The House of Minna Canth (1844 – 1897) is located in the center of Kuopio, next to Snellman park and only a 5 min walk from Kuopio market place. The building, also known by the name Kanttila, is a valuable part of Kuopio’s cultural history. It was home to Minna Canth and a meeting place where equality was defended.
Welcome to explore and enjoy this magnificent building, that we are renovating! Please also check our wonderful nature tours, which can be booked now!
But first, let’s get to know who was Minna Canth. Minna Canth (1844 – 1897) was a single-parent of seven children, businesswoman, writer, women’s rights advocate and a social activist. She lived in Kanttila in her youth 1853 – 1863 and later as a widow from 1980 until her death, year 1897. Minna Canth was the reformer of Finnish literature as well as the pioneer of realism. She was also the first Finnish-speaking female journalist. Many of her works of fiction are Finnish literary classics.
Minna Canth’s lifework plays a major role in Finland developing into a forerunner in education and equality. The topic is still relevant. Finland has gained repeated success in PISA education survey and the female majority Government of Prime Minister Sanna Marin quickly made the headlines also in international media. 19th of March, the birthday of Minna Canth, is a national flag day celebrating Canth and equality in society. Minna Canth is the first Finnish woman to have her own flag day, which has been celebrated since 2007.
Today, however, the home of Minna Canth is slowly falling apart. The building is in very poor condition. In past decades, there have been several attempts to save Kanttila but none have yet been successful.
In October 2016 the Association of Minna Canth House was founded. The Association may be Kanttila’s last chance to survive. The Association of Minna Canth House aims to implement extensive repair and renovation work in Kanttila and save it for cultural purposes. The aim of Kanttila is to cherish and present the legacy of Minna Canth whilst operate as a vivid culture and residency center combining science and art internationally. For us and the future generations the legacy of Minna Canth is primarily the legacy of freedom of speech and equality. Kanttila will continue the legacy of Minna Canth by operating as a cultural centre focusing on literary art and journalism, more precisely on freedom of speech, human rights, equality and democracy as well as on themes related to the relationship between art and society. Kanttila’s door is open to everyone who wants to promote equality.
The plans for the building include residence and workspaces for artists and researchers, public workspaces, a stage, meeting places for citizens, a café-restaurant and Minna Canth’s history presented with digital means. For the public Kanttila will be an interesting meeting place and a cultural tourist attraction. It will also enable new kind of art and culture to execute and develop.
The renovation project has proceeded as planned. The building historical survey (RHS) of Kanttila conducted by architect Hannu Puurunen and M.Sc. Eeva Martikainen was published on 19.3.2020. The survey shows the 200-year-old history of Kanttila and the different phases of the building. It also partly provides information about its usage history. The survey forms basis for the architect and operation planning, which is currently being executed.
The Kanttila renovation project is managed by Anja Lappi, the creative director of Anya Productions, a firm specialized in cultural production. Lappi has remarkable experience in the cultural field and in her opinion the most important things in Kanttila project are co-operation, transparency and new openings.