Corner Gas: The Tourist Attraction may be in the works

The return to production of Corner Gas, as a movie, has spurred talk of finding a way to preserve portions of the set in Rouleau, Sask., the town that doubles as Dog River for the show.

Set could become a tourism attraction

The sets used for the show Corner Gas could get a new life as a tourist attraction for Rouleau, the town that doubles at Dog River. (CBC)

The return to production of Corner Gas, as a movie, has spurred talk of finding a way to preserve portions of the set in Rouleau, Sask., the town that doubles as Dog River for the show.

"We're going to be speaking to the town of Rouleau, we're going to be speaking to the province [and] to Moose Jaw to see if there's a long term situation for it," Virginia Thompson, executive producer of Corner Gas: The Movie, told CBC News Wednesday.

Betty and Buck Slessor, fans of Corner Gas, were married on the set. (Adrian Cheung/CBC)
The show certainly has many dedicated followers.One idea is to use funds left over from a recent kickstarter campaign associated with the movie to provide funds needed to convert what are essentially temporary sets into more substantial structures that could handle visiting fans of Corner Gas.

Eight years ago, when the show was in its second season, Buck and Betty Slessor met through a Corner Gas fan site and wound up getting married — on the set.

Sylvain Senecal has a Corner Gas souvenir shop in Rouleau. (CBC)
"We stood right in front of the pumps and the minister stood there with us," Buck Slessor told CBC News Wednesday on a return visit to Rouleau to watch the movie being made. "Said our vows and we were married."

Sylvain Senecal, who operates a Corner Gas souvenir store in Rouleau, says that every year thousands of people trek to the town to see the set. He says a little work could convert it to a significant tourism attraction.

"We can make it an amazing experience to visit," Senecal said.

Town on board

The notion of a Corner Gas legacy already has the support of Rouleau's mayor.

"Overall it's been really good for the town," Mayor Grant Clarke told CBC News when asked about all the activity generated by Corner Gas. "We're hoping to be able to get permission to keep [the set] up and keep this thing running for a long, long time."

Rouleau's Mayor Grant Clarke is hoping arrangements can be made for a permanent Corner Gas tourist attraction. (CBC)

The town's website includes a section devoted to Corner Gas, complete with a map to points of interest connected to the show. And postcards mailed from Rouleau will include a special cancellation mark from Dog River.

The small community is about 45 minutes southwest of Regina.

In the summer of 2009, after the mayor of the day expressed concerns about the state of things left behind after production of the television series ended, producer Thompson noted that the owners of the sets did not have the resources to do much with the sets.

"We're not in the tourism business," Thompson said at the time. "We've been able to raise funds independently to be able to make [the old set] as attractive as possible for our fans, but we can't go beyond that."

With files from CBC's Adrian Cheung


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