News & Events

Heikinpäivä, Hancock's mid-winter festival, Saturday, January 31

Come celebrate Heikinpäivä, Hancock's mid-winter festival, Saturday, January 31. The Finnish American Chamber of Commerce plans to march in the parade in downtown Hancock beginning at 11am on Saturday. For a list of all the Heikinpäivä activities go to


Finlandia University to celebrate Finland’s Independence Day

HANCOCK, Mich. — In keeping with a now-97-year tradition, Finlandia University will celebrate the independence of the country of its founders on Saturday, December 6 at 6 p.m. at the Finnish American Heritage Center on Quincy Street in Hancock.

 This year’s program will feature a variety of local talent, ranging from youth folk dancers, to vocal and instrumental musical talents, to a dramatic reading. The evening will conclude with a dance.  Also at this event, the City of Hancock’s Finnish Theme Committee will proclaim the 2015 selection of Hankooki Heikki, the person honored for his or her contributions to Finnish culture in the area.


 As the dance band plays, the Kivajat and Loistavat youth folk dancers will provide tasty Finnish treats and will be accepting donations to help fund their trip to Finland in July 2015 for the Tanssiva Turku dance festival. They’re intending to send 33 dancers across the ocean for the festival, so all assistance is appreciated.


 The program is free and open to the public. All are welcome.




Minimizing Start-Up Risk: The Finnish Experience, Thursday, October 30 at 5pm, SmartZone Powerhouse Bldg in Houghton

Join MTEC SmartZone, Finlandia University and the Finnish American Chamber of Commerce, along with Dr. Jari Luomakoski for a networking event about minimizing risk when starting a business. This event will be on Thursday, October 30 at 5pm at the MTEC SmartZone Powerhouse Building, 100 Lakeshore Drive in Houghton. 

Dr. Luomakoski will share his extensive experience with start-up businesses from his ventures in the Finnish business world. Dr. Jari Luomakoski is a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence at North Central State College, Ohio. He comes from Helsinki, Finland and has been working this semester with the Division of Business, Industry and Technology at NCSC. He is a senior lecturer at Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences specializing in international business and service marketing.

Prior to his teaching career Dr. Luomakoski held executive positions in e-business ventures in B2B and B2C fields, was an entrepreneur in international trading, import/export businesses and construction business.

To RSVP for this event email, or call 487-7000.


The 16th Annual Sibelius Academy Music Festival, September 21-26 in Chicago, Hancock and Calumet

The 16th annual Sibelius Academy Music Festival will be presented by Finlandia University from September 21 to September 26, 2014, in Chicago, Hancock, and Calumet.

This year's festival musicians will feature classical pianist, Kristina Annamukhamedova, whose repertoire will feature the works of Beethoven, Schumann, Chopin and Sibelius, and a female a cappella vocal group, Ensemble Norma, whose music straddles folk, pop and jazz.

The festival's western Upper Peninsula series of concerts and events begins on Tuesday, September 23  at 10:30 a.m., Norma Ensemble will perform at The Bluffs in Houghton. A free Meet the Musicians event will be presented at 7:00 p.m. at the Finnish American Heritage Center, Hancock. The musicians will discuss their lives as musicians, and present informal performances.


A special classical piano concert will also be scheduled at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Hancock, on September 24 at 2:00 p.m.

On Wednesday, September 24 a folk dance, led by professional folk dancing instructors,  will take place at 7:00 p.m. at the Finnish American Heritage Center. The dance will feature live music from area musicians. Admission is $10.00; Finlandia students attend free.

The grand finale festival concert is on Friday, September 26, at 7:30 p.m. at the Calumet Theatre, Calumet, Mich., with all musicians giving full-length performances.  Tickets are $15.00; $5 for students; Finlandia students attend free.

For additional details and ticket information, call 906-487-7250 or visit


Sunday, September 21, 2:30 p.m. -- Concert: Estonian House of Chicago

Tuesday, September 23, 10:30 a.m. --Free event: Ensemble Norma at The Bluffs in Houghton.

Tuesday, September 23, 7:00 p.m. -- Free event: "Meet the Musicians,"  Finnish American Heritage Center, Hancock

Wednesday, September 24, 2:00 p.m.-- Free event: Classical Piano Concert at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Hancock

Wednesday, September 24, 7:00 p.m. -- Folk dance: Live music from area musicians. Some dances led by professional instructors. Finnish American Heritage Center; tickets are $10.

