Coal Valley Kids Chat: Gracyn (Emily Montgomery) Shinyei
SPOILER CAUTION – SPOILER CAUTION IF you have not seen Ep.4
#Hearties – Welcome to the 4th edition of Coal Valley Kids Chat.
THANK YOU, Tak and Gracyn, for sharing with us your insights and experiences (and a few pictures) on the set of “When Calls The Heart.”
Now, let’s hear from Tak and Gracyn:
“The historic set of WCTH”
Gracyn Shinyei plays Emily Montgomery on “When Calls the Heart”. Gracyn is the youngest of the supporting actors and loves going to “work” back in time on the large playground that is the town of Coal Valley. Gracyn is often heard asking; “Dad, when can I go play again in the olden days?”
The stories of Coal Valley take place in the early 1900s in a small coal town of the Canadian West. Originally the location for filming was to be in Colorado, USA but circumstances landed it in British Columbia. The primary set of WCTH is situated on a private property in Langley, BC called James Town. (See our post on James Town) Langley itself is an historic town with attractions like Fort Langley where tourists can observe the lifestyles of 19th century settlers. Gracyn has explored the historic sites of Langley but now feels like she was part of history in a funny way by being a part of this amazing period series.
The location could not be more perfect with beautiful ponds, forests, fields and an assortment of existing and newly constructed buildings that portray the writers’ visions of what this circa 1910 town and its environs might look like. Combining that setting with great scripts, beautiful period wardrobe, and amazing camera work, each episode is wonderfully transformed into a time-defying reality.
Gracyn lives only 15 minutes away in a modern city but each day crosses a threshold that is like no other. Working on the set of Coal Valley allows her and all the actors to completely immerse themselves in history. Gracyn often inquires about the stark differences between then and now, most notably how the land and architecture has changed.
For the hours in front of the camera, Gracyn and the other child actors have to forget all modern conveniences and technology and embrace a simpler time. Although no modern conveniences can be seen during shooting, Gracyn and her cohorts love to revert to their iPads on their breaks which makes for an incongruous vision – children dressed in old-fashioned clothes playing games or checking their email on modern high tech toys!
(Photography Credits: Tak Shinyei, JamestownBC . com and Copyright 2013 Crown Media United States, LLC)