President Tarja Halonen`s work for the Baltic Sea region was acknowledged and rewarded in October 2019 in St. Petersburg Heremitage Theatre.
The Baltic Star Award is conferred to workers of culture and art, representatives of official and business circles, public workers for consolidating culture ties between countries of the Baltic Region.
The Award was originally established in 2004 by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, Theatre Workers Union of the Russian Federation, Culture Committee of St. Petersburg, World Club of St. Petersburg Residents, National Glory Center and Baltic International Festival Center Foundation.
Among the winners of Baltic Star are director Andrzjev Waida (Poland), näyttelijä Donatas Banionis (Lithuania), Hampurin baletin taiteellinen johtaja John Neumeier (Germany), elokuvaohjaaja Aleksandr Sokurov (Russia), säveltäjä Arvo Pärt (Estonia), elokuvaohjaaja Aki Kaurismäki (Finland) ja kapellimestari Eri Klas (Estonia).
The award ceremony took place in the beautiful atmosphere of Heremitage Theatre. Translator, Ms. Kajsa Öberg Lindsten (Sweden) and actor, theatre director Mr. Alexander Kalyagin (Russia) were among those who also received recognition for their artistic work.
In her speech president Halonen emphasized the importance of multilateral co-operation between the Baltic Sea countries in order to gain good results in the Baltic Sea conservation policies. She underlined cultural dimensions of the marine life, and delivered an initiative from John Nurminen Foundation to celebrate the world`s first Baltic Sea Day in 2020.