representation and achieve an ever-greater degree of geometric abstraction. Tue, Wed & Fri 11am-5pm, Thu 11am-7pm, Sat & Sun 12noon-5pm. The Museum of Contemporary Art, Bankplassen 4, Oslo. www.nasjonalmuseet.no

Aase Texmon Rygh, Piruett, year 1951/2003. Photo: Nasjonalmuseet / Børre Høstland

Tove Jansson, Mysterious Landscape (approx. 1930). Ateneum Art Museum. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Hannu Aaltonen © Tove Jansson Estate

and of course her enormously-popular and internationally-renowned Moomin characters and stories. Tue & Fri 10am-6pm, Wed & Thu 9am-8pm, Sat & Sun 10am-5pm. Ateneum Art Museum, Kaivokatu 2, Helsinki. For more information, please visit: www.ateneum.fi

Aase Texmon Rygh: Modernism Forever! (Until 28 Sept) This solo-exhibition presents the story of one of Norway’s first non-figurative modernists in sculpture. It showcases Texmon Rygh’s works from the beginning of her career until today. The oldest sculpture dates back to 1951 while the most recent ones were produced especially for this exhibition. The works are presented partly

THØR: T HØR: LÖVES LÖVES CRISPBREAD C RISP PBREAD HE H E JJUST UST DÖESN’T DÖESN LIKE L IKE T TØ Ø SHØW SHØ W IT. Crispbread: o Crispbread: one ne o off o over ver 6 600 00 d delicious elicious Swedish, Danish Norwegian S wedish, D anish aand nd N orwegian foods foods UK our online aavailable vailable across across tthe he U K ffrom rom o ur o nline sshop hop and and in in our our London London store. store. SCANDIKITCHEN.CO.UK SCANDIKITCHEN.CO.UK GOOD G OOD FOOD FOOD W WITH ITH LOVE LOVE F FROM ROM S SCANDINAVIA CANDINAVIA


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welcome to trøndelag - in the heart of norway´s history

In Trondheim, you are just 2 hours away from the most amazing travel adventures in the region! 

– the easiest way to and from Trondheim

Visit the enchanting UNESCO World Heritage Site Røros where history whispers into tomorrow.



Fly direct

Reykjavik

Travel to the coast of Trøndelag with its great fishing opportunities, eagle safaris and local seafood.



Tallinn

Stockholm

Riga

Experience the world of the Vikings at Norway’s birthplace,

København

Stiklestad, or by following the “Golden Route”.

Amsterdam

Gdansk

London Berlin

Trøndelag Tourist Board Trøndelag Reiseliv AS Nordre gt. 11, NO-7011 Trondheim T: +47 73 84 24 40 www.trondelag.com/en facebook.com/centralnorway

Nice

Alicante Malaga

Las Palmas

Murcia

Krakow

Dubro ovnik

Antalya

PHOTO: © CH-Visitnorway.com

2_0_ScanMag_63_April_2014_Text_Svetlana:Scan Magazine 1

Scan Magazine | Issue 63 | April 2014  

Promoting Brand Scandinavia. Featuring interview with Kim Bodnia.

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