Friday, September 26, 7:30 p.m. -- All Musicians: Grand finale concert, Calumet Theatre, Calumet; tickets are $15 / $5 for students / Finlandia students attend free


FACC Upper Michigan board members interviewed on WOLV, WCCY and KBear Radio

On the Sunday morning, August 31st Copper Country Today, Todd Van Dyke talks with Kevin Manninen and Glen Tolksdorf about the Finnish American Chamber of Commerce Upper Michigan and the opportunities it presents.

You can follow the discussion at



PONSSE Board Chairman Juha Vidgrén to speak at Finnish American Heritage Center September 2nd at 4pm

FACC Upper Michigan, Finlandia University and the Finlandia University CEO club are pleased to announce the following presentation: 

How a small one man operation in rural Finland became a global leader in its field 

Juha Vidgrén 
Chairman of the Board 
Ponsse Plc

Tuesday, September 2 at 4:00pm 
Finnish American Heritage Center in Hancock 
A reception will be held following the presentation

Established in Vieremä, Finland in 1970 by Einari Vidgrén, Ponsse now has 11 subsidiaries around the world and does business in 40 countries. The family of Einari Vidgrén, initially a forest machine entrepreneur, is still involved in the day-to-day operations of the company. Ponsse is a family company whose roots are deep in the Finnish countryside 
In addition to Ponsse, Mr. Vidgrén is Chairman of the Einari Vidgren Foundation, and is a board member of the University of Oulu, the Finnish Film Industry (Suomen Filmiteollisuus Oy), and other local and regional organizations. 


Michigan’s EB-5 Regional Center: an incentive for Finnish entrepreneurs to invest in Upper Michigan

HOUGHTON, Michigan (July 16, 2014) – Michigan’s EB-5 Regional Center, a tool Governor Rick Snyder championed to attract foreign investors and create jobs in the state, was among key initiatives discussed during a public forum at MTEC SmartZone Lakeshore Center June 27. 

The federal EB-5 visa program is designed to provide green cards and a path to citizenship for immigrants who invest in an enterprise that creates at least 10 direct or indirect jobs in Michigan. Investments can range from $500,000 to $1 million, depending on whether the enterprise is located in a rural or high-unemployment target area. Michigan is the second state in the nation to manage its own regional center for an immigrant visa program. Several local and regional entities expressed interest in collaborating with the state to attract and retain international students and entrepreneurs to create more jobs. They include: MTEC SmartZone, Michigan Technological University, Northern Michigan University, and the cities of Houghton, Hancock and Marquette

Michigan Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley said, “When you consider the global reach of this area and put it together with core competencies that exist at Michigan Tech and Northern, and the type of quality of life, spirit, and the attitude of Houghton, Hancock and Marquette, it really is the type of welcoming environment to continue the tradition of excellence here in our state. The tradition of excellence is really about having an environment for success for people with all different types of backgrounds, talents and interests.”

According to Michigan Technological University President Glenn Mroz, the university draws students from more than 60 countries each year. He said, “These students call Houghton home, even after they leave. Having them be able to stay here and start a business or work for somebody else, is a great opportunity for them and the state of Michigan.”

The EB-5 Regional Center serves as an investment partner and assists with identifying qualified visa candidates, underwriting projects, verifying investors and handling the compliance process. Since the center was approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services in late March, there has been a strong demand for visas. MTEC SmartZone CEO Marilyn Clark said, “Michigan Tech has international students and MTEC SmartZone has access to funding and training programs to help create companies and jobs. We’re working together right now to develop strategies to promote and support the EB-5 program here in the U.P.”


For more information about the EB-5 Regional Center and visa program, visit



Finnish American Chamber of Commerce Upper Michigan is Launched!

Michigan's Upper Peninsula has joined the network of Finnish American Chambers of Commerce with the launch of the Finnish American Chamber of Commerce Upper Michigan in April, 2014.  Known as a center of Finnish and Finnish-American culture, Upper Michigan also has a vibrant high tech and innovation-based economy. With over ten initial business members, the FACC Upper Michigan is off to a successful launch.