John is the poster boy for Edinburgh Fringe

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Seven-year-old John Imray has been named as the winner of the 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe’s Schools Poster Competition, supported by Virgin Money.

The announcement was made by the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society’s chief executive Kath Mainland, Virgin Money’s Stephen Pearson and Edinburgh Artist Mark Kirkham at a prize-giving ceremony and exhibition launch at the Museum of Childhood in Edinburgh on May 27.

A pupil from St Mary’s School in Melrose, John’s design was chosen from more than 5,300 entries received from 171 schools across Scotland.

His artwork will become the official poster for the 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. His design was praised by judges for encapsulating the spirit of the Fringe.

Ms Mainland said: “John’s poster portrays the very essence of the Fringe – it’s full of life, colour and emotion. The judges unanimously recognised his skills and expressive ability.

“We’re extremely proud of our annual Schools Poster Competition – it’s embraced by a huge number of schools across Scotland and, now in its 35th year, continues to grow.

“We’d like to thank all the schools who took part and all the teachers who encourage their pupils to get involved with the Fringe and get creative in the classroom.”

Professional artist Mark Kirkham – the Edinburgh Sketcher – was a special guest at the prize-giving ceremony and exhibition launch.

He said: “It’s an honour to be here. The Fringe’s Schools Poster Competition is a fantastic initiative and a great way to encourage children to pick up their paintbrushes and pencils.”

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 Fringe shop in the Royal Mile or via the Fringe website.

John will receive a £300 cash prize and his school’s art department will be awarded £750.