There’s so much heart in Heartland that even the cowboy-averse folks love it. And if you haven’t been hooked in the heart by the popular Canadian series yet, it’s only a matter of time.
The beloved series has become the longest-running one-hour scripted drama in Canadian television history. It’s a winner, eh!
According to The Wrap, Heartland was the 5th most-streamed series of 2021. With over twenty billion minutes viewed in that year alone, the Canadian-filmed and produced drama has captured the hearts of audiences everywhere.
In fact, multiple networks such as Up TV and The CW Plus stream it for the fans down yonder in the United States.
First debuting in 2007, the popular show is based on the 25-novel Heartland series by Lauren Brooke. It tells the tale of the Bartlett-Fleming family. Their ranch in Alberta, named Heartland, is run by two sisters, their father, and widowed grandfather.
Fans of the show have something to celebrate. Production of the 17th season began on May 8, 2023.
The show’s main character recently opened up about the show’s long (and hugely successful) run.
“It is hard to believe I have been part of 250 Heartland episodes,” Amber Marshall, who plays the lead Amy Fleming, tells CBC.
She adds: “When I look back and do the math, I’ve spent over 1700 days on set which is roughly 20,400 hours. I really can’t imagine a better group of people to create something so special. We are all so proud of this show.”
Michelle Morgan, who plays Samantha Louise “Lou” Fleming Morris, couldn’t help but offer her heartfelt gratitude for the “multi-generational show.”
“Heartland entering the 17th season in an industry where a series is lucky to get a second or a third season is hard to wrap your head around,” Morgan shares with CBC.
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She adds: “I attribute the longevity of Heartland to a perfect alchemy of all the most important elements in television. We have a good story engine and great chemistry between the different actors on the set. We have a stunning and unique setting, a little piece of southern Alberta known as the Foothills. We have many knowledgeable local cowboys and cowgirls to guide the show and keep it authentically grounded in the western world. But the most important element is that it is a multi-generational show that anyone in the family can watch and enjoy.”
Promising “unexpected directions” in Season 17, Heartland’s upcoming episodes are all about embracing the unexpected and taking the road less traveled. As always, the Bartlett-Flemings will continue to fight for what’s right, while staying firmly rooted in their family’s beautiful land.
The Heartland ranch is the ‘heart’ of the show
Unsurprisingly, the idyllic ranch in western Canada has become the main character of the show.
From the quaint log house and cabin decor to the horse stalls, to the picturesque greenery and surroundings, the Heartland ranch is the main focus for viewers.
And the stars agree. Canadian native and main character Chris Potter dished on the dreamy setting.
“In 2007, Heartland presented an opportunity of great promise. Over the course of its seasons, the promise realized, Heartland has become a dream,” Potter shares with CBC.
He adds: “A way of life for many of us involved in its ongoing creation. As we celebrate our 250th episode milestone it is with admiration for, and congratulations to, every person involved in making the show throughout the seasons. For me the dream goes on until I ride my horse into the Heartland sunset. What a ride it’s been so far!”
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Heartland also has scenes at a dude ranch in High River, and at a studio in Calgary.
The location of the Heartland ranch
So where exactly is this beautiful land in the foothills? Let’s dive into the heart of Heartland: the family ranch.
The privately owned ranch is located in Millarville, Alberta, Canada. Just south of Calgary – the home of the 1988 Winter Olympics – Millarville offers breathtaking views of the Canadian Rockies mountain range.
Located 35 kilometers southwest of Calgary, Millarville is a hamlet in the foothills of the Rockies, which is locally known simply as “the foothills.”
Who owns the ranch?
In 1928, Roy Foster purchased the property to raise cattle. As seen on the show, the barn was built by Roy’s brother, Les.
Can you tour the ranch?
Every bit the proud Canuck, Amber Marshall gave fans a tour of the beautiful ranch in western Canada (video tour posted above).
And if fans want a firsthand look at the stunning homestead, year-round tours are available from Calgary through the foothills to downtown Hudson (a.k.a. High River). And while you can’t go through the ranch itself, this local tour will give you the heart of the Heartland experience.
Born in Alberta, the actor who plays the family patriarch of Heartland couldn’t help but rave about the “greatest gift” of his professional career.
“250 episodes of Heartland! That sure is a beautiful thing,” Shaun Johnston gushed to CBC.
He adds: “Working on Heartland has been the greatest gift in a professional lifetime for me. And having been in the Heartland family since the very first day of production all those many years back makes me proud to say that I am honoured, humbled, and privileged to be Jack Bartlett. Thank you CBC. And thank you, fans of Heartland.”
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