Yes, kiddies, Newzapalooza XII is only months away. Mark Friday, Nov. 4, 2016 on your calendar for the greatest show on earth (um, that would be the earth beneath the venerable Opera House, 735 Queen St. E, T.O). Details to come!
50K for Children’s Aid Foundation, thanks to Google Play Music!
National Post’s Conrad Black Sabbath kicks butt, Toronto Sun’s Screaming Headlines do JJ proud, and a strong endorsement for The Globe and Mail’s Fun With Discipline
For immediate release: Nov. 9, 2015
TORONTO — With a toss of the bat, National Post’s Conrad Black Sabbath hit a walk-off home run Friday night, taking the Newzapalooza title and the Jonathan Jenkins memorial trophy for the first time in what was the band’s second appearance at The Media Event of The Year ™.
Google Play Music made Newzapalooza XI historic by not only matching the record-breaking $20,000 raised by Friday night’s show for the Children’s Aid Foundation, but by tossing in an extra $10,000, making this year’s haul $50,000. That’s triple the amount of last year and brings to $150,000 the total amount Newzapalooza and its fans and loyal supporters have raised for the foundation.
Thank you to host Piya Chattopadhyay and judges Andrew Cash, Errol Nazareth, Zaib Shaikh and Kirstine Stewart for their time and wit.
At the end of the night, honorary Newzapalooza co-chairs Maizey and Dexter Westaway — daughter and son of the late Jonathan Jenkins, who co-founded the event — presented Sarah Boesveld of Conrad Black Sabbath with the big trophy named after their dad. The Toronto Sun’s Screaming Headlines mightily impressed the judges, capturing second place, while The Globe and Mail’s Fun With Discipline was naughty, firm and deserving of a third place showing.
Special thanks to this year’s supporters: Google Play Music, Home Depot, The Opera House, Long & McQuade Musical Instruments, Ace Awards Inc., Toronto Sun, Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, Rogers, Prohibition Gastrohouse Pub, Banu, The Local and Button Machine.
Big shout outs to the Star, Sun and Globe for wagering $1k each on their house bands in the annual Publisher’s Challenge. We’d also like to thank Athena Ellinas-Towers and the staff at The Opera House and acknowledge volunteers Vjosa Isai, Dan Taekema, May Warren, Stephanie Werner, Joe Hall and Patty Winsa for working the doors, pushing draw tickets. Thanks as well to Michael Robinson for manning the video cameras. Kudos to Brian Hughes for once again designing this year’s ticket.
As for Google Play Music, thank you, thank you, thank you. In particular, we want to acknowledge Aaron Brindle, Jan Gemrich and Alexandra Hunnings for their unbridled support for the show and the cause.
Lastly, all of us on the Newzapalooza planning committee — Sarah Boesveld, Moe Doiron, Robyn Doolittle, Rob & Natasha Granatstein, Jim Rankin, Graeme Roy, Michelle Shephard and Tanya Talaga — thank the 600-plus who turned out for a terrific cause and a rocking good night. See you next November!
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Newzapalooza Annual Media Battle of the Bands Turns it to 11
Google Play Music matching every dollar, publishers pony up for a great cause
TORONTO —As Nigel Tufnel of Spinal Tap puts it, turning it to eleven means “it’s one louder, isn’t it? It’s not ten.” Newzapalooza is celebrating its 11th show this year and it promises to be even bigger — and louder — than last year’s extravaganza, which raised a record $17,000 for the Children’s Aid Foundation.
Bigger? Presumptuous, says our skeptical editor. But our sources confirm Google Play Music is matching every dollar raised, which means the big winners are vulnerable youth who receive scholarships for post-secondary educations that are otherwise out of reach (ok, this is huge – ed).
On Friday, Nov. 6, 2015, at The Opera House, 735 Queen St. E., seven bands made up of hacks from the Toronto Sun, The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, National Post, BNN, The Canadian Press and Vice Canada, will take to the stage to raise money for the foundation. The event has raised more than $100,000 so far.
Hosted this year by award-winning broadcast journalist Piya Chattopadhyay, the event will showcase the musical chops of hacks who remarkably still have day jobs in the media industry. This year’s panel of celebrity judges includes Kirstine Stewart of Twitter and author of Our Turn, musician, former NDP MP and very recent victim of strategic voting Andrew Cash, music aficionado, columnist and Metro Morning regular Errol Nazareth, and actor Zaib Shaikh, Toronto’s Film Commissioner and Director of Entertainment Industries and one of the stars of CBC hit show Little Mosque on the Prairie.
Special thanks to this year’s growing list of sponsors, which includes Home Depot, The Opera House, Long & McQuade Musical Instruments, Ace Awards Inc., Toronto Sun and Toronto Star. There will be promotional draws for cool stuff the night of, including concert tickets, gift cards and the newest must-have phone and tablet, courtesy of Google (must we link … people can just Google Google, surely – ed).
In this year’s publisher challenge, The Globe and Mail has wagered $1,000 on its house band, Fun With Discipline, confident that it will end the Star’s Holy Joe & The Principles’ four-year reign as Newzapalooza champs. The Star’s John Cruickshank saw that bet, plunking down a grand on the Joes and a new Star act, On Demo (surely there’ll be bets from other publishers – ed).
Doors and the bar open at 7 p.m., and the show will begin at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 and are available at the door or from members of the media bands taking part. We strongly encourage you to buy your ticket in advance. The Opera House is a kid-friendly venue, but minors must be accompanied by an adult.
