Tricia Helfer's Favourite Place

Canadian model and actress Tricia Helfer describes her two favourite places: Vancouver Island and her homestead escape in rural Alberta

It took a farm girl from the Canadian Prairies to make sci-fi sexy again. (Scary, too.)

But Tricia Helfer isn’t just any farm hand. She’s a Victoria’s Secret model and a Hollywood starlet.

She’s also Number Six, the beautiful bad-ass alien on the cult TV series Battlestar Galactica. As if that wasn’t enough to keep her busy, she also hosted the first season of Canada’s Next Top Model.

As for what’s next, she has a couple of new movies in the works, but “until they’re signed on the dotted line, I can’t talk about it,” she says. Not surprisingly, she calls Los Angeles home, but she has an apartment in Vancouver (where the Battlestar set is located.) She and her husband are also building a house in the countryside, close to Donalda, the small town near Edmonton where she grew up.

“I’m one of those people that can’t pick just one place. I love Vancouver Island; [my husband and I] actually got engaged at the Sooke Harbour House (800-889-9688).

“Both my husband and I are partial to the Wickaninnish Inn (800-333-4604) in Tofino, too. We’ve gone there for our last two anniversaries. We get one of the rooms that are on the point. We walk on the beach. We read books. Last year, we rented bikes.

“One of my favourite places is right where I grew up [near Donalda, Alberta]. My husband and I are actually building a house there, on a ridge overlooking a coulee; we’re drilling water for it next week.

“There’s not a single light you can see in any direction. We’re thinking of putting a prefab house up. We’re really interested in doing it as eco-friendly and green as we can make it. We’re looking into wind turbines and different water systems, too.

“It’s only about twice a year right now that I go back there. I’d love to get there more often but at this point, I’m a little busy. I try to get out in the summer and again in the winter. I don’t usually leave the farm when I go.

“We did a lot of snowshoeing over Christmas. We built an igloo, too. The whole family got out there. In the summer we do a lot of hiking.

“We tried canoeing down the Battle River last summer when we were home. It’s about the windiest river you could ever imagine!

“I recommend to everyone to Google Earth any river they plan to go out on. We didn’t [so] we were nine hours on the water, and then we ended up walking for about four hours. It was an experience. I learned a lot, and I don’t think our family is ever going to let us live it down.

“My dad was out searching for us at the end. We had to portage about half the time. We probably lifted the canoes about 50 times, and we were pulling leeches off each other once we got back into the canoe. We had tons of mosquito bites, and we ran into herds of cattle and bulls trying to sleep.

We’re just lucky no one broke a leg in the dark, running across the pastures to get to the highway.”

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