Baltic Circle participated in the three-year pilot initiative, Helsingin malli, run by the City of Helsinki Cultural Office in 2016-2018. The initiative brings participatory arts methods to the everyday life of citizens, and supports the outreach efforts of arts institutions to gain new audiences around Helsinki. Within this frame, Baltic Circle focused on the district of Kaarela in western Helsinki.

The project examined local specificities in relation to similar phenomena on a global level. The project aimed also to familiarise the public with the Kaarela region through various events. A further aim was to bring new forms of public engagement to the festival, and to broaden audiences.

Baltic Circle invited choreographer and artist Maija Hirvanen to work in the project. Her work Carnaval took place inside and around a van transformed into a performance space. The project started with a research phase in spring 2016, and in May 2017 Carnaval Kaarela parade celebrated and danced its way through the Kannelmäki district. In 2018 the project took the form of different parties celebrating renewal, joy and hula hooping. They were created together with local residents and communities.

Hirvanen collaborated with producer Salla Kurronen. Carnaval was realised within the framework of Urban Heat programme, funded by the Creative Europe Programme of European Union.