TORONTO — Newzapalooza has never seen anything quite like it before in all of its 14 years. As the final notes of this year’s competition reverberated around The Opera House Friday night, our panel of learned celebrity judges huddled for a spirited debate on just who deserved to go home with the coveted Jonathan Jenkins Memorial Trophy.
In a process more complicated that the US electoral college system and rivalling the papal enclave, the judges struggled mightily but in the end, The CBC’s The Spliffs Estate ranked slightly higher than CTV’s Highway to Bell, which was in turn closely trailed by third place Death Hoax, a hybrid media outlet four-piece ensemble that rocked the house.
All of the bands entertained this year, and after a lot of loud, loud, loud fun, the night was capped off by a loving, all-strings set by a special musical guest act, fronted by Andrew Cash and featuring his son Sam. Thank you Andrew, co-founder of the Urban Worker Project and singer/songwriter extraordinaire.
Thanks to the bands and fabulous Newza patrons, thousands of dollars more were raised for the Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada, adding to the $180,000 tallied up for the charity since 2004.
Huge thanks to Lana Gay of Indie 88, this year’s host, and celebrity judging panel, which included CBC’s Amanda Parris, Toronto city councillor Paula Fletcher, singer/songwriter Donovan Woods and q host Tom Power. Heaps of thanks to this year’s sponsors, including The Opera House, Long & McQuade Musical Instruments, Nikon Canada, Toronto Star, CBC’s The Currentand the Toronto Raptors.
Thank you, also, to Adam Miller, Sandro Contenta, Geoff Ewart, Brent Jolly and Patty Winsa for manning the door. Patty also designed this year’s ticket. Thanks also to the foundation and its volunteers. Andrew Lahodynskyj was our fab volunteer shooter.
Lastly, all of us on the volunteer planning committee — Sarah Boesveld, Robyn Doolittle, Rob & Natasha Granatstein, Lauren Pelley, Jim Rankin, Graeme Roy, Michelle Shephard and Tanya Talaga — thank everyone who turned out for a terrific cause. See you next November!
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