Finnish Happenings and News

See what else is happening while we wait for FinnFunn 2021

Finlandia Foundation National
What's So Funny?
Saturday, April 17, 2021 - 8:00pm (Eastern)
(click here)

Finlandia Foundation National
Salolampi Finnish Language Village
Funding application deadline is May 31
(click here for more info and Application form)

Finlandia Foundation National
Soiva Music Camp 2021 - Virtual
Deadline is May 1
(click here for more info and Application form)

Finlandia Foundation National
News of Finnish America - Marraskuu/March 2021
(click here)

Finnish-American Society of Cape Cod
Hilaryjoy Virtanen will present a program on Kalevala
Contact Marilyn Lariviere for Zoom Details

Finnish American Heritage Society, Canterbury, CT
Kalevala Day 2021
(click here)

Finlandia Foundation National
Finnish Blueberry Coffee Cake
Finn cooks - Soile Anderson & Eleanor Ostman
(click here)

Tax Reporting in the U.S. and Finland
for Dual Residents
March 9, 2021 Webinar
(click here)

Finland In The US
Newsletter, 2/2021
(click here)

Finlandia Foundation National
Soiva Music Camp Concert
December 21, 2020
(click here for video)

Finlandia Foundation National
Education in Finland
Two-part Webinar Via Zoom
January 12 and 19, 2021
(click here)

Finlandia Foundation National
Beautiful Music of the Season Performed by
Jussi Makkonen and Nazig Azezian
(click here)

Historical Society of Cheshire County
“Sirkka” is a documentary film about the life of Sirkka Tuomi Holm (1920-2020)
December 3 – 12, 2020
(click here)

Finland In The US
Newsletter, 3/2020
(click here)

Finlandia Foundation National
News of Finnish America - Marraskuu/November 2020
(click here)

Finlandia Foundation National
Meet Mikko Nissinen
(click here)

Finnfest USA
News from Finnfest USA
(click here)

What's So Funny?
Saturday, April 17
Join Los Angeles-based actors
Miska Kajanus and Nina Sallinen in a live-streamed
Comedy Improv Special that takes an entertaining look at
humor in the U.S. and Finland.
Live from The Road Theatre in North Hollywood,
Nina and Miska will improvise a skit based on interviews with
two Finnish-Americans they've never before met.
The interactive show is brought to you via YouTube
by Finlandia Foundation National at
8 p.m. (Eastern), Saturday, April 17
followed by an audience Q & A
The program is free, but you must register at the link below.
You will receive the instructions on how to participate. 
To ask a question at the Q & A,
you must be logged into your YouTube account when the show begins.
Miska Kajanus is a Finnish-American filmmaker and actor with TV and film credits in Finland and the U.S. Click for more about Miska.
Nina Sallinen is a stage and screen actress from Sweden and Finland, now working in the U.S. Click for more about Nina.
Finnposium is our online symposium of chats, webinars, musical and other programs offered by FFN on YouTube.

Finlandia Foundation National, a non-profit organization, is the leading source of support for Finnish culture in the U.S. 

The Most Important Source of Support for Finnish Culture in the United States
iittala glass photo by Elina Sirparanta courtesy

Did You Know...

...that you can hear 15 Finnish songs that were recorded in California in 1939 as part of a Works Progress Administration project? 

Sidney Robertson Cowell (above), an ethnographer and collector of traditional American music recorded, on acetate discs, American folk songs and those of 15 ethnic groups.

The collection, California Gold: Northern California Folk Music from the Thirties, is available at the Library of Congress online.

In Central Valley, Shasta County, she made audio recordings of vocalists Celia Koljonen, Fina Petersen and Mary Salonen, who contributed five songs with titles like “Saturday Night,” “Rocky Hills” and “Deep in the Forest.”
In Berkeley, John Soininen belted out “Sailor’s Drinking Song” and nine other tunes including “Don’t Cry, Mother.”
To download or listen to the music and read more about the project, click here.

Library of Congress photo
Happy Spring!

We are learning from Finlandia Foundation chapters that there is a sense of optimism and a hope that they will be able to return to in-person gatherings in the not-too-distant future. While many have turned to virtual meetings and programs, nothing compares to getting together to socialize and enjoy music, films, lectures, craft fairs, language classes, pannukakku brunches and Midsummer celebrations.

During this time of separation, we have been concerned about the segment of our membership that may not have internet access or aren’t comfortable using it, and have not been able to stay connected. We hope that there is outreach to members to involve as many as possible.

