Official City of Culture 2013 Mascot Competition

Culture Northern Ireland and Culture Company 2013 launch design competition, with £3,000 worth of Apple products awarded to the winner

Culture Company 2013 has joined forces with Culture Northern Ireland to launch a competition to design the official City of Culture 2013 mascot, as part of the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure's Creativity Month.

The competition launched today (Thursday, March 15) and will be run through the new online creative hub CreativityNI. It is open to anyone who thinks their design is worthy of becoming the official mascot for Derry~Londonderry’s year as the inaugural UK City of Culture.

The mascot will become a symbol of City of Culture 2013, and will be showcased at events, on promotional material and on merchandise products that will go on sale throughout 2013. The winner of the competition will also be given Apple products to the value of £3,000.

Culture Company is looking for a mascot that is an imaginary character, animal or person, is original, is easy to recognise as the official mascot for City of Culture, is appealing to their target audience and incorporates their brand colours (pink, yellow and red) in some way.

The entries will be shortlisted and a winner selected by an expert judging panel that will include: Declan McGonagle, Culture Company 2013 board member and director at the National Art College Dublin; David Lewis, director of Culture Northern Ireland; David Campbell, artist-in-residence at the Verbal Arts Centre; Kieran Harrigan, design and publications officer at Derry City Council; and Maoliosa Boyle, manager of Void Art Gallery.

Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilín welcomed the launch of the mascot competition. 'City of Culture 2013 will be a catalyst for creativity and innovation across our region and beyond. It will inspire people to think differently, to think creatively and to look to the possibilities of the future. The winning mascot design will capture this hope and energy and showcase our creativity to the world.'

Chair of the judging panel, Declan McGonagle, added: 'This is a great opportunity for someone to become part of the legacy of the first ever City of Culture by having their design go down in the history books as the official mascot.

'Our year in 2013 will show the world what a great city Derry~Londonderry is, and we will use our mascot to communicate this as well. Our panel look forward to welcoming entries from all across the UK and Ireland and unveiling our mascot as part of our highlight programme launch at the beginning of May.'

David Lewis, director at Culture Northern Ireland, commented: 'Culture Northern Ireland is delighted to be involved with the design a mascot competition for City of Culture 2013. This is an exciting opportunity for designers and artists to get involved with the City of Culture in Derry~Londonderry.

'Mascots always play a significant role in engaging with audiences and inspiring them to participate in activity. I look forward to seeing some creative designs.'

Entries will be accepted until 5pm on April 12, 2012. Further competition details and the online application form are available at www.creativityni.org/mascot and www.facebook.com/cityofculture2013.