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September - Table of Contents

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2010 Board of Directors

Joanne Sasvari
Media, British Columbia



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

Hélèna Katz

Media, Northwest Territories


Randall Shirley

British Columbia Chapter

Deb Cummings

Alberta Chapter

Marty Rice

Ontario Chapter

Sandra Phinney

Atlantic Chapter

New Members

Kristine George

Spinnaker Gastro Brewpub & Guest Houses

Victoria, B.C.

Bruce Bishop

Yarmouth, Nova Scotia's 250th Birthday

Yarmouth, N.S.

Doug Firby

Sunshine Village Ski & Snow Board Resort

Calgary, Alta.

Deanna Bell

Britannia Mine Museum

Britannia Beach, B.C.


No New Member

Contributors to This Issue
Lola Brown

Laurie Carter

Dale Dunlop

Lori Henry

Hélèna Katz

Bruce Kemp

Josephine Matyas

Ursula Maxwell-Lewis

Laura Byrne Paquet

Sandra Phinney

Marty Rice

Joanne Sasvari

Randall Shirley

Taking some time to read TMAC Travels is the best way to stay connected to what is happening in the Canadian travel media world. This issue is jam-packed - you'll find information on the upcoming Ottawa conference, some changes to the membership criteria (yes, it's that time of year again), updates from the chapters, plus all sorts of information-loaded articles to help you write, photograph and place articles.

Reading the newsletter may be the most productive 10 minutes you'll spend this month!


- Josephine Matyas, TMAC Travels editor

Message From the President

President_ReportThe TMAC Travels newsletter may have gone on hiatus this summer, but that doesn't mean your TMAC board has been on holiday. Far from it! Over the next few weeks you'll start seeing just a few of the things we've been working on - and believe me, this is going to be an action-packed season.

One of the most exciting things we're introducing is a whole new array of membership benefits. Liz Campbell and her hardworking benefits committee have come up with a huge list of terrific ideas that range from creating a TMAC speakers bureau to getting airport-parking discounts. They'll be introducing them in stages, and will start by getting some input from members. See her report below for what else she has in mind.

It's also membership requalification season. Please note that there are a couple of important changes in the latest requalification package, such as the addition of points in the media package for certain online content.

Media members should also note that annual dues have gone from $125 to $150. And all members should note that deadlines for paying your dues have been moved up to Nov. 30. In addition, there is now a $50 penalty for late payment, and if you haven't paid up by Dec. 31, you'll have to start all over again and, yes, pay the application fee as well as your dues. So if you need pressure to get things done (and don't we all?), consider your deadline to be now.

This month we're also launching registration for the 2011 TMAC Conference & AGM in Ottawa (March 9 to 12; see below for more details). Jantine Van Kregten and her team at Ottawa Tourism have pulled together a stellar event, with some of the best professional development seminars we've ever offered (thanks to PD chair Sandra Phinney's tireless efforts) as well as great tours, exciting social events and your best opportunity all year to network with Canada's travel and tourism experts.

However, please note that, as was the case until 2008, TMAC will not be able to provide a media travel subsidy this year. We are hard at work, though, on finalizing substantial travel discounts, so stay tuned for news on that front.

This month we're also launching the TMAC Awards, so media members should start compiling tear sheets and URLs of the work they're most proud of.

What else can you look forward to this fall?

Well, we know TMACers love to have their say on just about anything, and you'll have your chance to do just that when we send out our communications/conference survey in a few weeks. We are trying to develop a communications strategy that keeps up with our rapidly changing world, but we'd like your input on just how we go about doing that.

We are also launching a volunteer drive later this fall. We know better than anyone that volunteering for TMAC is a highly rewarding experience, and that many of you would love to lend a hand but can't afford the time commitment of, say, chairing a committee. Luckily, there are lots of other volunteer opportunities, big and small. And so we'll be canvassing your strengths, interests and availability so you can not only help TMAC, but get some great experiences to add to your resume.

Finally, we have someone new you all need to meet.

As you know, TMAC has a management company, T·O Corporate Services (, which handles our many administrative needs from distributing awards entries to maintaining membership databases to event planning the annual conference. For the past couple of years, our clerical needs have been handled largely by Leya Duigu, who is now moving on to other duties at T·OCS. Replacing her is Olga Kasjanova, a brilliant, astonishingly well-organized young woman who also happens to have a killer knack with a jigsaw puzzle.

