The 10th Open European Taxidermy Championships® Jubilee 2015 Oulu, Finland
From May 11 – 17, 2015 the European Taxidermy Championships® took place in Oulu and after 1998 in Riihimäki, for the second time in Finland. And we celebrated a 10th jubilee after Leiden (NL) 1992, Oslo (N) 1995, Riihimäki (FIN) 1998, Chambord (F) 2000, Longarone (I) 2002, Dortmund (D) 2004, Longarone (I) 2006, 2010 and 2014. To prevent a longer distance of four or more years to the next ETC® because of the planned (and meanwhile cancelled) 2016 edition of WTC® in Salzburg, we decided to accept the invitation of Finland for 2015, only one year after Longarone. The championships with the exhibition and the taxidermy suppliers’ booths were embedded in the Northern Finland Outdoor Life Fair. 56 competitors out of 14 nations with 148 entries found the way to Finland. Separated into the divisions, we had 11 entries in the Novice Division, 72 in the Professional Division, 53 in the Masters Division and 6 in the Collective Artists Division which were judged by an international judges’ team. In addition, 6 entries competed in the Division of Excellence. The winners of this division were chosen by the Master Division competitors.
The short time was a great challenge for the host Finnish Taxidermy Association as well as for the ETC® Committee of the European Taxidermy Federation (ETF) as organizers. In front of the 10th ETC®, the ETC® Committee: Matthias Fahrni (Chairman), Berend Koch and Ari Puolakoski, developed again an important novelty, the new registration system on place. Also the ETC® Rules & Regulations and the ETC® Species Lists were supplemented – again one step further for more professionalism. The outstanding work of the Finnish organisation team around Ari Puolakoski (Finnish Museum of Natural History Helsinki) and Sari Mastromarino (President Finnish Taxidermy Association) together with the generous support of Pentti Uusi-Illikainen and Johanna Nakkula (Northern Finland Outdoor Life Fair) made this year jubilee-ETC® very successful. At the registration desk, Hanna Puolakoski, Jan Koch and Helen Fahrni were always supporting the registrants while chairman Berend Koch and the registration team Tiina Puolakoski and Roni Andersson checked the entries, the chosen categories and divisions and the documents. The setting team around vice-chairman Ari Puolakoski were responsible for the very smooth arranging of the entries into the exhibition. During the judging time, running from Tuesday morning until Thursday morning, there was offered a program with two bird taxidermy- , two mammal taxidermy-, one fish taxidermy, one skeleton- and one sculpting seminar, held by talented competitors and international experts. In addition, an observing tour into the Finnish wilderness for watching the big predators like bears was offered. The award banquet with the price giving ceremony took place on Saturday evening at Holiday Inn Hotel in Oulu. Between the award for Best of Categories, Best of Europe and Excellence and the special awards block, which were given out to the competitors together with the acknowledgements to the officials and helpers, a delicious buffet was served. The general meetings of the ETF were held on Sunday and in the evening, the participants packed their entries safe in boxes and most of them started their trip home.
For us as the ETC® Committee and the Northern Finland Outdoor Life Fair as well, the disappointment about the small number of competitors, especially of the Scandinavian countries, was very big! So, maybe it was the last Scandinavian edition. Because of the urgent need of a break for the ETC® Committee as well as for the competitors, there is currently no new location for the 11th edition of the ETC® fixed.
ETC® Committee, Berend Koch, May 2015