ROULEAU, Sask.–Spent a day in the brilliant Saskatchewan sun this week with the cast of Corner Gas: The Movie. Brent Butt, Eric Peterson, Fred Ewanuick, Gabrielle Miller and Janet Wright were all on location shooting scenes at the same Corner Gas gas station exterior where the cast shot the series.
It’s been six years since the CTV comedy wrapped, but Butt and the others all said it felt like about three weeks. The movie has been in development for over two years and is scheduled for a theatrical release in the fall, followed by airings on The Movie Network, CTV as well as a DVD release. Funds were raised through a Kickstarter campaign, which reached its goal in a little over 24 hours.
The large, illuminating Corner Gas sign hanging outside in front of the faux gas station had to be retrieved and flown in from CTV’s Queen Street office in Toronto where it had been displayed since the series went off the air. Some interiors are being shot in the state-of-the-art soundstages in Regina, although the diner is now inside the exterior set, a realistic new touch that threw Miller. She was just getting used to the Deja Vu feel of walking back onto a familiar set when she realized she’d never really been in that space with that furniture before!
Traveling to Rouleau, about 40 minutes from Regina, is a revelation. The town is tiny, just a few streets. The locals were asked not to cut their lawns as production began on the movie but, really, this probably only inconvenienced 10 or 12 houses. There’s a big sign as you enter the town but it doesn’t declare it as the home of Corner Gas, but rather the birthplace of Keith Aulie, defenseman for the Tampa Bay Lightening. Hockey first, TV second in Rouleau.
Although that could be debated by the busloads of fans who visit the set. A tour company, Eco Party Adventures, can take up to 52 tourists a trip on a tour of the Regina soundstage as well as the “Dog River” set in Rouleau. Fans can see the house where Brent Butt’s character lives, the “Foo Mar T,” police station, city hall and other props from the series. Actors from the show even sometimes ride the bus and you might get a photo op from Butt or the other main characters themselves. You can get more information here from Tourism Saskatchewan.