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‘Reign of the Empress’ rolls off printing press

Reign of the Empress

Celebrating the printing of the cover of ‘Reign of the Empress,' from left: Lorraine Neufeld, Dianna Wakelin, Gary Kennedy, Bonnie Kennedy, Mary Oordt, Peter Scott, Karen Alm, Brent Hutchinson, and Dave Warwick and Lee Weighill of Warwick Printing.

Author Peter Scott

Author Peter Scott looks at one of the first copies of his book ‘Reign of the Empress' on Friday at Warwick Printing in Lethbridge.

A writer, graphic designer and Empress Theatre supporters stood anxiously Friday morning deep inside the Warwick Printing building in Lethbridge.
Their anticipation heightened shortly after 9 a.m. as the big printing press rumbled to life.
They were rewarded for their patience — as well as their belief in, and support for, the project — as the first copies of the cover of “Reign of the Empress” rolled off the press.
“It is really exciting,” said Mary Oordt, who is responsible for publicity for the centennial celebration. “We have had a long process.”
That process, which included extensive research by Lethbridge writer Peter Scott and other members of the book committee, along with a cover designed by Karen Alm, was worth it.
“It’s actually a little bit better than we envisioned,” Oordt smiled.
The public can get its first look at “Reign of the Empress” when copies go on sale June 25 at the Empress Theatre office in Fort Macleod.
Author Peter Scott will read from the 88-page book during the theatre’s centennial celebration launch on June 29, and will later sign copies.
“I hope it’s something people of Fort Macleod will be proud to see,” Scott said Friday. “They kept the theatre alive for 100 years and all I had to do was walk in and chronicle it.”
Scott tapped numerous sources to research “Reign of the Empress,” including a university thesis written in 1990 by Marselee Jobs Thompson, who had performed at the theatre with Great West Theatre.
Scott also got input from Fort Macleod residents such as Darryl Fraser, Louise Heric and Sharon Monical, as well as former Main Street Program co-ordinator Jim Mountain.
“They were wonderful,” Scott said.
Scott wove the research and his own feeling for the theatre into the book.
“It’s an amazing story, an amazing building, and an amazing community,” Scott said.
Also on June 29 there will be a live auction of a unique leather-bound copy of “Reign of the Empress,” created and donated by Warwick Printing.
“Reign of the Empress” will also be available at The Fort — Museum of the North West Mounted Police.
The book will be sold in Lethbridge at Save-On Foods West, The Model Baron, Stubbs Pharmacy, Club Cigar and the Galt Museum.