The Mayor
Antti Isotalus:

When the melancholy sound of the accordion is heard, the emotions are at stake. It is not enough, that the emotions of accordion player are at stake, but they have to be expressed and shared. When it comes to Kokkola Winter Accordion, the emotions are shared with thousands. Without the talent needed, it wouldn’t even be possible.

This winter treat, that lasts for one week, has been accomplished with talent, passion and emotion by artistic director Raimo Vertainen and many others who have been active. This has been waited for since last winter. Wants more.

So this year all of us who got to enjoy last years performance at Kokkola ice stadium, and especially those of you who didn’t, do join the audience. Live tastes better. Buy yourself a ticket, take time to enjoy, a wintry music treat is waiting for you! Many tables are set to choose from.

On behalf of the town of Kokkola and all its inhabitants I wish to thank the organizers and performers of Winter Accordion. We are proud of you and one doesn’t have to feel a bit ashamed to wish everyone from hometown Kokkola and no matter however far away from, welcome.

The Artistic director
Raimo Vertainen:

“Good festival in Kokola…”
A journey to the hustle and bustle of Shanghai. A week listening, making observations at the big festival and competition. From all parts of the world the accordionists are gathered in this Chinese city. Discussions, meetings. A journalist from New Zealand grabs my sleeve and says:”You have a good festival in Kokola…” I thank him and tell him the same. We in Kokkola do have a splendid and unique wintry town festival that is noticed in different parts of the world.

For the fourteenth time festival ahead and the setting as impressive as can be. The most faraway guest throughout our history arrives from Rio de Janeiro – Renato Borghetti. Hopefully there will be an extreme cold…and snow! Then real contrast can be found. Traditionally the week offers a lot to hear and see. Film is back on the programme, also old people and children are remembered. Guardia Nueva, of course…at the Snellman Hall. There is perhaps some light to be seen at the end of the tunnel, as far as the well needed renovation of the hall is concerned – an important matter for our region.

A strong education as a base produces skilled musicians, who have an enriching effect on their environment. It is important that the music education (higher level) would continue in Kokkola. The repercussions can be seen in many things and on many levels. Also on festivals.

Enjoy our programme, come and listen. Thanks in advance to all our supporters, to all people who have worked hard to make this possible and to the audience, of course.

You are warmly welcome to our winter festival town – Kokkola.