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Our Team

Ryan Hallwood - Senior Acquisitions Manager

Ryan is Canvas’ newest Senior Acquisitions Manager and has been brought on to help us find London’s best venues. With a background in corporate sales he is now fully immersing himself in the world of events, and you’ll find Ryan walking from venue to venue with a big smile on his face. While studying business management at university, Ryan developed a passion for water sports, and is a fully qualified instructor in kayaking, canoeing, scuba diving and surfing. Before joining Canvas, Ryan spent two years fighting sharks whilst surfing in South Africa – really, you should ask him about it.


EJ Vilain - Marketing Manager

EJ is our marketing manager, handling the editorial content and our social strategy. She’s on hand to help venues shout about their offerings, and show our users the very best of what London has to offer. She studied puppetry at university – yes, really, it’s a thing – before making the move into marketing for arts and events. EJ has written for London rags on everything from theatre to accountancy, and in her spare time she enjoys ballroom dancing (but only if she gets to lead).


Sascha Michel - Co-Founder

Sascha co-founded Canvas with Antony is 2013. Over the previous 15 years Sascha led a number of start-up companies, from online restaurant guides back in the days of 56k dial-up, to combating climate change by greening offices. With a background in organisational change and people development, Sascha brings a wealth of experience in team development, sales, management and strategy; creating company cultures that foster creativity and innovation during rapid change. Sascha is dedicated to yoga practice, and if he isn’t in London, he’s probably in Bali "conducting important research".


Leah Messenger - Insight and Marketing Executive

Leah is our Insight and Marketing Executive, leading our data analysis as well heading up our social strategy and contributing to the blog. Before joining Canvas, she worked in content marketing at a national wedding magazine and a digital marketing agency. Leah enjoys exploring the sights, restaurants and - perhaps even more enthusiastically - drinking dens of London. She is proud to have survived around 20 bottomless brunches but has given those up as of April. She’s admittedly gone to two since then, but you’ve got to start somewhere.


Steve Humphreys - Senior Acquisitions Manager

Steve is the authority on event venues in London, and he’s been our senior acquisitions manager since 2014. He has a passion for exciting venues, supporting the people who run them and understanding what makes them tick. Steve has a colourful history in events, from working with venues for blue-chip companies like Diageo and Coco-Cola, as well as running bars in New York and booking music nights in London. Steve hosts a podcast called “A Bev with Stev” and if you’re lucky, he will invite you on to discuss your favourite flavour of crisps.


Julia O’Donnell - Matchmaker

Julia is Canvas’ Matchmaker - helping our users find the perfect venue for their event - and she also manages House of Detention in Clerkenwell. Before joining the team Julia worked at Warner Bros in Sales and Marketing, and then at IMG. When asked what she enjoys to do in her spare time, Julia responded: dumplings; exploring Greek islands, and the musical stylings of Taylor “Tay-Tay” Swift. Julia is originally from Australia if you hadn’t already guessed, and - fact of the day - she doesn’t like cheese. Which is frankly ridiculous.


Antony Iredale - Co-founder

Antony runs our sister company The Collective – the UK’s largest film location agency – and co-founded Canvas with Sascha in 2013 after being inundated with requests to hold private events in our film locations. Antony started out as a Location Runner and then Location Assistant, and over the last 13 years has uncovered some of the most prestigious and in-demand spaces in the film and photography industries. He has a passion for architecture and design, as well as a slightly suspicious curiosity for what lurks behind London’s closed doors.


Axel Van Zyl - Lead Designer

Axel is our Lead Designer, working on our web pages, newsletter headlines and animal mascots (ten points if you can find the octopus). He has worked with O2, Easy Jet, Pernod Ricard, Zaza Bazaar and Smithfield whilst wearing a variety of different hats: design management, brand consulting, marketing and ideation. Axel tackles creative problems by combing graphic design with marketing theory to produce beautiful and practical design solutions. Axel lives in Paris and has a beautiful home office. It’s alright for some.