Are you a Finnish-American or individual who is interested in Finnish culture, but do not belong to a chapter? Please click here for a list of organizations that are affiliated with FFN, or consider joining FFN as an individual member; click here for details.
Be sure to follow FFN on social media; click here: Meet FFN on Social Media

We would love to know which organizations currently have oral history programs to preserve the knowledge and stories of Finnish America, or are planning to record these stories when it’s safe to do so. Please email us at the address below with the status of your project.

We are offering a robust variety of virtual, free events in addition to our traditional grants and scholarships, Soiva Music Camp and financial support for students attending Salolampi Finnish Language Village. And we have exciting, new programs coming soon (see below).

Fortunately, your financial support indicates that these efforts seem to be appreciated. Your gifts are essential to our ability to share the rich history and contemporary culture of Finland and Finnish America.

With sincere thanks,

Anne-Mari Paster
ampaster @ rcn. com
My American Dream and the Grammy Connection
In the monthly FFN program My American Dream, tech investor Michel Wendell chats with Finnish and Finnish-American entrepreneurs who are pursuing success in the U.S.

On Thursday, March 25, Michel and Eero Teerikorpi talk about entrepreneurship.

My American Dream has a Grammy connection! The program's intro and closing music was written by Finnish songwriter and producer Jonas W. Karlsson---now of LA---who produced and was a writer on "U Move, I Move" on the 2021 Grammy-winning John Legend album Bigger Love.

Check out his MAD music at the FFN YouTube channel.
Chapter Spotlight: Copper Country, Michigan

Home of Heikinpäivä

Finnish migration to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula began in the late 1800s, when men came to work in the booming copper and iron mines. The Finns were the largest of several ethnic groups in “Copper Country,” and remain a presence today; the region claims the highest population of people of Finnish descent in the U.S.

That heritage is evident in the City of Hancock, the gateway to the Keweenaw Peninsula and the once-rich copper mining area. It's also home of Finlandia University, which was founded as Suomi College in 1896. Street signs are in Finnish and English and the major annual festival is January’s Heikinpäivä, an indoor-outdoor celebration featuring traditional foods, music, tori, sports and parade.

Hancock has hosted FinnFest USA three times---in 1985, 1990 and 2013---and is a Sister City to Porvoo, Finland. Kivajat, a folk dance group of the Theme Committee with about 40 youngsters ages 5-17, performs in costume throughout the area. Kivajat has also traveled to Finland, and Finlandia Foundation happily assisted with grant funds.

Finnish Theme Committee
of Hancock

The Finnishness of the area wasn’t always as visible or something widely celebrated. Finnish American Heritage Center Director James “Jim” Kurtti, who is also Finland’s Honorary Consul, explains that in the 1980s there was grant money available to small cities to develop programs along themes.

“There were public meetings to get input from the community, and only Finnish people showed up. That’s why we have the peculiar name (Finnish Theme Committee of Hancock).”

Joint Chapter Meeting Scheduled for Tuesday, April 27
Leaders of Finlandia Foundation's affiliated organizations are invited to attend the quarterly virtual Joint Chapter Meeting via Zoom at 8 p.m. (Eastern), Tuesday, April 27.

If you have a specific topic you'd like to discuss, please forward it to Maria Voltaine at and watch for an email with details about the meeting.
FFN Hosts New Monthly Interview Program
For her new program In Conversation, Maria Voltaine of Finlandia Foundation National chats with Philip Bailey, a robotic systems engineer with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.

Phil is on the Flight Systems team supporting the robotic arm of the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover. The Finnish-American grew up near Boston and has B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

Watch for an email announcement of the In Conversation YouTube launch date!
FFN's Soiva Music Camp, usually held at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, will this year host online classes for instrumental students over three days in June.

Details are still being finalized; watch for updates at:
FFN is offering financial assistance to students attending virtual or residential Salolampi Language Village this summer.

For details:
Coffee Concert March 27
In the next Finlandia Foundation Coffee Concert, violinist Liisa Makkonen (far left) joins cellist Jussi Makkonen and pianist Nazig Azezian in a selection of "Hungarian Dances."

The lively program will launch on the FFN YouTube channel Saturday, March 27. Watch for details in an email soon. To view previous concerts click below.
Photo by Pekka Varonen
Through your generous donations, Finlandia Foundation is able to offer scholarships to students like Dylan Koski (above), and grants to support projects related to Finnish culture. Your gift is matched dollar-for-dollar by the Paloheimo Foundation (up to $100,000 annually). FFN is a 501(c)(3) organization.

