Here are the most common questions concerning Kanttila and its alteration and repair work, as well as the development of the content of the Kanttila cultural centre. If you can’t find the answer here, email us at


Q: What is Kanttila?

A: Known as the home and business premises of Minna Canth (1844-1897), Kanttila in Kuopio is a 200-year-old wooden building in the centre of Kuopio. It is located next to Snellman Park and the Cathedral, at the corner of Kuninkaankatu and Minna Canthin katu.

Q: Who has worked in Kanttila?

A: The plot was owned in 1780 by the bookbinder Skotte. From 1820, Kanttila housed the first bookstore in Inland Finland. In the 1850s, a large number of new entrepreneurs came to Kuopio. In 1852, Minna Canth’s father Gustaf Vilhelm Johnson came from Tampere to work as the manager of Finlayson’s shop in Kuopio, initially in rented premises. Minna Canth moved to study in Jyväskylä in 1863 and returned to Kuopio in 1880 after being widowed the previous year. The family lived in Kanttila, where both a yarn shop and a general store operated.

Q: Who was Minna Canth?

A: Minna Canth (1844-1897) lived and ran a yarn shop and a general store in Kanttila. At the same time, she wrote plays, short stories, newspaper articles, speeches and was a prominent opinion leader of her time and the widowed mother of a large family.

Q: Why is the legacy of Minna Canth important?

A: Minna Canth’s life’s work has played a major role in Finland’s development into a forerunner in education and equality. Minna Canth was the first Finnish woman to receive her own flag day on her birthday on 19 March, when equality is also celebrated.

Q: Why is Kanttila an important attraction?

A: Kanttila has housed Finland’s first think tank, Minna’s Salon. According to the current town plan, the building is protected under the marking sr-7 (a building of cultural-historical value that is protected in the town plan). The land is owned by the city of Kuopio, and the plot has a long-term lease agreement with the city. Kanttila is a culturally and historically significant site, whose area of influence is the whole of Finland, and, with thorough communication, the whole world in the future. Kanttila is part of the cultural activities of municipalities, which are regulated by law that provides a framework for cultural activities. The significance or importance of a cultural-historical site is not lost if its ownership or the party maintaining the activity changes.


Q: What will Kanttila have when it is finished?

A: Seven accomodation rooms, Minna’s Salon museum, theater space in the attic for digital and physical performance, café & courtyard terrace, work and exhibition spaces.

Q: Why is the City of Kuopio not renovating Kanttila?

A: The City of Kuopio does not own Kanttila. However, it is not an obstacle to cooperation. For example, the City of Kuopio can participate in the planning costs of the building permit phase and, where applicable, in the renovation itself. This would allow for state funding, which currently can be around 30%.

Q: Who owns Kanttila?

A: Kanttilan kiinteistö Oy Minna Canthin katu 20-22. The association of Minna Canth’s house owns all the shares in the mutual real estate company.

Q: Why is Kanttila not demolished to the ground and a new one built on it?

A: Cultural-historical sites are studied because the buildings contain unique information about the building culture of different decades, technical solutions and tell about the customs that have existed in different centuries and decades. After careful planning and small deconstruction, the studies progress to large-scale deconstruction. Once all of Kanttila’s building solutions from the 1970s have been demolished, we will be able to explore the older layers. Cooperation is carried out with the Kuopio Museum of Cultural History. The museum acts as a statutory expert and authority in the cultural environment (archaeological cultural heritage and built environment) in the region of Northern Savonia. In addition, the Kuopio Museum of Cultural History is tasked with providing advice, developing and promoting the preservation of the cultural environment and cooperation in the field, as well as the digital storing, availability and use of cultural environment information. The museum also acts as a regional restoration expert and provides advice on conservation repair methods. In connection with Kanttila, there is talk of large-scale alteration and repair work, and it is to be assumed that it will be dismantled into a skeleton, as it has gotten into such bad condition over the decades.

Q: Will the Association of Minna Canth’s house sell Kanttila when it is ready?