We send our very best wishes and sincere thanks to Leya and welcome Olga to the TMAC family. If you have any questions for her, she can be reached at

And to everyone in TMAC - happy travels and we hope you have a terrific and productive fall!

- Joanne Sasvari, national president

2011 Ottawa Conference Report

ConferenceDiscover Your Capital: TMAC 2011 conference registration launches

Skating on the Rideau Canal, nibbling Beaver Tails in the Byward Market, proudly waving the Maple Leaf on Parliament Hill . . . really, is there any experience more quintessentially Canadian than a visit to Ottawa?

Ottawa is not just the seat of our national government, but a vibrant, cultured city that's simply resonating with countless stories to tell. It is home to some of Canada's most important galleries and museums as well as a passionately local culinary scene, terrific live entertainment, fascinating history, endless parks and pathways, and just across the bridge, the magical world of La Belle Province.

And so we are delighted that it is in this remarkable city that the TMAC Conference & AGM will be "Discovering Your Capital," March 9 to 12, 2011.

Early bird registration launched on Sept. 8. Sign up now and you can take advantage of the best prices for the conference as well as the pre and post tours and all the other great features of the conference.

Jantine Van Kregten, her team at Ottawa Tourism and all their many partners have pulled together a terrific itinerary that will showcase an Ottawa you've never seen before. But that's not the only capital you'll be discovering in Ottawa. With PD chair Sandra Phinney's direction, we've also organized one of the best professional development programs we've ever offered, all of it aimed at helping you uncover the professional capital within yourself.

As always, we're also offering great local, pre and post tours, exciting social events, a lovely host hotel in the Fairmont Chateau Laurier, the media marketplace, the TMAC Awards, the TMAC elections and your best opportunity all year to network with Canada's greatest travel and tourism experts.

And while we encourage you to sign up as soon as possible, don't book your travel just yet. Although we will not be able to offer a media travel subsidy this year, we are negotiating some substantial travel discounts. We'll let you know the details just as soon as things are finalized.

Meanwhile, visit to register or for more information. We look forward to seeing you in Ottawa - we know you'll have a capital time!

- Joanne Sasvari, TMAC conference co-chair and national president

New Benefits For All Members
RecruitmentThis fall, TMAC will start rolling out a series of new benefits for our members, with lots more to come.

While the national board has been discussing new benefits for some time, this latest initiative grew out of a meeting in Cardiff with the British Society of Travel Writers, who enjoy a host of great perks as part of their membership. And so a new benefits committee was created: Chaired by Liz Campbell (Ontario), the committee includes Yvonne Jeffery (Alberta), Judi Lees (B.C.) and Julie Watson (P.E.I.).

Although the committee will look at benefits such as airport parking passes and health insurance down the road, we are starting with these three basic initiatives:

i) Create a hospitality list. We'll canvass members who have a spare room in their home to see if they would (when convenient) be prepared to accommodate other TMAC members when in the area, for a night or two. You will shortly receive a broadcast e-mail asking if you would be willing to put up a fellow TMAC member. If there is enough interest to go ahead with the project, the list will be available on the "members only" portion of the website.

ii) Create a list of writing and photography awards available to members. In order to do this effectively, we will be asking the membership about awards they are aware of, then contacting various associations to find others. A second e-blast will be coming out to you, so please respond to help fill in the blanks.

iii) Create a speakers bureau of members (both media and industry) who offer workshops, seminars, etc. This will be available in the public area of the website. Please note that those who wish to be on this list will be asked to provide testimonials and topics as well as a bio and pics.

The committee will be contacting TMAC members for input on these initiatives, so please stay tuned to your inbox. And expect more great membership benefits to come.

- Liz Campbell, benefits committee chair

Treasurer's Report
Treasure_ReportIt's been a quiet summer with nothing much to report from the second quarter of the financial year. However, the financial statements are available online and I am available to answer any questions.

- Dale Dunlop, treasurer

Chapter News
bcBRITISH COLUMBIA  -  It's been a truly beautiful summer on the West Coast, giving TMACers plenty to get out and do in our own region. One always-popular diversion is Vancouver's Granville Island, where our chapter was hosted by the Granville Island Brewing Co.'s Taproom Pub. About 30 of us mixed and mingled, and we each went home with a groovy new travel product called a "traveller's deck," which includes cards and coupons that encourage travellers and locals to explore the many Vancouver neighbourhoods.

