Sybil Andrews’ birthday is usually celebrated at the Willow Point cottage that served as her home – and now bears her name.
This year, however, organizers thought maybe, since the Museum at Campbell River was running a show of her work in their gallery, they’d host it there.
This year also just so happened to be the 10th anniversary of the event. The city proclaimed April 19 as Sybil Andrews’ Day back in 2007, and people have been gathering each year to celebrate her life and legacy on that day ever since.
“This is just a great opportunity for the community to come out, have a piece of birthday cake, celebrate Sybil and, really, in a sense, celebrate the culture and heritage of our wonderful community,” says Ken Blackburn, executive director of the Campbell River Arts Council. “There are many people here today and out within the community, in general, who are very passionate about Sybil – and rightly so – and this is our annual chance to celebrate that passion while we celebrate that wonderful lady.”
This year’s event not only corresponded to a showing of a portion of Andrews’ work in the museum gallery, but also the official reveal of some of the pages from the upcoming graphic novel, Modernism in Two Worlds: The Sybil Andrews Story, along with a variety of pieces created by both local students and students at the newly-opened Sybil Andrews Academy in Bury St. Edmonds, England, two of which will be chosen to appear in the book itself.
“We’ve come a long way in our culture and arts here in Campbell River,” says Mayor Andy Adams, “from being a pretty hard-core resource town to doing a much better job of recognizing the significance of our history and our past and bringing that to life. And this exhibit and celebration here today is another way of doing that, so thank you.”
A video message was sent from the academy in Bury St. Edmonds wishing Andrews a happy birthday and played for those assembled, as well.