Tricia talks to Media Planet about growing up on a farm in rural Alberta, Canada.
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Tricia Helfer: home sweet home in Alberta
Actress and model, Tricia Helfer, describes why she loves her home province.
Mediaplanet: Tell us a little bit about growing up in Alberta?
Tricia Helfer: Well, I grew up on a grain farm in a very rural area. The nearest town was a 20 minute drive away and has maybe 200 people. I don’t know the size now, but it’s small. I went to school from kindergarten through grade 9 and then had to go 40 minutes away to a town of, I don’t know…4500, for high school. Pretty much everyone around there is either a farmer or working within that industry somehow. I’m so glad I grew up there, and grew up with an understanding of the land. I left at 17 for work, and have lived in massive cities since. While I love what can be offered there as well, I prefer to have grown up in the country where I could explore and be a kid – running around more wild and free. I have traveled all over the world, literally all over the world, and there are so many exquisite places. I feel so lucky to have been able to experience what I have. Saying that, I wouldn’t change where I grew up…ever.
I have traveled all over the world, literally all over the world, and there are so many exquisite places. I feel so lucky to have been able to experience what I have. Saying that, I wouldn’t change where I grew up…ever.
MP: How often do you go back and visit your home province?
TH: I’d like to get back more often than I do, but for work I travel an awful lot and I have a lot of animals, so sometimes when I have time off I need to just stay home in LA and catch up on things there. My husband is from New Orleans so that also cuts into the time, as holidays need to be alternated between practically opposite ends of North America in order to see both families. But, I’m lucky because my husband absolutely fell in love with Alberta when he first visited with me and said on our drive back to the Calgary airport (a 3 hour drive, mind you) that we should consider building a house on my land there. I had bought 60 acres of farm land in my early 20s that I had cash rented out for growing grain. We ended up selling that to my parents and buying 30 acres of land from them that has an incredible view for a house that we plan on building. We’ve alternated through a series of sizes and types of houses, and are now getting closer to actually putting something up there. We both love it so much and will spend more time when we have a place that we can go to and just de-stress. We get to my parents sometimes only twice a year right now. Sometimes three times, sometimes only once, but when we have our house there we plan on coming up and spending a few weeks or a month at a time when I’m between jobs. My husband can work from there since so much is done without having to be in person anymore, so we could park ourselves there and hang for a bit more than we do now.
Alberta is my foundation. It’s a huge part of who I am and what I’m made of.
Question: What does Alberta mean to you?
A: Alberta is my foundation. It’s a huge part of who I am and what I’m made of. As all of the provinces are – it’s huge, so you certainly have many different types of places within it. From the Rocky mountains on the west to the flat prairies on the east and the forests in the north. Like all of Canada, most of the population of Alberta is from the central to the south of the province. I’m certainly not educated on the entire province. My experiences are of a child. I left for my job at 17 years-old and have been living in the States since. My experiences are growing up on the farm and visiting as an adult. What strikes me is the warmth of the people and the raw beauty of the land. I have a reputation in my business as an honest and hardworking individual, and that stems from my family and where I grew up. Salt of the earth type people.
My experiences are growing up on the farm and visiting as an adult. What strikes me is the warmth of the people and the raw beauty of the land.
Question: What kind of activities do you enjoy doing the most?
A: I’m an active person. Always have been and always hope to be. So my main activities are hiking, canoeing and snowshoeing. I’d like to horseback ride but haven’t done that yet on a trip home. I love the crazy Caribbean blue water of lakes and ponds you find in the mountains. So canoeing on those is just freakishly delicious. Of course, the water is incredibly cold so swimming is out, but the insane beauty is enough.