Dog River parties like it's 2008

Nathan Liewicki
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Corner Gas: The Movie gives final salute to Rouleau

Mavis Matheson was one of 2,526 investors who pledged money to Corner Gas: The Movie’s Kickstarter campaign.

The Regina resident spent a day on set in the Queen City while the cinematic sequel to the acclaimed Canadian sitcom was filmed. Matheson also had an opportunity to join the cast and crew in the heart of Dog River.

A big fan of Corner Gas, it was a no-brainer for Matheson to donate an offering of financial support to the movie.

“The cast and crew treated me so positively when I was on set,” she told the Times-Herald during celebrations at Dog River Days in Rouleau on Saturday.

“It was a great adventure. I got the full value of my investment, which I’d say was the value of a week’s worth of vacation.”

Matheson was one of hundreds of Corner Gas fans that lined Main Street in Rouleau to welcome two of the film’s stars – Brent Butt and Fred Ewanuick.

They humbly accepted the applause from the hundreds of local residents and visitors from places that included Ontario, Ohio and Australia, before dolling out prizes to winners of the Show ‘N’ Shine and the many eating contest winners at Dog River Days.

After announcing one winner’s hometown as Oxbow, Butt recalled a time when he was in Oxbow.

“I was in Oxbow once. It was for a wedding. I crashed the wedding,” he said to a roar of laughter from the mass of onlookers.

Rouleau Mayor Grant Clarke also addressed the crowd, and expressed thanks to Butt and the entire Corner Gas team.

“You (may) not realize the impact you’ve made in this community, but I’m sure you do,” said Clarke.

Sylvain Senecal, co-owner of the Corner Gas Souvenir Store, as well as the Rouleau Bar and Grille, added to the mayor’s comment, noting that there was tremendous support from people in and outside the community during production of the movie.

In his mind, however, it was slightly different than when the TV series was finished filming back in fall 2008.

“It was a bit fast this time,” said Senecal. “They were not here as long. It was in and out very quickly.”

As brief as it was this time around, the impact of Corner Gas was felt twice more on Saturday.

First, CIBC donated a cheque for $3,340 to build a spray park for the children of Rouleau; second, Rouleau was transformed into Dog River for the filming of the movie’s end credits.

Virginia Thompson, the film’s executive director, recommended people sing and dance along to the theme songs composed by Craig Northey during filming.

Northey and Thompson danced during the end credits filming, as did Butt and Ewanuick.

For at least a few hours, the spirited atmosphere of Dog River was reborn, only to say goodbye one final time. 

Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks

Organizations: Times-Herald, Corner Gas Souvenir Store, CIBC

Geographic location: Rouleau, Dog River, Oxbow Regina Queen City Ontario, Ohio Australia

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