Well Havenites it’s been a few weeks (OK 4 months) but I’m still reeling from the amazing experience that was our trip to ‘Haven‘!
Here’s a summary of what we got up to each day. I hope you enjoy hearing what I learnt about our favourite show, culminating in our fantastic Haven Fan Party!
For those of you who followed the trip on Twitter – Thank You! And I hope you keep reading for plenty of extra info and unseen footage exclusively here!
TAKE A LOOK AT THE HAVEN TRIP PHOTO GALLERY – PT. 1 FOR FULL SIZE IMAGES AND EXTRA PICS!
(FOOTNOTE: In case any of you are confused, due to technical difficulties Aimee was happy to host this series here – Thank You Aimee for your help!)
I wanted a gift to say thanks, for the team behind my favourite show. We ‘fanclubbers’ had been lucky enough to meet cast members in the past at UK comic-cons, so decided on a collage to let the cast know who their UK fans were. Jinan (@jenesis_o) came up with this wonderful design:
I knew that many fans would have loved to make the trip. With Jinan’s help I made a poster filled with Twitter handles of as many Havenites as I could, with the idea that by picturing the poster through our journey, taking you all with us in a manner, you could live the trip vicariously through Twitter. (Sorry for all the poster mistakes guys – bit of a rush job)
Armed with collages, the poster and unbridled excitement, Sarah (@smangan1985) Laurence (@CocoMcroon) and I took off for Canada!
After flying in to Halifax the day before, we took a little time to explore the beautiful Nova Scotian city. Haven will move filming to Halifax for the winter, from the end of September.
Images: Welcome to Nova Scotia, Lord Nelson Hotel
We drove down the coast towards Chester and as we entered the town I could feel my excitement building! Chester is the main base of Haven production, though filming takes place in various areas along the South Shore of Nova Scotia.
First stop: Chester Visitors Centre on the outskirts of town. Hayley at the centre had been really great in helping us plan our trip. Chester is certainly Haven-fan-friendly! The centre, in conjunction with a couple of other places in Chester, were running a fan competition, so we picked up our entry forms and maps to locations used in Haven, which had actually been filming at the centre that week!
Images: Hayley and Visitors centre, NS map
One of the unique things about the show is that fans visiting don’t just go to visit a set in a studio – the sets are all around! In Chester it’s hard to turn a corner without seeing a place used on screen if you’re an eagle-eyed viewer. Hubbards, and Lunenburg further along the coast, are also rife with beautiful locations.
This means fans can go on a ‘treasure hunt’ for these spectacular sights, easily spending days on the South Shore. It’s one of the qualities that makes Haven so special – what other show offers that?!
Second stop: Chester Playhouse
On the main road in Chester this building was most famously used in the Christmas episode ‘Silent Night’ as a cinema. It is seen in S5 e.g. where Mara stabs a lady in the eye! We were shown round by the lovely Davita and Eric who work there, and seemed as excited to have fans interested in the place as we were in seeing it.
Images: Chester Playhouse
When I saw the balcony which Audrey cut a man down from I couldn’t help myself 🙂
Images: Playhouse Balcony
After that we crossed the road to the Kiwi Cafe for lunch and ordered one of their specials – pancakes! Within no time we started chatting to the staff about Haven, met a couple of other fans in there – Kim and Laura from Ontario – and even met some Mounties who were fans! The cafe had also put up a Haven poster for visiting fans to sign as part of the town competition – this was later presented to the cast of Haven at a charity event.
Images:in Kiwi cafe
It was definitely a ‘poster’ moment. From the outset the locals were so nice and so helpful to us fans, it really elevated the whole experience, and we felt at home.
The Kiwi staff told us of the cast and crew who are in and out of there most days. The main indoor sets are not far down the road. Lucas, true to his character, drinks a lot of coffee, and had already been in 3 times that day! Kim and Laura were visiting Haven for the second time as fans. They had seen filming by the ‘Rope Loft’ that day (also featured in ep 405). One on the Mounties, Chris, told me how he had worked with Lucas and Emily on a drink/drive PSA the year before. It was really great meeting more of the Haven Family and getting to chat about the show.
We then drove over to the Haven production office where we met Sarah and Adele. They kindly let us look around the premises which were decorated with posters and pictures of the Haven cast and crew, including these fantastic wrap party posters.
Images: wrap posters
It was lovely to see how appreciative they were of the support from fans. We gave them a collage which they put straight up on their wall:)
Images: Haven Production Office.
Driving back into Chester we took our first gander at …The Haven Herald. Though the shutters were down we sneaked a peek inside and this is what we found…!
VIDEO: Haven Herald tour
Image: Haven Herald
(NB: There are some more photos inside the Haven Herald to come…)
Nearby we spotted an empty shop that had been turned into a cute little bakery by Haven‘s superb Art dept for that week’s filming – now seen in ep 5×11 – called ‘The Tart Half Bakery’!
Images: Tart Half Bakery
Shortly after we headed to our hotel in Lunenburg. Coming over the ridge on the road to reveal the shoreline of Lunenburg, featured in Haven’s opening credits, was breath-taking.
