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October - 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


Chris Vanmeter

St. Paul, MN

Explore Minnesota Tourism


Grant Fraser

Burlington, Ont.

Tee to Green Magazine

Tim Johnson


Canadian Family

Federica Maraboli


Ensemble Travel Magazine

Contributors to this issue


Lola Brown

Jessica Harcombe Fleming

Hélèna Katz

Josephine Matyas

Sandra Phinney

Marty Rice

Joanne Sasvari

We are well into autumn by now - and for many in our field this means that suitcases are being packed again and we're back on the road in full swing.

Hope this issue of TMAC Travels gives you some new ideas and a bit of an energy boost.

Happy travels!

- Josephine Matyas, TMAC Travels editor

President's Report

applauseWhen it was my turn to requalify for TMAC membership last fall, I kept wishing there were more hours in the day. I was working part time as the clinical supervisor at our local women's shelter, I sat on the community justice committee hearing minor cases that had been diverted from the court system, I was juggling a number of freelance assignments including a client who seemed determined to suck the life out of me, and I was on the TMAC national board.

Filling out forms to requalify seemed like a major undertaking, but it turned out to be one of my easiest tasks. I walked over to the shelf where I keep my clippings and grabbed the best ones from the pile. Then I stretched out on the floor on my belly (this part is optional) and began matching my clips to the points on the chart.

It didn't take long to figure out that I had more points than what I needed to requalify. So I put the forms and copies of my clips in an envelope. "I can't believe how easy that was," I thought to myself as I dropped my application off at the post office. Then I got a nice note from Cathy Stapells, a member of the media membership committee, telling me that the universe had unfolded as it should.

Sometimes, thinking about sitting down to get something done takes more time than actually doing it. If you're set to requalify this year, we look forward to receiving your package. In fact, Cathy Stapells, Michele Sponagle, Amy Rosen, Chantale Rivard and media membership committee chair Jo Matyas are ready and waiting to review applications.



- Hélèna Katz, TMAC president

Chapter News

Chapter_BCBRITISH COLUMBIA - On September 9, the B.C. chapter caught up with each other at the annual September Social, held this year at new Coast Restaurant's luxe O Lounge (1054 Alberni St., Along with sharing stories about our summer travels, we enjoyed the company of special guests national president Hélèna Katz as well as Rob Jones from Visit Wales and Meredith Pearson from Visit Britain, who gave 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 the fabulous nibblies) and to our guests for trekking all the way out to the west coast.

Upcoming events:

November 4: The Olympics and Beyond

The opening ceremonies of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games are only a few short months away. Are you ready for the world to arrive on our doorstep? And do you have a plan for keeping the story going after everyone's gone?

Get set for the big event by joining TMAC's B.C. chapter on November 4 at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel for a lively panel discussion featuring experts who will share their experiences with past Olympics - and can give us a hint of what we can expect from ours. Our panel will feature speakers from VANOC and the Calgary Olympics, as well as reporters and editors who've covered the Games in Turin, Beijing and Lillehammer. This is definitely an event not to be missed. For more information, please contact Meaghen Ng at

January 16: The Business of Doing Business

Join TMAC's B.C. chapter on Saturday, January 16, for a full day of seminars and workshops that will help all of us tackle our jobs just a little bit better. We'll explore everything from copyright issues to taxes to media training - with a little socializing thrown in just for fun. Details to be announced.

