Cooperation Across the River Väylä from Ylläs to Pajala
Kellokas Visitor Centre at Äkäslompolo in Kolari was expanded into a nature and cultural centre in 2008. The development of the area's culture has always been tied to the area's natural environment and the possibilities it provides. This relantionship between nature and culture is the main theme of Kellokas Visitor Centre's new exhibition. The goals of the exhibition are to bring new insight to how dependant people are on nature and for visitors to apply what they learn to their everyday lives.
The visitor centre's expansion and new exhibition was the result of international cooperation. The new exhibits at Kellokas tell the story of the villages on the fells in Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park, the rivers which have their source in these fells, the natural features and culture in the Tornio-Muoniojoki area and about the River Väylä the river of life, around which local people have built their lives. The River Väylä has been a travel route, the vein that connects the entire area that has helped the area's diverse culture develop into something extraordinary. The richness of the area's culture can best be seen from the lively, colourful Meän-language spoken on both sides of the river. Today the language is very expressive and it is held in great respect and there is a good deal of support to keep it alive.
The Helsinki based architect firm Kari Kuosma handled the overall design of the exhibition's architecture and graphics. The design and layout for the cultural part of the exhibition was arranged by FM Darja Heikkilä, the script for the nature portion was written by FM Juha Paso and the graphics and illustrations for the nature portion was the work of artist TaM Venla Väisänen. The exhibition's AV-presentations were designed and executed by DocArt Production Ky and Rapid River Ky. The entire venture was coordinated by Maarit Kyöstilä.
The nature and cultural exhibition venture was headed by the Fell-Lapland park area at Metsähallitus, Parks & Wildlife Finland. The cost of the project was about 400,000 Euros. The funding came from the European Union's European Regional Development Fund's Northern program, the Province of Lapland, the Lapland Regional Environment Centre, the municipality of Kolari, the municipality of Pajala, the Ministry of the Environment and Metsähallitus.