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October - 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

John MacKay

MacKay & Co.

Toronto, ON


Sonya Hwang

Ki Communications

Whistler, B.C.


Cathy James

Tourism Surrey

Surrey, B.C.


Marilynn Havelka

Ruthven Park National Historic Site

Cayuga, ON



No new members

contributorsContributors to This Issue
Gary Crallé

Susan Mate

Josephine Matyas

Sandra Phinney

Marty Rice

Joanne Sasvari

Randall Shirley

Need a little inspiration? The grey, rainy skies and cool temperatures got you down? Read on; this issue of TMAC Travels is full of articles to fire your jets and get you back on track. From information on the 2011 Ottawa conference, to requalification details, to Gary Crallé's column showcasing what's new in the world of photography, there is a lot to inspire and energize.

Happy reading!


- Josephine Matyas, TMAC Travels editor

Message From the President

President_ReportTalk to us!

Anyone who works in communications - as all of us in TMAC do - is well aware of the technological revolution we're living through right now. It is an exciting and confusing time, as monumental as the introduction of the mechanical printing press back in the 15th century.

In fact, some days I feel like a 21st century version of a manuscript illuminator, proud of my carefully handcrafted work and puzzled why no one wants to pay me for it any more. Other days, I'm just grateful I have Google and email and YouTube's cats on Roombas.

Frankly, for an association of writers, publicists and other information providers, nothing is as important as information and how we share it. That's why TMAC is taking a long, hard look at all the ways we communicate, both with each other and with the rest of the world. Should we be tweeting? Blogging? Sending out hard copy press releases? Where should we be putting our money and our time?

We need direction, and the best people to set us on the right path are you, our members. And so we're looking to you for input on how we should move forward in this brave new world of Twitter and Facebook.

In a few weeks, a communication survey will be landing in your inbox. Please take the time to fill it out. It'll address everything from the website to the newsletter to what kinds of social media TMAC should be engaging in. We're eager to get your point of view, so please share it with us.

And in other news . . .

Don't forget that membership requalification is ongoing right now.

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.

And all members should note that the deadline for paying your dues has 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.

Also ongoing is 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 great tours, exciting social events and your best opportunity all year to network with Canada's travel and tourism experts.

In addition, entries are now open for the TMAC Awards, so media members should be busy compiling tear sheets and URLs of the work they're most proud of.

Finally, don't forget that board nominations will be starting soon. If you want to run for the board (and we think you should!), this is a good time to start dropping hints to your colleagues and drumming up some support. If you want to get involved but don't have time to, say, chair a committee, be prepared to raise your hand when we launch our volunteer drive in a few months' time.

Meanwhile, happy travels and we hope you have a terrific and productive fall!

- Joanne Sasvari, national president

Chapter News

bc_chapterBRITISH COLUMBIA - The B.C. chapter board decided to push our fall event to early November, and we are scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 9, at the new Coast Coal Harbour Hotel in downtown Vancouver. The focus of the event is "The Value of TMAC," and we are encouraging everyone to bring potential new members.

We are putting a lot of focus on TMAC's value, both to media and industry members. We will have four people (two from each side of the business) talk about how TMAC adds to their success-for example how a journalist has created a better story due to his/her contact with an industry member.

We are also turning the spotlight more and more on our members' successes by encouraging them to share when they publish - especially (but not exclusively) if they had the cooperation of someone else from within TMAC on a specific story.

We are proud of our members' ongoing achievements! Here are a few recent examples:
  • Cherie Thiessen recently published The Promised Land in Westworld, the BCAA magazine.
  • Chapter VP Jane Mundy's new cookbook based on the Vancouver Aquarium's Oceanwise program recently hit bookshelves.
  • Chapter president Randall Shirley launched his new gig as "Performance Space" columnist for NYC-based with a piece on Stratford - a TMAC connection.
We are also hard at work on our mid-winter all-day PD session, with more details to come!

Cheers from rainy Vancouver,

- Randall Shirley, B.C. chapter chair

TMAC Alberta Member M&M Stampedeab_chapterALBERTA - TMAC Alberta's Lindsay Jardine (Calgary Exhibition & Stampede) knows how to throw a party. It's no wonder that we had a full turnout of TMAC Alberta members and guests to the Calgary Stampede store just days ahead of the 2010 Stampede earlier this summer. The western themed gathering featured delicious finger food, cowboy drinks as well as live country music. Attendees received a briefing about everything that was new for the 2010 Stampede. There were prizes, giveaways, and the best part for the cowgirl and cowboys was a 15 per cent discount on anything in the store! Yahoo!

Another great day was had in August when Barbados Tourism (take a bow, Gail Quinn) hosted TMAC members at the annual Barbados Challenge tournament at the Calgary Polo Club. On Oct. 5 our chapter was graciously hosted again at a Munch & Mingle at the downtown Hyatt Regency, which is sporting some renovations.