We're thrilled to welcome several new faces to our B.C. TMAC family in the past few months, including media member Remy Scalza, and industry members Kristine George representing Victoria's Spinnaker Gastro Brewpub & Guesthouses, Deanna Bell with Britannia Mine Museum National Historic Site, Lisa Clement of Vancouver Coast & Mountains Tourism Region, Richelle Swinburne with Rocky Mountaineer Vacations, and Sarah Cotton of BC Ferries.

Our next event will be in early October at Richmond's Olympic Oval, which is now Canada's grooviest, hippest, state-of-the-art community centre, and we're focusing on building our membership at this event. We are also asking a handful of members to report on their successes specifically through TMAC B.C. so that both media and industry members can be reminded how we benefit each other.

- Randall Shirley, B.C. chapter chair

abALBERTA - No Report at this time.

- Deb Cummings, Alberta chapter chair

onONTARIO - Six new board members are joining the roster of the 2010/2011 Ontario chapter board.

Returning members are:

Marty Rice, co-chair industry

Ron Brown, co-chair media

Liz Campbell

Sherri Telenko

Jantine Van Kregten

May Givens

They are joined by new members:

Anne Marshall, industry

Jerry Grymek, industry

Tracy Ford, industry

Isobel Warren, media

Camilla Cornell, media

Tim Johnson, media

The Ontario chapter held a very successful professional development session on July 15, Blogging for Money. Professional blogger Stephanie Miller gave us honest answers and advice about how blogs can generate income, who is hiring bloggers, why you should consider corporate blogs as a writing market and how to make money from your own blog. The excellent session had over 40 Ontario Chapter TMAC members attend.

We are planning another PD session on Sept. 8 in Toronto and Neil Tanner from Microsoft will provide up to date information on what is happening at Microsoft now and in the future. Information on the session will be going out shortly.

Sept. 28 will be the first Munch and Mingle of the new season.

- Ron Brown(media) & Marty Rice (industry)

Ontario co-chairs and

atATLANTIC - On a balmy June weekend, a healthy turnout of both media and industry from three provinces attended a two-day chapter meeting in St. Andrews, N.B. Over the course of two nights and two days, members ate, laughed, worked, toured and talked shop. New Brunswick Tourism hosted the event. It was set up much like a mini press trip, the only difference being that both media and industry took part. Aside from a chapter meeting, there were a number of tours to select from so everyone could indulge in their particular interests. More importantly, we got to know each other better and were able to do some long-term planning. Coming up: a full day PD session on social media this fall in Halifax. Stay tuned.

- Sandra Phinney, Atlantic chapter chair

Member News

Member_NewsTMAC Member Lois Gerber is pleased to announce the line-up for 2010 Visit Europe Media Exchange (VEMEX):

Nov. 1 - Hollywood, Florida, Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa

Nov. 3 - New York City, Waldorf-Astoria Hotel

Nov. 5 - Toronto, Ontario, The Fairmont Royal York

Sponsored by the 39-nation European Travel Commission, VEMEX is a time- and cost-effective opportunity for writers, editors and broadcasters to meet with representatives of European destinations in one place, in one day (as many as 19 appointments). There is no charge for invited journalists. Details and media registration are now open at:

CLEAR Communications Inc. is pleased to announce that it is representing Ontario Parks, the largest provider of outdoor recreation in Ontario. The provincial park system totals 9 per cent of Ontario's land mass, an area larger than the province of Nova Scotia. Of the over 300 parks, more than 100 are operating parks. They include close to 20,000 car accessible campsites and over 7,000 backcountry/wilderness campsites.  Media contact: Judy Hammond, CLEAR Communications Inc.

The AAA Four Diamond Westin Nova Scotia has entered Halifax's trendy and vibrant patio scene. The spacious patio is located directly off the urban chic lobby lounge, EVE, and offers unique food and beverage options. The Westin has also achieved a 4 leaf rating (out of 5) from the Audubon Green Leaf Eco-Rating Program.


The province of New Brunswick and the Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick released a new tourism strategy, The Time Is Now. The strategy is focused on customer attraction and engagement, investment and infrastructure and human resource development.


Canada's Bay of Fundy was recognized at the 2010 World Exposition in Shanghai, China. The Bay of Fundy is Canada's sole remaining nominee out of 28 finalists in the final phase of the official New7Wonders of Nature campaign.


New Brunswick's Department of Tourism and Parks is now taking advantage of the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC)'s web tool.


