The cultural and event industry has had enough! A protest will fill the forecourts of the Parliament House in Helsinki, Finland, on 3 June 2021 from 12 noon to 2 pm. A creative industry delegation hands over a joint statement with the requirements of the creative industries to the parliamentary groups. The event is designed not to compromise either on style or corona safety.

15 months ago, Covid-19 completely paralysed the cultural and event industry, which employs 120,000 people, denying people their rights to work and livelihood. During the distress, the sector has received sympathy, but the support from society has remained minimal and it has not been made available for many of the people working in this diverse industry. The plight of the creative industries is getting even worse along with further cuts in cultural funding.

Culture is a growth sector, also identified in the Government Program. It produced 3.3% of our GDP in 2019 and the number of jobs in the sector increased by a fifth in a decade. Covid-19 turned things around and forced the industry into a struggle of life and death. The sector dependent on audiences has not been treated equally compared to other sectors when it comes to placing and removing Covid-19 restrictions.

A common concern about the future has unified the cultural and event industry on an exceptional scale – companies, associations, groups, and other actors, from the smallest to the largest, into a single front. In a unique and corona-safe protest, a common Enough is enough! statement summarizing the requirements of the creative industries will be handed over to Parliament. The declaration has been signed by 171 creative industry communities and actors.

The statement will be presented by actress Seela Sella, choreographer Sonya Lindfors, musician Karri Paleface Miettinen, author Laura Lindstedt, film director Selma Vilhunen, musician Mikko Kosonen, visual artist Emma Helle and executive director Laura Serkosalo. The statement will be read in English by actor and singer Reeta Vestman and in Swedish by theatre director Erik Söderblom. The event lasts for an hour and ends with Seela Sella's words.

The requirements of the declaration can be summarized as follows:

  • Organising events in compliance with safety instructions to be allowed directly.
  • Corona subsidies for freelancers to be paid immediately, the event industry needs a boost for restarting the business after a long restriction period.
  • From cuts to investment: a minimum of 1% investment in culture in the state budget.
  • The definition of employment to be updated and freelancer safety net to be improved.

Representatives of the parties' parliamentary groups will receive the declaration.

Following the demonstration, a live stream panel discussion on the themes of the statement will be held at Cinema Orion from 2 pm to 4 pm. Among others, MPs Outi Alanko-Kahiluoto(Green) and Paula Risikko (Coalition), as well as musician-actor Olavi Uusivirta and Paula Tuovinen, Director of the Arts Promotion Centre Finland, are discussing the development of the creative sector and cultural funding in relation to its benefits. The panel discussion will be led by film director Heikki Kujanpää and it can be followed at the Enough is enough! Youtube channel.

Source: Cultural and event industry