Fantastic news! Google Play Music is matching dollar for dollar all money raised by Newzapalooza this year for our favourite charity, the Children’s Aid Foundation. The big winners are abused and neglected youth. Last year, the foundation and its donors helped more than 3,000 youth in care get the education they deserve but would otherwise be financially out of reach. We at Newzapalooza are thrilled that Google is on board for our eleventh show and now it’s up to you to make this the biggest year yet. Get your tickets from band members or at the door on the night of. The show is set for Friday, Nov. 6 at The Opera House. Doors and bar open at 7 pm. Show starts at 8 pm. Check back here for more details and follow us on Twitter @Newzapalooza and on Facebook.
Toronto Star wins 4th straight title, new blood from National Post, The Globe and Mail and Hamilton Spectator/Thomson Reuters rock the joint.
For immediate release: Nov. 10, 2014
TORONTO — Wow! Thanks to a growing legion of Newzapalooza fans, super sponsors and “wagers” from bosses at Toronto Sun, The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and National Post, more than $16,000 was raised Friday night for the Children’s Aid Foundation. That’s double what is usually raised each year, making this 10th show the best ever. To date, Newzapalooza has raised close to $90,000 for the charity.
It was arguably also the best year for talent. Not a single band sucked, according to unnamed musical aficionados who were on hand scouting for a new reality series to be called Hacks with Axes – The Bloody Media Battle of the Bands™ (Expected to feature sweaty journalists in cramped rehearsal spaces). In fact, the fight for the new Newzapalooza trophy was so tight that our panel of celebrity judges — made up of comedian and activist Martha Chaves, comedian and actress Geri Hall, Mark Towhey, former chief of staff for Rob Ford, and Olympian Adam van Koeverden — fought mightily amongst themselves in choosing the top three bands.
In the end, the judges’ numbers (yes, actual numbers) slightly favoured Toronto Star’s Holy Joe & The Principles over The Globe and Mail’s Fun with Discipline. The Bulletin Kill — a killer 3-piece band that is part BNN, part The Canadian Press, part The Globe and Mail — took 3rd place honours. Newcomers Conrad Black Sabbath from the National Post had the best band name and put on a stunning show, and, according to many Monday morning quarterbacks who were on the Twitterverse this weekend, were robbed (surely, people who get pay cheques from the National Post – ed).
At the end of the night, honorary Newzapalooza chair Dexter Westaway — son of the late Jonathan Jenkins, who co-founded the event — presented Jesse McLean of Holy Joe & The Principles with a spectacularly kitschy trophy. Bragging rights will be up for grabs at next year’s show.
A huge shout out and thank you to host Tom Power of CBC Radio 2. He kept the night on track and no one was assaulted.
Special thanks to this year’s sponsors Home Depot, The Opera House, Long & McQuade Musical Instruments, Ace Awards Inc., Toronto Sun, Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, National Post, Qi Salon, Pizzeria Libretto, New Balance Toronto, Girl About Toronto Multimedia, X-copper, Ace Bakery and The Ten Spot Beauty Bars.
We’d also like to thank Athena Ellinas-Towers and the staff at The Opera House and acknowledge volunteers Eric Andrew-Gee, Nick Westoll, Katherine deClerq, Tamara Khandaker, Joe Hall and Patty Winsa for working the doors and pushing draw tickets. Kudos to Brian Hughes for designing this year’s ticket and to Aneurin Bosley for website help. Jaymz Bee was kind enough to oversee the creation of a new permanent trophy and ate part of the cost. Thanks to Jim Slotek for landing a couple of our fine judges this year and to Scott Simmie, Postmedia, CP Video Services and Dave Bidini for helping to produce a tribute video to Jonathan Jenkins.
Lastly, all of us on the Newzapalooza planning committee — Moe Doiron, Robyn Doolittle, Rob & Natasha Granatstein, Emily Pazzano, Jim Rankin, Graeme Roy, Michelle Shephard and Tanya Talaga — thank the hundreds who turned out for a good cause and a rocking good night that is fast becoming the media gathering of the year — due in large part to our dear JJ.
See you next November.
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Jonathan Jenkins’ kids do the honours
We’re a little more than two weeks away from the big show. Journos from some of this country’s biggest news outlets will be going head to head for rock-pop glory at the 10th annual Newzapalooza battle of the bands, which to date has raised nearly $70,000 for the Children’s Aid Foundation. But the Opera house stage isn’t the only battlefield in this competition. Today we launch the Publisher’s Challenge. Hey Toronto Star? You listening Toronto Sun? I’m looking at you National Post. And you Canadian Press. Think your band can win? Time to pony up. The Globe and Mail’s already donated $1000 to get the ball rolling. Remember: it’s for the kids.
Kiddies, it’s time to change the oil in the scooter, flip the mattresses, replace the batteries in the smoke detector, check the prostate of someone close to you and keep the shelves stocked with plenty of mayonnaise. Yes, it’s Newzapalooza time.
The biggest — and only — Toronto media battle of the bands is set for Friday, Nov. 7, 2014 at The Opera House, 735 Queen St. E. The doors and bar will open at 7 pm and the show begins at 8 pm sharp. Once again, tickets are $20 a piece, with proceeds going to the Children’s Aid Foundation. Tickets are available from band members and at the door the night of.
Keep coming back to this bat channel for updates and details on our host, celebrity judges and who’s playing this year. This is our 10th show and it promises to be a special one. Remember, it’s for the kids.