Our Story

In the 1990s, one of the entrepreneurs at Cultural Services Kaiku (Virve) still served as the cultural secretary of the municipality. However, it felt like the municipal cultural work could somehow be managed differently, perhaps even more intensively and better. Our curiosity towards new challenges and our passion to do things differently than others did not leave us. We began to explore the possibility of managing municipal cultural work, for example through a company. We found that merely the management of municipal cultural tasks did not create the conditions for business. Then it happened that we were increasingly asked for handwritten children’s adventures, plays, etc. Eventually even YLE (Yleisradio, Finnish Broadcasting Company) got interested in our program production and, after some negotiations, we made a contract on the handwriting and production of children’s TV programs. We felt that combining these pieces and spicing them up with other program and event services would create a sound base for business activities. Another motivational factor for moving forward with this idea has been the freedom of creativity, ideation and development, which comes along with an own company.

Cultural Services Kaiku was founded in summer 1999 and started operating in early 2000. The most important initial agreement was concluded with the municipality of Ruokolahti, whose open-minded municipal leaders back then decided to start collaboration with Cultural Services Kaiku with a three-year trial. The aim was to see how the public cultural services of the municipality can be provided as purchased services. Co-operation with the municipality of Ruokolahti began in 2000. Since this method of operation was new to the municipal sector, it required a leap of faith and passion for culture and entrepreneurship. The results of the experiment were positive, so the business activities continued. In 2005 we also started a cooperation with the municipality of Luumäki. In addition, we have produced various municipal cultural services as individual events to other municipalities in South Karelia.

The production of children’s TV programs had already begun before the foundation of the company, in 1995, with a series called “Käpälämäkiset esittää”, followed by “Me Niiraset”, “Kesäväkkärä” and, finally, “Iskän kaa” and “Kesäveturi”, which were already produced by Cultural Services Kaiku. From the beginning, various kinds of adventures and events for children and young people, camps, corporate events, program and event services, manuscripts for a variety of destinations and the organization of tours have been part of our activities.

Since the start of our journey in 2000, a wide variety of events, program service, experiments and projects were organized along the way. You could almost say: “You name it, we have done it!” In all these years we have experienced huge successes, but of course there were also experiments which, for one reason or another, did not work and were not meant to remain. These include, for example, the Old Geezer Carting World Championship, organized in Ruokolahti from 2007 to 2010. The competitions were held, we received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the audience and everyone had a great time. Yet the event did not achieve the kind of popularity back then that would suggest a continuation. Perhaps the time was wrong. Perhaps the place was wrong. Although many years have passed, we still receive messages and queries from around the world, in which people ask when the Championships will be held next time!

The love for nature, culture, history and the preservation of traditions is reflected in our company’s operations. Nevertheless we do not live in a world gone by, but rather build upon these foundations to create new experiences for the people of today. At every opportunity, we appropriately combine nature and culture, implement a variety of program and event packages (e.g. in the middle of the forest) and organize all kinds of events and activities for people of all ages – from forest tours for smaller groups to public events for thousands of people, from classical music concerts to village evenings, from children’s drama adventures to lectures and seminars. Our work is enriched by the fact that we are working with the most diverse people and bodies. Cooperation and a large network safeguard the high quality of our services and work. Our operating area is South Karelia, but we also organize visit events and programs as well as projects in other parts of Finland.

Directly and indirectly, hundreds of people are employed through the organization and implementation of various kinds of events during the year. We are constantly developing something new. To name some examples, for example, in summer 2015 we started a cooperation with the Society of Ruokolahti in order to develop the outdoor museum and its café and event activities. This is how Summer Café Kaiku with its various activities was developed – and the range of visitors quadrupled within in a few months.
A completely new cultural approach was developed with the municipality of Luumäki and the local societies. Here, a cooperation group named “Käskassara”, which consists of representatives of the various parties, is playing an active role in the development of the municipal leisure-time activities.

All this requires enthusiasm and boldness, courage and love towards the development and expression of cultural activities. Cultural entrepreneurship has become a way of life for us; all activities are conducted wholeheartedly, professionally, and with great passion as well as a positive attitude, taking partners and customers into account. Culture is so vast an area of activity that it will never get boring. Our work is always changing and very rewarding.
We welcome you to make and experience memorable moments together with us!