Finnish Special Events


This page highlights Finnish cultural events at the hall.
For rental availability, please visit the page of the room you are interested in, located under the "RENTALS" tab, and check the availability calendar for that space.

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FinnART 2019 - Finns & Friends

Arts and Crafts at the Berkeley Finnish Hall
1970 Chestnut Street
at University Avenue
Berkeley, CA

10/5 and 10/6
from 11 AM until 6 PM

Free admission!

On Saturday and Sunday, October 5 and 6, 2019, eleven local artists and makers will gather to show and sell their products in the beautiful historic auditorium at the Finnish Kaleva Hall. These participants have a wide range of expertise and products of their own making to offer. We have painters and sculptors and jewelry makers and photographers. We have artists and artisans offering their own finely crafted healing salves and potions. We have dream catchers and handcrafted elves and fused glass items and ceramics and more. We have original art and handmade as well as printed cards and scarves of all kinds. We have bags and mugs and so much more. There will be a fascinating variety of arts and crafts to admire and purchase. There will be a multitude of styles and media to view. Do come and join us for this promising to be an amazing event sponsored by Berkeley Finnish Heritage Society!

Participating Artists and Makers in Alphabetical Order:

IIda Bergstrom, Ceramics

Charlotta Maria Hauksdottir, Photography/Sculpture,

Leena Iso-Ahola, Painted Silk Scarves and Watercolors

Nilly Keren-Paz, Fused Glass

Manzanita Knight, Dream Catchers, Teas, Herbal Products, Jewelry, Photography

Lori Pino, Painting: Acrylics and Blood on Masonite, Herbal Medicines

Christine Rossi, Oil and Acrylic Painting on Canvas or Wood,

Diane Rusnak, Acrylic Painting, Sculpture, Cards,

Tiina Purtonen, Jewelry, Fabric and Felt Crafts

Helena Tiainen, Painting, Drawing, Digital and Mixed Media Art and Designs Printed on Products and Cards,

Urve Inga Virkkila aka Inga Perry, Drawing and Painting

Finnish Vappu Celebration!
Saturday April 27th 2019

The Finnish Heritage Society welcomes you all to our annual Vappu celebrating the spring and Finnish Culture!
DJ, Silent Auction, Food, Balloons, Poetry, Theater, Live Music

Kids Arts & Crafts activities table.
DJ Kat will spin Finnish music of all styles from pop to folk.
Traditional Finnish music from Heikki Koskinen's Pohjolan Pillit:
w/ Kat Eliot, Rent Romus, Bert Carelli, & Steve Heckman
Poems from the Finnish American perspective!
Free Event Admission
No Host Bar, Light Buffet ($20 General, Kids under 12 Free)
Salads, smoked salmon, cheeses, spreads, pasta, breads, and Finnish berry cakes!

About the Silent Auction:
Our Vappu Silent Auctions have always been wonderfully popular. The highest bidders have left with amazing treasures. Due to the small size of our Finnish community the prices have not reached anywhere near the levels one could expect to pay at Ebay or a popular first class charity or antique store. Our silent auction is a bargain hunter’s dream.
All proceeds from this auction go to our historic Berkeley Finnish Hall. The Hall is in a beautiful shape already, but now we are pushing very hard to be able to make the Hall ADA compliant.
For this year’s silent auction we have already been donated several beautiful Finnish items by Mary Ellen MacMuldren from Riku Ploe-Kaijala’s estate. Carolyn Hunt has also given us many delightful things from Wes Ludeman’s collection.
In case YOU, who are reading this, have some item or items which you would not mind donating to the Berkeley Finnish Hall, and make the highest bidder very happy and appreciative, please contact me, Kirsti Bellows. The items do not have to be Finnish, but they should be in good condition. We do not have space for used clothing or shoes. My email address is, phone 510.527.6160.

About Vappu:
Vappu is celebrated traditionally on 1 May and marks the end of winter. It is also celebrated as International Labor Day in most places in the world and is one of the biggest festivals of the year in Finland alongside Midsummer's Day and Christmas. Vappu was created in the nineteenth century when engineering students would celebrate and party at midnight on 30 April, while sporting their traditional white caps. This custom has now become widespread across Finland, leading to partying in towns and cities.

Past Events:

Sunday December 2nd, 2018 2 - 4PM
Free Event Admission
$25 Afternoon Buffet
Live Music/Guest Speakers/No Host Bar

Featured Speakers:
Anja Miller: Perspectives on the future of our Finnish-American Community
Michel Wendell: Honorary Consul of Finland
Welcome Greeting by Fred Mork

Music featuring works by Toivo Kuula, Fredrik Pacius, & Jean Sibelius: 
Heikki Koskinen (e-tpt, piano)
Kati Pienimäki Schenker (vocal, percussion)
Rent Romus (alto, sopr sax, flute)
Kat Elliot (alto, tenor sax)
Jari Suomalainen (violin)