- Joanne Sasvari, British Columbia chapter chair

Chapter_ABALBERTA - TMAC Alberta had a fabulous September highlighted by the chapter's 3rd Annual Professional Development weekend - this year in Canada's Badlands - Back to the Future in the Badlands. The group of 25 Alberta media and industry were joined by Visit Wales and TMAC President Hélèna Katz, for a multi-faceted weekend experience. Presentations and panels included an insightful presentation on the effective use of Twitter and social media as tools to generate results for both media and industry; a panel on the nuts and bolts behind press trips that outlined tips for both audiences on how to structure itineraries and support in order to maximize results; and a compelling presentation on Aboriginal and Rural Tourism Trends in Alberta. The evening brought the group out to Rosebud, Alberta (pop.100), for a behind-the-scenes tour of the unique destination, a scrumptious dinner and an engaging theatre presentation - Mary's Wedding - for the opening night of the play. Saturday brought an adventure-filled day that included a mouth-watering breakfast at The Inn at Heartwood, and then a trip to the Royal Tyrrell Museum for an interpretive hike into the badlands and a tour of the museum. Lunch at the Last Chance Saloon at the Rosedeer Hotel in Wayne, Alberta (pop. 47) followed by a journey into the last wooden tipple in Canada at the Atlas Coal Mine.

- Jessica Harcombe Fleming, Alberta chapter chair

Chapter_ONONTARIO - On September 15 and 16, the Ontario chapter hosted its first Munch and Mingle outside of the GTA region in quite a long time, in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The program was extremely successful with 16 media and 16 industry members attending. On the first day, members were picked up in Toronto and transported to Hillebrand Winery where lunch, tour and presentation by the winery were made. TMAC media member Lynn Ogryzlo made an excellent presentation on the local culinary scene and how important local foods have become in conjunction with touring and dining. From there we went to Kurtz Farms and finished at Southbrook Vineyards for the official Munch and Mingle evening event. The highlight was having our national president Hélèna Katz in attendance with Bob and Rob from Visit Wales, who briefed the members on the upcoming AGM (in Cardiff, March 2010). Tina Hutchinson from TO Corp also attended to assist the members after the M&M - industry members were taken back to Toronto, and media stayed to participate in a tour of the area that was co-ordinated by Betsy Foster from the Niagara region. The tour included an evening at the Shaw Festival to see Born Yesterday and overnight at the Sterling Inn & Spa. The next day the group visited revitalized Queen Street in Niagara Falls, the Seneca Theatre, Table Rock, Royal DeMaria Winery and Rosewood Estates Winery and Meadery. The group was then transported back to Toronto later in the afternoon.

Our next Munch and Mingle will be hosted by Ottawa in October.

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

Ontario co-chairs and

Chapter_NSATLANTIC -Members from the Atlantic chapter gathered in Shelburne on September 18-20 for our annual fall mini-press trip and meeting. Although most of our members were at GoMedia, six media made the trek to Shelburne, along with a companion for the weekend. This was all made possible with the generous assistance of Randy Brooks (N.S. Tourism, Culture and Heritage), who picked up the tab for accommodation and meals while our chapter covered entertainment and guides for the weekend. For a small town, Shelburne has some "wow" places to eat (Charlotte's Lane Cafe and Lothar's) and the community hums with activity.

The main draw was the annual Whirligig & Weathervane Festival, which was pure delight, but we also crammed in a boat tour to McNutt's Island, a historical walk on Dock Street (did you know that Shelburne has the largest number of original/historical wooden homes circa 1700s and 1800s in Canada?), and a culinary potluck dinner-theatre at the Osprey Arts Centre. Oh yes . . . some of our members braved the winds to man oars in a longboat with costumed members of the Shelburne Longboat Society. Another highlight was a tour of Birchtown on the outskirts of Shelburne, where 1500 Black Loyalists settled 226 years ago. At the time, it was the largest settlement of blacks outside of Africa. It's a powerful story. So we came away with lots of fodder for articles. And, hopefully, a new TMAC member! We invited a local author and freelance writer, Darcy Rhyno, to join us for lunch. He was so impressed with the camaraderie and professionalism of the group that he went home, downloaded the membership application, filled it out and mailed it!

- Sandra Phinney, Atlantic chapter chair

Conference Committee Report


Word on Wales - October 09The most important aspect of TMAC's annual conference is the annual general meeting, where we elect our board members for the upcoming year. The marketplace, workshops and networking opportunities are pretty significant events, too. But let's admit it: some of the biggest draws are the tours that allow us to get out and explore the region.

