Toronto Music Industry Gives Olympic Sport Ping Pong A Spin

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The Winter Olympics 2014 ends the day before members of the Toronto music industry assemble for their own sports competition — ping pong, also known as table tennis, the Victorian parlour game that has been a summer Olympic sport since 1988.

Ping pong has had a resurgence in popularity in recent years, in bars, pubs, even backstage at music venues, so it’s no surprise that Pints and Paddles is the next fun fundraiser for MusiCounts, the music education charity that was founded by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (CARAS), the organization behind the Juno Awards.

Pints and Paddles, a music industry ping pong tournament, will take place on Feb. 24 at 7:30 at Spin (461 King St. W.) in Toronto. The 12,000 sq. ft. ping pong night club has 12 ping pong tables, two fully licensed bars, full food menu, a cocktail menu, lounge and private party room.

“This night was inspired by a bowling league that our friends at The Feldman Agency put together last spring,” Mike Hurley, manager of MusiCounts, tells Samaritanmag, crediting The Feldman Agency president Jeff Craib and his assistant Jennifer Bluestein.

The bowling tournament, held at The Ballroom, brought together 12 teams comprised of players from 14 different music companies: Bernie Breen Management (The Tragically Hip, Headstones, Matthew Good) and Eggplant Entertainment (Sam Roberts Band, Kathleen Edwards) joined forces, as did 2 + 2 Management (Shaun Frank) and concert promoter Embrace Presents.  The rest were music distributors eOne Music Canada and Maple Music; live performance venues Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall; foundation Slaight Music; major labels Sony Music Entertainment Canada, Universal Music Canada and Warner Music Canada; booking agencies The Agency Group and The Feldman Agency; and ticket sales agency Ticketmaster Toronto.

The event raised more $25,000 for MusiCounts, Hurley says.

“We were looking to do something along the same lines this year,” he says, “and after a few brainstorming sessions and some help from friends at Collective Arts Brewing — specifically Amanda VanDenBrock — the idea of Pints and Paddles was born.  Essentially, what we are looking do to is provide a fun activity for members of the music industry where they can get together outside of their work settings and kick back, will the while supporting a great cause.”

The signup cost is $25 per player or a suggested $10 donation at the door for spectators. To register to play, email Noreen@musicounts.ca by the deadline of Feb. 17, as space is limited.

“Uniforms highly encouraged,” the invitation states.  Pints are $5 from Collective Arts Brewing. There will also be prizes.

On Spin’s web site, it has its own “giving back” page, which states, in part:

“Spin Galactic is changing the world one ping-pong ball at a time. Through our growing network of night clubs we are helping to make the world a better place. As a host and sponsor to hundreds of charities, of all types, we are also working to increase the exposure and economic contributions to other charity organizations. Companies today, more than ever before, must be socially responsible and work for the betterment of everyone, not just their financial bottom line."

Samaritanmag.com is an online magazine covering the good deeds of individuals, charities and businesses.