About

Our Team

Ashley Austin

LEAD PASTOR

Ashley grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Yes, he is a huge New Orleans Saints fan.) Ashley did his under graduate work at the University of Southern Mississippi in Sport Business and Business Finance, his masters and doctoral studies at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Ashley loves to hike, kayak, paddle board, workout, drink great coffee, and explore local restaurants in the community. His greatest joy is Jesus, his family, and all the amazing people God has put in his life.

Ashley and his wife April began to sense a call from God in August 2011 to transition from the church they were serving in Biloxi, Mississippi. to join God in introducing people to Jesus on Vancouver Island and planting life-giving, Jesus-focused, relationship-building, family-oriented, community-serving, faith-filled, prayer-consumed, and Spirit-led churches across the island. In March 2013, Ashley, April, and their three boys made the faith-filled move from Biloxi, Mississippi to Victoria, BC. They spent their first year learning a new ministry context, building relationships, praying for the community, serving the city, and putting a team together. Canvas started in the Austin living room in September 2013 with nine adults and six kids. The church began meeting publicly at the Westin Bear Mountain in January 2014. In 2017, Ashley and his wife April felt led to start a second campus, Canvas Oak Bay in the eastern part of the city. Canvas and Canvas Oak Bay are both now incredible life-giving churches serving the people of greater Victoria.

In 2019, Ashley, April and their boys were blessed with Canadian citizenship! They are grateful to call Victoria home and to be a part of what God is doing on Vancouver Island and all across Canada.

April Austin

CHILDREN'S MINISTER

Not only has April been a part of the calling and dream to join God in helping Ashley start Canvas Church and Canvas Camps but she also serves as the Children’s Minister. April loves Jesus, loves families, and loves children! She does an amazing job providing leadership in Little Canvas and Canvas Kids. April is also involved in leading Canvas Community Groups with Ashley.

Jamie Ward

CANVAS Ministry intern

Jamie Ward is originally from Shreveport, Louisiana, where she lived until she graduated high school. She was incredibly blessed with parents who know and love Jesus Christ, and through their faithfulness and God's grace, was saved in February of 2003.

In 2016, she moved to Hattiesburg, Mississippi to attend college at William Carey University. After graduating college in May 2020, Jamie had plans to attend a graduate program at University of Tennessee. While that would have been the most practical route to take by most standards, she found herself questioning if it was the right time for it. Over the last few years, Jamie has spent time working and serving in various positions at Petal-Harvey Baptist Church, which has only made her passion for ministry grow.

“I am so excited to take all that I have learned through Calvary Shreveport and Petal-Harvey, and use it to serve the Lord in Victoria!”

To know Him, and make Him known.

Dean Boland

worship pastor

Dean is married to his amazing wife Susan Boland. They have six incredible kids. Dean served as the worship pastor at Canvas from January 2014 to October 2018. Canvas is excited to have Dean rejoin the Canvas Faith Family in September 2020 as our worship pastor. Dean is a very gifted musicians and an anointed worship leader.

Flavia

Canvas Ministry Intern

Born and raised in Brazil, Flavia moved to Canada at the age of 16, all on her own. She had always felt God tugging her heart towards moving abroad, and after years of praying for direction, God opened a door to Victoria, BC.

Flavia has a passion for serving and when opportunity comes her way, she is eager to make herself available to help.  After two years of attending Canvas Church and serving in various areas, she has accepted an internship with Canvas and is excited to be a part of the team.

“God is calling me, in this season of my life, to seek Him and His kingdom by investing in the lives of others” Flavia writes. She is eager to work with the students and children of Canvas Church, plant seeds in their hearts and help grow their faith. We are excited for all God will do in and through Flavia!

Mike Blackaby

LEAD PASTOR CANVAS CHURCH, OAK BAY


Mike served as pastor to college students and young adults at First Baptist Church, Jonesboro, GA from 2010 until 2017. Early in 2017, Mike and Sarah began to feel God preparing their hearts for a new adventure. Victoria had been on Sarah’s heart several years earlier. They began praying for clarity on what God’s next assignment might be, and received a call from Ashley Austin soon after. Ashley shared with them his vision to see Canvas Church begin a new campus in Oak Bay. A group of people had been meeting once a month already, and he asked if Mike and Sarah would pray about moving to Victoria to take leadership over that second campus of Canvas Church.

In July 2017, Mike and Sarah and their boys took a trip to Victoria to see what God was doing and pray. During their time on the island, God made it clear in a variety of ways that the next chapter of their lives was to be in Oak Bay. In January 2018, Mike and Sarah packed up their lives and moved 2,800 miles to join God in His activity in Oak Bay! Every life tells a story, and the Blackabys are excited about their next chapters on Vancouver Island. They would love for you to contact them to hear more of their story or to come see what God is doing in Oak Bay.

We are all part of a bigger story. Pray and consider whether or not your story might intersect with those at Canvas Church.