What’s On in Helsinki: November 2020

Please note: Many of the events below are in-person. Please make sure to follow the country’s current COVID-19 guidelines (find them here), as they may change between the time this calendar is published and when an event takes place. Always maintain social distance, wash your hands, and wear a mask when possible.

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The cultural life in Helsinki blooms in the fall; when days get shorter and the weather is gloomy, and people are back from their holidays and summerhouses, they crave for urban adventures. This fall is obviously different from others. Corona’s still roaming around, and the general recommendation is to keep your distance whenever possible.

But maybe the glass is half full, after all. Autumn is the time of coziness all over the North. In November it manifests in Helsinki through film festivals, warm swims, and different online events (that you are welcome to join from the warmth of your own home and through your pajama, should you feel like it). In the lack of crowded events we might as well enjoy the indoors, all things pretty and soft just a click or two away.

Here’s everything happening in Helsinki this November:

Sunday 1st – 15th November

Sara Bjarland: Crumple, fail, faint, fall at Sinne

Sinne, a gallery in central Helsinki that bathes in light, is always a giving space for a spin in. Until the 15th you can enjoy Sara Bjarland’s work, built on discarded inorganic and organic waste. By using objects she found in the city, the exhibition creates an image of the present, portraying a lifeless landscape, reflecting the spiritual emptiness of our time.


Sunday 1st – 8th November

Emmi Kallio: Love boat at Galleria Halmetoja

Emmi Kallio’s exhibition Love Boat is colour explosion, inspired by cruise liners, icebergs, and the final party hours. They are both playful and intense and reveal new layers with each new look. If you’re unable to visit Galleria Halmetoja, you can see the exhibition online!



Sunday 1st

RIVIERA: Tove with English subtitles

“Life is a wonderful adventure and one should explore all its twists and turns,” said Tove Jansson, the multitalented artist behind the Moomin series. The already critically acclaimed film (that’s quickly become the latest talk of the town) shows the many faces of Jansson, who was passionate in all her endeavors, and so much more than a children’s book author. Oh, and you do know that inside Riviera movie theatre there is a bar, where you can sneak to fill your glass while you’re watching the movie? Sunday doesn’t get much better than that.
There will be other screenings with English subtitles through the first week of the month. Check the Facebook event for more information.


Monday 2nd November

Helsinki International Film Festival: Gloria Mundi

Love and Anarchy, also known as the Helsinki International Film Festival, still has a few screenings in November! One of them is Gloria Mundi, a drama situated in Marseille with more than one acclaimed actor. For the ones of you still longing for those holidays that were canceled this year – France is just a movie ticket away.


Tuesday 3rd November

Jon Hopkins: Polarity Tour

There’s a certain kind of music that exists in the space between rocking you to sleep and keeping your brain stimulated. Jon Hopkins’ is it; both incredibly beautiful and soothing, while making your whole skin goosebumpy. The Musiikkitalo Concert Hall will make the perfect venue for this kind of experience – the underground amphitheater creates a unique acoustic space. Tickets range from 46€ to 67€.



Wednesday 4th November

Siltanen’s Open Mic Night

All you need to perform at Siltanen’s Open Mic Night is to show up and sign your name at the bar, and the stage is yours for 10 minutes to sing, dance, tell jokes, read poetry – whatever your talent is! All performances win a drink ticket after the act, but if you don’t want to get on stage, you’re more than welcome to buy your drinks at the bar and just enjoy the show from the audience.


Thursday 5th November

Minimalia II

For a small and Covid-safe concert of chamber music, head down to Forum Box. The music is, like the event itself, minimalistic, and the perfect way to relax before the upcoming weekend. Ticket sale starts an hour before the concert and ranges between 10€ and 15€. Remember to be on time, since the seating is limited.


Friday 6th November

Vinokino Festival: Pier Kids

The upcoming Vinokino Festival (scroll down to 27th November) starts off with the screening of Pier Kids at the Kallio Library. Pier Kids follows three homeless queer black youth for 8 years in a documentary about an underground community in New York. Free entrance!



