Benjamin Lefebvre

Maclean’s Article on Anne Prequels

The 6 August 2007 issue of Maclean’s includes Katie Engelhart’s article titled “Will the real Anne please stand up? In celebration of the 100th anniversary of ‘Anne of Green Gables’: duelling prequels.”

Also, Bertrand Russell had a few choice things to say about the Penguin prequel in his “Burn the Prequel” (14 Dec. 2006) entry on his blog.

Thanks to Beth C. for alerting us to the Maclean’s article.

Elaine Campbell, Co-creator of Anne of Green Gables Musical, Dies

From CBC website:

Elaine Campbell, a co-creator of the longest running musical in Canadian history, Anne of Green Gables, died Friday in Charlottetown.

Campbell was one of the lyricists for the musical and part of the team—consisting of her husband, Norman Campbell, Don Harron, Mavor Moore and Alan Lund—that brought the internationally famous L.M. Montgomery book to Charlottetown’s Confederation Centre of the Arts in the 1960s. The show is now in its 43rd year.

Harron, the only surviving member of the creative team, said Elaine Campbell shaped the character of Anne.

“She brought a sensitivity. Norman and I were showoffs and Elaine was not. And she brought a real sense of the inner Anne,” he said. “She doesn’t get enough credit for what she did.”

Campbell, who was born in northern Ontario in 1925, spent her summers in Prince Edward Island and her winters in Toronto.

She wrote lyrics for three other musicals and contributed to specials for CBC Television, Rideau Hall and two Royal galas. She also established an endowment fund to the Confederation Centre in her husband’s name.

Her connection with Prince Edward Island, and the festival, was maintained for over 40 years.

“She’s never missed an opening that I know of in terms of the opening of the summer festival,” said Wayne Hambly, chair of the board of the Confederation Centre.

“Every year she comes down from Toronto to stay at their summer home. She brings to the centre a great level of excitement and a great level of pride in the accomplishments of the cast and crew.”

Campbell is best-known as a writer for the theatre and patron of the arts.

However, she also served with the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War, spent time on the board of the National Ballet of Canada and was a Jane Austin scholar.

She was an avid traveller. Her final trip, in the last year of her life, was to Libya.

Campbell leaves five children and one grandchild. There will be a private celebration of her life held on P.E.I. A public event will take place later in Toronto.

Update on Martha MacIsaac

There is a one-page article about Martha MacIsaac in August’s issue of Famous (a magazine offered free at giant movie theatres across Canada). MacIsaac played the leading role in Emily of New Moon (1998-1999, 2002-2003) and now appears in the movie Superbad, which opens later this month. Thanks to Elizabeth MacLeod for bringing the article to our attention.

More Plot Details for New Anne of Green Gables Film

This is from the Edmonton Journal:

Green Gables creators search for Anne

Elizabeth Withey,

Published: Wednesday, July 25

EDMONTON – The creators of award-winning mini-series Anne of Green Gables are in Edmonton today on their nation-wide talent search for a girl to play the fiery red-haired orphan in a prequel.

Filmmaker Kevin Sullivan wrote original story about Anne Shirley’s childhood life before she went to live with the Cuthberts on Prince Edward Island. Sullivan’s story predates the events in Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery’s novel.

Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning will tell the story of Anne’s biological family and how she ended up in an orphanage.

The mystery will unfold when Anne finds a secret letter in the floorboards at Green Gables more than 50 years after she went to live there.

The film is set at the turn of the 20th century but is bookended by scenes of Anne as a woman in her sixties. In the story, her husband Gilbert died at the end of World War Two and her three children are far away, pre-occupied with families of their own. Anne has almost completely lost touch with her adopted son, Dominic, who is living in France.

Sullivan Entertainment will travel to seven Canadian cities to conduct auditions for girl between the ages of 10 to 12.

They are also conducting an extensive casting call on YouTube at

Anne of Green Gables (1985) won an Emmy and starred Megan Follows and Colleen Dewhurst. After the mini-series was broadcast, tourism on P.E.I. rose by 30 per cent.

From The L.M. Montgomery Land Trust

The L.M. Montgomery Land Trust is organizing The Great Big Cornboil, a fundraising event to be held Sunday, August 19th from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Cavendish Boardwalk in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island. There will be live entertainment, and plenty of corn on the boil. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.

New book chapter on Montgomery’s feminist theological vision

Monika B. Hilder’s paper “Imagining the Ultimate Kindred Spirit: The Feminist Theological Vision of L.M. Montgomery” will appear in Feminist Theology with a Canadian Accent: Canadian Perspectives on Contextual Feminist Theology, edited by Mary Ann Beavis, with Elaine Guillemin and Barbara Pell and forthcoming from Novalis Press in Fall 2007.

NCL Reissue of Anne of Green Gables

McClelland and Stewart will reissue its New Canadian Library edition of Anne of Green Gables early in 2008. This edition, first published in 1992, includes an afterword by Margaret Atwood. Here are the covers for both the current edition and the new one. Their NCL edition of Emily of New Moon (with an afterword by Alice Munro, first published in 1989) will likewise be reissued, in late 2007, but the new cover is not yet available.

Rainbow Valley Tourism Site Reopens!

From CBC News:

The site of the Rainbow Valley amusement park, now a new entrance to P.E.I. National Park, reopens Friday at 10 a.m.

The property is now called Cavendish Grove and will include walking and cycling trails as well as access to Cavendish Beach.

Barb MacDonald of Parks Canada told CBC News that while the amusement park rides are gone from the land, the feeling in the park is still the same.

“The highlight of the property is still there,” said MacDonald.

“The trees are beautiful and very prominent. It will be a wonderful place for people to relax and maybe have a picnic and just enjoy the natural beauty.”

The 16-hectare amusement park was sold to Parks Canada two years ago.

Last summer, some tourism operators in the area complained it was taking Parks Canada too long to reopen the site.

Eventually, Parks Canada intends to make Cavendish Grove the main entrance to this section of the national park, meaning a longer walk to Cavendish Beach.

Thanks to Beth C. for bringing this news to our attention.