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15 Minutes With Andrea Anders, Committee Member at COC’s Operanation

Andrea Anders is a VP at Faulhaber Communications, a committee member at Operanation, and a staunch supporter of Toronto’s arts and culture scene. On May 17th, the Canadian Opera Company is hosting Operanation: Into the Stars. Now in its 14th year, Operanation is equal parts party and performance and is an event for both arts enthusiasts and the opera-curious.

We chatted with Andrea this week.

SDTC: What’s at the top of your bucket list? 

AA: Living in another country. Though I’ve travelled extensively, I’ve never lived outside Canada. I think travel makes you a better person and that there’s so much to learn from other communities if you’re immersed in them and open to it. Perhaps I’ll retire in the south of France!

What’s your go-to song for getting stuff done?

Tough one. Maybe Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” or anything from the Fugees initial album. Remember what a thing that was in the 90s!? It totally depends on the day and my mood. I also listen to a lot of jazz and blues. I love Neil Young and Billie Holiday.

What drew you to Operanation?

When I was little my parents took me to the ballet, opera and theatre regularly. I loved learning new things and getting to wear party shoes. When I started my career, I had mentors who were very involved in the arts and got me involved. I was engaged with all of the city’s VP groups for some time, co-chaired a few events and met so many fabulous people who are my friends today. Operanation was the next evolution of this. I loved the talent, energy and creative direction of the COC, and after attending the event for the first time several years ago, I became instantly passionate about encouraging more young people to explore opera.

What opera will you never tire of? 

It’s so hard to pick one but I think La Boheme.

What advice would you give to your fourteen-year-old self? 

Value yourself and others on substance vs. the superficial. Being kind and compassionate is so much more important than being pretty and popular. I hope that if I ever have a daughter I’ll be able to teach her this. It sounds like common sense but it’s hard to instill in a world of reality TV and Instagram.

Who has made a big impact in your life recently, and how? 

My friend Ryan. He’s quite self-actualized and looks at things differently than I do. He’s encouraged me to consider different perspectives to many scenarios and to self-reflect.

What does your ideal Saturday look like? 

I have a busy career and hyper personality. Someone once told me I’m as chill as a cat being thrown into a bathtub. With many friends, many interests, a great husband and now a kitten, I usually try to stay low-key on the weekend. On an average Saturday I would likely sleep in, see a girlfriend for brunch, go to The Cheese Boutique and make dinner. I love Julia Child and Thomas Keller cookbooks.

What’s the best part of being your current age? 

I’m old enough to know better but young enough to learn more and evolve.

What word/phrase should we use more often? 

“Thank you.”

What/who is currently inspiring you? 

I feel like I should have more outside-the-box answers but honestly? My husband. He overcame very serious cancer not too long ago and gives everyone he meets the benefit of the doubt. He’s relentlessly kind and makes me want to be better every day and more like him. He also just launched a prototype in the UK that I don’t really understand but think is a big deal.

What art work would you love to have in your space/on your walls, and why?

My walls are already quite full. That said, I love Bobbie Burgers and Beatriz Elorza lately.

Fave rainy day activity? 

I love watching documentaries and reading biographies. I’m fascinated by the many factors that contribute to who people become and their accomplishments.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? 

It’s a diverse list. Prime Minister, a lawyer and a supermodel all at once. I ended up in communications. Ha.

What was your favourite game/toy as a child? 

Make believe. I always liked to be the boss regardless of the scenario.

What adult task would you like to get better at? 

I’m extremely impatient. A career coach once told me I prefer people to be bright, brief and gone. I see this in myself every day and while I can manage it, it’s tough.

If you could spend a year studying something, what would it be? 

French. I was in immersion through high school but would love to become completely fluent. It’s such a valuable language in Canada and globally.

What’s your idea of happiness? 

Being loved and surrounded by people I love combined with having the freedom and resources to do things that genuinely interest me.

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