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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_MemberNew Members

Alison Aiton

New Brunswick Tourism

Fredericton, NB


Chelsea Barr

Destination Nanaimo

Nanaimo, BC


Carla Bechard

Tourism Saskatchewan

Regina, SK


Graham Bell

The Butchart Gardens

Victoria, BC


Lori Cote

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts - Canada's Western Mountain Region

Banff, AB


Michelle Dunn

Tourism Richmond

Richmond, BC


Robert Lewis Jones

Visit Wales

Cardiff, Wales


Melissa Kenney

Days Inns - Canada

Toronto, ON



Alison MacDougall

Tourism Prince Edward Island

Charlottetown, PEI


Marie Anne MacRae

The Travel Corporation

Toronto, ON


Cary Mignault

Harbourfront Centre

Toronto, ON


Matt Mosteller

Resorts of the Canadian Rockies

Calgary, AB


David Seabrook

Fredericton Tourism

Fredericton, NB


Sarah Windsor

Resorts of the Canadian Rockies

Calgary, AB



June Kerr-Punchard

Peterborough, ON


Melody Wren

Guelph, ON


contributorsContributors to This Issue


Esther Buchsbaum

Michael DeFreitas

Dale Dunlop

 Hélèna Katz

Susan Mate

Josephine Matyas

Sandra Phinney

Marty Rice

Joanne Sasvari

Randall Shirley

I have to do a bit of a jump-and-hop to see over the snowbank at the end of my driveway, so the B.C. report mentioning "ankle-high daffodils" gave me reason to pause and reflect on how we live in a very large country. Members from our far west chapter might want to pack your snow boots for the upcoming conference.

I hope you've been having the chance to travel across our beautiful land (and many others as well) and that you've been busy promoting, writing and photographing!

There's a lot in this issue to help you with those tasks.

See you (hopefully) in Ottawa! It's just around the corner.


- Josephine Matyas, TMAC Travels editor 
President_ReportMessage From the President

With only a few short weeks to go until the Conference & AGM in Ottawa, the TMAC national board has been working furiously to wrap up 2010 and start fresh for 2011. And what a year this promises to be!

We're starting things off with a much-improved financial situation, a terrific slate of candidates for the elections, a fantastic conference lineup and a clearer overall direction for TMAC. One of our biggest endeavours has been the launch of a request for proposal for the management company that will not just handle our administrative duties, but work as a partner in growing TMAC. Defining the terms of the RFP has also helped us define what TMAC needs to do to thrive in this new economic and media climate. Sincere thanks go to Catherine Kaloutsky and her committee, who crafted a remarkably detailed document in record time.

The most important upcoming event for TMAC is the conference in Ottawa next month. In addition to a stellar lineup of parties, dinners, marketplace, tours and all the usual conference events, professional development chair Sandra Phinney and her committee have pulled together a terrific series of workshops and seminars that will provide you with instantly practical skills. And we sincerely thank Ottawa Tourism's Jantine Van Kregten and her team for helping us "Discover Our Capital" so seamlessly.

Ottawa will also see a renewed emphasis on volunteerism with a roundtable discussion on how to make the most of your time with TMAC. We hope it encourages more of you to get involved with TMAC in 2011. It's a great way to expand your skills and your contacts, and maybe even get a great new job for your efforts.

At the same time we've been finalizing the details for Ottawa, we've also been working on the 2012 Conference & AGM in Fredericton and looking forward to the 2013 conference in Western Canada. After making our site visits in January, we are close to accepting a bid for 2013 that may just see TMAC gathering under warm spring skies. As for 2014, we will be doing away with the central-east-west-international rotation we've followed the last few years and opening up the bids to all TMAC member destinations. Who knows? We might just be heading your way in 2014.

Getting ready for 2011 has meant looking back at 2010. It was not an easy year, but its challenges have made TMAC stronger, smarter and much better prepared to meet the future. And none of it could have been accomplished without a great team of people who've donated heroic amounts of time and effort to TMAC.