Saturday 7th November

Sound Healing Concert

At this concert, your body is the object – the vibrations and symphonic waves aim to both relax and release stacked emotions. While you sit or lie down in a comfortable position, you’ll hear gongs, monochords, kotos, and flutes tickling your cells through sound. Concert tickets are from 25€ to 30€ by cash. Bring your own yoga mat, and for added comfort you may also bring your own blanket, something to cover your eyes from the light, a pillow, and above all a bottle of water. Dress comfortably.


Dreadlock Tales & Mikko Heikinpoika – Sonic Artifact album release

Do you miss live music? Kuudes Linja club hosts the release of Sonic Artifact, an album containing one 35-minute long progressive piece, exploring the depths of ambient, drone, and electronica music. Tickets are 12€ and sold by the door.


Sunday 8th and 21st November

Anti-racism in dance culture

SADE organizes lectures about “Anti-racism within dance” in collaboration with Sophia Wekesa and Tiivistämö. The lectures focus on increasing understanding and awareness of racist structures within the dance communities while offering tools for anti-racist work. The lecture is streamed in two parts, costing 35€ each.



Tuesday 10th November

Online public lectures: The future of technology and Finland

Aalto University hosts open public lectures, where experts from Facebook, IBM, Accenture, VTT, and other major organisations discuss our technological future and its impacts on society. The online lectures focusing on topics such as technological trends, AI, data analytics, 5G, robotics, ethics, democracy, and security, are free and open for everyone. Join the discussion on live-stream lectures on Zoom or Panopto, or watch recordings when it suits you!



The Mole Agent (2020), also called “one of the most heart warming spy movies of all time” has melted the critics’ hearts with its sincerity. This feel-good thriller screams of a cozy movie night to break up the gloomiest time of the year.


Wednesday 11th – 15th November

Helsinki Butoh Festival 2020

Helsinki Butoh Festival, arranged for the second time this year, invites the audience to take part in over 15 butoh performances, while also arranging workshops and moderated discussions. Tickets cost 10-20€ a day, and a personal Festival pass to access the whole festival is 30-40€.



Sunday 15th November

Sondheim in concert

Celebrating the anniversary of composer Stephen Sondheim, you will relive many cinematic moments and musical classics at this Sunday concert, where interpretations from Sweeney Todd, Passion, A Little Night Music, Into the Woods and many more will come to life. Tickets range from 22€ to 26€.


Monday 16th November

Helsinki International Film Festival: Last And First Men

Last And First Men (2020), presented as an “apocalyptic and at times enigmatic passion project” by the late Icelandic composer/director/writer Johan Johannsson (1969-2018), is a black-and-white experience unlike few. Narrated by Tilda Swanson it portrays dystopian themes through beautiful 16 mm film.


Wednesday 18th November

Allas Candlelight Swim

Building a big swimming pool in the center of Helsinki might be one of the best things that ever happened to the city. The best part is, it doesn’t close when summer ends. This Wednesday (as well as Wednesday 4th and Wednesday 25th) you can relax with a sauna, followed by a warm swim surrounded by candles and chill music in the background. Dip in with the price of a normal entrance ticket, or spice your night up with the snack platter and a glass of wine (29€) to your sauna and swim.



Thursday 19th November

Environmental crisis – from words to deeds in the field of art

Are you working in arts and culture? Do you long for information on how the environmental crisis affects the art scenes? Do you crave action instead of just words?
During the seminar 4 art organizations (Frame Contemporary Art Finland, IHME Helsinki, Mustarinda, and HIAP – Helsinki International Artist Programme) discuss problems concerning energy, mobility, and funding. Sign up by the 16 November and join this daylong Zoom meeting for new perspectives.


