‘Cor­ner Gas’ revs up walk­ing tour

Bronze plaques with QR codes have been placed at var­i­ous sites

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ENTERTAINMENT - BY JEN­NIFER GRA­HAM

The theme song to the TV show “Cor­ner Gas’’ fea­tured the lyrics “you think there’s not a lot goin’ on. Look closer, baby, you’re so wrong,’’ and that’s the case in the small Saskatchewan town where the se­ries was filmed.

Along a dusty gravel road about 50 kilo­me­tres south­west of Regina is Rouleau, also known as the fic­tional town of Dog River in “Cor­ner Gas.’’

On one sunny morn­ing this sum­mer, vis­i­tors came to the town from On­tario, Man­i­toba, Bri­tish Columbia and the United States.

“We have the whole TV se­ries at home, so we’ve been watch­ing all the DVDs and my daugh­ter re­ally likes the whole se­ries. So we thought we’d just stop and show her where ‘Cor­ner Gas’ was all filmed at,’’ said Blaine Mac­Don­ald from Min­nesota.

“It’s a lot of fun to come around and see all the build­ings and all the his­tory of what Brent Butt did with the TV show.’’

It hap­pened to be the same day the town of Rouleau and the cre­ators of “Cor­ner Gas’’ launched a one-hour self-guided walk­ing tour of Dog River.

The tour has 14 lo­ca­tions where “Cor­ner Gas’’ was filmed dur­ing the sum­mers of 2003 to 2008 and again in the sum­mer of 2014 for a movie.

There are bronze plaques with QR codes at each site that can be scanned on a smart­phone to tell a story about the show, link to video clips and give a sneak peek of what the town will look like in the an­i­mated “Cor­ner Gas’’ se­ries set to de­but next year.

“It’s great,’’ said Don Neste from Mis­sion, B.C., who was one of the first to try the new QR codes.

“I think peo­ple that know about Dog River or the show will def­i­nitely stop in and check it out.’’

Vis­i­tors can also go in­side many of the build­ings be­cause they’re real busi­nesses in town.

Grab a burger at the Dog River Ho­tel or go to the post of­fice and get a free post­card with the can­cel­la­tion stamp from Dog River.

Cora Burkitt, the post­mas­ter in Rouleau, said most times peo­ple want to mail the post­card.

“I had a fam­ily in here just last week from South Carolina who specif­i­cally came here for (the post­card) and mailed it back to them­selves,’’ said Burkitt.

The gas sta­tion on “Cor­ner Gas’’ and “The Ruby Cafe’’ were both sets cre­ated for the show and were not in­tended to be per­ma­nent struc­tures. They were taken down last Novem­ber.

Rouleau Mayor Grant Clarke says there is hope money can be raised to build the gas sta­tion again for peo­ple to visit.

But Clarke said all the stops on the walk­ing tour are great and “fans and folks are gonna like it.’’

On that sunny morn­ing when tem­per­a­tures hov­ered near 30 C, Clarke said he knows his favourite stop.

“I like the bar ac­tu­ally. I’m from Saskatchewan,’’ he laughed.

CP PHOTO

An ex­ca­va­tor de­mol­ishes The Ruby Cafe and the gas sta­tion, both sets of the “Cor­ner Gas” TV show in Rouleau, Sask., in 2016. The gas sta­tion and the cafe are at the epi­cen­tre of the fic­tional town of Dog River, fea­tured in “Cor­ner Gas,” the pop­u­lar TV se­ries and movie.

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