‘Anne with an E’ fans use billboards in campaign to revive cancelled show

‘Anne with an E’ fans use billboards in campaign to revive cancelled show

TORONTO — Like the fearless protagonist on “Anne with an E,” fans of the cancelled show aren’t giving up.

The CBC/Netflix drama series was not renewed for a fourth season in late November, and creator Moira Walley-Beckett has said on Instagram that “there is just no way to revive” it anywhere at this point.

But viewers are still holding out hope the show can find a new life, and they’re continuing their campaign to make that happen.

Earlier this week, a viewer-created group that calls itself AWAE Fan Projects spent $1,000 on five digital “Save ‘Anne with an E”’ billboards in Toronto’s downtown Yonge-Dundas Square.

The campaign ran four days and featured fan-created artwork depicting the heroine from Lucy Maud Montgomery’s classic novel “Anne of Green Gables,” which inspired the series.

Now, they’re hoping to get similar digital displays in New York’s Times Square.

“A lot of us are willing to wait it out and see if anything happens,” says Lisa Elksnitis, a senior financial administrator in Toronto who is part of the fan group and helped get the billboards.

“We understand it’s not something that would happen overnight. Most people are going to keep trying for several months at least.”

The third and final season of “Anne with an E” finished airing on the CBC in late November and hit Netflix on Jan. 3.

Irish-Canadian actress Amybeth McNulty starred as the Prince Edward Island orphan, who is taken in by aging siblings, played by R.H. Thomson and Geraldine James.

The series was shot in P.E.I. and Ontario and was a co-production between the CBC and Netflix.

While the show was inspired by the novel, Walley-Beckett and co-executive producer Miranda de Pencier added new elements, including LGBTQ and Indigenous storylines.

A post on Instagram this week showed Walley-Beckett visiting one Toronto billboard, which featured an image of Anne with a tear running down her cheek beside a list of words including “racism,” “feminism” and “gender bias.”

“They have injected modern themes and storylines into this show but in a really successful way, and that’s what kept me interested in it,” says Elksnitis.

The 37-year-old Elksnitis admits she didn’t initially realize the show had such depth and didn’t become a huge fan until after it was cancelled. Spurred by the online uproar, she binged it online and was blown away by the production value and acting.

“I just never got into it at the time, which annoys me, because if there are others like me then maybe there would have been more viewers back then,” Elksnitis says.

Elksnitis says the AWAE Fan Projects group has about 12 members who came together on social media and whom she hasn’t met in person. They hail from countries including Canada, Germany, France, Portugal and the United States.

The group started two GoFundMe campaigns — one to pay for social media advertising and another for billboards.

Elksnitis is now working to get digital billboards in Times Square.

She says the group also sent fan letters to the producer, Northwood Entertainment, and the CBC.

Elksnitis knows of another fan group that plans to send white rags to TV studios — a nod to a season 3 episode in which some Green Gables residents wave white rags at a freedom-of-speech protest.

There are also fan petitions calling on Netflix to renew the show.

Elksnitis hopes any new “Anne” incarnation would have the same cast and creative team.

“They did such an incredible job with the show, I would hate to see it fall into the wrong hands.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Alberta reports 1,731 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday

The province’s central zone has 992 active cases

Collin Orthner, manager at McBain Camera in downtown Red Deer, stands behind the store’s counter on Saturday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
A few Red Deer businesses happy with Black Friday results

While this year’s Black Friday wasn’t as successful as it was in… Continue reading

Le Chateau Inc. is the latest Canadian firm to start producing personal protective equipment for health care workers, in a July 3, 2020 story. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Hundreds of millions of dollars for frontline workers yet to be released, says Alberta Federation of Labour

Information recently released by the Alberta Federation of Labour suggests more than… Continue reading

Red Deer RCMP say a 30-year-old man faces sexual charges against a teen. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Man killed in two-vehicle collision near Penhold, says Blackfalds RCMP

A 46-year-old man is dead following a two-vehicle collision on Highway 42… Continue reading

Idyllic winter scenes are part of the atmosphere of the holiday season, and are depicted in many seasonal movies. How much do you know about holiday movies? Put your knowledge to the test. (Pixabay.com)
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

Banff National Park. (The Canadian Press)
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

EDMONTON — A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths on railway tracks… Continue reading

Cows on pasture at the University of Vermont dairy farm eat hay Thursday, July 23, 2020, in Burlington, Vt. Canadian dairy farmers are demanding compensation from the government because of losses to their industry they say have been caused by a series of international trade deals. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Lisa Rathke
Feds unveil more funding for dairy, poultry and egg farmers hurt by free trade deals

OTTAWA — Canadian egg and poultry farmers who’ve lost domestic market share… Continue reading

Chief Public Health Officer of Canada Dr. Theresa Tam speaks during a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Canada's top doctor says the country is still on a troubling track for new COVID-19 infections as case counts continue mounting in much of the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
COVID-19 cases in Canada remain on troubling course, Tam says, amid rising numbers

Canada’s top doctor says the country is still on a troubling track… Continue reading

hay
Hay’s Daze: Giraffe knows filling wishes can sometimes be a tall order

Last weekend, I had a lovely breakfast. “So what?” you may say.… Continue reading

A person enters a building as snow falls in Ottawa, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. Ottawa has been successful in limiting the spread of COVID-19 during its second wave thanks to the city’s residents who have been wearing masks and staying home, said Ottawa’s medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
People to thank for Ottawa’s success with curbing COVID-19: health officer

The city’s chief medical officer said much of the credit goes to the people who live in Ottawa

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh asks a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says tonight's public video gaming session with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is about reaching young people where they hang. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
NDP leader stoked over ‘epic crossover’ in video gaming sesh with AOC

Singh and AOC discussed importance of universal pharmacare, political civility, a living wage

A south view of the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf breaking apart is seen from Ward Hunt Island, Nunavut, in an Aug. 20, 2011, handout photo. The remote area in the northern reach of the Nunavut Territory, has seen ice cover shrink from over 4 metres thick in the 1950s to complete loss, according to scientists, during recent years of record warming. Scientists are urging the federal government to permanently protect a vast stretch of Canada's remotest High Arctic called the Last Ice Area. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-CEN/Laval University, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Scientists urge permanent protection of Last Ice Area in Canada’s High Arctic

Tuvaijuittuq has the thickest and oldest ice in the Arctic

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
No winning ticket for Friday night’s $55 million Lotto Max jackpot

No winning ticket was sold for the $55 million jackpot in Friday… Continue reading

Most Read