Enchanted Forest Shortlisted for Top Creative Award

Photographs by Graham Smith

The Enchanted Forest, the annual “Big Tree Country” event in Perthshire, has been shortlisted as a finalist for the 2012 Year of Creative Scotland Event at this year’s Creative Scotland Awards to be held in Glasgow next month. It’s perhaps appropriate that the event should be rewarded because this was its tenth anniversary year. It attracted more than 30,000 visitors for the first time since the event began, contributing an estimated £1.5 million to the local Highland Perthshire economy over its 24 night run.

The shortlist, due to be released by the organisers next week, is currently somewhat shrouded in an air of mystery; but it’s expected to be a glittering array of all that is best in Scotland’s creative sector covering not just events, but film, literature, theatre, dance, music and education.

The 2012 show “FLOW” was designed by a creative team led by Derek Allan which includes Scottish designers Simon Wilkinson (lighting) and RJ McConnell (sound), as well as Dundee based visual artists Dalziel + Scullion.

Derek Allan, creative director of The Enchanted Forest, said that this year’s event had been “…a truly collaborative approach, involving a creative team that spanned lighting design, musical composition, and the visual arts and as a team we are very grateful to Creative Scotland for their support in helping us to continue to develop the artistic integrity of the event which has been recognised in this award nomination.”

The Enchanted Forest is no stranger to awards success, topping the charts at the Scottish Event Awards in 2011 with the Event Management Grand Prix not to mention the accolades for Best Cultural Event, Perthshire’s Best Event and clocking up numerous other awards along the way.

It’s not the only award the event could win this year. In just four days time, it goes head to head with some of Scotland’s biggest tourism operators at this year’s Thistle Awards for the coveted title of VisitBritain Marketing Campaign of the Year.

A social enterprise, The Highland Perthshire Area Community Interest Company, has successfully run the multi-award winning show since 2010, growing the event substantially in just 3 years by almost 50% taking the event from around 20,000 visitors in 2010 to over 30,000 visitors in 2012.

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David Calder has been a broadcast journalist for over 30 years. Before moving to the Caledonian Mercury, he worked for the BBC (national and regional) as well as parts of ITV and the World Service. He worked for prestigious programmes such as The Money Programme, You & Yours, Today and The World at One. He spent two years making mini-documentaries for Radio 5 Live and was a regular correspondent for CBC (Radio Canada). He was a regular reporter on various news and current affairs programmes on BBC Scotland as well as producing or presenting (sometimes both) science, legal affairs and arts programmes. As well as his contributions to the Caledonian Mercury, he is also a freelance producer in Scotland for the satellite channel, Al Jazeera.