Our history

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Sari Kaasinen is a musician, composer and artist born in 1967, in a town called Rääkkylä. At the age of five, Sari started her career by singing, spelling and dancing in a Rasivaara village’s youth association. In 1974-1982, Sari’s mother, Pirkko Kaasinen, held a spelling group “TSUPUKAT”. By the aid of the Tsupukat, Sari, her sister Mari, and cousins Jaana and Minna, were able to perform on the bigger stages. Influenced by her mother, in 1979, Sari started to play Finnish zither, kantele, which led her into rhythm playing and singing in various events.

In 1983 musical group, VÄRTTINÄ, was found in the cottage of Kaasinen. The group gathered local girls, and eventually boys, and set up a large local phenomenon in Rääkkylä, which led to a great level of enthusiasm towards folk music and kantele-zither. This phenomenon led to establishing a KIHAUS folk music festival in 1990. Värttinä’s third album OI DAI, released in 1991, was a best-seller and topped the album sales charts. The group got to the European concert- and festival stages, sold gold and platinum, and to this day is still a best-selling folk music album in Finland.

Sari managed Värttinä until the year 1996. After years of master degree –studies in Sibelius Academy and living in Helsinki, Sari’s family moved back to Rääkkylä in 1994, and built a house to live in. That house today is VILLA RUUSULA, located right next to the campfire place, where Sari used to rest on her childhood fishing trips. In 1995, Sari started as a lecturer at the musical academy in Middle-Karelia, and taught young zitherists until 2007. At the same time, she started a solo career working with her OTAWA-musical group. Among that, she worked in musical plays: composing, touring and writing music for adolescents, and had her own television programmes in PIKKU KAKKONEN, on national television channel TV-2.

In 2004 Sari started doctoral studies of arts in Sibelius Academy. While studying, a SET’AKAT singing group formed with singers Mari Kaasinen and Karoliina Kantelinen. Sari got doctorate degree in 2009, and moved from North-Karelia to city Lappeenranta. There she started leading a children’s grand choir METKU and teaching Kantele-zither. Folk music event SAKONAT formed in Lappeenranta.

In 2012-2015 Sari worked as a chairperson for Kalevala’s woman’s association. In 2015, Sari started working as an entrepreneur-partner and CEO in culture- and event centre “Kehruuhuone”, which is based in Lappeenranta’s bastion fort.

Starting from 1.6.2018, Sari will be a cultural manager in the city of “Joensuu”.

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Beautiful and luminous Villa Ruusula is located in Rääkkylä, on the shore of lake Pyhäselkä; in the northern parts of the water system Saimaa. 45 minutes driving from nearest city, Joensuu, Villa Ruusula is a wonderful place for meetings, seminars, camps, celebrations, relaxation and creative work. Villa Ruusula has been the place for family celebrations, birthdays, conformation parties and weddings. Villa Ruusula has arranged school camps, and singing and playing of musical instruments.

Villa Ruusula’s premises fit all kinds of activity. The kitchen is well equipped, and the table wears and bed sheets are available for rent. Catering services, and necessary side programs, such as baking the Karelian pies, learning how to play Kantele-zither, or to have a guided fishing or hiking trip, are all available in Villa Ruusula via pre-order.

Villa Ruusula is suitable for children. The cottage has playroom, toys, and outdoors you can find a playhouse and a trampoline. In the wintertime, Villa Ruusula offers different kinds of downhill sleds for children, and kicksleds. The frozen lake provides great winter sport opportunities. An illuminated ski trail is located 7 km away.

In the summer time, Villa Ruusula offers the warmth of the lakeside sauna and fireplace, and a pleasurable sloping sand beach. Fishing is possible right off the dock, or for the adventurous you can take a Villa Ruusula’s boat to catch tasty perch on the lake.

In Villa Ruusula you can breathe freely. The tranquillity will ease the hasty mind, and even a short visit will release you from the troubles of everyday life.

People of Villa Ruusula warmly welcomes you!