Time to make a confession, one that will come as no surprise to my family, friends, and co-workers: I love Canada. I do. Have ever since I was a kid and found out that that big area of land above the United States was another, totally different country. What a concept! And then I started reading up on it and learned about the history and Mounties and everything else that makes Canada unique. Later on I met someone from Saskatchewan who became my best friend, so I’ve had the opportunity to visit there a few times.
It often comes as a surprise to people in the U.S. that Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving. However, owing to an earlier harvest time, their holiday comes about six weeks before ours. It’s the second Monday in October. And since the holiday in both countries is a time for families to get together, I thought I’d recommend some Canadian TV family viewing.
- Anne of Green Gables (1985) – A mini-series based on the novels by Lucy Maud Montgomery. Anne Shirley is a girl to steal hearts, even the heart of stern, no-nonsense Marilla Cuthbert. Starring Megan Follows, Colleen Dewhurst, and Richard Farnsworth, this series was filmed on location on beautiful Prince Edward Island. A classic.
- Road to Avonlea (1989-1996) – Long-running series also set on Prince Edward Island, in the same town that Anne Shirley lived in. Some of the same characters appear in both shows. This Emmy Award-winning series stars Sarah Polley as Sara Stanley, a young girl sent to live with relatives in the early 1900s.
- Wind at My Back (1996-2001) – Set during the Depression, this series tells the story of May Bailey, her family, and the residents of New Bedford, Ontario. Shirley Douglas, mother of Kiefer Sutherland, gives an outstanding performance as May. (Kiefer didn’t get all that talent from Donald alone.)
- Corner Gas (2004-2009) – Okay, this sitcom is a personal favorite of mine, so I have to include it. Set in Dog River, Saskatchewan, the series follows the non-adventures and misadventures of gas station owner Brent Leroy, his parents, his friends – and Lacey Burrows, the new girl in town.
Enjoy visiting our neighbors to the North!