Held for the seventh occasion, the annual Helsinki International Ballet Competition is being staged from 29 May to 7 June, celebrating the 90th anniversary of the Finnish National Ballet.

Altogether some 88 dancers from 29 different countries have been invited to participate this year. With men and women in separate divisions, competitors are also divided into two age groups: juniors aged 15 to 19 and seniors between 20 and 25. In keeping with the title of the event, participants are from a variety of countries in Europe as well as a number who are from such far away locations as China, Japan, Australia, USA and Brazil.

The World Village Festival arguably has the most disarming of names. Organised since 1995, the festival is the meeting place of cultural treats and people. In 2012, it takes place 26–27 May in Kaisaniemi Park and Rautatientori, Helsinki and customarily caters for both young and old fans of music, dance, theatre, film, art and other activities.

The music line-up of 2012 is genuinely international. Jukka Poika & Sound Explosion Band, Ville Leinonen and Gracias lead the line of Finnish favourites. These are offset by for example, the desert blues of Mariem Hassan (ALG / ESH / ESP / MEX / MTN), the mellifluous Blick Bassy (CMR/FRA) and the hip-hop of Sabreena Da Witch (PLE/US).

Lilly Korpiola and Hanna Nikkanen offer their perspective on the Arab Spring in a new book detailing the complexities of the issue.

The Arab Spring, which turned into summer, autumn and winter, draws on. As the revolution unfolds into its second spring, countless questions are still demanding answers.

Helsinki-based English speaking amateur drama society, the Finn-Brit Players, is a tight-knit community. Their new comedy Single Bride comes out in April and deals with modern issues of independency.

Creating a solid group of friends out of thin air in a new country is an overwhelming task for anyone. When you add to the mix a solitary job and a strange language, it might feel like trying to open an iron door with no key. For Finn-Brit Players the missing key is a theatre hobby.

Screening over 20 films, Artisokka Film Festival is being held in Helsinki between 29 March and 1 April.