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September - Table of Contents

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2009 Board of Directors


Hélèna Katz
Media, Northwest Territories



Judy Hammond

CLEAR Communications, Conference Co-Chair


Ted Flett  

Tourism Hamilton



Irene Knight

CN Tower



Sandra Phinney

Media, Atlantic Chapter Chair



Liz Fleming 

Media, Ontario


Josephine Matyas

Media, Ontario


Dale Dunlop

Media, Nova Scotia


Joanne Sasvari

Media, B.C. Chapter Chair


Margaret Mackenzie

New Brunswick Tourism

Ursula Maxwell-Lewis

Media, British Columbia

Jessica Harcombe Fleming

Bellstar Hotels & Resorts

Alberta Chapter Co-Chair

Marty Rice

London Tourism
Industry, Ontario Chapter Co-Chair

New Members


Lorraine McGrath

St. John's, N.L.

Capelin Communications

Rose Chase

Vancouver, B.C.

Rocky Mountaineer

Jennifer Cooke

Bowmanville, Ont.

Municipality of Clarington/Clarington Tourism

Meaghen Ng

Vancouver, B.C.

Spectacular Ink



Michael Benedict

Toronto, Ont.

Contributors to this issue


Lola Brown

Gary Crallé

Jessica Harcombe Fleming

Hélèna Katz

Josephine Matyas

Kate Pocock

Sandra Phinney

Marty Rice

Joanne Sasvari

Were we supposed to think that was summer? At least in my part of the country, the powers-that-be forgot to cue the warm weather and sunshine. Oh well, there's always next year . . .

But with autumn comes a return to media trips, industry events and time at the keyboard for many of our members. There's lots of news in this September issue - it looks like business is starting to hum along as we get out the sweaters and pack away the bathing suits.

- Josephine Matyas, TMAC Travels editor

President's Report

applauseIt's a tribute to our forefathers that within 15 years TMAC has grown to nearly 450 media and industry members from St. John's to Vancouver Island and up to the Northwest Territories. Many non-profit organizations rely on oral tradition to share information from one year to the next. But some of that precious knowledge can get lost as we grow from coast to coast to coast. We're too big to run TMAC from around a kitchen table anymore.

One of the board's priorities this year is to document policies, procedures and practices to ensure consistency over time. It's not sexy, but it helps to ensure stability and move the organization forward. After all, how can you make strides if you don't know where you've been?

In the first half of the year, here's what we've already accomplished that affects how we operate:

  • We established committees to handle projects and report back to the board regularly about their progress.
  • Throughout the spring, we developed and approved terms of reference for each committee outlining their roles, responsibilities and priority projects for 2009-2010. This will make it easier to track projects and results from year to year.
  • In consultation with chapter chairs and based on current practices, the board approved a Chapter Development and Operations Policy in May. Among other things, it outlines the roles and responsibilities of chapters.
  • In July we approved a Travel Expenses and Reimbursement Policy.
  • At our September meeting, the board will discuss a Code of Conduct for board members that TMAC's governance committee has drafted to outline the roles and responsibilities of board members.
Our committees are working hard to serve you. We have plenty of other irons in the fire, which I will share with you over the coming months.


- Hélèna Katz, TMAC president

Chapter News

Chapter_BCBRITISH COLUMBIA - We're on Facebook!

In August, the B.C. chapter of TMAC launched the organization's first Facebook group. If you're a B.C. chapter member and haven't signed up yet, please do - this is a great tool for communication. We'll be posting details of upcoming events, PD sessions, important links and all sorts of cool stuff here. Thanks to Randall Shirley for organizing this, and to the chapter's board for administering the group.

On September 9, the B.C. chapter members will catch up with each other at the annual September Social, held this year at new Coast Restaurant's luxe O-Lounge (1054 Alberni Street). Along with sharing stories about our summer travels, we'll enjoy the company of special guests national president Hélèna Katz as well as Rob Jones from Visit Wales and Meredith Pearson from Visit Britain, who will give us a preview of what we can expect at the 2010 Conference & AGM in Cardiff. Thanks to everyone who donated prizes, to Coast for hosting us (not to mention providing the fabulous nibblies) and to our guests for trekking all the way out to the West Coast.

Pencil in Wednesday, November 4, for an Olympics-themed event, as well as Saturday, January 16, for a daylong seminar on the Business of Doing Business. Details for both events to be announced later.

