ANTI Festival is the Finnish Theatre of the Year 2019

Jyri Väisänen, Johanna Tuukkanen, Outi Alanko-Kahiluoto, Gregg Whelan and Suvi Koivisto at Thalia Gala. Photo: Ville Hakulinen

ANTI Festival is the Finnish Theatre of the Year 2019

ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival has won the Theatre of the Year 2019 prize awarded by The Association of Finnish Theatres. The winner was chosen by MP Outi Alanko-Kahiluoto (Greens).

Theater of the Year award is a prize awarded by The Association of Finnish Theatres yearly since 1997. The 2019 finalists were Baltic Circle Festival and ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival. The finalists were selected by a jury, whose members were dramaturgist Marie Kajava, curator Hilkka-Liisa Iivanainen and critic and researcher Raija Ojala, who is also the former manager of the last year’s winner Zodiak. – Center for New Dance. With the nominations, the jury wanted to highlight two forerunners of Finnish contemporary theatre and performance, who broaden the concept of theatre with their operational model and existence.

“Unique to Kuopio, Finland and the World”

Outi Alanko-Kahiluoto explains her choice with the exceptionally wide knowledge of the art field and the expertise of artistic leadership of the festival. She also highlights ANTI Festival’s accessibility: “It is a festival that sets the threshold for participation and exposure to art as low as possible. ANTI Festival is an internationally interesting and artistically high-class festival without any elitism or insiderity”.

The prize was awarded for the first time to a festival. It was awarded on March 11 during the Thalia Gala in Theatre Viirus. “ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival presents Kuopio, Finland and the whole world something completely unique and unparalleled,” Alanko-Kahiluoto explains her choice.

The artistic leaders of the ANTI Festival Johanna Tuukkanen and Gregg Whelan rejoice: “We wish to thank all the artists who have presented their work at ANTI Festival, our partners, especially the City of Kuopio for their courage and the people of Kuopio for their curiosity and openness. And of course, we’d like to thank our staff: Elisa who is currently on her maternity leave, Jyri, Suvi, all our interns and the members of the board. Making a festival is collaboration and constant developing, renewing and evaluation of operation. It’s good to continue from here!”

ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival will return to the public spaces of Kuopio for its 18th edition in 2019. The festival will take place between 10th and 15th September 2019 and its theme and focus is death.