Anand Pye has made it his life’s work to build and strengthen communities.
By day, he supports the Edmonton area’s economic development as the executive director of NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association’s local chapter. By night, Pye takes on a more creative role, using his business acumen to support emerging artists as the board president for the Grindstone Comedy Theatre & Bistro.
Although the two roles might sound wildly different at first, Pye argues that they’re actually quite well aligned. “Everything I do is about finding and connect-ing entrepreneurial communities. At NAIOP, I work with the real-estate industry to create opportunities and make Edmonton more competitive,” he says.
“And the arts are so much about entrepreneurialism. Artists will have this incredible, seemingly impossible vision, but they’re problem solvers in the same way entrepreneurs are.”
Pye’s love for the arts dates back to his teenage years. As a high-school student, he was torn between studying the fine arts or business in university. He reached out for advice, asking a local actor to discuss the pros and cons of a career in the arts. The advice he received set him on a path to success.
“I was basically told it would be more beneficial for me to study commerce and work a love of the arts into that, rather than vice versa,” he says. “Now I’m glad I did that, because I really get to have an impact in both.”