Ethnogala 2019 nominees have been selected

The nominees in the second edition of the Finnish Ethnogala have been announced. The leading figures in folk music, world music and folk dance will be awarded on the 10th of January at the Ethnogala, which will take place at Tavastia in Helsinki.  

At the Ethnogala, awards will be handed out in seven categories to the most interesting and distinguished figures in folk music, world music and folk dance. Expert juries have chosen three nominees for each category from submissions from the public. All winners will be announced at the Ethnogala. You can learn more about the nominees in the biographies below.

“We are thrilled by the large number of proposals from the public. We received a total of 300 submissions, which is an increase by around 30 from last year. The expert juries have done a great job, as the list of nominees really reflect the whole industry”, says Sirpa Lahti, the Executive Director of the Promotion Centre for Finnish Folk Music & Folk Dance.  

Please, find the bios of the Ethnogala nominees 2019 here.

ethnogala award categories 2019
Artist of the Year
The Artist of the Year is a brilliant Finnish soloist or group who has attracted attention in the field of folk music and folk dance.

  • Helsinki-Cotonou Ensemble
  • Johanna Juhola
  • Sväng

Folk Music Creator of the Year (awarded by Finnish Music Creators)
The Folk Music Creator of the Year is a Finnish composer or lyricist who has raised the bar for folk music through multi-faceted, ambitious work.

  • Heikki Laitinen
  • Solju
  • Tuuletar

Dance creator of the year
With their work, The Dance Creator of the Year have a profound influence and presence both in and beyond the folk dance scene. They value traditions while bravely pushing boundaries with new ideas.

  • Hanna Poikela
  • Kaari Martin
  • Tanssiteatteri Tsuumi

Intersection Award (awarded by the Global Music Centre)
The Intersection Award goes to a person, group, community or body that has advanced encounters between cultures and their rights to their own music.

  • Haapavesi Folk Music Festival
  • Helsinki-Cotonou Ensemble
  • Kulttuuriyhdistämö Interkult

Border Breaking Act of the Year (awarded by Music Finland)
The export award goes to an act that has aroused interest in the international music field and demonstrated export-readiness.

  • Antti Paalanen
  • Sväng
  • Tuuletar

Newcomer of the Year
The Newcomer of the Year is someone who has boldly earned his or her place as a new figure in Finland’s folk music and folk dance scene.

  • mammantytöt!
  • Pauanne
  • Solju

Producer of the year
Producer of the year is a person, company, organisation or a team who, through their work and activities, enables the development of the field.

  • Bafe’s Factory
  • Kulttuuriosuuskunta Uulu
  • Rahvaanmusiikin kerho


ethnogala program

18:00 Doors open
18:00 mammantytöt!
18:30 Farandi
19:00 Livestream starts
19:00 Antti Paalanen (small stage)
Award: Newcomer of the Year
19:20 Tuuletar (big stage)
Awards:Intersection Award, Border Breaking Act of the Year
20:00 J-P Piirainen (small stage)
20:15 Maria Kalaniemi ja Timo Alakotila (big stage)
Awards: Dance creator of the year, Producer of the year
20:55 Hilja Grönfors Trio (small stage)
21:05 Part of dance piece Kyllikki (big stage)
Awards: Folk Music Creator of the Year, Artist of the Year
21:30 Frigg (big stage)
22:00 Quadrille (all together!)

Additionally sculptures of Tapani Kokko are displayed around Tavastia.

Please, find the bios of the Ethnogala performers here.

The Ethnogala is part of a larger programme of events called “Riding the Folk Wave Together”, which includes:

10.1. Ethnogala
11.1. The FolkForum seminar
11.-12.1. The Folklandia cruise, Helsinki-Tallinn
12.1. The Folklandia afterparty

The Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle will record and broadcast the event on its TV, radio and internet channels. The broadcast will include performances and interviews from both stages as well as the green room and backstage areas. The live TV and radio stream will also be available abroad.  

Live stream link:



Ethnogala tickets are available from Tiketti.
Advance tickets 12-20 € and at the door 25 €.



Tavastia, Urho Kekkosen katu 4–6.


Organizers and partners

Ethnogala is arranged by The Promotion Centre for Finnish Folk Music & Folk Dance. Partners include The Finnish Broadcasting Company (Yle), The Folk Music Department of the University of the Arts, the Global Music Centre, Music Finland, Finnish Music Creators, Dance Info Finland, Suomen nuorisoseurat, Folklandia cruise, Marjatta & Kaisa (maetka), Finnish folk music association, Muusikkojen liitto, Kalevala society, The Finnish Music Foundation, Suomalaisen kansantanssin ystävät (Kansallispukuvuokraamo) and the Association for Rural Education and Culture.

The international program is supported additionally by Helsinki Marketing, Austrian Embassy Helsinki, Music Estonia, Royal Norwegian Embassy in Helsinki, Saura Booking Agency, Finland Benelux-institute ja Finland Madrid-institute.


Further information and interview requests

Sirpa Lahti
Promotion Centre for Finnish Folk Music & Folk Dance
040-738 4736,  

All accreditation requests should be sent to by 15 December 2018.

Images of the nominees can be downloaded here.

The 2017 broadcast of the first edition of the Ethnogala can be watched here.