Siri Agrell has been a troublemaker in various fields, including journalism. A former journalist, she worked as the Urban Affairs reporter for the Globe and Mail, following roles with the National Post, Ottawa Citizen and an undistinguished stint in the Toronto Star radio room. Known for her smarts and sass, she was Director of Strategic Initiatives to Mayor John Tory from 2015-2018 and Deputy Director of Communications to Premier Kathleen Wynne, helping pen her leadership convention speech in 2013. She is currently the Executive Director of OneEleven, which supports high performing Toronto technology companies. A published author and in-demand public speaker, Siri has always been an enthusiastic supporter of Newzapalooza (read: fixture at the bar), and we’re so excited for her to bring her particular brand of swagger to The Opera House stage Nov 1! (Photo: Courtesy of Siri Agrell)
Our Celeb Judges (so far)
Angeline Tetteh-Wayoe brings music cred to our excellent panel. She is everywhere at CBC. Host of Weekend Mornings, she can also be heard on CBC Music Top 20, Canada Live!, This is My Music and My Playlist. Additionally, Angeline is a regular guest host of the award-winning CBC Radio One program As It Happens, occasionally appears on the weekly arts and entertainment panel “q This” for CBC Radio and hosts for the CBC original podcast Someone Knows Something. Outside the CBC studios, Angeline gives back to the industry by serving as the Allan Slaight Distinguished Broadcaster in Residence for the RTA program at Ryerson University, lending a hand as an industry expert, teacher, guide and mentor for the entire FCAD program and the university. In what little spare time she has, Angeline is a voice actor, DJ, singer, an all-around creative and a mother. Welcome to Newza, Angeline! (Photo: CBC)
Renu Mandhane is Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission. She came to the job as a lawyer with an activist bent, and according to her personal Twitter account, is a “Human rights nerd. Mamma. Music Fan. The short one,” in that order. Renu has been at the helm of the commission since 2015, during which time the commission has tackled many pressing issues, including overuse of solitary confinement in Ontario jails, the collecting of race-based data by institutions and government to identify disparities and direct policy, and racial profiling by police. Renu is new to Newza, and we’re thrilled to have her. (Photo: Courtesy of Renu Mandhane)
John Tory is Toronto’s Mayor and has been since 2014, when he defeated a guy who is now Premier of Ontario. He was re-elected to a second term in 2018, after the guy who is now Premier took away half of the deck chairs. John has been an MPP, and Leader of Ontario PC Party and official opposition, the CEO of Rogers, commissioner and chairman of the Canadian Football League, chair on revitalizing Ontario Place, founding member and former chair of the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance. John comes to this event with media bonafides, having had his own radio talk show on CFRB Talk 1010. He is also doing something Premier Doug Ford once did, serving as one of our judges. Newzapalooza is thrilled to have John as a judge this year. (Photo: Pavel Dwulit/Toronto Star)
Carl Wilson is the chief music critic for Slate and a freelance writer and editor. Previously, he was a music columnist and a senior editor for more than a decade at The Globe and Mail. He is also the author of “Let’s Talk About Love: Why Other People Have Such Bad Taste,” a book that explores people’s love and hate for Canadian icon Céline Dion.