Europe : The Center of the SF & Fantasy World in 2017 – Worldcon 75 in Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki, Finland, is pleased to welcome the 75th Worldcon on August 9th through 13th 2017.

In 2017 we will be celebrating our national centennial. We invite you to explore our unique culture, a blend of east and west. From museums to music, fashion to food, art and design, Finland has a lot to offer.

Helsinki is also a major hub to the other Baltic Sea countries. Our bid was active in 28 coun­tries around the globe, and we anticipate the amount of international cooperation to grow as the con comes to fruition. We invite you to be a part of the most north­ern Worldcon ever, at 60 degrees latitude.” – Worldcon 75’s Organizing Commitee

“Helsinki in 2017 is our attempt to bring together European fans of science fiction and fantasy, and to connect all of us together as Worldcon fans. Now we get to continue this work as a Worldcon, and we invite you to join us in Helsinki, and online at worldcon.fi.

Europe is full of fannish activity, but we lack cohesion; we lack a collective that we might all call our own. In other words, while there are many national fandoms, there is no truly European fandom.

Our little project is about fixing that, by bringing together these separate groups, and introducing them to fandom at large.

We want Worldcon fandom to be truly international, and we believe the way to do that is to bring Worldcon to Europe more than once or twice a decade.

We believe in Worldcon; we believe in its scope and format. If those were to change too much or too fast, the world would soon have a Worldcon-shaped hole in it. But we do want to add to its membership, and its reach, by giving European fans a chance to join this community. We also believe Nordic and Finnish fandom in particular has a lot to show to the rest of the world, and we’d very much like the opportunity to shine. And the right place and time for that is Helsinki in 2017.” – Worldcon 75’s Organizing Commitee

Guests of Honour

From left : Johanna Sinisalo (Finland), John-Henri Holmberg (Sweden), Claire Wendling (France), Nalo Hopkinson (Canada/USA), Walter Jon Williams (USA)

Johanna Sinisalo John-Henri Holmberg Claire WendlingNalo Hopkinson Walter Jon Williams

Conference Center

Messukeskus, the Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre, is the site for Worldcon 75. It is accessible, has modern tech, over 20 restaurants of different styles, great staff and flexibility about our needs.

Messukeskus is close to the Helsinki city centre. The world’s safest and most reliable public transport will take you there and around the city – with a free travel pass to all our members, courtesy of the City of Helsinki.

Jean Sibelius Monument is dedicated to the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius (1865–1957). The monument is located at the Sibelius Park (Finnish: Sibeliuspuisto) in the district of Töölö in Helsinki, the capital city of Finland.The monument is a sculpture by Finnish artist Eila Hiltunen titled “Passio Musicae” and unveiled on September 7, 1967.

Chairs

Chairs

The Organizing Team (from left): Saija ARO, Crystal HUFF and Jukka HALME

Jukka Halme has chaired and co-chaired three Finncons, including the massive Finncon-Animecon in 2009 (over 10 000 attendees) and has also been in charge of programming at Finncon and Åcon for several years. Jukka has been actively involved in the Finnish and Nordic fandom since the early 80s, doing everything possible from gophering to editing and beyond. He has also been the fan GoH of two Eurocons. In his free time he works for the City of Helsinki and minds his two dogs with his lovely wife.

Saija Aro has been making Finncons happen for over 20 years, working at every level from gophering to co-chairing (the last one in 2014 was on the small side with 3000 attendees). She also ran the memorable Finnish room party at Interaction, dabbles with other conventions, fandom organizations and art happenings. In her civil life she manages things at an eco company, a set of twins and a (former) bid chair.

Crystal Huff began staffing conventions at her very first one. She has helped run Publications, Massage Den, Member Services, Staff Den, the Photo Booth, Staff Services, and Volunteers, variously, at Arisia, Boskone, and Worldcon, with occasional side forays into volunteering at Balticon, Transcending Boundaries Conference, and SXSW. She served as chair of Arisia 2011, Relaxacon 2011, and Readercons 23, 24, and 25. Crystal lives in Boston with her family.

The Chairs have preliminary contracts with two large hotel chains in Finland, and have in total of 1400 rooms reserved. These include all the 244 rooms in Holiday Inn Messu­keskus, which is attached to the con site and has some easy access rooms. The door to door travel time from the farthest of our hotels to con site is 22 minutes. The room rates are being negotiated, but as is the norm in Finland, the rates will include taxes, break­ fast, and wireless internet. Typical hotel breakfast in Finland includes a wide variety of cold and warm buffet items.

Finlandia Hall, Helsinki, designed by the world famous architect Alvar Aalto.

 

Temppeliaukio, the Church in the Rock designed by brothers Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen.

Kiasma, the Finnish Museum of Contemporary Art

Helsinki Senate Square, designed by Carl Ludwig Engel.

Other notable buildings include Aalto House, the Finnish Parliament,  Helsinki University of Technology in Otaniemi, Nokia Headquarters, Central Railway Station Building, Cathedral Building, Olympic Stadium Building and Studio Aalto.

Worldcon 75 Progress Reports

Progress Report #1

Progress Report #0

 

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