- Joanne Sasvari, British Columbia chapter chair

Chapter_ABALBERTA - Things are rolling along in Alberta and TMAC members are anxiously awaiting the 3rd Annual Professional Development and Experiential Weekend in the Canadian Badlands. Titled Back to the Future in the Badlands the two-day affair will include a full day of professional development ranging from a discussion on Social Media for Results, the Nuts and Bolts Behind Press Trips, and an examination of Rural and Aboriginal Tourism Trends. The evening begins with a behind-the-scenes tour of Rosebud, followed by dinner and a timeless romantic play at the famed Rosebud Theatre. Day two brings the Canadian Badlands Experiential Day complete with a visit to the Royal Tyrell Museum to prospect for fossils and investigate dinosaur remains from years past. Then the group will travel to one of Alberta's official ghost towns, Wayne, for lunch at the Last Chance Saloon. After lunch, the group will visit the Atlas Cole Mine to hear the mining stories of the region.


On August 15th, TMAC Alberta was invited by Tourism Barbados to experience the Calgary Cup and Polo Barbados Challenge Trophy at the Calgary Polo Club. The group was treated to rum punch, a trial run with a polo stick on the wooden training horse, sunshine and some great entertainment. Thanks to Tourism Barbados for making the event a success.

- Jessica Harcombe Fleming, Alberta chapter chair

Chapter_ONONTARIO - Ontario will be hosting their Munch & Mingle in Niagara-on-the-Lake on September 15. There is a chartered bus (Tourism London Live It Up wrapped bus) leaving Union Station in downtown Toronto on Front Street at 9:30 a.m., returning at 7:30 p.m. that evening. The day includes a PD session, lunch and tour from noon to 2:30 p.m. at Peller Estates. From 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. the group will go on a farm tour at Kurtz Orchards and Country Market, followed by the Munch & Mingle at Southbrook Vineyards. There are 24 places for media on the fam tour ($50 charge per person) after the Munch & Mingle, starting with a performance at the Shaw Festival and overnight at the Sterling Inn & Spa. In the morning, guests will be treated to breakfast with Chef Cory Linkson, a tour of the spa facilities, followed by a tour of revitalized Queen Street in Niagara Falls. Then the group heads to Table Rock and lunch at Elements overlooking the falls. After lunch, a visit to Royal DeMaria Winery and Rosewood Estates. Group will then depart Niagara Falls back to Toronto at 4:15 p.m. To book the M&M and tour contact Liz Campbell at

Marty Rice who is co-chair of the Ontario chapter with Mike Keenan, will now take over as national board representative for the Ontario chapter for this year. Many thanks to Mike for the outstanding service in representing Ontario for the past year on the national level.

We are delighted that Hélèna Katz, our national president, and Rob Jones from Visit Wales will be attending our September Munch & Mingle to address the chapter on the status of the AGM in Wales in March 2010.

- Mike Keenan (media) & Marty Rice (industry)

Ontario co-chairs and

Chapter_NSATLANTIC -Our new Atlantic chapter comes with its own set of challenges - how to get together, plan and consult, in spite of the distance between us. We'll be looking for creative solutions when our chapter meets this month in Shelburne, N.S. during the Whirligig & Weathervane Festival.

The Atlantic chapter welcomes Capelin Communications, owned by Lorraine McGrath. Lorraine was a member of the host committee when TMAC held its 2004 conference in St. John's. She has many years of experience working with travel media and in public relations. Her clients include Cupids 400 Celebrations, Celebrating Bartlett 2009, and Tourism NL. Lorraine says, "I'm looking forward to seeing all my fellow TMACers at the conference in Wales next March!"   

The Tourism New Brunswick Travel Media team welcomes travel media representative Heather MacDonald-Bossé. She returns to the tourism industry after a five-year stint at St. Thomas University, where she was Director of Alumni Affairs and editor of the alumni magazine. Heather has welcomed many travel media to New Brunswick this summer, and looks forward to meeting more TMAC members. She can be reached at or 506-444-5122.

Bay of Fundy is the only Canadian site and one of three natural regions on the continent selected to proceed to the final phase in the New7Wonders of Nature contest. The 28 finalists were announced at New7Wonders Foundation headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, on July 21, 2009. The finalists now compete by popular vote to be named one of the New7Wonders of Nature. The Bay of Fundy, right in the heart of Canada's Maritime provinces, is a 270 km long ocean bay that stretches between the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia on the country's east coast. Go to to vote in this final and important stage of the contest.

George Burden is off for a riverboat trip down the Yukon with a story coming out about the experience in Just for Canadian Doctors.  And he recently trekked a glacier in Iceland -- something he termed "an awesome experience." George adds a caveat: "Don't waste your time and energy bringing bottled water. The melt run-off from a 10,000-year-old glacier is ice cold and totally free of man-made pollutants, excepting any that might have been in the atmosphere 10,000 years ago."

