Hope Abounds: Experiencing the Hearties Family Reunion (Part 3 of 4)

Fans all hope to interact with their favorite actors, and for many fans of other shows, speaking face-to-face with the actors who so creatively present the characters they love is a pipe dream, completely out of the realm of possibility. Not for the Hearties. On the second day of HFR2,  the entire cast surrendered their precious weekend respite to meet 500 crazy fans. Into the Step and Repeat sessions we go…


Pascale Hutton, Erin Krakow, and Kavan Smith                                                    PC: Ardra Morse

I am beyond lucky. I am blessed.  Somehow, I am assigned group number one. In order to give every one of the almost 500 Hearties in attendance a chance to interact with the cast, the organizers have split us into groups of 20 to snap photos with the actors and say quick hellos. Being in group one means I get to see all of the actors first. They are fresh-faced, bright-eyed, and ready to greet us. For this reason, I overhear Pascale Hutton (our larger-than-life Rosemary) exclaim “Here they come! They’re coming!” as our group approaches. Is she as excited to meet us as we are to meet her? Perhaps, just maybe, this event is special to her, too.

As quickly as we can, our group of twenty poses around each seated group of actors for a snap of the camera. We have the remaining 3.5 minutes to say hello, shake hands, or hug as the spirit moves us, until the cow bell sounds and we are forced to leave one set of actors behind to greet another.

This event is a blur, and my mom whispers, “This lends new meaning to the phrase ‘cattle call’,” (I don’t think she has the same sentimental attachment to the cowbell that the Hearties have) but the craziness is worth it because I have the pleasure of:

  • Saying hello to Ben Rosenbaum, our shy Hickam (who is not so shy in person).
  • Speaking with Jack Wagner about watching him in General Hospital and how my little boys love seeing Bill Avery catch the bad guys.

    Erin Krakow and Ava Grace Cooper                    PC: Ardra Morse
  • Shaking hands with Lori Loughlin and telling her how amazing she is.
  • Hugging Erin Krakow and complimenting her portrayal of a teacher who loves her students. She shares with me that we will like season 4 because Elizabeth faces challenges with teaching methodologies.
  • Hugging Daniel Lissing and explaining how I connected with an Aussie student I have because of Dan’s role on When Calls the Heart. I get a special “G’day” to take 
    Daniel Lissing and Carter Ryan Evancic   PC: Ardra Morse

    back to that student when I return home.

  • Finding out that “they took away” Kavan Smith’s (Lee’s) motorcycle because it was “too dangerous” and that he is very disappointed about it.
  • Experiencing Pascale’s gorgeous smile and gregarious spirit.
  • Speaking with Mark Humphrey and learning that he is very shy and introverted, but also very warm and approachable. (And let me tell you, when Mark Humphrey says to me “Hello, darlin’,” as I approach him, I go a bit weak in the knees and my mind goes blank.)
  • Learning about Loretta Walsh’s beautiful daughter and her joy in being a new mother.
  • Grabbing a quick hug from Eva Bourne.
  • Sharing with Johannah Newmarch about the challenges young girls face and how her show on Netflix, MC2, encourages girls to be strong.
Mark Humphrey                                                PC: Ardra Morse

All of these actors take my breath away, not because of their appearance or their fame, but because of their genuine love for what they do, for who they work with, and for their fans. In a world where any tinge of popularity makes a person shuttered and aloof, these actors remain open to their audience. They do life with us, as best they can.

I leave these Step and Repeats breathless and weighted, tired from the sheer pace of it all. Rather than spending more time gallivanting around Vancouver, my mom and I decide – along with three new friends – to enjoy a quiet dinner on Granville Island. We soak in our experiences of the day, reflecting on the best and ignoring any inconveniences. Watching the glittering lights of the city at night, we sit back and savor the moment, knowing more is still to come.

(Part 4 of 4 coming soon…)

4 responses to “Hope Abounds: Experiencing the Hearties Family Reunion (Part 3 of 4)”

  1. Aliki Kelaidi Avatar
    Aliki Kelaidi

    Getting to be the first to meet these actors was real luck! I would like to ask you if everybody got to meet them or one saw the actors from the one group that he or she is assigned to. Some other people saw another group of actors? Or did everybody see them at different times. Thank you for sharing these again and remembering the comments that you exchanged with each one of them. 💜💜

    1. Hi! Yes, I was very lucky. Every fan got to see each actor, although briefly. There were two sessions. In each session, group of twenty rotated through 4 stations that housed 2-3 actors each. We all posed for a quick group photo and then had a few minutes to chat with the actors at that station before moving on. I was able to speak with just about every actor for at least a few seconds. Each reunion is different, though, so we won’t know what HFR3 will entail until all the details are posted.

  2. You were fortunate to be able to get so much out of it. Many of us were only allowed to say hello because sadly in a very unheartie or Hope Valley way, some Hearties captialized on their moment with the stars which left majority of us with a 3 second hello and hand shake. Not what you expect after working a 2nd job, traveling to another country for and donating your time and energy to watching, tweeting and promoting the show. I would assume after supporting their careers, the stars would give more time. They had to rush through 500 people. Certainly would have been more doable if they gave more time, people wouldn’t have raced. I don’t think a full day with fans is too much to ask when they’re living in mansions because of us, the fans. They were all lovely, but some stars seemed overwhelmed by the time we got through, but then again I was toward the end. I felt bad for them! Here’s hoping HFR3 will be better.

    1. I was definitely very fortunate to be in the first group, especially since everyone in the group was respectful of others. Looking forward to HFR3,

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