Mario Bartel has been a journalist for over 30 years. More than half that tenure was spent peering through the viewfinder of a camera as a photojournalist.
As they suffered the brunt of a contracting industry, he started spending more time at the keyboard, covering everything from civic affairs to features to sports.
Over the course of his diverse career, Bartel has covered visits by prime ministers, championship junior hockey teams, the early morning toil of a tug captain, late-night fires, the 106th birthday celebration of a community icon, the challenges of a professional hockey player trying to come back from triple cancer diagnoses and more election night celebrations in dark, crowded pubs or community halls than he cares to remember.
Alas, he's yet to have the opportunity to ride in a blimp.
When Bartel's not pounding out Port Moody council stories, setting up lights for a feature portrait, or shivering in the cold rain shooting high school soccer, he is riding his bike, usually out to the Fraser Valley, up Mt. Seymour or along urban routes that take advantage of Vancouver's extensive cycling network. Often those rides involve a stop at a coffee shop, even though he doesn’t imbibe in hot beverages. But he does enjoy a good pain au chocolat and he can attest Blacksmith bakery in Fort Langley makes the best this side of Paris.