For Sandra Phinney it's been a summer of experiences in remote backcountry areas in Atlantic Canada either canoeing or finding stories in off-the-beaten path areas. In between trips she's writing a book with a working title Culinary/Culture tour of Nova Scotia. Sandra has recently been nominated by Saltscapes Magazine for a TIAC media award.

- Sandra Phinney, Atlantic chapter chair

Conference Committee Report


Wale CompanionSince registration for the 2010 Conference & AGM in Cardiff, Wales opened in July, TMAC members have been signing up in record numbers.

And now we want you to bring your friends.

On September 8, after a few technical delays, TMAC launched its first ever conference companion program. This is a great opportunity for you to make the most of our inaugural overseas conference by bringing along your spouse, your mom or just a very good friend, for a small additional fee.

There are two options to choose from.

The first is the "All-Inclusive Option," for $650. This comprises all the half- and full-day local tours, as well as all the evening social events (Welsh Cwtch, City Hall Gala Dinner, Castle Night, Pub Night and the Awards Reception and Dinner).

The second is the "Evenings Only" option for $450. It includes the Welsh Cwtch, City Hall Gala Dinner, Pub Night and the Awards Reception and Dinner, but not the local tours or the Castle Night.

Visit Wales has done their best to make sure there's enough room for all possible attendees, but please keep in mind that if an event meets maximum capacity, priority must be given to TMAC members. In that case, Visit Wales will provide alternate meal options for companions.

Aside from the in-conference events, companions will also be able to take advantage of the same great discounts on airfare and accommodation (though there is a small additional fee for double occupancy), as well as the complimentary airport shuttle.

Companions will also be able to join you on our record number of pre and post tours, for a fee of $140 a day. That's the same rate being offered to TMAC industry members who want to join the pre and post tours.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up your loved one today!

In other conference news:

On this side of the pond: Rob Jones and Bob Titley of Visit Wales, along with Meredith Pearson of Visit Britain have been travelling across Canada this month to fill provincial chapters in on the latest details. Please give them a warm welcome when they visit your group!

On that side of the pond: The professional development committee chaired by Sandra Phinney is moving along with booking speakers for our various sessions. We've got some awesome speakers lined up already, and will have more news for you on that soon.

Finally, the next deadline to keep in mind is October 16, the cut-off date for pre and post tour applications. After that, Visit Wales and the conference committee will match the requests to the best fit and plan to announce the tour selections by the end of October. So get your requests in now, and make sure to list your second and third choices in case your first one books up fast!

Visit for more details. And keep reading TMAC Travels for the latest Word on Wales.

- Joanne Sasvari, TMAC conference committee co-chair

Member News

Member_NewsDoreen Pendgracs (Manitoba media member) has nearly completed the first draft of her latest book, Before You Say Yes ..., to be published by Dundurn Press in March 2010. The book answers everything you need to know about sitting on a board of directors. In October, Doreen will begin work on her next book, Chocolate in my Suitcase. Follow Doreen's progress on Twitter @wizardofwords and on her blog at

Lori Henry (B.C. media member) is gathering material for her book about her adventures dancing across Canada. Research trips are already underway and will continue until the end of next summer. You can follow her journey on her blog at

John Lee's (B.C. media member) new book, Walking Vancouver, was published by Wilderness Press and Heritage House on September 1. Covering 36 short, guided strolls in the city and beyond, it's an ideal and entertaining staycation companion. For interviews, review copies and more information, check John's website at

Niagara Cooks, from Farm to Table cookbook by Niagara's food and wine writer Lynn Ogryzlo (Ontario media member) and food photographer, Jon Ogryzlo has won Best Local Cookery Book In The World - Second Place at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, held at a gala awards ceremony in Paris, France. The 2009 Gourmand Yearbook lists Niagara Cooks as the Winner in Canada and a World Finalist, and states "the author created Niagara Cooks Magazine in 2000 and is the pope of gastronomy for the region." Congratulations Lynn!

