Foundation of the Finnish Orthodox Cultural Centre

The target of the Foundation of the Finnish Orthodox Cultural Centre is to support and promote Orthodox cultural and research, education and art connected to Orthodox culture. The Foundation supports the activities at the centre by organizing education in cooperation with different other parties, through publication work and by granting donations to activities that are in line with the targets of the Foundation.

The Foundation of the Finnish Orthodox Cultural Centre is a non-profit organization and it supports cultural work that is important to the society.

The Foundation of the Finnish Orthodox Cultural Centre works in cooperation with the Orthodox Church of Finland and with the Association of the Friends of Sofia.

The Board of the Foundation in 2018
Metropolitan Ambrosius, chairman
Timo Kietäväinen, vice chairman
Irja Askola, bishop
Markku Salminen, parish rector
Antti Heikinheimo, attorney
Elina Vuola, academy professor

The association called “Support of the Finnish Orthodox Culture” was founded on March 29, 2000. In 2004, the association founded the Foundation of the Finnish Orthodox Cultural Centre whose main task at the initial stage was to plan the operations of the cultural centre and to look for suitable premises for the centre. In the same year, the foundation organized seminars and the publication work was started.

In 2006, the foundation acquired a property from the OP Bank Group, and the operations in Kallvik started at the beginning of 2007. The official opening seminar was held, and the centre was blessed by Archbishop Leo and archbishop Jukka Paarma in February 2008.

Social need
The Orthodox culture is an unbroken, community-focused tradition. Cultural Centre Sofia promotes Orthodox culture and brings more discussion about values to the society. Sofia promotes ecumenical relations and meeting of Eastern and Western Christian traditions. The internal structural change in the Finnish society has brought major part of the Orthodox to Southern Finland. The traditional cultural centres of the Orthodox church are located in Kuopio (Orthodox church museum) and in Heinävesi (monasteries of Valamo and Lintula).

History of the conference centre
In 1957 the Osuuspankki Bank Group started to plan the education centre in Kallvik, led by architect Aarre Piirainen. The old main building was completed in the summer of 1958, a separate accommodation building was built in 1963. As the need of space increased, the current main building was completed in 1980. The premises were acquired by the Foundation of the Finnish Orthodox Cultural Centre in September 14.