Tour marketing director Allison Canzanella died Saturday at New York Presbyterian Columbia University Hospital in Manhattan with her family at her side. She was 32.
Canzanella was vp of marketing for the brand-new UBS Arena in Belmont Park, NY, at the time of her death. She helped open the roughly 18,000-capacity arena as the new home of the NHL’s Islanders and welcomed Harry Styles for the arena’s first concert on Nov. 28.
“Allison was integral to the launch of UBS Arena,” comments Ethan Brown, Senior VP, marketing & community relations, UBS Arena. “Her enthusiasm, professionalism and joyous spirit were unsurpassed. We have tragically lost a key member of our team. Allison will be sorely missed both professionally and personally.”
Born on June 7, 1989, in Hackensack, New Jersey, Canzanella was raised in Hazlet, N.J. and also lived in New York City, Chicago and Jersey City. She graduated from Mary Mount Manhattan College before moving into the live entertainment industry.
Canzanella spent more than a decade working in live entertainment, getting her start at PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, N.J. After that she moved on to Live Nation where she worked as a publicity coordinator before landing at AEG Live in 2014. While at AEG Live, Canzanella worked under AEG NY’s director of marketing Kathi Scharnikow. Scharnikow, who remained in close contact with Canzanella even after she left AEG, says her mentee had an unmatched love for music and was a great marketer.
“There wasn’t anything you couldn’t give her,” Scharnikow tells Billboard. “She rose so quickly because she was just really understood our business and she worked incredibly hard.”
Her knack for tour marketing helped her quickly rise up the ranks at AEG where she worked on smaller shows all the way up to running full-scale tours for major artists including Mumford & Sons, Paul McCartney and Billy Joel.
On top of that, says Scharnikow, “she was just so much fun to be around. One of the last things I texted her was that I missed her smiling face.”
The joy Canzanella brought to the office was something her former colleagues Madison House partners Mike Luba and Don Sullivan also pinpointed about her time at the promoter.
“She was very special to our family,” says Madison House partner Don Sullivan, who recruited Canzanella from AEG. Sullivan worked with Canzanella while she was with AEG and was determined to have her talents at Madison House where she worked from 2016-2020 as the promoter’s marketing manager.
“I’ve been doing this 30 plus years and she was the best marketing director I ever had,” adds Sullivan.
Canzanella moved to Chicago to work alongside Sullivan at Madison House. She worked on tours for Chance the Rapper, Mumford & Sons, Bob Dylan and Paul Simon. Canzanella left Madison House during the pause in touring due to the pandemic, but Sullivan says he planned to bring her back to Madison House in the coming months.
Canzanella is survived by her mother Diane Canzanella, her step-father Donald Knoll, her brother Thomas Canzanella and her grandmother Barbara Grattagliano.
A service for Canzanella is set for Thursday in New Jersey. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Canzanella’s name to nonprofit 5 Under 40, which provides medical, wellness, educational, and beauty services to women under the age of 40 who have been diagnosed with breast cancer or have a BRCA mutation.