Author and broadcaster Dave Hunter (Ontario media member) recently gave a short workshop to the Canadian chapter of SATW about self-publishing. Dave spoke about the annual work cycle of a self-published travel book author, as well as a practical SP business-model approach to ensure a profitable book product. For those interested, his speaking notes and various handouts are posted as PDFs on a hidden page on his website at Please feel free to download and use these. For more details contact Dave Hunter at

Evelyn Hannon's (Ontario media member) won second place (Travel Guide category) in the 2009 Travel Blog Awards. According to the Tripbase press release, "this travel award is only given to the sites that are the top of their respective class and are some of the best in the field." Nominees were chosen by a team of travel experts, scouring the Internet for the best blogs (sites) they can find. That select group is then shortlisted via a rigorous selection process, taking into account factors like how informative the blog is, the overall writing style, the actual blog appearance and how well that blog performs in its given category when compared and contrasted to other, similar blogs. You can check out Evelyn's winning website at

TMAC industry member Lois Gerber announces that the 2009 Visit Europe Media Exchanges are now open for media registration for all TMAC media members. Dates and cities are New York on November 2, Toronto on November 4, and San Francisco on November 6. Register at The media exchange of pre-scheduled, one-on-one appointments presented by the 39-nation European Travel Commission, offers journalists an all-in-one-day, under-one-roof opportunity to gather the latest travel news from Europe. TMAC industry members interested in participating in the media exchange as an exhibitor may also register at For additional information contact Lois Gerber,

Ypartnership now represents Garth Woodside Mansion, a Victorian-era B&B outside Hannibal, MO. As 2010 will mark the Year of Mark Twain, it's a perfect time to visit for timely editorial. This 1870's mansion, furnished in period antiques, is on a 36-acre country estate, and is the former home of Samuel Clemens' oldest friends. Meticulously restored and featuring Twain memorabilia, there are eight rooms in the inn, plus a 3-storey luxury cottage, and two cosier cottages. There's even a llama farm. Their Woodside Restaurant, a celebrated eatery, serves Missouri Fresh cuisine. A 100-foot arched bridge, and 200-foot walkway provide a dramatic entrance to the gazebo, gardens, and pond area. (log onto their "kitchen cam" during meal prep). For individual media visits contact

Ypartnership now represents Select Registry, an elite network of 400 award-winning inns, luxury B&Bs and boutique hotels in and around major destinations across North America. Select Registry members are AAA-Four Diamond properties and recipients of top honours from Fodor's, Frommer's and Zagat, among others. With scenic retreats throughout the U.S. and Canada, Select Registry members offer travel experiences as unique as the inns themselves - from hands-on cheesemaking and beer-brewing on property to moose safaris, mushroom foraging and fall foliage tours. Many members offer travellers weekday deals and packages, perfect for long weekends and road trips. For more information visit or contact Amanda Drake, 407-875-1111or

Look who's here! NWT Media member Hélèna Katz and her partner welcomed five male alpacas, Pumpkin the llama and Sadie the Great Big Puppy (who will become a livestock guard dog) in August. The herd's trio of females stayed behind in Grande Prairie to cavort with some eligible bachelors as part of a girlfriends' getaway.

To Market, To Market


by TMAC media member, Lola Brown

In this month's column, media member Lola Brown talks to TMACer Alison Gardner about her web magazine, Travel with a Challenge and to Amy Rosen about, to which she contributes.

Please click here to read the article.

Press Trips 101


Part two of a dynamite series exploring the value of press trips, and some valuable do's and don'ts for both media and industry.

Please click here to read the article.

Ask an Expert

ask_expertASKSept 2009 AN EXPERT


This issue, we introduce a new column titled "Ask an expert." You'll love reading what Gary Crallé has to say about the ethics of taking and selling photos.

Please click here to read the article.

TMAC Travels - Newsletter Submission Guidelines
Submissions should fit into one of the following categories:


Professional news about you: books published, awards won, new markets obtained, positions attained, requests for travel-related information (story-specific requests ONLY), contact/profile information updates/changes.

Social notices about you: weddings, babies, non-industry awards and so on (at the editor's discretion and with a 50-word limit; these must be things directly connected to the member).

NOT allowed: requests for comps (airfare, accommodation, tickets, etc.), assignment requests, promotion of stories already written.


Professional news about you/your company: announcement ONLY of new products, new clients, travel-related info requests, contact/profile updates/changes.

Social notices: as per Media, above.

NOT allowed: press releases, promotion of anything beyond new products, new clients or awards. (For information on distributing electronic press releases to all media members for a fee of $75, please contact TO Corp at

The newsletter also seeks chapter news and info on press trips (short descriptions with dates, rough itineraries, requirements - e.g. assignment letter) as well as tips, news and updates submitted by members.

Items must be sent, with "TMAC TRAVELS" in the subject line, to Jo Matyas at Items may be edited for length, grammar or clarity. The newsletter will be delivered to members by e-mail by the middle of every month.  Material should be sent by the 1st of each month unless the editor gives prior approval.

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