24 May 2016

12-year-old Ruth Mackenzie has been named as the winner of the 2016 Edinburgh Festival Fringe Schools Poster Competition, supported by Virgin Money.

The announcement was made today by the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society’s Chief Executive Shona McCarthy, Virgin Money’s Andrew Nicholson and cartoonist Nigel Parkinson at a special prize-giving ceremony and exhibition launch at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh.

A pupil at Inverness Royal Academy in Inverness, Ruth’s design was chosen from over 4,900 entries received from 175 schools across Scotland. Her artwork will become the official poster for the 2016 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

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

"Ruth’s winning poster really embodies the spirit of the Fringe – bright, bold and full of colourful characters."

"The judges were unanimous in recognising her flair and skill as a young artist, and I’ve no doubt her family and everyone at Inverness Royal Academy will be delighted with her success. 

“I was thrilled to join my colleagues on the judging panel for my first Schools Poster Competition and was blown away by the sheer variety and talent on display, as well as inspired by how diverse and personal each child’s interpretation of the Fringe was. It is fantastic to see so many schools and pupils creatively engaging with the Fringe and we would like to thank all of them for taking part. I look forward to developing these relationships with the Fringe in the coming years.

“This year, for the first time, the exhibition takes place at Dynamic Earth with more than 150 posters on display for the general public to enjoy. We are very pleased to be working with Dynamic Earth, an organisation with a strong focus on education and creativity, and I hope as many people as possible will get along to see some of the amazing artwork the 2016 Schools Poster Competition has produced.”

Cartoonist Nigel Parkinson, best known for drawing Dennis the Menace, Minnie the Minx and a host of other characters for The Beano, was a special guest at today’s prize-giving ceremony and exhibition launch. He said:

“I was honoured to be invited to attend today’s event. The Fringe Schools Poster Competition is a fantastic initiative and a great way to inspire and encourage children to let their imaginations soar by expressing themselves artistically, as well as being a great way to introduce them to the Fringe. I hope that all the pupils that have taken part across Scotland will be inspired to keep drawing and I’m really looking forward to walking around the exhibition.”

Andrew Nicholson from Virgin Money added:

“Virgin Money is delighted to continue to support the Fringe Schools Poster Competition. It’s always a joy to see what new ideas pupils come up with and this year, as ever, the quality has been incredibly high. Congratulations to Ruth on winning with her striking design, I’m sure her family and everyone at Inverness Royal Academy are very proud of her. Well done to all the pupils that submitted poster designs and the schools that enabled them to take part.”

Runners-up were 13-year-old Ellie Robertson from Gracemount High School in Edinburgh and 13-year-old Chiara Watt from Falkirk High School in Forth Valley. Their posters, along with 14 regional winners,154 shortlisted entries and Ruth’s winning design are part of a special exhibition at Dynamic Earth which opens today and will run until 29 August. Entry is free of charge.

Chief Executive of Dynamic Earth, John Simpson said:

“Dynamic Earth is excited to be hosting the prize-giving ceremony and exhibition for this year’s Fringe Schools Poster Competition. For more than 30 years this competition has encouraged children to engage with the arts, get creative and use their imaginations, producing some fantastic artwork in the process. The exhibition, which will run in The Stratosphere throughout this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, includes an amazing variety of posters from pupils of all ages and we hope that locals and visitors to Edinburgh will have a chance to enjoy it over the summer months.”

The Fringe Schools Poster Competition was launched in 1980 and is one of Scotland’s longest-running arts outreach projects. The competition has received over 100,000 entries since it was launched and is open to all five to 16-year-olds in schools across Scotland. Entrants are asked to create a poster design reflecting their interpretation of the Fringe. Schools are supported with comprehensive resources and lesson plans linked to the Curriculum for Excellence to get the most from the competition.

Every year the winning design becomes the official poster for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and is used on mugs, bags, T-shirts and other merchandise available to buy in the edfringe shop on the Royal Mile or via the Fringe website.

Ruth will receive a £300 cash prize and her school’s art department will be awarded £750. Ellie and Chiara will each receive £150 and their respective schools’ art departments will each receive £400. Competition sponsor Virgin Money will also be offering tickets to the Virgin Money Fireworks Concert 2016 for the top three prize-winners.

Notes to Editors

For more information and images from today’s event, including a high resolution image of the winner poster, please email [email protected] or call 0131 240 1919.

Dynamic Earth is open from 10:00 – 17:30 between 24 May and 01 July (Mon – Sun), and from 10:00 – 18:00 between 01 July and 29 August (Mon – Sun). Entry to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Schools Poster Competition exhibition is free of charge.

For full information on the Schools Poster Competition, including a gallery of 2016 winners and past winners’ designs, extensive teaching resources and details on how to get involved visit edfringe.com/poster

For more information on Nigel Parkinson’s work, visit nigelparkinsoncartoons.blogspot.co.uk

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, the organisation that underpins the Edinburgh Festival Fringe was established in 1958, eleven years after the birth of the Fringe when the first performers turned up uninvited to perform at the Edinburgh International Festival. The Fringe is an open access festival – any artist or company can take part regardless of their experience or success and the festival is not programmed or run by an artistic director or any selection body. As a registered charity, the Fringe Society exists to support all participants, industry professionals, media and audience members who attend the Fringe from all around the world, and to produce accurate and up-to-date information and ticketing for audiences, and to raise the profile of the festival as a whole.

For more information on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe please visit edfringe.com

The 2016 Edinburgh Festival Fringe will run from 05 – 29 August
[email protected] / +44 (0)131 240 1919