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Ilkley Carnival creative launch

Launching the creative competition at sponsors Bradford Grammar School! L-R Previous winner Evie Connor from St Mary’s school, Sarah Horsfield BGS Art teacher, Archie Sanderson BGS pupil and Colin Watson Ilkley Carnival committee member

Don’t brush it off! Carnival draws attention to creative competition for local children


The annual Ilkley Carnival creative competition aims to motivate children across the LS29 district to think outside the box and colour inside the lines!


Championing this year’s theme ‘Shows and Musicals’, the annual competition was launched by last year’s winner Evie Connor and sponsors Bradford Grammar School. The competition hopes to inspire local children (5-16) to produce a drawing, painting or digital design to feature on the front cover of the carnival programme which is read by more than 10,000 people who visit the showground on the 6 May Bank Holiday event.


The competition is sponsored by Bradford Grammar School, which was once home to the world-renowned artist David Hockney. The second-year sponsors provide a lucky winner with an impressive art set and bespoke workshop at the school for the winner and their classmates.


In 2018, the carnival committee received hundreds of entries based on the ‘TV programmes’ theme. The winning artwork was created by Ghyll Royd Pupil Evie Connor (10), whose design featured a dazzling image of a rainbow-patterned television being watched from a vibrant green sofa.  


Ilkley Carnival committee members judge the annual competition and chairman Andrew Stacey said: “The cover competition is a highlight in the carnival countdown as it gives local children the opportunity to get involved from the start. It’s remarkable to see the competition spark their imagination and I’m certain this year’s theme will prompt quirky and memorable designs!”


The competition falls into three entry categories for children aged 5-8, 9-11 and 12-16. The committee will select one lucky winner for the cover of the programme who will receive the tailored art prize from Bradford Grammar School.


Three category winners will also be chosen and invited on stage to receive a goodie bag from Bettys Café Tea Rooms and their artwork framed by Weaverbirds to take home.  


Simon Hinchliffe, headmaster of BGS, said: “We place a high importance on creativity at BGS, whether our pupils are making music, taking part in great theatre or producing compelling art. We’re delighted once again to be part of this fantastic event in Ilkley and to support the next generation of young artists." 


All entries must be received by Friday 22 March and delivered in an envelope clearly marked ‘Ilkley Carnival Cover Competition’ to Approach PR, 32-34 The Grove, Ilkley, LS29 9EE. Please ensure your name, age, entry category, address and contact number or email is clearly written on the back of each entry.

Download and print an entry form here and follow @ilkleycarnival on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for all the latest updates.

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