1:30 pm Kids crafts table
2:20 pm Guest Speakers

- Salmon sandwich: open faced sandwich on multigrain rye bread, with smoked salmon, sliced cucumber, arugula, cream cheese or herbed butter, and red onion.
- Vegetarian sandwich: roasted beet and yam , herbed goat cheese, cucumber, arugula on focaccia
- Ham sandwich: hickory smoked ham, cheddar cheese, lettuce, picked red onions, mustard, herbed mayonnaise
- Kesäkakku & pulla
Coffee, Tea, soft drinks, beer & wine


A musical adventure inspired by the mythic prose of cultural liberation and identity found in the ancient runes of Kaleva mythology

Saturday and Sunday May 25-26, 2019
at the Berkeley Finnish Hall

The Finnish Heritage Society presents the East Bay debut of Rent Romus and Heikki Koskinen’s “Manala” (netherworld), a representation of cultural rediscovery through the lens of music weaving the elements of jazz, traditional folk, and free improvisation inspired by the mythic prose of cultural liberation and identity found in the Finnish and Finno-Ugric folklore and shamanic traditions. Awarded grant support from Finlandia Foundation National and Suomi-Seura-ry via the Ministry of Education and Culture Helsinki Finland, this epic presentation will take place at the newly restored historic Berkeley Finnish Hall presented as part of the Finnish Heritage Society’s spring cultural events programming featuring Romus’ Life’s Blood Ensemble.

What is Manala?
Manala or Tuonela is the metaphysical netherworld in the Finnish Kalevala or Jabmeaivo in Sami traditions. It is a place opposite of the land of the living, a destination for the soul after this life, a place of reflection that contains answers to mysteries of the universe for the Noaidde or Noita (shaman) in Fino-Ugric cultures. It can be very dangerous for a living person to journey there, and only the most experienced shaman may successfully emerge from its dark waters richer in knowledge and song for the experience.

Performing Artists of Life’s Blood Ensemble:

Mark Clifford - vibraphone

Gabby Fluke-Mogul - violin
Max Judelson - double bass

Heikki "Mike" Kosikinen - e-trumpet, tenor recorder, kantele

Cheryl E. Leonard - natural inventions, percussion, cello
Joshua Marshall - tenor & soprano saxophones

Timothy Orr- drums, percussion

Rent Romus - alto & soprano saxophone, flutes, kantele, bells

Safa Shokrai - double bass

Tickets in Advance at Eventbrite and at the door $10/15/20 kids under 12 free:



 The Blooming of the Spring / Vappu 


Celebrate the springtime Finnish holiday of Vappu!
Fun & food for the whole family
Art Expo with artists displaying art for sale
Childrens’ Crafts / vappuhuiskas, balloons
Catering by a Finnish chef / delicious sandwiches, salads, herring, pulla, cake, tippaleipä Wine & Beer Bar
Roaming FinnPoets / Chamber Duo: Jari & Heidi / Finnish DJ
Dance music by Horsmas with The FinnHorns
(encore performance of their Suomi 100 show at Supercell)
3 – 5:30 pm / Art Expo, Roaming FinnPoets, live music, DJ Renttu, Wine & Beer Bar

5:30 - 7 pm / Finnish Buffet & Raffle with Chamber Music Duo: Jari Suomalainen & Heidi Saario

7 – 9 pm / Dance music with Horsmas & The FinnHorns
* Horsmas: Tomi Huttula, Miikka Skaffari, Sami Keinänen, Steve Jadlos, Raimo Hirvonen
* FinnHorns: Heikki Koskinen, Rent Romus, Bert Carelli
Free Event Admission
Buffet Food Tickets available at the door: $25 general, $15 senior/student
No host Bar
Open faced sandwiches on multigrain rye bread, with smoked salmon, sliced cucumber, arugula, cream cheese or herbed
butter, and radish vegetarian sandwiches on focaccia: roasted beet and yam, herbed goat cheese, cucumber, arugula
Herbed potato salad with chives and dill and a mustard vinaigrette
Silliä with small potatoes
Mixed greens salad with water melon radish, toasted sunflower seeds, snap peas, fennel bulb, with a light vinaigrette. 
Suomalainen kesäkakku (same as the cake on independence day) with different berries.
coffee, tea, & pulla
Vappu or May Day is an annual international celebration. It is a holiday in Finland to celebrate & usher in spring, as well as a traditional workers’ & students’ day. The name of the celebration comes from the German “Walpurgis day,” & is celebrated in many countries under a variety of names. Vappu is a major holiday, like Christmas Eve & Midsummer (Juhannus). Today Vappu belongs to everybody, with its carnival-like atmosphere featuring sima (drink), tippaleipä (pastry), & cheerful partying. Vappu celebrations in many places in Finland begin early at sunrise welcoming Vappu with traditional choral singing. 

Sunday, December 3, 2017
4:00 pm

Featuring :
Ismo Alanko, solo concert
3 Course Dinner /Champagen Toast / No Host Bar
Music by: Heikki Koskinen, Kati Pienimäki Schenker,
Jari Suomalainen, Rent Romus

Rent Romus Life's Blood Ensemble
April 29, 2017

Northern Winds & Voices
Concert and Springtime Festival
May 7 at 4PM