Three young artists from across Scotland have been announced as the winners of the 2017 Fringe Schools Poster Competition supported by Virgin Money. Revealed today, at a special Fringe prize-giving celebration at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh, the winning designs will feature as the cover images for the official 70th anniversary Fringe Programme and will be seen by thousands of locals and visitors from across the UK and around the world this summer.

Winners were selected from three age categories by an expert panel including the competition’s champion artist, Jon Bishop, a.k.a The Grey Earl. Helen Willder, aged six, is the Primary 1 to Primary 3 winner from George Watsons’ College in Edinburgh. Tom Dolby, aged eight, from St Mary’s Schools Melrose in the Scottish Borders wins the Primary 4 to Primary 7 category, and Orla Henaghen, aged 13, is the Senior 1 to Senior 6 winner from St Peter the Apostle High School in Clydebank. Timothy Cox, aged 14 from Charleston Academy in Inverness received a special commendation for artistic merit for his striking design.

Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society said:

“It has been an inspirational day meeting our winners and their families and I hope that all those who participated in the competition will be encouraged to continue developing their creative skills and engaging with the arts. I’m delighted to have shared a taste of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with schoolchildren from around Scotland today, and I am thrilled that in this special anniversary year, Scotland’s young people have been given the opportunity to design the cover of the 2017 official Fringe Programme. The Fringe Programme is an important tool for audiences and participants to navigate their way through the thousands of events at the festival and I’m sure that these three eye-catching cover designs will be enjoyed by everyone taking part in the Fringe this year.”

Andrew Nicholson, Brand Director for Virgin Money said:

The Fringe Schools Poster Competition continues to inspire creativity in Scottish classrooms and is a wonderful way to introduce Scotland’s young people to the delights of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Congratulations to the three winners and to all the schools and schoolchildren who participated this year, as ever, the standard has been exceptionally high. We are delighted to be involved in the Fringe’s 70th anniversary celebrations and hope that the competition has engaged the next generation of audiences and participants in this wonderful festival.”

As well as seeing their design turned into a programme cover, each winner has been presented with £150 cash and £150 culture vouchers to support and encourage their passion for creativity. The three designs will also appear on a range of merchandise available for sale from the edfringe shop. The winning schools have also been awarded £250 cash and £250 culture vouchers to bring even more creativity to their classrooms.

New for 2017, a Creative Stars Award in partnership with Dynamic Earth was awarded to the lunchtime art club at Castlebrae Community High School. Seven pupils collaborated to create a poster design that captures the movement and shapes of performers at the Fringe. Pupils and their teacher were presented with a trophy and a Golden Ticket pass for Dynamic Earth.

Chief Executive of Dynamic Earth, John Simpson said:

“Dynamic Earth is delighted to be involved in this special competition as the host venue for today’s prize-giving and the Fringe Schools Poster Exhibition. This year we introduced the new Creative Stars Award, awarded to Castlebrae Community High School, whose collaborative approach to the creative process really impressed the Dynamic Earth team. We hope that as many people as possible will visit Dynamic Earth to see the fantastic exhibition of work by Scottish schoolchildren over the next three months.”

Families and teachers travelled from across Scotland to enjoy the prize-giving celebration today and were encouraged to get creative and take part in fun activities including hula hooping, face painting and a Join the Illustrator workshop delivered by Jon Bishop. The Longstone Primary School Choir welcomed guests into Dynamic Earth’s Stratosphere where the free exhibition, featuring the three winning designs, the designs of 14 regional winners and over 150 shortlisted entries, is now open to the public until 28 August.

238 classes from 187 schools entered the competition with over 5,500 pupils submitting striking, inspirational and unique designs in response to the creative brief. Supported by Virgin Money, the competition launched in 1980 and is one of Scotland’s longest-running arts outreach projects with new schools engaging with the competition and the Fringe every year.

View the poster gallery


Notes to Editors

For further information please contact the Fringe Media Office. Email: [email protected], Tel: 0131 240 1919

Find out more about the Fringe Schools Poster Competition.

The opening hours for the exhibition at Dynamic Earth are 06 June – 31 June, 10:00 – 17:30 (Mon – Sun) and 01 July – 28 August, 10:00 – 18:00 (Mon – Sun). Entry to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Schools Poster Competition exhibition is free of charge.

Accommodation support was provided to families from Radisson Blu, Nestival and Edinburgh First @ The University of Edinburgh. A travel bursary, supported by Virgin Money, ensured that all winners had the equal opportunity to visit Edinburgh and celebrate their achievements in the festival city.

The deadline for the 2018 Fringe Schools Poster Competition is Friday 09 March 2018, 17:00.