A: Kanttila is being built for the use of culture and its activities are non-profit activities. Kanttila is not going to be sold.


Q: Has Kanttila applied for EU funding?

A: Yes, ESF funding. We have often had meetings with representatives of the ELY Centre of Northern Savo and city of Kuopio. The last meeting was in spring 2023. The meeting revealed that, from the point of view of the ELY Centre, it is difficult for Kanttila to find development targets from the perspectives of development funding. The Association of Minna Canth’s house has tried to obtain funding, but so far, apart from wonderful donations or research funding, it has not been possible to obtain actual construction funding. The association has presented the project extensively both in the Kuopio area and, for example, at the Ministry of Education and Culture. In the ministry’s meetings, it has emerged that it would be desirable for operators in the Kuopio region to take an active part in the planning and preparation process and that, among other things, partnership agreements for the search for possible funding under the auspices of the EU Commission would be explored as viable options. (The association cannot apply for grants under the EU Commission itself)

Activities in Kanttila:

Q: Who does Kanttila belong to?

A: Cultural Centre Kanttila has many target groups. The users of residency activities, workspaces and the stage are mainly art and science professionals. Through activities, for example through performances, events and exhibitions, a wide audience. Workspaces, accommodation, café, room theatre and exhibition spaces will be rented in accordance with the planned program plan.

Q: Can I buy myself an apartment in Kanttila?

A: No apartments will be built for private use in Kanttila, only for temporary accommodation use. Now 7 rooms are planned, each with its own bathroom and a small kitchen. The facilities are suitable for short-term Bed & Breakfast and workspace use, as well as for longer-term residency accommodation.

Q: I am an artist and I make multidisciplinary art. How can I work in Kanttila?

A: The use of workspaces is currently being planned. At the moment, there are plans for workrooms, some of which are to be used as common workspaces. The premises are made adaptable, with no fixed fixtures, etc. The following models are planned for renting workspaces: Daily, monthly or annual card for individual operators and associations/communities. The card includes the agreed space and use of tools, benefits from the café and access to the premises with a code 24/7. Since Kanttila is not big enough to provide spaces for hundreds of people, workspaces are also being sought elsewhere. Workspaces are planned for Kanttila and if you want to share your opinion or suggestions about Kanttila, please contact us.

Q: Can I buy my own workroom in Kanttila?

A: In the case of workrooms, a non-profit operator, e.g. association or foundation, can purchase or manage residency facilities. Kanttila will focus on residency activities, the facilities of which can be used by a wide range of people, not just a limited group. Kanttila’s facilities are mainly for those working in the residence, as well as for art and science operators in the area and, of course, also for those visiting Kanttila, for example Minna’s Salon. Kanttila is only 1200 m2 in size and cannot provide permanent workspaces for everyone. Instead, Kanttila is able to highlight the needs of the premises and can continuously develop the study of residency workspaces both in the Kuopio urban area and more widely throughout Eastern Finland.

Q: Can I weld and grind in Kanttila’s workspaces?

A: It is not possible to use paints, fire or water in the premises. To this end, Kanttila seeks to find workshop spaces where the artists are able to carry out their work.

Q: Does Kanttila have a ballroom with mirrors?

A: There is no ballroom with mirrors. Kuopio has e.g. The Regional Centre for Dance in Eastern Finland, Kuopio Conservatory, Lumit, private dance schools with which Kanttila cooperates in terms of workspaces where artists can carry out their work.

Q: I am a representative of children’s culture, is anything planned for Kanttila for children and families with children?

A: Yes. One of the possibilities in the plans is to reserve one room as a room for children’s literature and children’s culture, with a particular focus on children’s literature in Savonia. The digital and live theatre in the attic can also be the stage of children’s culture.

Come adn support Kanttila!

There is still a lot of work to be done in Kanttila, so there are many ways for you to support the project. In addition to direct donation, supporter membership and purchase of support products, you can come and volunteer for Kanttila. There are also plenty of projects for students.

Support Kanttila