We are delighted to invite you to the European Museum of the Year Award (EMYA) event which will take place in Tolosa, Basque Country, Spain, from Wednesday 7th to Saturday 9th April 2016. For the past 39 years EMYA has stood for public quality, creativity and innovation in the museum field. It gathers together small, medium and large museums with one thing in common – outstanding excellence!

More than 200 participants come together every year from across all of Europe. They meet to discuss points of view, themes and issues that affect museums. This year, forty nine candidates from 24 countries are in the competition for the prestigious annual awards and the title of European Museum of the Year. Using inspiring stories, dramatic buildings and innovative solutions to make their collections shine and engage with diverse audiences, these museums and galleries represent a wide range of collections and approaches to interpretation and visitor service.

The event offers workshops, panels, interviews with candidates and a range of social gatherings in which to meet colleagues informally. On the Pre-Conference Day (6/4/16) at Tolosa-San Sebastian’s you will visit some of the cultural highlights in San Sebastian and have informal exchange with experts who explore what matters in museums today. Two days of interviews in Tolosa with nominated museums is an extraordinary experience that gives a brilliant overview on the European museum scene.

Your host for EMYA 2016 is TOPIC, Tolosa’s International Puppet Center (; Siletto prize winner in 2012), where the main programme for EMYA 2016 will take place, and during the course of 4 days, historic sights and museums of the village of Tolosa and other villages and cities like San Sebastian (San Telmo Museum and Basque Culinary Center), Getaria (Balenciaga Museum) and Gernika (Basque Museum) will open their doors to EMYA participants. Visits to the Guggenheim in Bilbao (EMYA award winning museum in 2000) or the Europa Nostra 2015 award winner Salinas de Añana in Alaba will feature as optional tours on the itinerary.

Our host village Tolosa ( is well known for its Carnival, as a gastronomic destination and for its spirited and full of initiative people. It was the former capital of Gipuzkoa (, a landmark in its territory, which in barely 2000 square metres, a little more than a city like London, manages to hold a cosmopolitan capital such as Donostia-San Sebastian, a traditional culture and the oldest language in Europe (Basque language), 86 km of versatile coastline and a lush green, maze-like countryside. Gipuzkoa is one of the three regions in the Basque Country (, a small country with a large identity.

Donostia-San Sebastian will also be European Capital of Culture 2016 and it has been pointed out as one of the world’s 20 best destinations to travel to in 2016 according by the Unites States most prestigious travel guide.

Save the date! Make sure you’re at EMYA 2016 – the museum event that matters.


Goranka Horjan

Chair of the European Museum Forum, Trust of EMYA


Do not hesitate to contact us.

(+34) 943.650.414

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