Gold letter day in the Glebe

Artist Pascale Arpin at work on a gold-leaf sign for a new Glebe restaurant, Gia Cantina   Photo: Lorrie Loewen

By Lorrie Loewen
(With files from Roger Smith)

Pascale Arpin, an artist and freelance creative, reveals to passers-by on Bank Street the intricate work involved in creating a stunning hand-lettered gold-leaf sign for a new restaurant, Gia Cantina.

Arpin has a varied background in the arts across several disciplines, from painting and illustration to film and television props and sets to graphic design.

She is now focused on custom sign painting and hand lettering. An accomplished self-taught artist, she worked with renowned American sign painter Mike Meyer for two years to refine her sign-painting skills. In 2019, she worked with legendary film director Tim Burton to fabricate and paint pieces for his Lost Vegas exhibition at the Neon Museum in Las Vegas.

Her latest project adorns Gia Cantina which is billing itself as “the neighbourhood noodle spot in the heart of the Glebe.” The Italian restaurant at 749 Bank held a trial-run opening on October 1, drawing a small crowd with an Instagram offer of free lunches for the first 10 customers. The lunches were takeout, because the dining room inside was still under construction.

Co-owner Adam Vettorel admits it’s a gamble to open a new restaurant as COVID-19 cases are on the rise again.

“The challenges of opening a restaurant during a pandemic have probably not completely sunk in,” he told the Ottawa Citizen. “Every day brings new challenges on top of what is generally regarded to be one of the most stressful entrepreneurial undertakings possible.”

But Vettorel is in business, and he has the new gold sign to prove it.

Lorrie Loewen is a Glebe resident who enjoys photography and meeting new people. Roger Smith is the Glebe Report copy editor.

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