Members should save the date now for an unforgettable, winter-sports-themed PD day (details now in the works, it's going to be great!) at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary on Saturday, Nov. 6. Watch your e-mail inbox for news on this; we have also chosen Edmonton as site of our next two-day PD retreat in the spring.

We've had plenty of changes on the people front in Alberta in recent months. Former Alberta chapter co-chair Jessica Harcombe-Fleming is on a one-year maternity leave from Bellstar Resorts, having had a baby girl named Felicity. Fellow board member Jennifer Santos of Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts is also on leave with bambino Vida Gabrielle - her shoes at CRMR are being filled by Jennifer Morrison ( We're thrilled also to report a new face on our TMAC board - media member Jodi Mckague of Edmonton responded to our call for volunteers, and we look forward to her contributions as our northern board rep.

Edmonton Tourism's Kelly Bertoncini is taking time off to spend with family, with her role capably filled by Travel Media Relations Manager Amy Wolski. Another new face at Tourism Edmonton is Bin Lau, director of external relations for communications. The venerable Anastasia Martin-Stilwell is moving from Travel Alberta to a new destination marketing arm at Tourism Jasper (, but will continue to serve on the chapter board. Industry member Lori Bayne, formerly of Banff Lake Louise Tourism, has moved to a communications role at Parks Canada in Banff; Kurt Schroeder has taken over as communications manager at the Banff/Lake Louise tourism office.

Welcome also to our two newest members - Sunshine Village communications manager Doug Firby and Calgary Herald Travel Editor Lisa Monforton. And congratulations to chapter chair and media member Deb Cummings, who recently took on the role as editor of up!, WestJet's inflight magazine.

- Susan Mate, Alberta membership co-chair

onONTARIO - The Ontario chapter launched the 2010/11 season at the majestic Hockey Hall of Fame, in the Great Room, in downtown Toronto. The evening was hosted by Attractions Ontario and attendees were treated to an excellent presentation on attractions through the province. There were over 40 media and industry in attendance.   

Sherri Telenko brought forward the "Cash for Clips" program in which each media member who produces an article, column, blog or website entry, news brief, photograph, script, broadcast etc. that somehow results from a contact at an Ontario chapter M&M can win $100. Media members are asked to send an email or copy of any work resulting from the Ontario chapter M&M to TMAC Ontario chapter board c/o Sherri Telenko, 26-1 Peebles Street, Caledonia, ON, N3W 1L6 or email to   

Microsoft Technology Vice President of Marketing Neil Tanner offered an excellent Professional Development Session for TMAC members at their Toronto headquarters this month. Neil answered questions on the current conditions and trends, and the future outlook of technology. He talked about "cloud" technology, which is the ability to store on the "cloud" instead of your personal computer. You can access your "cloud" account from anywhere in the world. Also, there will be a new phone coming out from Microsoft, possibly by the end of 2010.

The Ontario chapter has requested a letter to be sent to Tony Clement from the national board regarding Bill 168 that will impact funds and earnings that media receive from Access Copyright.

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

Ontario co-chairs and

atATLANTIC - The Atlantic chapter will be hosting a full day's PD session on social media, on Nov. 13, in Halifax. Lucy Izon will be presenting a session on taking advantage of Twitter. She has over 41,000 visitors and has learned a thing or two in the process that she'll share with us. As well, we'll have a blogging guru for another session and may be partnering with the Atlantic Magazine Association on this venture. Our industry partner, Glen Bowie (Westin Nova Scotian) is offering a special room rate of $79 for the weekend. We'd love to have folks from other regions join us for this event. Contact Sandra for details at

- Sandra Phinney, Atlantic chapter chair

Member News

Member_NewsVisitBritain announcesthe appointment of Ted Flett as the organization's PR and Communications Manager - Canada. In this role, Ted will lead and deliver VisitBritain's public relations and marketing programs in Canada.

"We are delighted to welcome Ted to VisitBritain's Canadian office," said Simon Bradley, VisitBritain's Executive Vice President, Americas. "The Canadian market is vitally important to Britain's tourism industry, so having a strong media and consumer marketing program is key. Ted's communication skills and knowledge of the Canadian market will be a huge asset to us."

"I look forward to introducing and re-introducing Britain's inspiring destinations to Canadians directly and through Canada's travel, lifestyle and news media," said Flett. The PR & Communications Manager - Canada will also be an on-territory spokesperson for VisitBritain on tourism industry matters.

Previously, Flett oversaw media relations and marketing at Tourism Hamilton, the City of Hamilton's tourism management organization and has been an active member of the Travel Media Association of Canada, including two years as Vice President. He has a Bachelor of Arts, Political Science from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario and a Bachelor of Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario.

