• Kymenlaakson Ihme


150 years of forest industry in Kymenlaakso

Wondering what?

The forest industry along the Kymijoki River has shaped Kymenlaakso and helped bring the whole of Finland to prosperity and the world's attention. The 150th anniversary of this wonder should be celebrated by the whole country!

In 1872, the Verla and Inkeroinen wood mills, the Kymi and Kuusankoski paper mills, and the so-called Norwegian sawmill in Kotka were established. This was the beginning of many international success stories, from estate owners’ factories to today's big enterprises. Since its inception, the forest industry has been linked to the rest of the world through both its founders and exports. A wonderfully international Kymenlaakso!

Wondering why?

Kymenlaakso is known for its industry, and history is present in its contemporary reality. Factories have attracted immigrants and provided jobs. Big enterprises have contributed to the growth of cities and the formation of cultural environments. The social and cultural effects of the industrial reality on people and identities have been diverse, but nevertheless part of a shared emotional landscape. The history of the forest industry is broader than its name, covering physical work and working cultures, human experiences and sensory worlds, environmental history and the relationship with forests, wood as raw material and as material in general. This wonder is not an isolated event but a holistic, collective experience.

The anniversary year looks strongly to the present and the future because we have only just begun: What are the fibre-based materials of the future, what does the forest mean to us, what will work be like in the future? What is Kymenlaakso known for other than its industry? What is the Kymenlaakso spirit, who will we be in the future? Our aim is to make the wonder of Kymenlaakso known in the future!

In particular, children and young people are encouraged to become involved in the anniversary year as creators, discussion participants, and experiencers. The anniversary year aims to highlight the voice and future-related thoughts of young people and to contribute to raising awareness of the forest industry and its related sectors, as well as the future availability of skilled labour, product development, and innovation.

Wondering how?

Preparations for the 2022 anniversary year have been initiated by the Creative Industries Research Unit at Xamk, the South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences, as a network collaboration of various stakeholders. The participants include regional, provincial and local operators, museums, cultural sector representatives, and businesses in the forest industry and other industries. The network members are organising events on their own initiative. The ideas being thrown around include experiential museum exhibitions, cultural events, seminars, digital modelling, artistic interpretations, and forest coffee gatherings. Xamk is responsible for the coordination of the anniversary year, coherent communication, and content production of the website.

The network cooperation will continue and expand. Join us in sharing the wonder of Kymenlaakso and creating innovative content related to the past, present, or future of the forest industry!


Further information

Anu Vainio
RDI specialist
tel. +358 44 702 8724

Laura Lehtinen
RDI specialist
tel. +358 44 702 8451

Creative Industries Research Unit
Kaakkois-Suomen Ammattikorkeakoulu Oy


Kymenlaakson metsäteollisuus täyttää 150 vuotta vuonna 2022. Kymijoen varrelle syntynyt metsäteollisuus muovasi Kymenlaakson ja auttoi nostaman koko Suomen vaurauteen ja maailman tietoisuuteen. Merkkivuotta on syytä juhlistaa koko valtakunnan voimin!

© 2022 kymenlaaksonihme.fi. Oikeudet muutoksiin pidetään.

L Kotka

L Kouvola

L Liitto

L Xamk