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tocApril and May 2011 - Table of Contents
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bod2011 Board of Directors


Joanne Sasvari (media)

Phone: 604-984-4618



Jantine Van Kregten (industry)

Phone: 800-363-4465 ext. 116

Michele Sponagle (media)

Phone: 519-442-6605


Dale Dunlop (media)

Phone:  902-826-7713


Irene Knight (industry)

Phone: 416-601-4729


Judy Hammond (industry)

Phone: 416-920-5817

Evelyn Hannon (media)

Phone:  416-929-7654

Catherine Kaloutsky (industry)

Phone:  416-956-7683

Hélèna Katz (media)

Phone: 867-872-4123


Alberta chapter chair

Debra Cummings (media)

Phone: 403-283-0171

Atlantic chapter chair

Sandra Phinney (media)

Phone: 902-648-0462

B.C. chapter chair

Randall Shirley (media) 

Phone: 778-389-2246 

Ontario chapter chair

Marty Rice (industry)

Phone: 519-661-6385 ext. 6385
New_MemberNew Members

Laura Barron McDowell


Toronto, ON


Krystal Carter

Delta Hotels & Resorts   

Toronto, ON   


Tracey Desjardins

Waterloo Regional Tourism Marketing   

Kitchener, ON   


Jikke Gyorki

Tourism Fernie

Fernie,  BC


Susan Le Clair

St. Lawrence Parks Commission

Morrisburg, ON


Phil Mooney

Mayor, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia's 250th Birthday

Yarmouth, NS


Paul Raynor

Raynor and Company

Montreal, QC


Erin Wakely

Cobourg Tourism

Cobourg, ON


Andrew Wilson

Tourism Saskatoon

Saskatoon, SK



Hendrik Breuer

Toronto, ON   


David Finn

Golfinn International Inc.   

Brampton, ON


Jessica Johnston

Travel editor, National Post

Toronto, ON



Jane McLean

Dundas, ON


Aurélie Resch

Toronto, ON


Jamie Ross

Bracebridge, ON


John Sylvester

Charlottetown, PE

contributorsContributors to This Issue


Lola Brown

John Geary

Evelyn Hannon

Catherine Kaloutsky

Susan Mate

Josephine Matyas

Sandra Phinney

Marty Rice

Joanne Sasvari

Randall Shirley

Jantine Van Kregten

Finally. That weather is behind us. Crocuses are even coming up in Ontario (sure B.C., we know this is old news for you). For many TMAC media, spring is an intensive time of travel to new destinations, gathering material for articles, and capturing beautiful places on film. Hope that your travels are fruitful and filled with a sense of adventure. Thanks again to all of our gracious industry hosts who make the magic happen!


- Josephine Matyas, TMAC Travels editor 
President_ReportPresident's Report

I think it was the moment when Scott Stratten said, "If your market is human they are using social media. If your market is people, they're there," that the penny finally dropped for all of us: The media world has changed, dramatically, and TMAC has to change with it. And that is sure to be our theme throughout 2011.

Stratten, of course, is the social media expert who was the keynote speaker at the TMAC Conference & AGM that just wrapped up in Ottawa. From the pre-tours to the parties, from the workshops to the glorious galas at the Canadian War Museum and National Art Gallery, it was a great event, thanks to our hosts Ottawa Tourism and their partners, including the gracious Fairmont Château Laurier and generous Ontario Tourism. (See conference co-chair Judy Hammond's full report below.)

For TMAC, though, the most important part of the conference is the Annual General Meeting, when we elect the board members who will lead us into the future. This year was especially important as for the first time we elected two vice-presidents, one representing our industry members and the other who not only represents our media members, but will step into the president's role next year. And so, as we sadly say goodbye to Margaret Mackenzie and Ursula Maxwell-Lewis and thank them for their hard work on the board, please welcome Vice-President (industry) Jantine Van Kregten and Vice-President (media) Michele Sponagle. Their biggest project this year will be taking over the conference committee and leading the way to next year's conference, "The Art of Place," in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

We've also made a few changes to positions on the board that I think will help move TMAC forward in this dynamic new world. Judy Hammond is taking on the new role of chapter liaison, which will involve helping new chapters get launched and existing chapters to share ideas and find solutions to the challenges they encounter. We're also adding a new volunteer co-ordinator, who will not only act as a liaison between the board and our volunteers, but will eventually build a database so we can link volunteers with volunteer opportunities. For now, Ontario chapter co-chair Marty Rice is tackling this important role, though we expect that to change this summer.

