Final stop at the station

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Corner Gas star has mixed emotions about end of hit series

Gabrielle Miller knows the end is near for Corner Gas, even if Lacey - the character she plays in the iconic Prairie comedy - has no idea what the future holds for her.

Gabrielle Miller knows the end is near for Corner Gas, even if Lacey - the character she plays in the iconic Prairie comedy - has no idea what the future holds for her.

Miller knows that when she shows up for work in Rouleau, Sask., next week, Corner Gas will be breaking ground on its final season.

When the moment comes, later this spring, to film that final scene, Lacey, the Ruby diner and Dog River will in all likelihood carry on as they always have, Miller believes. The town wont close down, and the townsfolk wont move away. But the gentle, homegrown TV comedy that made household names out of Lacey, Brent Leroy, Hank Yarbo, Oscar and Emma Leroy and countless others, will find a gracious way to say goodbye, before shuffling off to rerun heaven.

It was bittersweet, Miller said, of the moment she learned of Corner Gass swan song in a meeting with Brent Butt, the shows laconic, low-key creator, and her fellow cast members just days before the official announcement.

On the one hand, we were able to be together as a cast, and it was a beautiful, emotional feeling. Were crazy about each other, and it was a big loss to know we would be saying goodbye to our cast and crew and the show we all love.

And yet, on the other side, I feel its the right decision. Were both excited and sad to go into our last season. Excited, because we all know were going to have a great time, and it will have special meaning for us. And sad, because its going to be really difficult when that final day comes.

Until then, Miller says theyll be so busy trying to put together a memorable season, that they wont have much time to think about it, let alone brood.

Miller has the luxury, too, of knowing that her other series, the slice-of-life apartment drama Robson Arms, just began its third season. No ending has been announced to that series yet.

I couldnt handle it if both series ended, Miller said, with a rueful laugh.

Butt said he wants to take Corner Gas out on a high note - Seinfeld-style - rather than have it die a slow death, and Miller concurs.

In its five seasons, Corner Gas has won six Gemini Awards.

Miller herself shared last years Gemini for ensemble performance with her fellow Corner Gas cast members.

I was watching the show last night with my fiance, and Im really proud to be part of something that, after this many years, I can watch as a viewer, and still laugh, Miller said. Each week, I see all these characters that Im in love with, and I think that was a really cool thing to be a part of. Im proud to have been part of a Canadian series that was loved. And I feel the same way about Robson Arms.

Not a day goes by, Miller says, that she isnt grateful that Corner Gas and Robson Arms came along at the same time.

Canadian television isnt the easiest world to work in, and its not often you get the opportunity to play these kinds of characters, she said.

Geographic location: Rouleau, Sask., Dog River

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