NEW OPENING: "Next-Generation" Music Venue, Members Club, Late Night Bar & Restaurant at Circle Square

Canvas is set to be the city’s newest entertainment and wellness venue opening up at Circle Square.

By Emma Davidson | May 26th '22

Featuring a purpose-driven commitment to social value and impact investment, Canvas will feature live music, club nights, a members’ lounge with a programme of events, a 4am 7-days-a-week bar and restaurant, and digital platform.

The new venue comes to the city from the team behind two of London’s most prolific music establishments; The Pickle Factory and Oval Space, and has been founded by the team behind MAMA Group, which owned and operated Lovebox, Wilderness and Great Escape festivals as well as Hammersmith Apollo, Jazz Café, Forum, Manchester Ritz and G-A-Y venues.  

It will also welcome a number of creative music, art, wellness and technology programmes, and promises to be Manchester’s most innovative next-generation cultural destination.

Music & Venue

A firm belief in the power of music will be paramount to Canvas’ offering. Set in a space for people to come together, music will run right through the heart and soul of its community; acting as an axis for the joining of experiences and ideas, while also creating a diverse and welcoming environment for people of all backgrounds.

Pioneering and creative, Canvas will nurture the city’s visionaries of music, culture and the arts. Here, the space will host a series of live gigs from both national and international acts, album launches and listening parties.

Notable acts will follow suit from programmes as seen at Pickle Factory and Oval Space, who have hosted the likes of Jamie XX, Thom Yorke, Chase & Status, Peggy Gou, Pink Pantheress and Nina Kraviz.

Oval’s state of the art technology supports headline acts & promotes emerging talent, introducing audiences to genres of music they might not have considered.

Pickle Factory now represents one the few venues in London committed to preserving authentic, grass roots contemporary club culture. It is also recognised amongst the LGBTQ+ community providing a safe event space & promoting LGBTQ+ talent, working with niche agencies such as Poly AM (LGBTQ+ artists) & UNFOLD (Berlin).

Canvas will boast cutting-edge technology to create mind-blowing sounds and visuals. Video mapping and projectors promise to surround the venue enveloping audiences and propelling experiences to new heights.

A 600-capacity subterranean space, Canvas will feature a full day-programme. By night, the venue will host a diverse range of established and rising creatives, plus a club programme from some of the newest promoters in the city.

With an acute focus on emerging talent, Canvas will look to incorporate music, technology, social impact and the desire to do and be more; from their music promoters to visual artists, and from their members to those who are behind the scenes.

A platform for the under-represented, Canvas has a mission to create a ‘blank space’ for underground talent. Its uniqueness will be evident across both the commercial programming and in the opportunities that the venue will create for members and those who are part of creating the events. A space to cater to all avenues of creativity, Canvas will offer a distinct connection between their membership community and their own in-house programming.

Members’ Programme

Connected and collaborative, Canvas members’ lounge will invite those who are part of the membership programme to participate in events, panel discussions and wellness classes; all with an emphasis on music, wellbeing, visuals, sound and the arts.

Hosting some of the city’s most enterprising young professionals, the Panel Discussions are set to offer a range of in person Q&A events, with the likes of TV commissioners and producers, philanthropists, emerging talent in the tech industry and DJs, producers and artists in the music industry.

Confirmed Panel Discussions see Q&As with a TV diversity executive on the challenges facing the media industry, and Virtuoso directors Austen and Scott Smart on how to secure funding from the ground-up for their exciting music subscription service, featuring educational programmes from the likes of Carl Cox, Eats Everything, Moonchild Sanelly, Becky Hill, Joris Voorn, Skream and many more.

With an awareness on the importance of wellness, Canvas’ Managing Your State programme will provide a focus on wellbeing and will teach participants about the tools required to manage our own internal and emotional state – particularly when we are faced with difficult or challenging times.

Wellness Sundays will be a huge focus, hosted by Manchester’s own Flow With Fran.

Late summer will see the arrival of a plunge pool and sauna as part of the membership programme, giving members the access to their very own serenity in the midst of the city.

With an ambition to make dance and fitness inclusive and accessible to all, At Your Beat classes will be available to members of Canvas, promising to create an environment like no other. Set in a dark room that features all the colourful lights and pumping tunes of a night out, these classes promise a calorie-burning endorphin rush to increase your general fitness and wellness.

Canvas membership will be held in the form of a Canvas token (an NFT) which will give members benefits such as free access to gigs and clubs, discounts on food and drinks and will give them part-ownership of the members’ club platform.