So before we put an end stop to 2010, a few thanks are in order: to my fellow board members for being such a great team; to the volunteers who, among other things, keep the newsletter published, the memberships up to date, the handbook printed and the chapters well-led; to the sponsors who come up with a cheque at just the right moment; to the team at T.O. Corp who keep things organized even when we don't (and who save my sanity at least once a week); to everyone who makes TMAC such a fun, vibrant and remarkable organization. It's an honour working with you all.

Happy travels and I look forward to seeing you all in Ottawa!

- Joanne Sasvari, national president, TMAC

Finance_GovernanceFinance / Governance Update
We have now closed the books on 2010 and the approved year-end financials have been posted. As well, for the first time in TMAC history we prepared and passed a forward-looking budget, which, through considerable paring and sacrifice, has reduced the 2010 deficit of over $80,000 to zero for 2011. I plan to discuss both matters in much more detail at the Ottawa AGM when I deliver the treasurer's report. As always I am available by e-mail to answer specific questions on the finances.


With respect to governance, which includes the Nominating Committee, I am pleased to report that we have recruited individuals to offer for both the new VP media and VP industry positions. They are Michele Sponagle for media and Jantine Van Kregten for industry. Also, myself and Irene Knight will be reoffering as directors. However, nominations remain open until shortly before the annual meeting. While individuals may not want to put in the time required as a Board member, TMAC is actively seeking more volunteers to work on the many new committees we have set up over the last two years.


Also of major importance is the fact that the Board accepted a recommendation to establish a request for proposals in regard to our management contract, which expires at the end of June 2011. A committee was struck headed up by Catherine Kaloutsky. With the help of four past and present presidents and the Board, a comprehensive document has been prepared which will have been issued by the time this goes to press. We are very excited about the responses we expect to receive. Any member who wants to view a copy of this RFP can see it on the website.


As you can see the last two months have been hectic, and that doesn't include negotiating contracts with Fredericton and the 2013 host of the annual conference and AGM.

- Dale Dunlop, treasurer, TMAC

Conference_NoteConference Special Note:
Heading to Ottawa for the annual TMAC conference? You won't want to miss these special events.

Join Tourism Saskatoon for Thursday breakfast at the TMAC conference in Ottawa. 

Saskatoon . . . It is a city of bridges, seven of them casting a shadow over the South Saskatchewan River. It is a city of sunshine, with an average 2,381 hours yearly, among the most of anywhere in Canada. It is a city of parklands, and a city of youth where the median age is 35, four years lower than the national average. It is a city admired for its theatre venues and prolific arts and culture scene as much as its funky festivals, major

sporting events and overall ability to throw a great party. We look forward to seeing you soon! 

Tourism Kingston will be hosting a breakfast at the TMAC conference on Saturday March 12.

Welcome to Kingston - a World Heritage destination!

Nestled where the Rideau Canal and St. Lawrence River meet Lake Ontario, Kingston is a city built on a grand heritage and defined by an exquisite ability to blend the beauty of yesterday with the passion and sophistication of today. Visit a new travel opportunity - one that will delight and surprise you with a range of entertaining and relaxing experiences. Be amazed by Kingston's museums, art galleries and historic sites! From small-specialized museums to National Historic treasures, Kingston boasts an astounding array of sites to see, there is something for everyone!

bc_chapterChapter News

BRITISH COLUMBIA - The daffodils are ankle high in downtown Vancouver and the snowdrops are peeking through the ground . . . so it must be time for our chapter's annual PD Day. The bar was set very high last year, and this year we're moving it up a notch - bringing in a top-flight travel editor from a major online outlet: Joe Myxter of Joe will be our keynote, answering the question that so many of our members ask: How can I make money from online writing? Later that day we'll follow up with a panel of writers who actually are making money writing for online outlets. We also have sessions on improving your blog, understanding the HST, and more. The venue is Richmond's Olympic Oval, and we welcome guests from other chapters and non-TMAC writers too (all attendees pay a nominal charge). Feb. 26 is the day, so if you're in Vancouver, c'mon out.


