A record crowd, a record haul for the Children’s Aid Foundation!

Newza20Record turnout, record haul for Children’s Aid Foundation

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 AxesThe 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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For more information, visit www.newzapalooza.ca, or like and follow @Newzapalooza on Facebook and Twitter.

The wagering has begun: Globe in for a grand

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.

Newzapalooza X – Set for Nov. 7, 2014

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.

Newza raises $7,000 for Children’s Aid Foundation

Toronto’s top media bands rocked out to raise $7,000 for the Children’s Aid Foundation at Newzapalooza 2013.

An all-media battle of the bands, the annual event has raised over $70,000 for the Children’s Aid Foundation since its inception in 2004.

This year, the Toronto Star’s newsroom band Holy Joe and the Principles tied for first place, defending its title and securing its third win in a row at The Opera House.

The Toronto Sun’s Screaming Headlines shared the first place win, while the Star’s newly-formed Confidential Sources took second at its Newzapalooza debut.

The Globe and Mail, Canadian Press, Thomson Reuters and JAZZFM.91.1 also took part along with Toronto City Hall house band the Clamshell Quintet.

Check out the photos here.

Are you ready to rock?

Let it be known that media bands are set to “turn it to eleven” — that’s a Spinal Tap reference, boys and girls — all in the name of serious competition, good fun and a great charity.

On Friday, Nov. 1, 2013 at The Opera House, 735 Queen St. E., bands from the Toronto Sun, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Canadian Press, Thomson Reuters, JAZZFM.91.1, a merry bunch of freelancers without pensions, and special guests, The Clamshell Quintet, a Toronto City Hall house band comprised of politicos of all stripes, will take to the stage to raise money for the Children’s Aid Foundation.

Newzapalooza, now in its 9th year, promises as always to be a night where hacks forget their day jobs — if only for a few hours — and become gods of rock. In their own minds, for some, but, to be sure, there’s some serious musical talent being wasted in the pursuit of videos allegedly showing this and that. The event has raised more than $70,000 for the Children’s Aid Foundation.

Hosted by emcee extraordinaire Jaymz Bee, the show this year will once again tap the expertise of celebrity judges. This year’s line up includes author and musician Dave Bidini (his latest book, “Keon and Me,” is on the shelves); Dean Blundell, host of the morning Dean Blundell Show at 102.1 The Edge and frequent consulter of lawyers; and Steve Murray, a National Post cartoonist whose Twitter views “reflect the opinions of @globeandmail.”

Special thanks to this year’s growing list of sponsors, which includes Home Depot, The Opera House, Long & McQuade Musical Instruments, Ace Awards Inc., Prohibition GastroPub, Toronto Sun, Toronto Star and The Second City.

Doors and the bar open at 7 p.m., and the show, barring any unforeseen proroguing, will begin at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 and are available at the door or from members of the media bands taking part.

Be sure to check out our Facebook page.

Newza 2012 a Critical and Commercial Triumph

The Toronto Star’s Holy Joe and The Principles smoked their way through a steaming set of powerfully funky Meatloaf and Johnny Cash tunes to capture the 2012 Newzapalooza title before a rapturous crowd of 400. The glittering event – held at Leslieville’s storied Opera House – raised $7,000 for the Children’s Aid Foundation. To win the crown, Holy Joe had to out rock a tough field of bands from the Toronto Sun, CItyTV, Thomson Reuters, the Globe and Mail and the Canadian Press.

Newxapalooza wishes to thank our special guests for the evening – MC Jaymz Bee and his good friends in Bonzai Suzuki (thank you, Bubz Magoo) – and our fabulous celebrity judges:

Dave Martin (davemartinworld.com, @davemartinworld)

Naomi Snieckus (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1690652/, @snieckus)

Coun. Doug Ford (http://www.toronto.ca/councillors/ford1.htm)

A huge thanks as well goes out to all our sponsors and everyone who attended for making the show such a success. We hope to see you all again next year.