What a fun-filled weekend!! Some of you have asked what the Hearties Family Reunion is all about…how I found out about it, etc. The Hearties Family Reunion is basically a weekend event for fans (like myself) of the Hallmark Channel’s, When Calls the Heart. The fans are able to meet the cast and crew members, tour the movie set of Hope Valley, and interact with other “Hearties” from around the world!
My husband stumbled across the official IG page one day for the Hearties Family Reunion, and showed it to me. I honestly thought it was too good to be true, or either it was a scam page! Ha! So, I looked into it a little more closely, and found out that it was legit. The event had limited seating, but I decided to take a chance and submit my name anyways, and my husband for my guest. (I submitted our names in June of this year, on the very last day you could register!) So we waited….and a week or so later, I got an email saying that I had been one of the guests selected to attend! What?!! The event is limited to approximately 300-350 guests or so nationwide, so lets just say, that I felt like the Lord looked down on me and smiled! I mean, really, what are the chances of that happening?!
Hearties Launch Party
Speed up to date…The event was held at the Hilton Vancouver Metrotown in the Greater Vancouver area. The first day we had check in and registration. We were presented with a “Hearties Swag Bag” filled with autographed photos of the cast members, a throw blanket, a thermos, a portable phone charger, and other great items! We followed registration with a Hearties Launch Party dinner from 5:00-10:00. During that time, there were many great give-aways, table games, and a delicious meal! We also heard from the Executive Producers of the show, Brian Bird, as well as Michael Landon Jr.! (From what I hear, this is the first year that Michael Landon Jr. has made an appearance at the event.) I watched Little House on the Prairie a lot growing up, so being able to meet Mr. Landon was pretty exciting!
Also present at the event was Janette Oke, the main person behind the show, as she wrote the When Calls the Heart book series. She was my absolute favorite author growing up. I read and re-read nearly all of her books in my pre-teen and teen years. I was so much of a fan of hers growing up, that I decided to write her a letter. (Honestly, I didn’t expect a reply because I knew she was a busy lady.) One day, I checked the mail, and I had a letter from Janette Oke. I honestly couldn’t believe it! I was on “cloud nine” for months! Ha! I say all of that to say that meeting her this weekend felt surreal, and it was truly an honor for me, and one of the many highlights of my weekend. I also had the opportunity to have her autograph one of her books that I have had since my childhood. I will always treasure this memory! (P.S. I still have the letter!)
Meeting the Stars
The second day was from 8:00-4:30. Breakfast and Lunch were provided for all the “Hearties.” During this time, we heard from the Hallmark CEO, Bill Abbott, Executive Producers, Brian Bird and Michael Landon Jr, and also other producers as well as the script writers of When Calls the Heart. We also heard from the beloved Janette Oke. Last, but not least, we were able to meet all of the Stars!! They were all so nice and down to earth! We were also introduced to the new characters that are going to be on Season 6! Actor Paul Greene ended their session with a song. This was such a fun day!
Following meeting the stars, they had a Movie Night for the Hearties from 8:00-10:00. They played a Christmas Hallmark movie that hasn’t yet been released to the public, starring Erin Krakow!
Hope Valley Tour
The final day of the event, we toured the movie set. This was honestly so much fun!! The set is just as cute as it looks on Hallmark! Also, the set is decorated for their Christmas episode that they are in the process of filming! Our tour guide was one of the Producers for When Calls the Heart, and his wife has been an actress on the show. They made the tour so much fun! The second picture is the “Base Camp” where the cast stays during filming. This was also really neat to see! And, we were also introduced to the new “Library” set!
Well, that’s a wrap! It was so much fun, and it was one of those “once-in-a-lifetime” type of experiences…especially for a fan like myself! I will always have great memories from this trip.
If you are a “Hearties” fan and love the show, you should definitely consider submitting your name for next years event! Go follow their Instagram page to stay up to date on information! Click here.