Being the son of a prolific masonry contractor, Alvin Fritz began reading architectural drawings at age 12 in the context of working for his father’s construction company, Otto Fritz Masonry Construction (Leth) Ltd. Alvin gained knowledge and skill in masonry and at the age of 17 began working as a foreman on numerous projects across Alberta. His experience is construction would later benefit his career in architecture.
Alvin excelled in fine art in his youth, and pursued his creative development through painting, sketching, sculpture, ceramic arts and serigraphy. Alvin began his post-secondary studies at the University in his hometown of Lethbridge, Alberta. In 1978, Fritz was awarded the distinguished Varzari Sculpture Award, and in 1980 several of his works toured across Canada in the “Playful Objects” Art Exhibition sponsored by the Alberta 75th Anniversary Commission. In 1979, Alvin displayed an exhibition of his work at the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, and in 1991 at the Bowman Arts Centre. He majored in Fine Arts and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts and Science degree from the University of Lethbridge in 1980.
Alvin chose to pursue his career in architecture at the University of British Columbia. He graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1983, receiving the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Gold Metal, awarded to the graduate with the highest academic standing. After winning the Deutsche Akademische Austausch Dienst (DAAD) scholarship to study Heritage preservation and restoration in Munich, he moved with his family to West Germany for one year to complete his studies at the Technische Universität Műnchen.
Upon his return to Canada, Alvin gained a broad range of experience in all aspects of the architectural profession. He was employed in numerous architectural offices, offering his strengths in design, building technology and graphic representation. In 1989, he founded ARFAI, his independent comprehensive practice.