- Randall Shirley, B.C. chapter chair

ab_chapterALBERTA - We're still uncinching our waistbands after the Alberta chapter's latest Munch & Mingle on Jan. 25 at a private reception at Divino's restaurant in downtown Calgary. Our TMAC hosts - Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts, which operates a series of luxury lodges in Alberta and B.C. along with a high-end wine store and about half a dozen great eateries - rolled out the proverbial red carpet for chapter members and guests. Yes, the food was exceptional . . . think crab dumplings, bacon-wrapped tenderloin, caramelized onion flatbread, puff pastry spirals, exotic cheese platters. "If all your events were like this, I can see why TMAC has such appeal!" noted one guest, who promptly vowed to submit her membership application forthwith. Then came the wine . . . a unique Cameron Hughes Merlot from California, a lush white Verdicchio from Stefano Mancinelli (Italy) and what CRMR wine director and sommelier Brad Royale calls the hottest new sparkling wine trend - move over Prosecco, hello Cremant! (Royale served us the Delmas Cremant de Limoux Brut from France.) Then the fun really began, as the high-energy Royale entertained the 15 members and guests by answering questions and sharing his obvious passion for the wine industry, speaking about issues such as biodynamic vs. organic farming and making it sound fascinating! (Who knew moon cycles could have so much influence on wine-growing?!) Thanks to Royale, CRMR and the company's communications goddess Jessica Morrison for hosting our event in their beautiful space.

TMAC Alberta was also fortunate to have another great venue for its Christmas party on Dec. 17, when our friends at Travel Alberta got to showcase their funky new digs in the historic Inglewood district. The provincial tourism agency dished out lavish finger foods  - endless platters of them, in fact  - along with a hosted bar. Door prize donors supplied everything from ski passes, attraction passes, overnight stay, books, travel items . . . the list goes on and we are so grateful! Travel Alberta has been our tireless supporter since our chapter's founding in 2005 and it's the second time they have hosted us at Christmas. We're also pleased to report a recent spurt in the number of industry and media non-members who have recently applied or enquired about membership. Looking ahead, we are working on plans for a Munch & Mingle at the expanding Canada Olympic Park sometime this month or early March, and hope to hold a Professional Development two-day retreat this spring in Edmonton. Not a bad end to 2010, and 2011 is shaping up to be even better!

- Susan Mate, Alberta membership co-chair


onONTARIO - The Ontario chapter is getting ready for the AGM in Ottawa this coming March 9 to12, 2011. In review of 2010, we had a very successful year with our Munch & Mingles being well attended over the course of the year. Our M&M sponsorship was and is very much appreciated by the media with respect to the industry's generous contribution throughout the year. We are looking forward to a strong year in 2011. The venues have been excellent and very easy for members to get to. January's M&M was at the Delta Chelsea Hotel. In 2011, we are hoping to have one meeting outside the GTA area.

Tourism London is pleased to announce the winners of their travel writer's contest that was held over the past 18 months:

Hans Tammemagi won the prize for the City/Cultural/Historical story, $1,500

Anne Martin won the Special Category-Video/Film Category, $1,000

Anna Rodrigues won for the Outdoor/Adventure Story, $1,500

Gary Crallé won for the Special Category-Best Image/Photo of London, $500

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

Ontario co-chairs and

atATLANTIC - Media and industry members are looking forward to the conference and AGM in Ottawa. Right now we're battling winter blues, icy roads and lots of power outages in Atlantic Canada. Things are quiet at the chapter level.

- Sandra Phinney, Atlantic chapter chair

Member_NewsMember News

Tourism Richmond and Tourism Victoria share the honour of being awarded the First Annual DMO Professional Excellence Award today at the 2010 annual B.C. Tourism Industry Conference held in Vancouver.  "This award represents a vital step in the evolution of Community Destination Marketing in British Columbia," said Dan Stefanson, Chair of the B.C. DMO Association. "We are challenging Destination Marketing Organizations to commit to enhanced accountability and performance and through this recognition we are celebrating our peers who have achieved the highest standard possible." This new annual award, sponsored and presented by Simpleview Inc. in partnership with the Council of Tourism Associations (COTA), is presented to the DMO who demonstrates outstanding performance and operational excellence.