Thank You! Kiitos!
Music, Books, Food, Discussions & More

Finnposium is Finlandia Foundation National's virtual symposium featuring a variety of online chats, webinars, cooking, musical and other presentations related to Finland and Finnish culture in the U.S.

Find the entertaining and informative programs at the FFN YouTube channel.
PO Box 92046
Pasadena, CA 91109
Phone: 626.795.2081

Meet the Finn Cooks
Learn to Make a Finnish Blueberry Coffee Cake
The Finn Cooks, Soile Anderson and Eleanor Ostman, share another taste of their Finlandia Foundation National Lecturer of the Year program, "Meet the Finn Cooks."

In their latest YouTube video, they show you how to make the simple and delightful blueberry cake that was a favorite at Soile's mother's coffee table in Finland.
Find more about Soile and Eleanor at the FFN website:
Music, Books, Food, Discussions & More

Finnposium is Finlandia Foundation National's virtual symposium featuring a variety of online chats, webinars, musical and other presentations related to Finland and Finnish culture in the U.S.

March 9 Webinar:
Tax Reporting in the U.S. and Finland
for Dual Residents
If you have tax questions and tax responsibilities in both countries, don't miss this complimentary webinar by Ann-Christine Westerlund, CEO and founder of WESTMUSA.

Hosted by Finlandia Foundation National, the webinar will be held via Zoom at 6 p.m. (Eastern), Tuesday, March 9, followed by a Q & A session. You're invited to submit questions in advance (see below).

Since 1993, WESTMUSA, a New York City-based tax and accounting firm, has served companies and individuals from the Nordic countries and beyond.

It all started with Stevie Wonder.

The global superstar performed in Finland in 1984, and Ann-Christine, who was then with Ernst & Young Helsinki, was assigned to determine whether the artist was obliged to pay taxes in Finland.

Her study and understanding of the U.S.-Finland Tax Treaty led to her specializing in U.S.-Nordic taxes at Ernst & Young. By 1990 Ann-Christine was a Partner in the firm, and moved to the U.S. to establish and lead the Ernst & Young Scandinavian Tax Desk at the International Tax Department in New York.

In 1993 she co-founded Westerlund & Mousa (later WESTMUSA, Inc.) in partnership with her husband, media executive M.E. Mousa.

WESTMUSA has risen to become a premier tax return preparation and advisory firm serving a “who’s who” of Nordic companies and individuals. With a deep understanding of both Nordic and U.S. tax regulations and Ann-Christine's fluency in English, Finnish and Swedish, the WESTMUSA team is uniquely qualified to handle U.S. tax returns and U.S.-Nordic tax-related questions. 

Ann-Christine is an active member of leading Nordic-American professional organizations and the International Taxation Committee, New York State Society of CPAs.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email
with information about joining the webinar.

Submit your questions in advance to:

The webinar will be recorded and shortly following the live program will be available on the FFN YouTube channel. Please check out our webinars on education in Finland, dual citizenship and more at:
WESTMUSA provides expert advice on U.S.-Nordic tax related questions and prepares fully compliant U.S. tax returns that minimize your tax bill. Click the logo above for more information about WESTMUSA, Inc.
Music, Books, Food, Discussions & More
Finnposium is Finlandia Foundation National's virtual symposium featuring a variety of online chats, webinars, musical and other presentations related to Finland and Finnish culture in the U.S.

The Embassies of Finland and Sweden in Washington, DC, and DC Jazz Festival invite you to our event “OutLoud! LGBTQI+ Experiences in the Music Industry” on March 11, 1 PM EST. The panel discussion, hosted in Zoom, gives space for American and Nordic artists to discuss LGBTQI+ rights and their experiences in both their home countries and the music industry. To offer a Finnish perspective, we are joined by the beloved pop star and songwriter Saara Aalto from Finland.

Other panelists include:

•    Tove Styrke – Swedish pop artist and songwriter best known for her smash hit single "Say My Name."
•    Lea DeLaria – an American comedian, actress, and singer best known for her portrayal of inmate Carrie "Big Boo" Black on Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black
•    Dave Koz – American contemporary jazz saxophonist, also well known as DJ radio host
•    Michael Mayo – Critically acclaimed singer. His lead single, “The Way,” is from his Mack Avenue Records’ debut album, Bones on Artistry Music, which is slated for release in March 2021. 
•    Andrew D’Angelo – American saxophonist, known for his work with Human Feel, the Matt Wilson Quartet and Tyft
•    Theo Beckmann – Two-time GRAMMY® nominated, and ECM recording artist from Germany
•    Moderator DJ John Murph – DC-based music journalist, entertainer, and pop critic

The event is supported by The Corner at Whitman-Walker and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRCF). 