Images: Lunenburg shoreline
We tried some of the delicious seafood on offer in Lunenburg before heading to bed. It was a pretty great first day!
DAY 2 – chatting with Lucas Bryant and Glenn Lefchak!!
From our hotel the Lunenburg Arms we headed up the road and found this site – recognise it? It was used extensively in season 1 and in ep 304 where a fish-filled wave engulfs a car.
It was right by ‘Founder’s Square‘ featured in S4 episode ‘Survivors’ where Nathan talks down a Troubled fireman, and in episode 408 ‘Crush’ where Aidan Driscoll wakes up and triggers his pressure Trouble.
Images: ‘Founder’s Square’, Haven sound crew
We met some locals setting up the beautiful bandstand for the Folk Harbour Festival and found they also worked sound on Haven! They told me that the band ‘In-flight Safety’ were due to film on Haven’s sets that week. So I was really excited to see the music video -filmed on Haven‘s police station set- with a little cameo from Dwight!
‘In-flight Safety’ music video ”Destroy” featuring Haven:
Next door was the infamous Lunenburg Town Hall AKA Haven PD! Only the exterior is filmed in Lunenburg.
Images: Lunenburg Town Hall
We then headed into Chester and bumped into – Lucas Bryant! Lovely as always he let us interrupt his family time to chat, present him with his collage, take pics and sign the poster!
1) Lucas giving shout-outs to fans
2) Lucas posing with fan poster
Images: Lucas and the UK Fanclub
Unfortunately a couple of video clips got wiped (why, Apple, why?) as Lucas answered the question of his favourite pancake topping: maple syrup. He told us some fans (@MelanieMadrush & family) had recently brought him some from his home region which is ‘the epicentre of maple syrup production’. He was jokingly unimpressed as I was unaware of where this was – Elmira, Ontario.
I also asked (as he unstuck his flip-flop from a tree :): “So Glenn [Lefchak] told us that you made up a song, the Stan song, what was that about?” He replied that that song was between him and Glenn, about his love for Glenn; it was romantic, and so meant for his ears only. Ha ha!
I asked Pam’s (@HomeSweetHaven) question of whether he preferred S5 Nathan to S4 Nathan, as fans were wondering if he was happy in S4, which he deliberated for a while then asked me what he was supposed to have said! I explained some fans thought he was less happy with Nathan’s character in S4, to which he replied “Nah, I mean S4 Nathan is pretty cool – he’s an alright guy!”
Kim and Laura joined us and asked Lucas when the show started filming – 2010 – and he talked about how with the first season it was nerve-wracking watching the series and looking at the ratings, as they were still filming when it aired, to see the response. But because of fans like us, on twitter etc, the show is still going.
It was great to meet him, relaxed and witty, goofy and lovely as ever to us fans!
After that the day got better as we met up with another fan Kelly (@Karicature) at the Fo’c’sle Tavern to have lunch with Glenn Lefchak and Colin Hlucianuk AKA Officers Stan and Collins!
What was supposed to be a brief drink and chat turned into a 4 hour lunch, as Glenn and Colin and the fans were fantastic fun to hang out with!
Asking about filming Haven in general, it was clear to see Glenn loves his work. He told us Lucas is ‘a riot’ and very musical, entertaining them with songs and humour. Adam is really amiable too – on his first day on set he told Glenn his ‘whole life story of wrestling’!
Asking if S5 is lighter or darker in tone than S4, Glenn replied “It’s darker, or at least it starts off darker, and there’s lots of Mara in it.” Colin and Glenn seem excited for this season; Colin had just shot his favourite scene in ep 512, describing the episode as ‘explosive’.
I talked about my hope for more from Stan this season, discussions with Brian Millikin about this, shipping Stan and Laverne, and fan fiction which was all news to Glenn. He seemed convinced I knew more about his role than he did and nicknamed me ‘his new agent’ ha ha!
After that there was general chatting, some pool playing and more ‘poster moments’. We marvelled at Kelly’s drawing of Officer Stan which was brilliant. He remarked ‘You’ve even captured Stan’s slight squint!’ Check out more on her Twitter!
Images: Lunch at Fo’c’sle Tavern
Glenn was really appreciative of us fans, saying “Who doesn’t want to meet people who say we really like what you do?” and he and Colin recorded a little message for us…
VIDEO: Glenn and Colin
From there, we followed Kim and Laura to the site of the Barn. Set just off Highway 3 on a private farm, we were lucky enough to meet the owners who invited us onto their land to take pictures!
Even in the bright sunshine it still felt menacing!
Images: The Barn
We headed to the Rope Loft for a well-earned drink and to check out the location which kept its identity for the show. And the Rope Loft staff are pleased to be affiliated with the show – more Haven Family!
Images: The Rope Loft
We had the pleasure of meeting a local couple who took us on a speedboat tour of the islands surrounding Chester. Many are private dwellings including one used as ‘The Shining’ homage hotel in episode 108.
Images: Chester Islands
We went back to Lunenburg for the night and took in some great music at the ‘Folk Harbour Festival’ before bed.
If you enjoyed this please let me know on Twitter @tanavip and look out for more next week!