The other big project we have underway is the search for the management company that will not just handle our administrative duties, but work as a partner in growing TMAC. The responses to our RFP contained some pretty exciting ideas, and it won't be long before TMAC has a new look, a new website and better communication tools.

All of these will help us build for the future. More than that, they'll let us follow Stratten's other memorable dictum from Ottawa: "People spread awesome. They don't spread meh." Well, we all know TMAC can be pretty awesome, so let's make it our goal in 2011 to spread some of that awesome around.

Meanwhile, happy travels and have a great and productive spring!

- Joanne Sasvari, national president, TMAC

Finance_GovernanceFinance Report
Nothing new to report except that the 2010 year end financials have been approved and are now posted on the website.

- Dale Dunlop, treasurer, TMAC

Conference_NoteConference Report:
2011 conference report

The Conference & AGM committee would like to thank all media and industry members who supported TMAC Ottawa 2011. And what a conference it was! Seventy-nine media and 130 industry reps (representing 108 companies/destinations) plus 10 companions attended this year's event.

Ottawa Tourism and its partners went above and beyond to help make TMAC 2011 a success. Thank you! Your hard work over this past year showed. Your conference events were superb and feedback from the pre and post tours has been overwhelmingly positive.

Our industry sponsors contributed an impressive $67,525 to this year's conference. And that's not counting VIA Rail's generous transportation or the 10 industry-sponsored TMAC awards. Without our sponsors, TMAC's annual conference would not be possible. We salute you and we also want to thank the TMAC sponsorship committee.

Conference Survey

If you have already filled out this year's survey sent out on March 22, thank you!! If you have not and you attended this year's conference, please take the time to fill one out now at:

Your feedback is important for future conference and PD planning.

Fredericton 2012

TMAC 2012 rolls into Fredericton, New Brunswick. Stay tuned!!

Please welcome your new TMAC Conference & AGM committee:

Please welcome your new 2011 Conference committee co-chairs: VP (media) Michele Sponagle and VP (industry) Jantine Van Kregten. They replace Joanne Sasvari and Judy Hammond. Irene Knight, TMAC national board secretary and Tina Hutchinson, event manager, TO Corp, will continue to sit on the committee.


Took the train to the conference? Getting there was half the fun.

For the first time ever, TMAC partnered with a conference sponsor to host a contest that took advantage of the instantaneous exposure of social media platforms. So it was only natural that VIA Rail, the conference transportation partner, be the contest co-sponsor. This was about doing something fun, creative, to think outside of the box and try something different. We are glad you did! We saw tweets, blogs and entries on Facebook as well as Internet publications . . . and VIA's decadent chocolate truffle seemed to show up in them all. In fact, some members were trying out Facebook for the first time. We also found out that members are not just writers and photographers - they are poets, too. So to all those who stepped up to the plate to try something different, and to all who shared their VIA Rail train experience with their own unique audiences - THANK YOU.

Congratulations to the Grand Prize $600 winner Doug O'Neill.

The winner of the $300 VIA travel voucher was Toby Saltzman.

Tout le plaisir est dans le voyage!

Pour la toute première fois, la TMAC s'est associée à un commanditaire de son congrès pour lancer un concours permettant de profiter de la visibilité instantanée que les plateformes de médias sociaux peuvent offrir. Il était donc tout naturel que VIA Rail, qui était partenaire du congrès en matière de transport, soit cocommanditaire de ce concours. C'était l'occasion de faire quelque chose d'amusant et d'original, de penser différemment et de façon créative. Nous sommes heureux que vous l'ayez fait! Nous avons vu des microbillets, des blogues, ainsi que des publications sur Facebook et dans Internet, et les extravagantes truffes en chocolat de VIA semblaient apparaître dans tous ces messages. En fait, certains des membres visitaient Facebook pour la première fois. Nous avons également découvert que les membres sont plus que des écrivains ou des photographes : ce sont aussi des poètes! À tous ceux qui ont relevé le défi de penser différemment, et à tous ceux qui ont partagé avec leur public personnel leur expérience de voyage dans un train de VIA Rail, nous disons : MERCI!

Félicitations au gagnant du Grand Prix de 600 $, Doug O'Neill.

Quant au certificat-voyage de 300 $ de VIA, il a été remporté par Toby Saltzman.

bc_chapterChapter News

BRITISH COLUMBIA - The B.C. chapter had our final event of the year in late February - our annual professional development day. About 50 people attended, a mix of TMAC members and non-members (we find it beneficial to open this event up to other writers). The day included many informative sessions, including keynote speaker Joe Myxter, travel editor of While Mr. Myxter's message about the state of pay (and rights) at one of the largest web companies was far from rosy (very far), it was a good wake up call for everyone to realize that no matter what we think, the industry continues to change, and we must all be progressive and flexible if we want to stay involved in this world of travel media that (most of us) love!