Canvas’ memberships will be available from £15 a month for under 30s, with a membership option for the over 30s.

Late Night Bar & Restaurant

Canvas will also be home to a food and beverage lounge, which will become a late night bar after 10.30pm. Here, the restaurant will serve global small plates across breakfast, lunch and dinner sittings, with a menu curated by Miam Miam Glou Glou, the hospitality consultancy behind Manchester’s much-loved Peru Perdu.

The restaurant will champion the diverse nature of the city by offering global small plates, and international natural wines and cocktails made from the finest spirits.

Music and culture is at the heart of this newest neighbourhood hub with regular late entertainment. 

Comforting and resonant, the decor will remain true to the core of what a bar and restaurant should always be, with the bar and kitchen taking centre-stage. 

 The Canvas breakfast menu is set to invigorate, featuring fresh juices, health shots and global breakfast plates, such as ‘Persian’ – with Merguez sausage, hummus, spinach, harissa, soft-poached egg, ‘Cali’ – with avocado, chilli, lime, soft-poached egg and ‘Hunan’ –  with fried rice, dumplings and chilli-fried egg. There will also be vegan options, such as ‘Planta’ – spinach, bell pepper, tomato, avocado, mushroom and tofu, as well as breakfast cocktails and speciality hot drinks, to stay or to go.

Meanwhile, The Canvas all-day menu puts small plates from around the world in the spotlight, as diners are invited to enjoy ‘Sumac Lamb Chops’ – with chickpeas, pomegranate and mint yogurt, ‘Korean Chicken’ – with barbecued chicken, peanut and Asian salad, ‘Disco Fries’ – with truffle, parmesan, garlic butter, and saffron aioli and jalapeños.

Items from the global large plate menu include ‘Chilli Butternut Squash’, with hazelnut, watercress and agave, ‘Slow Chicken’, with corn-fed thighs, sweetcorn fritters and collard greens, ‘Bavette’ – a loosely textured 10oz flat-cut steak, with roast tomatoes, garlic mushroom and chimmi, and ‘Duck Leg’, with sweet and sour roast plum, pickled cucumber and salad pancakes. 

There will also be a tempting array of sandwiches (brioche, white flour wrap, ciabatta) available from 12-5pm every day. 

The Canvas wine list (red, white, sparkling, pink & orange) is set to be an international affair, with a mix of classic and lesser-known varieties from Australia, Austria, Argentina, Chile, France, Italy, South Africa, Portugal and US; all sat alongside exemplary modern icons.

Cocktails will champion a new breed of bartending. All prepared with clean speed and a meticulous attention to detail, drinks will also take international influence, and will include; aperitifs, such as the ‘Jasmine Margarita’ – with El Jimador Blanco, Muyu Jasmine, silver needle and citrus; sundowners, such as the ‘Jungle Bird’ – with Bacardi Cuatro, Appleton 8, Campari, pineapple, galangal and tamarind cordial; and highballs, such as ‘Cafe Torino’ – with Mr Black Coffee Amaro, Martini Rubino and soda.

Community

A catalyst for the community, Canvas has the ambition to embed conscious and multi-dimensional value into the city. Friendly and welcoming, the three-floor site will bring inclusive music and hospitality to the fore, while also offering progressive learning and wellness opportunities.

“We’re thrilled to finally open our doors at Canvas. With authenticity at the forefront of everything we do, our key ambition is to provide the most innovative space where emerging music and new talent can grow.

“We’re incredibly proud of our diverseness; in both what we do and who we are – from our growing Canvas community, right through to our teams.

“By giving people a platform to share and collaborate, Canvas has a really unique way of bringing together artists and audiences from underrepresented backgrounds. We try hard to avoid being polarised – I think it’s this passion that keeps us ahead of the curve and relevant to what our communities actually want adjoin to.

Through the development of Canvas membership programmes, our long-term vision is to forge an environment that young creatives and grass-roots talent are not only excited to be a part of, but we also hope that they share in a sense of ownership with us too.”

– Dean James, co-owner and co-founder.

Canvas is also proud to support charitable musical organisations that give back to the community. Through a series of music-led workshops that will take place within the venue and at communal sites across the region, Canvas will run regular fundraising events and workshop collaborations to support the Marcus Intalex Music Foundation – a platform to support and nurture talent in many aspects of music development and the culture that surrounds it.

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