Yesterday evening we attended the opening ceremony of the cartoonfestival of Olen (Belgium). Cois Veldeman is the driving force behind this event and together with a very small team he was able to organise this good, but small cartoon festival for the 24th year in a row.
This years theme was ‘Puzzles and Puzzlers’. The organizers were a little bit disappointed by the number of participants. It is indeed not easy to compete with hundreds of other contests that are organized every year.
A lot of Belgian cartoonists (we saw Lejon (jury member), Freddy D’Hoop, Luc Vernimmen, Richard Demot, Norbert Van Yperzeele, O-sekoer, Herbert Vanostaeyen, Rudy Thijs, Jan Dufour and Nikola Hendrickx) were present at the opening ceremony and it was very nice to see each other again.
And the results?
Well, the first prize was for O-SEKOER (Luc Descheemaeker), secund was Norbert Van Yperzeele, the third prize was for Serafim Bakoulis (Greece), the 4th prize was for Nikola Hendrickx and the 5th for Rudy Thijs.
There was also a special prize for the best Polish entry offered by the Polish city of Bialogard. Pawel Kuczynski.
And I hear some of you think: a lot of Belgians that won, is it really an international contest? Although 45 nationalities were represented, 20% of all participants were Belgians.
Besides the cartoon contest there is every year a special contest theme for the Amnesty International Prize, this edition the theme was: ‘Energy for everyone’. Norbert Van Yperzeele won this prize.
Olen is also one of the only cartoon contests with a special section for people younger than 15 years old. The Turkish Erol Dagdemir one the first prize.
While I look in the great exhibition catalogue, I am looking back at a wonderful evening with great cartoon friends.
See you next time at the cartoon festival of Olen, where everything will be around ‘Clean Surface Water’ and the Amnesty International Theme ‘The right for a bed and some food’.
More information on the festival of Olen