Dog River goes digital: Corner Gas fans use cellphones to navigate fictitious town
It’s been eight years since “Corner Gas” went off the air, but it’s far from forgotten in the town of Rouleau, also known as Dog River.
The town launched a new interactive walking tour Wednesday, in an effort to guide visitors to the different sets around the town including the Dog River Hotel, the post office and the police station.
“We had to dismantle the station last year because it had fallen into disrepair,” said Virginia Thompson, executive producer of Corner Gas.
“We wanted to do something that was really sustainable for this town that could tell the Corner Gas story.”
The tour consists of walking around Rouleau, visiting plaques at different locations from the show that have QR codes on them. When those codes are scanned using a mobile phone, they open a webpage that has all sorts of information on the building from a historical standpoint and how it plays into Corner Gas.
“It opens up this wonderful digital story of the history of the building, the history of the town, how it plays into Corner Gas, a fun clip from Corner Gas, fun facts, and you also get to see a sneak-peak as to what the town is going to look like in Corner Gas Animated,” Thompson said.
Mayor of Rouleau Grante Clarke says it’s a huge step up for the town, and is something simple enough that it doesn’t take too many town resources to keep up and running now that it’s been launched.
“You don’t need a bunch of paper, all you need is your iPhone and you can go ahead and enjoy the whole process” said Clarke.
Along with the mayor of Rouleau, the mayor of Dog River was in attendance for Wednesday’s launch. Actor Cavan Cunningham, who played Mayor “Fitzy” Fitzgerald in the show, says this isn’t something he would’ve expected back when the show premiered in 2003.
“Fourteen years ago, I couldn’t have imagined something like this, that people would want to come and hold their phone up to a brass plaque, and it would all work, and you can get the videos, and all the stuff there,” Cunningham said.
“The information they can put on it blows me away.”
Karolina Wilson, a visitor from Alberta, says she brought her grandson, Noah, to Rouleau to show him the different places he saw in the show. She’s excited to take him on the walking tour.
“If we can figure it out and check for an app on the phone. I’ve got my grandson here though, so he should be able to figure it out if I can’t,” Wilson said.
The walking tour is officially up and running, and can be used by anyone visiting the town with a cellphone and an Internet connection. Thompson says the idea is about giving fans an experience that is truly Corner Gas.
“This is a really sustainable way of showing all the locations, showing Corner Gas and giving fans an experience,” Thompson said.
It’s hoped to be an experience hundreds of visitors like Wilson and her grandson can remember and enjoy for years to come.