And when it comes to tour opportunities, the 2010 Conference & AGM in Cardiff, Wales, will offer the best selection of tours TMAC members have ever been able to enjoy.

For starters, there will be a full day and a half of local tours covering everything from golf to cuisine, local wine to local legends. We are also offering an unprecedented number of pre and post tours, 21 in total, thanks to the generosity and enthusiasm of Visit Wales and Visit Britain. Not only are there more tours than ever before, they go farther afield and they're open to more members - and their companions as well.

Pre tours will be held March 3 to 7, while post tours will go March 12 to 15. Pre tours will explore the verdant land of Wales, while the post tours will also include six journeys throughout England and Scotland. You can take a swing at the Ryder-Cup-ready golf course at Celtic Manor, explore the Olympic venues for the 2012 Summer Games in London, sip whisky in Scotland, go hiking in the Welsh hills, visit legendary film sets, go down the Big Pit, check out hundreds of castles and learn the myriad of reasons why this land has been the source for so much of the world's great literature.

For the first time ever, pre and post tours will also be open to our industry members, as well as members' companions, both for a cost of only $140 a day. And with the number and selection of tours on offer, everyone is guaranteed a spot on a tour if they wish to take one.

Still, you may not be able to get your first choice, so make sure you list your top three choices, giving the selection committee some options in case one or two tours fill up rapidly. Decisions will be made based on the best fit for a given destination, with priority given to media members, based on member profiles. The process will be as fair and transparent as possible, made jointly by the conference committee, Visit Wales and Visit Britain, so everybody gets the best and most valuable experience possible.

Don't forget: the October 16 pre and post tour cutoff deadline is fast approaching, so get your selections in as soon as possible. Participants will be notified in early November which tours they're on; there may be spots available after that, but why risk missing out on your top choice?

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_NewsBruce Bishop successfully launched his newest guidebook, Michelin Atlantic Canada at the Yarmouth County Museum this past summer. Eileen Osteen, Director of Marketing for Michelin Publications (North America) attended along with the editor, Gwen Cannon. Michelin paid for the book launch; the Museum's Hospitality Committee catered it, and there were 45 people in attendance. Local media (TV and print) covered the event. Congratulations Bruce!

Dale Dunlop has been invited by Nimbus Publishing to write the introduction to the next edition of The Tent Dwellers, originally penned by Albert Bigelow Paine in 1908. It's a story about a 14-day wilderness fishing expedition in Nova Scotia with his friend Eddie Breck and two local guides. The story is both poignant and hilarious. The book is so popular it's been reprinted many times. Dale paddled the same route last year when a group of Tent Dweller enthusiasts followed the same route (112 km) to commemorate that famous journey.

Sandra Phinney is the Writer in Residence at the Yarmouth Library this year. She'll be giving 10 seminars (one per month) on some aspect of writing, including book publishing and writing non-fiction. Part of the program involves one-on-one mentoring. Sandra expected 12-15 people would sign up for the program; 52 showed up the first night! She is in manic mode.

Josephine Matyas has launched a new website, Please cruise through and have a look at her background, publications, a selection of photos and articles, and services provided.

TMAC media members are invited to preview the Varley Art Gallery's most anticipated exhibit of the year: The Automatiste Revolution: Montreal 1941-1960, Wednesday, October 21, from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Light morning refreshments will be served. Further information is found at:  Please RSVP if you plan to attend: Judy Hammond, CLEAR Communications Inc.,

To Market, To Market


by TMAC media member, Lola Augustine Brown

In this month's column, markets columnist Lola Augustine Brown talks to Canadian Geographic and Verge Magazines about their editorial needs.

Please click here to read the article.

Ask an Expert

ask_expertElle October 09 Ask ExpertASK AN EXPERT


TMAC member and author Elle Andra-Warner offers tips on deciphering book contracts.

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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