Who says life in the Northwest Territories is quiet? Media member Hélèna Katz joined Parks Canada in December as Promotion Officer for the Southwest NWT Field Unit. She works half days handling marketing and promotion to draw more visitors to Wood Buffalo and Nahanni - two of Canada's three largest national parks. She also blogs for Life As a Human and AOL Travel Canada's website. She is completing her fourth book and continues to contribute to magazines while taking alpaca and doggie breaks. 

Laurie Carter announces the release of her book Grandma Wears Hiking Boots: A personal guide to the Okanagan Valley. Presented in full colour, the book includes hundreds of photos, detailed maps, quick reference guides and Carter's experiences gleaned from over a decade of exploring and writing about British Columbia's Okanagan Valley. For a quick preview visit or 

Media member Laura Byrne Paquet ( has relaunched her "travel like a local" blog at a new address: She has added lots of new features, including a daily travel trivia game, a series in which she is trying to learn something about every country in the world, and an Amazon shop where you can buy books, music and movies with international themes.

Destination Halifax reports that seven Halifax businesses were nominated for the National Awards for Tourism Excellence, and the Halifax International Airport Authority won the award for Corporate Partner of the Year. Join the conversation about Halifax on Destination Halifax's award-nominated online social media site, Halifax Sociable


Five media members are regular contributors to Life As A Human, (George Burden, Darcy Rhyno, Sandra Phinney, John and Sandra Nowlan). The site was selected by the Canadian Weblog Awards as first place winners in the Group Weblog category and third place winner for Best New Weblog.

Darcy Rhyno is excited about having his manuscript accepted with Borealis Press in Ottawa. Holidays: Stories (over a dozen fictional short stories about holidays) will be published later this year.  


Bruce Bishop started a new job in January as the Destination Marketing Coordinator for the 250th anniversary celebrations happening in Yarmouth this year. To contact Bruce, email or phone 902-742-2521, ext. 251. For more information and a full list of events, go to, or join the Facebook page (Yarmouth 250 - A Perfect Homecoming) and follow on Twitter (@Yarmouth_250).

Destination St. John's has a new director, Cathy Duke. Her successful career spans a number of high-powered positions including Executive Director of Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador. Her last position was serving as Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation. Welcome Cathy!  


The Trans-Labrador Highway is now open. It's 1054 km and is an amazing thing to behold. For more information contact Randy Letto or visit


This January, Newfoundland & Labrador was named one of the 41 places to visit in 2011 by The New York Times and one of 50 great reasons to travel in 2011 by the Ottawa Citizen. Great way to start the new year!


Randy Brooks wants everyone to know that the Nova Scotia Tourism department's structure has changed; it's now the Department of Economic & Rural Development and Tourism. His department has also updated the media website section of New Discoveries for 2011, and this section will be updated on a quarterly basis. Media should check on a regular basis.


New Castle Hotels and Resorts' is excited to announce the return of Jim Frise as General Manager at the Keltic Lodge Resort and Spa on Cape Breton Island. Jim was one of the most respected and effective General Managers of the resort and the management group is thrilled to have him back. Jim originally left the resort to pursue other interests, but is excited to return and work closely with the community, ownership group and management company.

ask_expertAsk an Expert


In this article, Esther Buchsbaum, APR talks about what industry needs to get about media.

Please click here to read the article.

find_marketTravel Classics

Sandra New Market Nov

TMAC media member Sandra Phinney talks about the Travel Classic Conference.

Please click here to read the article.

stright_shooterStraight Shooter


by award-winning TMAC member Michael DeFreitas

In this article, Michael DeFreitas show you how to take a wildlife picture.

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

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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