The founder of Joshua Creek Centre is Sybil Salvin Rampen. She was born April 29, 1929 and grew up with United Empire Loyalists. She fondly remembers sitting by a gas lamp and hearing stories about the olden days. Captured by these tales, Sybil has devoted her life to educating and promoting the importance of local heritage.
Her education has spanned the globe. Sybil achieved a B.A. from the University of Toronto in Art and Archaeology and furthered studied in Paris and London. She holds an Art Specialist designation from the Ontario College of Education and thirty-five years of teaching art courses in painting, embroidery, and other media have made Sybil a sought-after mentor for many emerging artists. Her work has been exhibited locally and internationally.
Sybil has been commissioned to produce pieces for the University of Ottawa Music Department, Princess Margaret Hospital, and the Emmanuel College among others. An accomplished writer, she has authored several articles featured in magazines dedicated to fibre arts and has published books: Pocket Eden, The Grannies, and, most recently, The Milkwood Angel.
Sybil’s vision is a natural development of her long-standing commitment to maintaining heritage in all aspects of her life and dreamed about an artist centre since her father purchased that land for farming in 1950. A central part of day-to-day life at the Rampen farmhouse is exemplified by Sybil the archivist – she collects everything from stories to artifacts. With her passion for preservation, this self described “techi-grannie” is in the process of digitalizing all of her family records which is quire vast and varied.
Reflecting with Sybil Rampen is like taking a swim through decades of dreams come and gone, of lives filled with happiness and sorrow. A smile spreads as she whispers, “Sometimes our greatest challenges in life turns out to be our greatest reward”. She is pure inspiration, a true reminder that the lives before us and the lives around us create the life that we are. To honour all that is beautiful, all that is art, Sybil is dedicating her legacy to the Joshua Creek Heritage Art Centre.