LISTEN: Lesley Williamson shares her optimism for brighter future by the end of the year
The Enchanted Forest has drawn in crowds for coming up to two decades, raising Pitlochry’s profile and supporting local groups and businesses through grant funding.
Now that lockdown restrictions are set to ease with the widespread roll out of the vaccine nationwide, the Enchanted Forest is set to mark a special celebration for its 20th anniversary.
Although it’s not certain what this will be since it’s unclear just what the rules will be by the time the celebration comes around.
The Enchanted Forest’s chair, Lesley Williamson, said: “With the restrictions in place its going to be a unique year for all businesses in Scotland and I don’t think that the Enchanted Forest will be much different from that.
“But with the event planning, we’re going to have to do a lot of contingency planning, because none of us has a crystal ball to see what we can actually do in October.
“But with a fair wind and a willing heart, hopefully we’ll get there and be able to continue in the same fantastic vein that we have done year on year.”
Lesley Williamson has also just been recently been appointed as the new chair of the Enchanted Forest, brining her wealth of experience from the tourism and hospitality sector.
She is also joined by Nela Popovic who’s spent her career specialising in running professional events with teams involved providing services for the 2012 London Olympics and 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Lesley Williamson, Chair of The Enchanted Forest Community Trust said: “The Enchanted Forest is such an iconic Scottish autumn event, and I am excited about taking up the role of Chair as we look to the future and strive to make it a bigger and better event year on year.
“Of course, it has been a challenging time for the events industry, and we dearly hope the 20th anniversary event will run as planned.
“We want it to be a real celebration of how much the event has achieved in the last twenty years and the joy it has bought to the thousands of visitors that have attended every year.
“I am delighted to be welcoming Nela to the team. She brings decades of experience and expertise from working at a senior level in the events industry and we’re both excited about the future of The Enchanted Forest as we look to the next decade of growth.”
Nela Popovic also commented: “It’s a privilege to be working for such a highly esteemed event, and I look forward to working with Lesley and the board of trustees to deliver an event which continues to exceed visitor expectations year on year.”
As well as welcoming Lesley Williamson and Nela Popovic to their new roles, the trust is also looking to bring on board new trustees.
Lesley Williamson, who took up the reigns this month as the Trust’s very first female chairperson, commented on the launch of the campaign: “Like all events and charities we are facing challenging times, and the need for strong and supportive governance has never been more important. The Board of Trustees of the Enchanted Forest Community Trust has been, and continues to go, through a period of change and it’s now time for us to strengthen that team as the country emerges from the restrictions.
“While the restrictions around COVID-19 have been incredibly challenging for the event, we must always look for the silver lining.
“If anything it has taught us that we can operate some aspects of our organisation virtually, and this significantly widens the net to attract talented individuals with the right experience to join our Board of Trustees.
“For the first time ever, our search for trustees will be nationwide and we are keen to hear from anyone who is interested in being part of the future of one of the UK’s pioneering sound and light shows.”