Antoine was born and raised in Fort McMurray, at the heart of the oil industry that has been the key driver of Alberta’s economy over the past decades. His father was an earth-mover who built hundreds of kilometres of roads, dams, and dykes during his more than 30-year tenure at Suncor. At the age of 17, Antoine left Fort McMurray on a 12-year journey to find purpose and meaning that led him eventually to become a Hindu monk and travel around the globe.
For over 5 years, Antoine engaged in strict monastic practice and served at temples in Vancouver, Seattle, Paris, Dijon, Passau, and Nuremberg, among others. Aside from his rigorous program of meditation and study, his daily service in these communities was mostly of a managerial nature. After graduating from the monastic order, Antoine married and moved to Austria with his wife, Niko. They founded a small community and ‘ashram’ in Vienna where they accommodated 20-25 male and female monks in training.
Antoine began to develop his entrepreneurial acumen during this period. The needs of the community and his young family were growing quickly and, given that he was volunteering 80% of his time, some enterprising spirit was required to make ends meet. He started several micro-businesses, including a vegetarian restaurant in Vienna’s primary retail district, an import-export business distributing Indian imports throughout Europe, and a European branch of the Satvatove coach training Institute, among other small ventures. In 2003 Antoine began his first real estate project, which involved the conversion of a 200-year old historical multi-family building into modern condominium suites. The project was lucrative and demonstrated the tremendous potential of real estate as a financial foundation for his family and life’s work.
After retiring from his position at the Vienna ashram, Antoine took a year sabbatical to study at a subsidiary of the University of Wales located in the Belgian Ardennes. From there, he decided it was time to return to Canada. The Alberta economy had been growing rapidly and it was clearly the place to be for a young real estate investor.
By the time Antoine resettled in Edmonton, however, it was 2007 and housing prices were out of control. Instead of purchasing in an overheated market, Antoine founded a small consulting firm named Konscious Corp. From 2007, Antoine was responsible for branding and marketing a fundraising campaign that raised over $30 million of investment in 18 months; was a key consultant for the managerial restructure of multiple large-scale real estate projects challenged by the 2008-2009 economic downturn; and consulted on dozens of projects from affordable housing to renewable energy to serving as a public spokesperson for Edmonton’s Social Enterprise Fund.
In 2011 Antoine co-founded Sustainival, the world’s first green carnival – a full-scale carnival midway that operates entirely on renewable energy. Sustainival is designed to deliver a spectacular and interactive education with programming focused on energy literacy, clean-technologies, and community engagement. In its first 4 years, Sustainival has produced close to 20 events in Canada and the US and has hosted more than 1 million attendees.
Antoine is also the co-founder of Sustainitech, a technology commercialization company specializing in vertical agriculture since 2012. Sustainitech builds high-density commercial farms inside of shipping containers.
In 2008, Antoine began building a Canadian real estate portfolio with the acquisition of several residential properties. He branched into multi-family and commercial properties in 2012, relying on the extensive experience he had gained while consulting to real estate developers. Each of these projects has proven tremendously successful.
The Sparrow Capital brand was created in 2016 as a natural extension of the small community of partners that formed around these real estate projects. The group intends to acquire an additional 6-8 properties in 2016/17.
Antoine has extensive training in leadership and communication and served for two years as administrative director of an international communication and coach training institute. He holds a diploma in mediation and conflict resolution from a Vienna academy and a diploma in Indian philosophy from the University of Wales.
Antoine is a Platinum member of the Real Estate Investment Network. He lives in Edmonton with his wife and 4 children. He enjoys squash, snowboarding, mountain-biking, Go (an ancient Chinese strategy game), and is the lead singer and conga player in a 9-piece funk band. He is most inspired by deep discussions with friends and mentors, and spending time with his wife and children.