Strip Turnhout is the organisation responsable for the bi-annual festival with the same name, held in Turnhout, a small city in the north of Belgium with 40.000 inhabitants. Strip Turnhout is the oldest and biggest festival in Flanders, the dutchspeaking part of Belgium. The festival dates back to 1977, when the magazine Stripgids decided to start a small festival to honour the winner of the Bronzen Adhemar, the first and only price for the best Flemish comic artist. Thirty years later the Bronzen Adhemar – the ceremony is one of the traditional highlights of the festival – is recognized by the government as the official Flemish Community Cultural Prize for Comics. The winner gets 12.5000 euro, funded by the Flemish Ministry of Culture. The Bronzen Adhemar is the only official State Prize in the world for comicbook artists.
During the two days of the festival, Strip Turnhout welcomes approximately 15.000 visitors. Artists from Flanders, Holland and all over the world come to Strip Turnhout to meet and get in contact with their readers. During the festival De Warande, Turnhout’s cultural centre, presents several expositions that focus on comics and their makers. Thus, in the past thirty years some of the most famous national and international names saw their work exhibited in de Warande, from Hergé’s famous collaborator Bob De Moor and most of the other important flemish comicbook artists, to the likes of Jacques Tardi and Marten Toonder.
Next to that, Strip Turnhout will publish a new comicsmagazine, starting in october 2006, in coöperation with the province of Antwerp, and will present exhibitions in libraries all over the province. In the near future, the festival will launch a new project, providing information on comicbooks for the libraries of the province of Antwerp.