December 1, 1985 marks the day that Canadian film director Kevin Sullivan would release the first installment of the Anne of Green Gables miniseries that would go on to touch the lives of thousands of viewers around the world. Now more than 30 years later, the production continues to have a profound impact on people from all walks of life.
Kevin Sullivan started making films at the age of 24. In 1979, he founded a small production and distribution company with Trudy Grant (now his wife). Together, they went on to create the company that is now Sullivan Entertainment.
Within just a few years, the company became successful on a global scale and has now been operating for over thirty years. They have produced over 500 hours of movies and television and have won International awards, including three Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award for outstanding contribution to television, Gemini Award, CableACE Award, and a Prix Jeunesse Award.
The Anne of Green Gables films and Sullivan Entertainment's spin-off series Road to Avonlea are based on the book series by beloved Canadian author, Lucy Maud Montgomery, who drew inspiration from her own life in Prince Edward Island. Kevin Sullivan interpreted the literary materials into 4 successful films and a long-running 7 season television show.
Sullivan’s depiction of the classic story and his sequential TV show have become so popular that fans have named their pets, vehicles, and even their children after characters from the period dramas! We've heard fans use the names Anne, Emmeline, Rilla, Diana, Gil, Avonlea, Megan (after actress Megan Follows who plays Anne Shirley), Montgomery, Gus Pike, Lucy Maud (after the author), Adelaide, Felix, Dolly (after the troublesome dairy cow), Cordelia, Josephine, Marilla, and even a fish named Gill-bert!
We keep hearing stories from our fans about how Sullivan productions have impacted their lives, so we decided to send out a survey across social media asking people to tell us their stories! And wow, we were impressed with the number of responses!
- 96% of fans who completed our survey said that Anne of Green Gables was their favorite production.
- Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel (also known as Anne of Avonlea) was a close second, followed by the spinoff TV show, Road To Avonlea.
- Nearly half of our fans (43%) have planned a trip to a Sullivan Entertainment filming location.
- 75% of people traveled to Prince Edward Island. (If you’re thinking about visiting to PEI, don’t forget to pack our official PEI Travel Guide to Kevin Sullivan’s filming locations! It’s available for purchase in the PEI Traveler’s Kit and the PEI Road Trip Companion Set.)
Here are a few of our favourite fan stories…
*Responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity*
"Anne of Green Gables reminds me there are warm, wonderful people in this world.”
Bill A. USA
"As a young girl, my mother and grandmother introduced me to the Anne books. I saved for them and spent all my pocket money on them. They loved Anne as much as I did, and when Kevin Sullivan first proposed making the Anne series, my one wish was that my mother would live to see the films. She was suffering from cancer and I was so afraid she would die before they were televised. Thankfully, she lived long enough to see the first series - our favourite one because it is so true to the books. We taped the series and watched it over and over. It was a shining light in our dark world at that time. Now, my little granddaughters have discovered the joy in the Anne series. Thank you Sullivan Entertainment for making our world a better place."
-Valerie H. England
"Sullivan Entertainment has made the BEST version of Anne there ever was. From the time I was 11, I was introduced to the Anne trilogy and it intrigued me so much that me and my family ended up going to PEI one summer. I strongly consider PEI my second home 😍 I even met Megan Follows at a convention last year. It was a dream come true! I pretty much sleep and breathe 'Anne.’”
- Rebecca R. Canada
We want to thank all of our fans who shared their unbelievable stories with us! You are the reason Sullivan Entertainment productions are still so popular!
If you feel like rewatching your favourite movie for the hundredth time or if you are looking to watch something new, feel free to explore all the Sullivan Entertainment productions on GazeboTV, our official streaming site.
P.S. Do you love the actors in Anne of Green Gables and Road To Avonlea? Then you are sure to enjoy these Sullivan Entertainment films with some familiar faces:
Watch Sullivan Entertainment productions on our online streaming site called GazeboTV! Plus, explore tons of Anne-inspired merchandise at Shop At Sullivan!