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March - Table of Contents

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2010 Board of Directors

Hélèna Katz
Media, Northwest Territories



Judy Hammond

CLEAR Communications, Conference Co-Chair


Dale Dunlop

Media, Nova Scotia



Irene Knight

CN Tower


Evelyn Hannon

Media, Ontario

Catherine Kaloutsky

VIA Rail Canada Inc.

Margaret Mackenzie

New Brunswick Tourism

Ursula Maxwell-Lewis

Media, British Columbia

Joanne Sasvari

Media, British Columbia


Joanne Sasvari

British Columbia Chapter

Deb Cummings

Alberta Chapter

Marty Rice

Tourism London

Ontario Chapter

Sandra Phinney

Atlantic Chapter

New Members

Karen Keller

Travel Alberta



Jan Feduck

Elora, Ont.

Contributors to This Issue


Lola Brown

Martha Chapman

Jessica Harcombe Fleming

Hélèna Katz

Josephine Matyas

Sandra Phinney

Marty Rice

Joanne Sasvari

Like many TMACers, I was on the road in Wales and England for the first part of March. Thank goodness for laptops! This month's newsletter comes to you courtesy of writing and editing spurts in hotel rooms, on long distance bus tours, and in airport departure lounges.

So, this issue is chock full of news about the Wales conference as well as the usual chapter updates and PD columns. Although many of our writers and photographers were busy away from home, they've made time to write and file material to make this a great issue. Many thanks to all of them!

Keep travelling. Keep writing. Keep photographing.

- Josephine Matyas, TMAC Travels editor

Message From the President

applauseTMAC joins coalition of writers against Transcontinental's new "Master Author Agreement"


The Travel Media Association of Canada understands that our media members each operate their own independent freelance business. We respect that the decisions about which contracts to sign and which clients they work with is a personal matter. We also recognize that our members who write for Transcontinental have had excellent relationships with their editors.


We wish to thank all of our members who took the time to respond to our online survey in December. According to the results, 93 per cent agree that TMAC should lend its support to the coalition of writers groups that has brought a complaint against  Transcontinental Media's new "Master Author Agreement." We are, therefore in the process of joining the coalition.


This agreement, which is permanent and covers all future work for Transcontinental publications, demands additional rights to freelancers' work without compensation. This includes but is not limited to: nonexclusive electronic rights, database royalties, the right to reprint an article in any of their 54 publications/websites as many times as they want and even sell said article to a third party.


Pierre Marcoux, Transcontinental Media's senior vice president of the business and consumer solutions group, has indicated that Transcontinental has no intention to make any changes to the contract at this time. If a writer declines to sign the contract, Transcontinental editors cannot accept the story.


A dozen writing organizations from across the country have joined a national coalition opposing this contract. It includes an awareness campaign to oppose the contract, a national petition, lobbying, and efforts to implore Transcontinental editors to strive for change within their own company. As well, the coalition is offering support to writers seeking alternative markets for their stories. This is a free service. More information is available at



- Hélèna Katz, TMAC president

Chapter News

Chapter_BCBRITISH COLUMBIA - No chapter update.

- Joanne Sasvari, British Columbia chapter chair

Chapter_ABALBERTA - Alberta members were excited to attend the TMAC Conference in Wales this month!


On the heels of a successful and well-attended Munch & Mingle event at Il Sogno in early February, we are anticipating a showcase of one of Calgary's newest destination restaurant, bar and gathering place on April 13th. Working with Immedia PR, your TMAC Alberta board is putting together a very special Munch & Mingle event at the newly opened CHARCUT Roast House ( in Calgary's brand new boutique hotel - Le Germain Calgary. CHARCUT's cuisine is described as chef-driven, using local ingredients, with Italian and Country French accents. The event promises to be a 'must-attend' for Alberta members. Keep your eyes on your inbox for your invitation in late March.