The Fairmont Algonquin is among the winners of this year's Environmental Leadership Awards (business category). The hotel implements more than 30 new environmental initiatives each year as well as maintaining existing projects. New initiatives this year range from making jams and pickled vegetables to using recycled toner and composting leftover food or scraps.

The coastal city of Mazatlan invites TMAC members on a media trip (Oct. 18 - 21) to come visit the city named Travelocity Mexico's Best Family Beach Destination. New for 2010: a 25-acre, modern convention centre; soon-to-open David Fleming championship golf course; cosmopolitan resorts; world-class spas; award-winning dining; fishing and ecoadventure. Stroll historic Old Mazatlan's newly restored 19th-century sites, art galleries, dance studios and concert halls. Visit charming colonial villages, a 130-year old blue agave distillery and much more. Contact: Amanda Drake, Ypartnership PR, 407-838-1829 or

TMAC members with placements in top tier national magazines or western region dailies/monthlies are invited to experience The Napa Valley during ever popular "crush season." Writers will be hosted on an individual basis for up to three nights during September, October, November. Itineraries will be personally arranged based upon outlets' needs. Interested journalists will be considered based on national exposure, circ of publication.  Contact: Amanda Drake,

The Vacation Rental Managers Association's non-profit (VRMA) "Discover Vacation Homes" awareness initiative, whose members represent approximately 150,000 professionally-managed vacation rental homes, condos, cabins, villas and more, is interested in hosting TMAC members on assignment for trips to locations of interest in Canada, the U.S., Caribbean and Mexico. For more information, visit, and for a trip application form contact Amanda Drake, 407-838-1829,

Ron Brown would like to share the news of the publication of his latest book: From Queenston to Kingston; the Hidden Heritage on the Lake Ontario Shoreline, published May 25 by Natural Heritage Books, The Dundurn Group.

Habeeb Salloum announces the book launch of his new cookbook, Bison Delights: Middle Eastern Cuisine, Western Style (Canadian Plains Research Center, University of Regina). The launch and media coverage have been extremely successful, including pieces in Regina's Leader-Post, The StarPhoenix, Calgary Herald and CBC Radio. Mr. Salloum, an expert in Arab cuisine, has adapted over 100 recipes from the Middle East for use with this historical Prairie staple. In addition, he'll have another cookbook published with a release date of September 2010 entitled The Arabian Nights Cookbook: From Lamb Kebabs To Baba Ghanouj, Delicious Homestyle Arabian Cooking.

Never a dull moment. Media member Hélèna Katz has just given birth to a 2.5 lb book. Cold Cases, a 400-page doorstopper, was written during her TMAC presidency. Work is underway on her fourth book, Justice Miscarried: Inside Wrongful Convictions in Canada. She also recently won an award for producing the most number of stories from SATW's Canadian Chapter meeting in Winnipeg and Churchill in 2008.

Sandra Phinney has been invited to give a PD session at the Writer's Federation of Newfoundland this fall for their annual meeting and AGM.

Lori Henry announces that she is the new Vancouver City Specialist for WestJet's up! magazine. Lori's Beginner's Guide to Vancouver is already posted.

Lucy Izon has launched Canada Cool's first app for iPhone, a trivia-style game about what makes Canada Cool, available at iTunes. It's an evening's entertainment for a toonie and great to play with friends at the cottage or on a long car trip. Izon launched the app at the Polar Bear Habitat swim in Cochrane, Ontario.

To Market, To Market


by TMAC media member, Lola Augustine Brown

In this month's column, Lola talks about the valuable  insight she gained at the Travel Classics conference in Quebec City. Lola reports on the meetings she had with several editors of  high profile U.S. publications.

Please click here to read the article.

Straight Shooter


by TMAC member, Bruce Kemp

Intent on honing your photography skills, or talking shop with one of TMAC's many talented shooters? Here's a new column to help put you in the picture.   In this month's column, B.C. Member Bruce Kemp shares some tips on how to use the flash.

Please click here to read the article.

Ask an Expert

ask_expertASK AN EXPERT

There's a lot of talk about social media these days and the value of blogging. Laura Byrne Paquet, Laurie Carter and Lori Henry are three TMAC media members who share their thoughts on the subject.

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 Josephine Matyas at Items may be edited for length, grammar or clarity. The newsletter will be delivered to members by e-mail regularly.  Material should be sent by the 1st of each month unless the editor gives prior approval.

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