Review – Magna Hoedown Day 1

All Photo Credit: Linda Heldman

Friday September 16, 2016 was the start of the two day Magna Hoedown in Aurora, Ontario. 2016 marked the 28th consecutive year that Magna International has hosted this event. Their key purpose is to give back to the community through local charities and non-profit groups. To date, this event has raised over $9 Million. 15 recipients will share in this year’s profits.

They are:

ALS Canada
Aurora Barbarians R.F.C.
Aurora Sports Hall of Fame
Aurora Youth Soccer Club
Autism Ontario York Region Chapter/Hand Over Hand
Big Brothers Big Sisters of York
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation
Learning Centre for Georgina/Literacy Council York-Simcoe
Lifecorps International/A Lifecorps Food Share
Newmarket Stingrays Swim Club
Optimist Clubs of Aurora and Newmarket
Pulsars Gymnastics Club
St. John Ambulance York Region
Walk It Off Spinal Cord Wellness Centre Inc.
Welcoming Arms

Music is a huge part of the draw for Hoedown participants. Friday got started early at 10:00 AM for a 2-hour long Student Hoedown for approximately 1,000 York Region students with disabilities. These students got to see and hear music in scaled down version of the main event.

Friday evening saw the Finals of the Showdown Talent Competition. For these final 10 artists, their road began in early August with preliminary rounds. 40 competitors were narrowed down to 20 by judges, based on musical talent, originality and overall presentation. The 20 semi-finalists then moved on to perform at the Aurora Ribfest on Saturday August 27th. There, they were eliminated down to the final 10. From September 12th to 15th, they were part of a Showdown Mentorship Week, where they got to rehearse with the house band and prepare themselves, with some helpful tips from Beverley Mahood and Tom Cross.

The Judges - Tom Cross, Joan Walker & Steve Hinder

The Judges – Tom Cross, Joan Walker & Steve Hinder

The Showdown was intense. The final 10 all did an amazing job in their own unique way. The judges -Tom Cross (Spin Music Inc.), Joan Walker and Steve Hinder – had a tough choice but, only one could be crowned Showdown Champion 2016. Huge congratulations go out to 15 year old Mac Shepherd, from Keswick, Ontario.

Mac Shepherd – 2016 Magna Showdown Winner

Mac Shepherd - 2016 Magna Showdown Winner




What did Mac get for winning?

* $2,500 Cash;
* A Yamaha Electric Guitar with amp and Yamaha Acoustic Guitar with case;
* Two full day of recording at Metalworks Studios;
* “The Ultimate Artist Package” with professional management, coaching, styling, song-writing and promotion with      industry professionals Tom Cross and Beverley Mahood;
* Perform at the Hoedown on Saturday September 17th in from of 5,000 country fans!

The 10 Finalists who performed Friday night were:

John Anderson (Barrie)
Roy Borden Jr. (Trenton)
Sarah Campbell Mills (Burlington)
Amber Crump (Stouffville)
Jade Daniel Eagleson (Millbrook)
Josh Ross (Dundas)
Mac Shepherd (Keswick) – WINNER
Ryan VanLieshout (Haliburton)
Patricia Villegas (Newmarket)
Cameron Von Criegern (Peterborough)

Following the Showdown Competition, the 2015 Hoedown Showdown Winner, Sarah Macrea performed.

The headliner for the evening was Alan Doyle & The Beautiful Gypsies. This was second time this year we at Canadian Beats have had the opportunity to see Alan and his solo band. It was a fantastic 2-hours show that was non-stop energy! The crowd loved every minute and even called them back for a 3-song encore.

Alan Doyle & The Beautiful Gypsiesimg_5457






It was a fantastic night from start to finish. Now, to rest up for Day 2!

To see more photos from Magna Hoedown, please visit our Facebook Photo Album.

Connect with Magna Hoedown:

John Anderson




Roy Borden Jr.




Sarah Campbell Mills




Amber Crump




Jade Daniel Eagleson



Josh Rossimg_5136


Ryan VanLieshoutimg_5242



Patricia Villegas



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