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June 18, 2009
Toronto Song Contest finalists announced at NXNE launch
The top 10 Toronto Song Contest finalists kicked off the 15th annual North By Northeast Music & Film Festival and Conference (NXNE) with the first live performances of their songs. Each finalist who performed today at Yonge-Dundas Square is competing for the grand prize of $5,000 and bragging rights as the songwriter of Toronto’s 175th anniversary song.

“We’re thrilled with the results of the top 10 finalists in the Toronto Song Contest,” said Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone. “Each song speaks about how Toronto - whether it’s your hometown or not - has an impact on our lives as a city of immense creativity and unparalleled diversity.”

The top 10 songs include:
• My City’s Alive by Major Music Productions (featuring Terrance Cross)
• Love to Live in Toronto by George Axon and Aidan Mason
• The Toronto Song by Mr. Leverty and the TDSB All-Stars
• City Glow by Shobha
• A World in One City by Kevin “MAK” Watson
• Electrify Toronto by Lynzie Kent (featuring Maya Chilton and Constant Bernard)
• T.Ode by Abdominal and the Obliques (featuring Notes to Self)
• One Hundred & Seventy Five by The Bradleys
• Toronto is My Home by Matt Hutch
• The Toronto We Know by Lynn Harrison and David Leask

The songs reflect the diversity of Toronto itself, with melodies ranging in style from rock, pop, folk, hip hop, and even an a cappella performance by a local primary school choir. The songs tell Toronto’s story from a variety of perspectives with lyrics written by those native to the city and those who have traveled from afar to call Toronto home.

Also announced today were the Toronto Song Contest celebrity judges, including:
• Toronto Mayor David Miller
• Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone
• Co-host of CP24 Breakfast, Matte Babel
• Etalk reporter, Traci Melchor
• Andy McLean, Managing Director of North By Northeast

“It’s an honour to be a part of such an exciting contest,” said Matte Babel. “From what we’ve heard today, this is going to be a tight race and, as a judge, I know we’ve all got our work cut out for us.”

The judges will have help in deciding which song wins the grand prize. Starting today, the public can visit to hear the Toronto Song Contest’s top 10 finalists. Each visitor can cast a vote for their favourite song, which will make up 20 per cent of the final decision.

More than 500 songs were submitted to the Toronto Song Contest as part of the City’s 175th anniversary celebrations taking place this year. Preliminary judges Dan Kershaw, Stan Meissner, Aisha Wickham Thomas and Jordan Bimm had a daunting task of trimming the list down to the top 10.

“The quality and diversity of the submissions we received was impressive to say the least,” said Bimm, contributor to the Music and Stage sections of NOW Magazine. “The top 10 finalists are not only representative of Toronto’s eclectic artistic community, but their songs also reflect the diversity we see on our streets.”

The finale of the Toronto Song Contest will take place on Friday, August 21 at the Canadian National Exhibition’s Midway Stage. To celebrate the City’s 175th anniversary, the CNE is offering a special admission price for opening day -- only $1.75. The concert begins at 7 p.m. and the winner will be announced following the performances.

For more information about the Toronto Song Contest, visit

The City is presenting the Toronto Song Contest in partnership with CP24, NOW Magazine, North By Northeast Music & Film Festival and Conference, and the CNE.

CP24 is Toronto’s source for breaking news. The station is owned by CTV Inc, a division of CTVglobemedia.

NOW Magazine / is Toronto's independent news and entertainment voice. Entire contents are © NOW Communications Inc.

15 Years, 500 Bands, 50 Stages, 30 Films, 25 Panels, 5 Days. The North by Northeast Music & Film Festival and Conference (NXNE) runs June 17- June 21, 2009 in Toronto. Visit to buy passes & wristbands and for more festival information.

The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) is Canada’s largest fair and the fourth largest in North America. Founded in 1879, the CNE attracts 1.3 million visitors over 18 days generating $52.5 million in economic impact for the City of Toronto and $71.4 million for the Province of Ontario on an annual basis. The 2009 CNE takes place from August 21 to September 7 and offers more than 100 concerts, events and attractions that are all free with admission to the fair. Visit for details.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. 2009 marks the 175th anniversary of Toronto's incorporation as a city. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact:
Cheryn Thoun, Manager, Strategic Communications, 416-392-9305,



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