Barents Roads of Margaritinskaya Fair

From one of the concerts during the Margaritisnkaya Fair.

ARKHANGELSK: Two decades of relations-building was marked when the Margaritinskaya trade fair took place this weekend.


Margaritinskaya trade fair is the central trade and exhibition event in Arkhangelsk oblast, the largest territory of the Barents region. Rooted back to the centuries the Fair has been restored by regional authorities twelve years ago and today attracts hundreds of participants from all over Russia and over 150 thousands visitors every year. Traditionally, “Margaritinka” as it is called by locals, becomes a lively meeting place for foreign partners of Arkhangelsk oblast in cross-border cooperation.

This year again every day of the fair week was marked by international events, meetings and discussions. 

Young entrepreneurial spirit for the Barents Region
On Tuesday the Norwegian-Russian Chamber of Commerce has launched in Arkhangelsk a new project that should bring into the region a young entrepreneurial stream. The project which is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of foreign affairs will focus on the young Russian and Norwegian students from Arkhangelsk, Murmansk, Moscow, Ålesund, Bodø and Tromsø going to open own business and to develop it internationally. During the training course the future business sharks will get knowledge on how to start and to develop a new company and to commercialize a business idea.

During the year the youngsters will have several meetings in the study camps in Russia and Norway. The first meeting of young entrepreneurs in Arkhangelsk was opened and greeted by new Consul General of Norway Ole Andreas Lindeman and the Minister of youth and sport of Arkhangelsk oblast.

The participants of the first study camp spent three days getting lectures and instructions from the experts delegated by Rolls-Royce Marine, Norinnova, Mannheimer Swartling, Flait Group, Northern Business Institute and others. 

Regions in the Barents looking for the future
First two decades of the Barents cooperation created a good political background for closer cooperation between the regional governments and parliaments. Today the northern regions are linked together and have a very good potential to work together in order to turn the Barents region into a territory comfortable for local people and attractive for investors. The delegations of three Norwegian counties – Norland, Troms and Finnmark - arrived to Arkhangelsk to take part in the events of Margaritinskaya fair and to continue a political dialogue with the regional government. They had an intensive program of meetings and excursions giving a clear picture of current economic and political situation of Arkhangelsk oblast. The Finnmark delegation for example visited the Lomonosov’s diamonds mining field near Arkhangelsk – one of the most promising investments area in the region.

The members of Troms delegation acquainted with the results of Norwegian-Russian cooperation in health care sector visited several local hospitals and medical institutions. Special attention has been paid to the development of cooperation between Norwegian and Russian municipalities. The results and prospects of this cooperation was discussed on the seminar “Municipal cooperation and support of local initiatives”. The central event of political program was signing an agreement on cooperation between Arkhangelsk oblast and Finnmark. Similar agreement is prepared between Arkhangelsk oblast and Troms county and it is to be signed in the end October in Tromsø when Arkhangelsk will take a chairmanship in the Regional Council. 

Articulating Arctic
Close cultural cooperation between the Northern counties of Norway and Russia is one of the most prominent achievements of the Barents Region. The Margaritinskaya week became a good time to demonstrate some of projects developed in this sector. “Arctic Articulation” is a sophisticated name of the project funded by the Barents Secretariat and Arkhangelsk regional Ministry of Youth. The name combines the words “art”, “arctic” and “Arkhangelsk” and stresses at importance of cultural reflection of the processes going on in the High North. In the “Arctic Articulation” the students from two cultural colleges – Arkhangelsk and Kabelvåg worked together in Norway and Russia trying to obtain a deeper understanding and knowledge of each other’s culture and artistic methods. At the final stage of this project the Norwegian and Russian art students took part in the seminar on creative industries in Arkhangelsk and open-air activity where a number of young artists were making the paintings on the big wooden shields under the slogan taken from the poem of Norwegian poet Rolf Jakobsen “Look at the North more often” (“Se oftere mot Nord”). 

Young musicians catch the moment
UrbandCamp – another Norwegian-Russian event that took place during Margaritinskaya week in Arkhangelsk. This is already the second year when this festival was arranged in Arkhangelsk by Norwegian producer Rune Paulsen.

UrbandCamp is a festival for young jazz musicians and dancers but it is also a great school where young artists can get professional training from prominent professionals and work and perform together with them. This year the youngsters could enjoy the master classes in jazz guitar, bass, vocal, saxophone, trumpet, chamber choir and dance improvisation from such masters like Dominique Dipiazza, Hallgeir Pedersen,Therese Ulvan, Kristin Holand, Igor Gorkovoy, Anna Jelstad, Øyvind Brække, Jens Fossum, Hermund Nygård. Every night the musicians performed several concerts and jam-sessions for Arkhangelsk audience. “Catch the Moment” - the slogan of the festival, - was the one best suited the festival atmosphere of creativity, freedom and open musical communication.

Barents Crossroads – Margaritinskaya culmination
All Norwegian guests of the fair and their Russian partners, all friends of the Barents region, students, artists, politicians, and musicians came together in the very end of the Margaritinskaya week to mark the 20th anniversary of Barents cooperation and to present the results of common creative activity of the last days.

Over 20 big pictures reflecting Northern images and impressions made by the art students were exhibited on the open air at the new concert venue of Arkhangelsk called “Museum Yard”. Young and mature musicians from UrbandCamp festival, chamber choir AjVe from Bodø, jazzmen from Arkhangelsk presented excellent concert which was a wonderful finish of Norwegian days on Margarinskaya fair.