Friday 20th – 28th November

Felicia Honkasalo, Akuliina Niemi & Masi Tiitta: Ghost in the Atom

Ghost in the Atom is a celebration of remembering, and of time passing. By entering a seemingly empty space and putting on VR-glasses, a fantastic yet invisible world opens. The work, that can be experienced by one spectator at a time – the spectator wearing the VR-glasses and therefore entering new worlds – lasts for 20 minutes and needs to be booked in advance.


Friday 20th and Saturday 21st November

Hidria Spacefolk, Superfjord, Polymoon / Ääniwalli

Due to Covid, Ääniwalli has divided this psychedelic Hidria Spacefolk-concert into two, one on Friday 20th and the next on Saturday 21st! Don’t hesitate if you’re not a big consumer of space rock – it’s warm and groovy and danceable, and now situated in one of the coolest clubs in Helsinki. These progressive, hypnotic, Astro-electric rhythms will stay with you long after you’ve gone home.



Friday 20th November

Vinokino Film Festival: Ahead of the Curve

Ahead of the Curve tells the tale of Curve, the best-selling lesbian magazine ever published, from its birth in 1990 to its struggles today. The entrance free screening at Kallio library is part of the Vinokino Film Festival.


Saturday 21st November

Allas Skinnydips

Finns are known for their naked traditions, such as sitting in the sauna and rolling in the snow afterward. Skinnydipping is another thing we might enjoy doing in our birthday suits. And now you can, too! Allas welcomes for an evening swim au natural (nakedness is not required and bathing suits are allowed) for the price of a normal swim ticket.


Hämeentie festival

Hämeentie is one of those long, legendary streets, living, and breathing among its inhabitants. This Saturday residents, companies, and collectives in the area of Kallio come together to celebrate the part of Helsinki that is as colorful as it is interesting. Come and take a crisp November stroll through the most vivid blocks of Helsinki only to see where you might end up.



Friday 27th – Sunday 29th November

Vinokino Film Festival

Vinokino is a film festival in rainbow colours. As the only film festival in Finland exclusively portraying stories around sexual and gender minorities, it has a wide range of films – documentaries, short films, comedies, drama, and more. Most of the films are in English.


Saturday 28th November

Rumba Latina Teurastamo

Rural Teurastamo heats up for one night to tones of salsa, bachata, merengue, cumbia, pachanga, reggaeton, brasilieras, rancheras… Si, it’s Latin night! At this colourful fiesta, you can dance, eat tacos and sip Caribbean cocktails on hips that don’t lie. Free entrance!


Ongoing in November

Doug Aitken: I Only Have Eyes for You at Kiasma

Doug Aitken makes his first solo exhibition in Finland, bringing a broad variety of works, such as large-scale video installations, sculptures, and sound, to our museum of modern art. Aitken’s inspiration lies in modern existential questions, such as the individual’s role in an ever-changing society.



Tiepolo: Venice in the North at Sinebrychoff Art Museum

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696−1770) never travelled to Russia or Scandinavia, but that didn’t stop his paintings from doing so. The painter, whose reputation spread widely across Europe in the early 18th century, is now exhibited in Finland for the first time with over twenty oil paintings from remarkable collections all around Europe.


Fokus Gallery: Karin and Åke Hellman at Ateneum

The unique artist couple Karin Hellman (1915-2004) and Åke Hellman (1915-2017) shared but their private lives, also their studio and atelier for decades. After both debuting as artists in 1939, they lived their lives as teachers and artists and left significant marks on the Finnish art scene. The donated exhibition runs until January 2021.

If you’re a business or organisation that would like us to add your event to next month’s calendar, please contact us at hello [@] scandinaviastandard [dot] com. Thank you!



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Header image: Interiør med ung kvinde set fra ryggen (detail) by Vilhelm Hammershøi


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Sofia Elie

Sofia Elie is a Nordic writer. Currently based in Helsinki, she's putting the final touches to her debut novel (released in August 2021). Latest shenanigans on @sofiaelie