Ship Ahoy Auction – Sunday 26th November between 5-6pm, St Hilda’s Church 

The Festival returns for a fifth time!

This year our hometown of Hartlepool is hosting the world renowned Tall Ships Race so the festival will have a very nautical theme running through it!

The Festival runs from 23rd June 2023 until the end of September and as always everything is free to enjoy.

We have exciting events exhibitions and chances to get involved on offer:


· Pirates! – more to follow

· Following the amazing reaction to the Monkey Sculpture Trail in the last Festival this year we bring you ‘Ship Ahoy!’ 30 ship sculptures will be decorated by the community, and form a trail around the town. They will be placed in businesses, and community venues as an invitation to visit. Last time when we auctioned the monkeys we raised thousands for Hartlepool Carers…this time another local charity will benefit

· The Northern Illustration Prize celebrates of all that is great about the diverse world of illustration attracting talent from around the globe. This year We are asking Emerging and Established Illustrators to produce new work on a theme of ‘The Sea’

· Character and zine workshops for all ages.

· Live drawing

· Storyboard masterclasses


The Northern Festival of Illustration was founded in 2015 by The Northern School of Art as a major showcase for the talent of illustrators across print, digital, product design and many other fields – aiming to open eyes to the rewarding and diverse careers open to young people. It is supported by Arts Council England with National Lottery funds.


Our thanks to Arts Council England for their generous ongoing financial support for the Festival through their Lottery Funded Project Grants. Our thanks once again to The Sir James Knott Trust for their financial support