Industry memberAmanda Drake announces the launch of her client's new travel website: TripAlertz uses the power of collective buying to sell members-only deals at deluxe hotels and resorts, and will launch on Oct. 19. The multi-night deals are up to 75 per cent off prices found on public online travel sites. For every person who joins the free site through the end of November, $1 will be donated to (up to $100,000). This donation is an extension of the TwitChange Celebrity Tweet Auction, where more than $500,000 was raised (including $32,000 gifted by TripAlertz). You can preview all the deals now by joining at Contact: Amanda Drake, Ypartnership,

We are welcoming a new industry member: Yarmouth, N.S. The Municipalities of the County of Yarmouth, Argyle and the Town of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, are anticipating 2011 to be the ultimate homecoming year! They will be celebrating 250 years of community and heritage with a series of exciting events and reunion throughout the calendar year.  Representatives expect to be at the TMAC AGM & Conference to entice the national travel media to discover and explore this unique region of Atlantic Canada that is comprised of English, Acadian and Mi'kmaq peoples living on the shores of the Atlantic.

This June, Wine Spectator awarded Elements Restaurant (industry member, Westin Nova Scotian) with an Award of Excellence. Wine Spectator acknowledges restaurants whose wine lists are innovative, appeal to wine enthusiasts, and are paired appropriately with their region and cuisine. The selections must be interesting and satisfy a broad range of wine preferences. The vintages and appellations must be included on all wines, even wines by the glass. An appropriate design and layout is a factor along with correct

spelling of producer names.

Destination Halifax is one of seven Halifax finalists up for a National Tourism Award (for Online Marketing Campaign of the Year). "We're thrilled by the great representation of Halifax amongst the 2010 National Awards for Tourism Excellence nominees," says Stuart Joliffe, Chair of the Destination Halifax Board of Directors ... From the moment they arrive, the Halifax region offers visitors a superior tourism experience - congratulations to all of those who work to make that happen." The TIAC awards will be announced at a gala in Quebec on Nov. 2.

Early Voices, Portraits of Canada by Women Writers, 1639-1914, edited by media member Mary Alice Downie (and Barbara Robertson) has just been published. This selection of writings by 29 women, known and unknown, professional and amateur, presents a unique portrait of Canada through time and space, from the 17th to the early 20th century, from the Maritimes to British Columbia and the Far North. There is a range of voices from high-born wives of governors general, to an Icelandic immigrant and a fisherman's wife in Labrador. A Loyalist wife and mother describes the first hard weather in New Brunswick, a seasick nun tells of a dangerous voyage out from France, a famous children's writer writes home about the fun of canoeing, and a German general's wife describes habitant customs. All demonstrate how women's experiences not only shared, but helped shape this new country.

2011 Ottawa Conference Report

ConferenceDiscover Your Capital: TMAC 2011 Conference & AGM in Ottawa, March 9 to 12

When we themed TMAC's 2011 conference "Discover Your Capital," we weren't just thinking about Parliament Hill or the Byward Market or any of the other magnificent sights in our host destination Ottawa. We were also thinking of the capital that is within each of us, the potential we all have for greatness (or at least for making enough money to pay the mortgage).

And so one of the most important components of this conference is the professional development sessions. PD chair Sandra Phinney and her committee have pulled together an impressive lineup that will provide all of us with the tools we need to thrive in today's exciting but challenging environment.

Seriously, you can't afford to miss sessions like these:

  •  Discover Your Social Media Capital: Keynote speaker Scott Stratten has been named one of the Top Influencers on Twitter, and he'll show you just how to make blogs, Twitter, Facebook and viral marketing really work for you.
  • Building Blogs: Creative director Adam Jarvis will walk you through the steps of setting up a simple blog using WordPress.
  • Lights! Camera! Video!: In this two-part, entry-level session, digital video producer George Butters will demonstrate how to make, edit and post great video clips online.
  • Social Media Strategies: Integrated media strategist Kneale Mann will offer tips for maximizing your potential through your website, blog, Twitter and other social media.
  • Making Social Media Work for You, en français: For the first time, TMAC is offering professional development in French, with a session focusing on the how-tos of starting a blog and opening a Twitter or Facebook account, as well as strategic tips for getting the most out of social media.
Intrigued? Then sign up now and take advantage of early bird pricing.

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.

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

Straight Shooter

stright_shooterFOCUS ON PHOTOKINA

by TMAC member, Gary Crallé

Intent on honing your photography skills, or talking shop with one of TMAC's many talented shooters? This column will put you in the picture.

To contribute a STRAIGHT SHOOTER column, please contact Ursula Maxwell-Lewis at

Photokina, the high profile weeklong photographic industry conference and exhibition held in Cologne, Germany, closed on Sept. 26. TMAC photographer Gary Crallé was there and he generously took the time to send us this report.

Ask an Expert

ask_expertASK AN EXPERT

Are you losing markets? In a rut? Maybe it's time to reinvent yourself as a travel writer. Join media member Sandra Phinney as she reflects on creating a vision.

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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