It’s been nearly 15 years since the cult classic about Calgary’s +15 walkways, waydowntown, was shot entirely in the city. The Gary Burns comedy, sort of a Canadian, poor man’s Office Space, mocks Calgary’s corporate culture. The film follows four co-workers who have bet a months salary on who can last the longest without going outside – using the +15s to navigate mostly between home, work, and the mall. It stars Fab Filippo, Don McKellar, Marya Delver, and Gordon Currie. The film is pretty surreal, from strange dream sequences, to the characters clothing changing colours mid-scene. Of course, it’s all part of their bet unravelling – it’s not fun to stay inside for 28 days, especially if you’re breathing in food court smells day in and day out.
In the last ten or so years, a lot has changed downtown (not just the questionable 90s fashion on display), especially in some of the film’s familiar locations. It’s fun as a lifelong Calgarian to rewatch, and pick out how many spots you can recognize. Some of the films easter eggs are definitely rewarding to those who pick up on them – the flick opens with a voice over from C-JAY92 djs, and in one scene you can see people smoking in the short lived “smokers closets” at TD Centre.
I’ve picked out a couple of screenshots from the film, and I’ve got a $20 gift card to The Core Shopping Centre for whoever can name the most locations. Send your entries to me at firstname.lastname@example.org by January 18 to give it a shot. Subject: WAYDOWNTOWN. Good luck!
Click through to view the photos.