The Ministry of Education and Culture awarded the Finland Prize to seven artists who have shown exceptional accomplishment in recent times.
The Prizes recognised important figures in the Finnish cultural landscape, coming from widely varying fields. Among them were the publishing house Ellips Förlag that publishes Swedish language poetry and short prose, and media artist Jari Haanperä and his ‘Suomesta’ gallery for Finnish contemporary art in Berlin.
Other prize-winners included playwright Juha Jokela, dancer Jyrki Karttunen, film director Pekka Lehto, and writer Salla Silmukka, whose texts for young people have attracted considerable interest abroad. Finally, the pop-duo PMMP were commended for offering new role models for young women.
The Minister of Culture and Sport Paavo Arhinmäki handed out the Finland Prizes in Helsinki on Monday. The Prizes are worth 26,000 euros each, with the money coming from Finnish gaming company Veikkaus.
The Finland Prizes have been awarded since 1993. Up to 1998, a Finland Prize for young art was also given out.