Erin Krakow endears herself to fans in many ways. The lovely, multidimensional actress not only embodies the determined spirit and hope within Elizabeth Thornton on “When Calls the Heart,” but also stretches herself creatively in a multitude of roles on the Hallmark networks. She treated fans to a subtle and sweet modern Western romance with this summer's “A Summer Romance,” with Ryan Paevey, and her own mystery series, "The Royal Mysteries,” is in production.

Still, no matter how many working demands fill her calendar, Erin Krakow always conveys to fans that her heart belongs to “When Calls the Heart” and the millions of “Hearties” who have devoted themselves to the lives of the characters in the Northwest Territory community of Hope Valley.

No one is a more unabashed “Heartie” than Erin Krakow herself, who has always gushed with pride about the drama and its devoted cast and crew, which creates stories of unity, love, and faith that prevail in Hope Valley.

While most people squeeze out the last few minutes of summer fun, Cinemablend and Erin Krakow herself have been sharing some behind the scenes peeks of “When Calls the HeartSeason 7 on August 29, and the long hours on the set haven’t diminished the humor or the genuine bonds of friendship between the actress and her co-stars.

The most distinguished community symbol

Loyal viewers couldn't help but be thrilled at the sight of Erin Krakow flashing a beaming smile as she reached the lower beam of the Hope Valley water tower.

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Her August 26 post on social media had to spark joy. The familiar structure not only represents the fictional community’s faith and resilience in transcending itself from Coal Valley (as it was known in the first season of the drama) to Hope Valley but also stands as a beacon of community unity. The tower welcomes every visitor to a place of hope.

The Hope Valley water tower has been cast as a Christmas ornament, and it's so prized that most seekers have to look to auction sites, to have their own.

Only the schoolhouse/chapel holds greater symbolism for “When Calls the Heart” devotees. Sticklers for accuracy tend to point out that no pipe system runs from underneath the tower to actually carry water, but what it carries in meaning is more important.

Krakow looks refreshed under the welcoming Vancouver skies, no matter what the actual temperatures may be. She is wearing her familiar light pink long skirt, and only a short-sleeved sweater as she captions: “So happy to be back in Hope Valley,” noting that Season 7 work “has officially begun.” No official announcement or dates have been released, but the expected “When Calls the Heart” Christmas feature is sure to come in December, with the new season likely premiering sometime in February.

Playful time off-script

Erin Krakow is focused and serious in another scene with producer/director, Martin Wood, who has worked on several “When Calls the Heart” episodes, as well as with “Chesapeake Shores” and the “Aurora Teagarden Mystery” series. He is a familiar Hallmark Channel wizard with shaping a story on-screen, and the shared photo appears to be on the same set as the Founders’ Day dance.

Fans have pondered all summer long about the penetrating gaze from Elizabeth to Mountie Nathan Grant (Kevin McGarry) while in the arms of Lucas Bouchard (Chris McNally), and it’s a sure bet that the leading lady won't be sharing too many details ahead of the Season 7 premiere.

On a more playful note from the same August 29 day, lovely Erin and another “When Calls the Heart” co-star, Pascale Hutton, are holding hands and hamming it up with laughter and some funny looks. Hutton brings the perfect realness and sincerity to the super-involved community supporter, Rosemary Coulter, but in this photo, the star is feigning distress, in a very funny way. Judging from Krakow’s laughter, the expression is only “acting,” as it is said.

Erin Krakow and Pascale Hutton have remained close since the start of the series, from red carpet glamour to gal pal fun. On-screen, Elizabeth holds Rosemary and her husband, Lee (Kavan Smith) in such high esteem that she selected them as guardians for her son. For this silly stroll, however, Krakow captioned the moment with “Act natural, they said!” Krakow and Hutton clearly share the same gifts of friendship and being able to fall back into character at a moment’s notice.

Pascale Hutton is starring in her own feature for Hallmark’s “Summer Nights” movie series. “My One and Only” premieres Saturday, August 31 on the Hallmark Channel. Between Erin Krakow and her castmates, the wait until Season 7 of “When Calls the Heart” won't seem so long.

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