Register for the free event on Eventbrite

South by Southwest (SXSW) will be held online on March 16–20. The Virtual Finland Pavilion will showcase Finland as a front runner and partner in creative industries, sustainable innovations and future technologies. This Business Finland led collaboration brings together Music Finland, Audiovisual Producers Finland (Apfi), Finnish Film Foundation, a group of Finnish companies, Embassy of Finland in Washington D.C. and Consulate General of Finland in New York.

The Embassy and the Consulate General are presenting an Innovative Wood event as part of the SXSW Partner Program. The event will take place on Thursday, March 18, at 10 am (CDT). Through collaboration with Finnish companies and research organizations, we present Finland’s innovations from wood, from medicine to fashion. Furthermore, we highlight Finland’s climate and sustainability commitments. The event includes greetings from Mr. Skinnari, Finland’s Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, and our bioeconomy partners in the State of Maine. Through the event, we wish to reach new partners in the US and globally in the transition to a greener economy.                    
Please find more information here:

Having art experiences limited for almost a year has further highlighted their importance. In order to offer possibilities to experience and admire art during this time, our new campaign #FinnishArtUSA, starting in March, will showcase US-based Finnish and Finnish American artists and their creations on the Embassy’s social media channels. 

The Embassy has asked artists for submissions from all over the U.S. and we have received a delightful number of entries by artists with different backgrounds and specialties. The artists’ stories and works will be presented on our social media channels and updated on our website throughout the year.

Link to the campaign’s page

Travel & Immigration Webinar

Finnish American Chamber of Commerce and the Consulates General of Finland in New York and Los Angeles host a webinar on March 2 at 12 p.m. EST titled "Travel and immigration between Finland and the U.S. during Covid-19: What you need to know". 

Sign up for the webinar here

Women InNovation

Join us for Women InNovation virtual conference with the Nordic Innovation House, New York, on March 5! This is a gathering of key voices to promote global understanding of challenges and opportunities women entrepreneurs face.

More information and RSVP on the event site

Environmental Film Festival

Have you ever met a newborn reindeer? Now is your chance to follow the incredible journey of Ailo, who embarks on an odyssey with the help of his mother, as the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital is screening A Reindeer’s Journey during March 19–28, 2021. This story is filmed in the amazing scenery of Finnish Lapland and narrated by Donald Sutherland.

The Environmental Film Festival in the nation’s capital is the world’s premier showcase of environmentally-themed films with many screenings being free of charge. See the event on the festival's website.

FROM WASTE TO FASHION: Solutions for Fashion Brands in Transition to Greener Future

Official Side Event of Circular City Week New York, hosted by Business Finland and the Consulate General of Finland in New York

Join us for a panel discussion tackling the urgent environmental challenges in the textile and fashion industries and hear compelling case examples on transforming these industries with innovations from Finland.

What can we do better in terms of using new types of recyclable material innovations with less harmful impact on the environment, textile treatment, recycling, and waste handling, all the way to educating future designers? How can different fashion industry actors support the transition to circularity and sustainable development on their ends?

March 25, 9:00–10:30 a.m. EST
Sign up for the event here

FinnFest USA Online Lecture Series

Have you ever wondered what traditions in today’s Finnish American culture originated from Finland and which ones are uniquely Finnish American? In her lecture, Dr. Hilary-Joy Virtanen explores the Finnish and American aspects of Finnish American cultural practices. 

March 27, 11:00 p.m. EST
Sign up for the free lecture 

Panel recording: The geopolitics of emerging tech during the pandemic

On February 10, Atlantic Council hosted a discussion that touched on the intersection of geopolitics, modern technologies, and the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the panelists was Antti Niemelä, Head of Section for Sustainable Growth and Commerce at the Embassy of Finland.

Watch the panel recording
NB! All times and dates are subject to change, please check the event site for details before attending.

Education in Finland
Two-part Webinar Via Zoom 
January 12 and 19, 2021

What makes the Finnish education system so special?
Is it possible for non-residents to study in Finland?
Attend a free, two-part, online webinar hosted by Finlandia Foundation National and the Embassy of Finland in the United States.
Ilkka Turunen, senior specialist, higher education and science policy at the Embassy in Washington, D.C., will lead the webinars addressing the popular topic of education in Finland.
Attend Part One, Part Two or both!
There is no charge to participate in the Zoom webinars,
but you must register for each separately. 
Register for PART ONE by Monday, January 11

Registration for PART TWO will open on January 12
Click here to register
4-5 p.m. (Eastern), Tuesday, January 12
In the first session he will address the factors that have contributed to recognition of Finland's unique system as one of the best in the world; what changes and challenges it is facing; and what's ahead.
4-5 p.m. (Eastern), Tuesday, January 19
The following week will cover what's required for non-residents to pursue post-secondary and graduate degrees in Finland, from necessary permits to anticipated costs and opportunities for scholarships. He will also offer information on starting a business in Finland. 