If Alberta members know of any new media or industry who would be interested in joining our ever growing provincial membership, please send their contact details to TMAC Alberta's membership coordinator, Susan Mate at or Neil Bousquet at

- Jessica Harcombe Fleming, Alberta chapter chair

Chapter_ONONTARIO - The Ontario chapter had an excellent M&M hosted by Travel South USA at Sassafraz in Toronto. Thirty media members and 25 industry members attended, for a total of 55 - an exceptional number considering the bad weather and the Olympics that were in full swing. Our next M&M, hosted by Peterborough & the Kawarthas Tourism, will be March 30, 2010 at the Ontario Investment & Trade Centre in Toronto.

The Ontario chapter is scheduling elections and would like to ask any member that would be interested in running for the board to contact either Mike Keenan or Marty Rice.

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

Ontario co-chairs and

Chapter_NSATLANTIC - Eighteen members from Atlantic Canada were in Wales and held the first Atlantic Canada chapter meeting. Members were busy, mapping out a strategy to set up meetings and PD sessions for the coming year. Glad to hear that both media and industry members are going straight out and are as busy as can be.

- Sandra Phinney, Atlantic chapter chair

Conference Committee Report

ConferenceTHE WORD ON WALES IS . . . HWYL*!  (*GOODBYE.)

It began with a visit from Willy Wonka and ended with Mary Poppins, Tom Jones and the entire Welsh regimental marching band. Yep, let's just say that TMAC's 2010 Conference & AGM in Cardiff has raised the bar for all future conferences.

Some 200 TMACers (including 101 media members, the biggest number ever, and a handful of at times bemused companions) gathered in sunny Cardiff from March 7 to 11 to celebrate The Word on Wales. We were warmly welcomed by the extraordinary Visit Wales team - not to mention Cardiff's Lord Mayor, in full regalia - at a casual Roald Dahl-themed reception on Sunday night where we all drank far too many James and the Giant Peach bellinis.

The conference proper got underway on Monday morning with an entertaining presentation by our keynote speaker, the award-winning author David Aaronovitch, who not only rekindled our passion for words, but also taught us how to get out of a kayak in an English canal. (An activity that is, by all accounts, best avoided.)

After that afternoon's local tours around the city of Cardiff, Visit Wales threw a huge welcome party in the neo-baroque splendour of Cardiff City Hall. Who knew that rugby and ballet could come together so beautifully in interpretive dance?

Tuesday was media marketplace day, where we welcomed our guests from the UK media and enjoyed a lunchtime birthday party, hosted by Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism, to celebrate the 400th birthday of Cupids. Later, after all that networking, we were ready for a good laugh, and that's just what we got that evening at the lively banquets held in Caerphilly and Cardiff castles.

On Wednesday, we all headed out on full-day tours, then returned home for a casual pub night where TMACers got to test their knowledge of trivia against locals, with sometimes mixed, but always hilarious, results.

Thursday, the final day of the conference, was also the busiest day, starting with professional development seminars, continuing with lunch hosted by next year's conference destination, Tourism Ottawa, and going on to the AGM. And still we weren't done, for after that we had the awards and finally the gala closing reception at the spectacular National Museum of Wales.

To those of you who were there, we're thrilled you made your way across the pond for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. To those who missed it, we'll see you next year, when we're Coming Home to Ottawa.

Finally, it's impossible to hold an event of this scale and complexity without the generous support and hard work of countless people and organizations, so we'd like to send out a great big thank you to everyone who made this conference such a huge success.


First and foremost, we'd like to thank Eirlys Thomas and Robert Lewis Jones of Visit Wales and their staff, volunteers and partners for putting on a truly magnificent event. They in turn were supported by Visit Britain, so bouquets go to Paul Gauger, Meredith Pearson and the rest of their team as well.

We are also grateful to our conference sponsors: Ottawa Tourism, Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism, Tourism Saskatoon, Parks Canada, Waterloo Regional Tourism Marketing Corp., New Brunswick Tourism, Travel Alberta, Tourism London, Tourism Niagara and Le Quebec Maritime.

