Mario Armitano

Mario Armitano was born and raised in Provence in the south of France, and has an interesting background and range of experience. Amongst many other things, Mario is a very talented sculptor.  Twelve years ago, Mario took the opportunity to explore a life-long passion and enrolled in a stone sculpture workshop with Alberto Riplansky at the Vancouver Academy of Arts.

He then took a clay course  with De L’esprit, and an anatomy course with David Klass from New York, at the Loveland Academy of Art in Colorado.  He participated in a figure in clay workshop, with Rodin Prize winner Martine Vaugel.  Mario also travelled to Italy, to participate in marble sculpture workshops in Pietrasanta, Tuscany. 

Mario is a former board member and senior artist with CIPA, Canadian Institute of Portrait Artists, and member of the Sculpture Society of B.C.  He works in marble and bronze, focussing mostly on figurative pieces.   He donates at least one of his creations for charity events every year. His workshop and gallery are in his home in West Vancouver.
 
In his life aside from his artistic pursuits, he attended culinary school and studied hotel management at a very young age.  After working in several hotels in France, Mario immigrated to Montreal, Quebec in 1976 to work as the youngest Sous Chef in the Meridien Hotel Company.
 
In 1978, he moved to Vancouver and became a chef in the newest of the renowned Umberto Menghi Italian restaurants, Al Porto.  The Granville Island Market was just opening, and in 1979 Mario open a French butcher shop there, called La Madrague.  This was followed three years later by the opening of his little French bakery, La Baguette et L’echalote, which has been a Vancouver favourite now for over 30 years.
 
In the early 1980’s Mario opened a restaurant in Vancouver’s Gastown, called Le Souffle, which had the distinction of having been awarded with “the most memorable meal” of 1985, and “the best wine list” by Vancouver Magazine.
 
Mario then opened three other stores, and a large manufacturing facility to produce baked goods on a large scale.  After the birth of their first child, Mario and his wife decided to retain only the bakery on Granville Island in order to spend more time with their growing family.  In January 2012, Mario and business partner Louise opened an artisan bakery to produce specialty breads, croissants and danishes.
 
While he loves his day-to-day business, Mario's ultimate passion is his sculptural work. He plans to continue to evolve and pursue his artistic vision and creativity through that medium in the coming years.