Click here for information about Finlandia Foundation National, the leading, independent source of support for Finnish culture in the United States.

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 A Christmas Concert
Especially for You

Beautiful Music of the Season
Performed by
Jussi Makkonen and Nazig Azezian

Finlandia Foundation National is pleased to bring you this special performance from Nurmes, Finland by cellist Jussi Makkonen and pianist Nazig Azezian. The concert was recorded at the artist residence of Jussi, on the shore of Lake Pielinen in North Karelia. 

In the past few years, the musicians have had several concert tours in the United States organized by Finlandia Foundation National. In 2019 they received the Finlandia Foundation Award of Excellence in recognition of their musicianship and commitment to performing the music of Finland in the United States, particularly the works of Jean Sibelius. 

With this Christmas concert, Jussi and Nazig extend their best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

This 30-minute program includes beloved Finnish Christmas music by Karl Collan, Heino Kaski and Jean Sibelius, as well as the classic "White Christmas" by Irving Berlin. 

Please share this program with your family and friends, and enjoy it often throughout the holidays.   
Click here for the Program

Finlandia Foundation National wishes you a Merry Christmas and the Happiest New Year. 

Hyvää Joulua ja Onnellista Uutta Vuotta.

Click here
for more information about Jussi and Nazig and their programs.

For more about Finlandia Foundation National:
Follow us at:

FFN office in Pasadena: Tel: 626-795-2081

“Sirkka” is a documentary film about the life of Sirkka Tuomi Holm (1920-2020)

View the film December 3 – 12, 2020 for free on Vimeo and then join us on 12/10/2020 at 7pm for a Zoom discussion with filmmaker Kristin Ojaniemi and Finnish American Heritage Center director James Kurtti.

This virtual program is present through an ongoing partnership between the Historical Society of Cheshire County and the Finnish American Heritage Center in Hancock Michigan.

Click here for more information and to register

Independence Day Broadcast

Dear Friend of Finland, we warmly welcome you to join us to celebrate Finland's 103rd Independence Day online!

Head over to the Embassy's Facebook page this Thursday evening to watch a video stream filled with music, speeches from the Head of Missions, and greetings from Finns in the US. This event is held in English, so you can (virtually) grab a non-Finnish speaking friend with you to watch it.

Recording of the event will be available afterward on Facebook, and we'll post highlights of the broadcast on the Embassy's YouTube channel at a later date. On the actual date of the Independence, Dec 6th, you can view the President of Finland's reception on Yle Areena web player (in Finnish and Swedish).

Finland Online

Launch event: Finland and U.S. cooperation in bioeconomy

Finland is experiencing a biofuel and pulp boom and the entire bio-economy value chain is in place, with strong relationships between end-users, companies and researchers. Many companies and research organizations are reinforcing and building their ties to the U.S.

The United States aims for a so-called “Billion Ton Bioeconomy Vision”, i.e. an annual billion ton biomass output by 2030. At the federal level the vision is supported by a robust Bioeconomy Initiative led by the federal administration and an expert body mandated by the U.S. Congress.

In this event, Finland and two States in the U.S., Maine and Michigan, will launch industry working groups in sectors of the forest bioeconomy. These working groups will be open for companies, education and research organizations as well as industry interest groups.

More information and registration

Are you a 90 Day Finn?

Helsinki Business Hub, the international trade and investment promotion agency for Helsinki, is looking for US tech professionals to apply for a free 90-day Helsinki Relocation Package.

Whether you are an investor, employee, or entrepreneur, this might be your chance to experience living and working in one of the world-leading technology hubs.

Apply by December 10th here.

Events – December 2020
Finland's Independence Day Event

December 6, 5:30 pm

Finlandia Foundation organizes an online celebration in honor of the 103rd anniversary of Finland’s Independence. Check out their program filled with music and speeches from distinguished speakers. 

Read more and register.

The Shop at Scandinavia House

December 1-3

Looking for Nordic themed gifts for this holiday season? Scandinavia House in NYC is offering a range of design items for personal and corporate gifts, as well as featured Nordic Holiday Gift Baskets with Scandinavian classics such as glögg, pepparkakor, knäckebröd, coffee, lingonberry treats.

Read more.