And a big thank you also goes out to our awards sponsors: CN Tower, Quebec City, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, Days Inn, Tourism Niagara, Tourism Saskatchewan, Barbados Tourism Authority, New Brunswick Tourism, Tourism Oxford, Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism and Starwood Hotels.

In addition to our hosts and sponsors, there are many other people who spend countless hours making a conference like this a success. They include: TMAC's professional development chair, Sandra Phinney; the awards committee chair, John Masters; Glenn Cameron, who compiles the annual report, minds the clock at the marketplace and takes on myriad other tasks; and, of course, our absolute lifelines at T.O. Corp., Tina Hutchinson and Leya Duigu.  

To all of you, our sincerest thanks - we appreciate everything you do for TMAC.

2010 TMAC Awards winners

Congratulations to the winners of TMAC's 2010 awards for travel writing and photography! They are:

Best business feature, sponsored by CN Tower: Chris McBeath

Best cultural / historical feature, sponsored by Quebec City: Colleen Friesen

Best environmental / responsible tourism feature, sponsored by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts: Colleen Friesen

Best family feature, sponsored by Days Inn: Heather Greenwood-Davis

Best food / wine feature, sponsored by Tourism Niagara: Shelley Cameron-McCarron

Best outdoors / adventure feature, sponsored by Tourism Saskatchewan: Sandra Phinney

Best service feature, sponsored by Barbados Tourism Authority: Kate Pocock

Best French language feature, sponsored by New Brunswick Tourism: Yves Ouellet

Best action photo, sponsored by Tourism Oxford: Michael DeFreitas

Best people photo, sponsored by Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism: Sandra Phinney

Best evocation of a place photo, sponsored by Starwood Hotels: Laurie Carter

Your newly-elected TMAC 2010 board of directors

With all the galas, tours and other fun activities of the conference, it's sometimes easy to forget that the most important event is actually the AGM and the election of the board of directors.

This year was especially important, as attendees voted overwhelmingly to change the process by which we elect our president: starting in 2011, we will be electing a president-in-training, who will serve one year as vice-president before stepping into the president's role, which he or she will then hold for one year.  

But that's not until next year. In the meantime, meet TMAC's new board:

President - Hélèna Katz

Vice-president - Judy Hammond

Treasurer - Dale Dunlop

Secretary - Irene Knight

Directors - Evelyn Hannon, Catherine Kaloutsky, Margaret Mackenzie, Ursula Maxwell-Lewis, Joanne Sasvari

Chapter chairs -Joanne Sasvari (British Columbia), Deb Cummings (Alberta), Marty Rice (Ontario), Sandra Phinney (Atlantic Canada)

- Joanne Sasvari, TMAC conference committee co-chair

Member News

Member_NewsOntario media member, Mark Stevens won third place in the Independent Newspaper category at the Northern Lights Media Awards. His article, "A Night in Toronto on Hockey's Hallowed Turf" was published in the The Washington Post.

In February, Josephine Matyas (media member from Ontario) was presented with the Discover America Excellence in Travel Writing Award for her article "High Adventure in Big Bend, Texas" which appeared in DREAMSCAPES TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE.

The city of Saint John, N.B., designated a Culture Capital of Canada for 2010, has planned a series of events to help celebrate and highlight the city's art, culture and history in honour of its 225th birthday.

To Market, To Market


by TMAC media member, Lola Augustine Brown

In this month's column, markets columnist Lola Augustine Brown interview Charlene Rooke about Western Living magazine.

Please click here to read the article.

Ask an Expert

ask_expertMartha ChapmanASK AN EXPERTMartha's Tech Guy

This month, TMAC member Martha Chapman give some thoughts on the question "To go solo or stay with the pack".

Please click here to read the articles.

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 Josephine 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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