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Carnival gets 'Coronation Creative' with programme cover design competition

Pupils Ellie Stitson and Kirk Dillon from Ilkley Carnival’s creative competition sponsor Bradford Grammar School, help to launch the creative competition with head of art Sarah Horsfield

Ilkley Carnival’s annual creative competition is back as organisers launch their search for the cover design for the 2023 event programme.

Launched for the first time since 2019, children and young people aged 5-16 across LS29 are being asked to enter the competition and wow judges with a spectacular image to represent this year’s “The Coronation” theme with the winner securing their design on the front of the programme which will be seen by more than 10,000 visitors to the town.

The competition is sponsored by Bradford Grammar School - once home to the world-renowned artist David Hockney – whose art department is providing prizes of an art set and a bespoke arts workshop at the school for the winner and their classmates.

Bradford Grammar School’s head of art Sarah Horsfield 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. Getting creative is a fantastic way to start the build up to this year’s Ilkley Carnival, especially with “The Coronation” theme to get those art skills flowing! And we’ll be looking forward to welcoming the winner and their classmates into our arts department later this year, to learn creative techniques that they can use over and over again.”

The competition falls into three entry categories for children aged 5-8, 9-11 and 12-16, with a closing date of Monday 6th March. All category winners will have their winning designs framed by Weaverbirds of Ilkley. The overall winner will see their design on the cover of the programme and will receive the two art prizes from Bradford Grammar School.

Ilkley resident and Bradford Grammar School year seven pupil Kirk Dillon said: “It’s great that our school is supporting this competition because art is such a fun subject – I think I might enter the competition too. Even if I don’t win, I’m looking forward to creating something colourful to represent The Coronation!”

Ilkley Carnival commences at 11am on 1 May with its spectacular parade which begins on The Grove and ends at East Holmes Field showground which will be home to headline acts, a fun dog show, trade and charity stalls and a host of free children’s activities from the craft tent to Punch and Judy.

Ilkley Carnival chair Andrew Stacey added: “The Carnival’s programme cover competition is a highlight in the carnival countdown and is something we’ve done for decades 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 Coronation theme will prompt a flurry of high impact designs!”

A template is available on the carnival website here. All entries must be received by Monday 6th March and delivered in an envelope clearly marked ‘Ilkley Carnival Cover Competition’ to Pinnacle Graphic Design, 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.

For more information, visit the carnival’s website on and to keep updated with all the news follow @IlkleyCarnival on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Ilkley radio station Rombalds Radio spoke to Ilkley Carnival Chairman Andrew Stacy about this year's May Day event, hear the podcast here.


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