The other highlight was a panel of writers who are actually making money through online writing, including TMAC members Julie Ovenell-Carter ( and Randall Shirley (, and non-members Ken Hegan ( and Eliana Lev ( It was a spirited and interesting discussion as each explained how they got where they are with online writing, how much money they actually make at it, and how much work it actually is (a lot). The crowd had a lot of questions - the biggest number being from industry members wondering how to vet bloggers for press trips. Unfortunately, there is no instant, one-size-fits-all answer to that (but many variables).

Congratulations to B.C. chapter member Remy Scalza, who has won First Prize, Independent Newspaper Journalist, in the CTC's Northern Lights Awards. Congratulations also to our TMAC Awards winners, Remy, Colleen Friesen and Kevin Oke, whose Best Action Photo is on the cover of the new TMAC handbook. (See below for details.)


We will have our annual chapter AGM in late April (date still being finalized), during which several new board members will be elected. After two years serving in B.C. TMAC leadership, I am stepping down in order to focus on my heavy load of corporate writing projects. My thanks go out to the other amazing members of the B.C. board, the national board, and all who have helped keep our chapter successful.


- Randall Shirley, B.C. chapter chair

ab_chapterALBERTA - We have much to applaud in Alberta these days, with three of our writers taking home awards from our TMAC national conference last month in Ottawa. Joanne Elves (Best Outdoors/Adventure Feature), Cinda Chavich (Best Responsible Tourism Feature) and Jodie McKague (Best Family Feature) each took home an award. We're so proud of our Alberta TMAC members and their accomplishments; read their winning stories online at

We have had some scheduling issues, but have tentatively settled on April 18 for our Munch & Mingle at Canada Olympic Park, hosted by WinSport Canada. Our members and guests will get a sneak peek of highlights this year for recreation and outdoor lovers at the year-round Olympic facility ( This will also be our opportunity to check out renovated facilities such as the COP's new Athletic & Ice Complex.

We're also well on track with plans for our long-awaited professional development weekend June 3 to 5 in Edmonton. Many thanks to Amy Wolski and her team with Tourism Edmonton and other potential sponsors/partners/hosts for helping make this a reality! We'll be sending notices and registration information on this event in early May. The Saturday will involve PD sessions (more on that later, but come hungry) and the Sunday experiential activities to explore what's new with the Festival City (

- Susan Mate, Alberta membership co-chair


onONTARIO - 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. We are hoping in 2011 to have one meeting outside the GTA area.

The year will be started with the M&M being hosted by the Delta Chelsea Hotel. In 2010 we had two very successful PD sessions of which one featured Blogging for Money by professional blogger Stephanie Miller on July 15. We had more than 40 Ontario TMAC members attend this excellent session. We also had an educational session by Neil Tanner, Microsoft's technology vice-president of marketing, at their headquarters in Toronto. He talked about "cloud" technology: the ability to store on the "cloud" instead of your personal computer.

Ontario chapter's Loonies for Learning Program will encourage TMAC Ontario chapter members, both media and industry to further develop their professional skills by offering those members taking courses related to TMAC's mandate the opportunity to apply for an educational subsidy from the Ontario chapter. Yearly reimbursement is limited to $100 per member to a budget maximum of $1,000. Therefore this could assist up to 10 chapter members.

Ron Brown requested that the national board write a letter with regards to Access Copyright and Bill C-32. He suggested that we ask for an expansion to the education exemption for fair dealing to exclude all educational copying. Under the proposed bill the educational sector wants the right to copy material without compensating the creators who write the books and articles.

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, entry, photograph, script or broadcast that somehow, someway results from a contact at an Ontario chapter M&M can win $100.

The Ontario chapter board welcomed six new members: Anne Marshall, Jerry Grymek and Tracy Ford (industry members), and Isobel Warren, Camilla Cornell and Tim Johnson (media members). They join returning members Marty Rice and Ron Brown (co-chairs) and Liz Campbell, Sherri Telenko (media), and Jantine Van Kregten and May Givens (industry).

Co-chair Marty Rice volunteered to co-chair the 2011 AGM sponsorship committee with Hélèna Katz and over $50,000 was raised for the National Conference and Annual General Meeting.

- Marty Rice (industry), Ontario co-chair

atATLANTIC - The Atlantic chapter met in Ottawa and outlined some plans for the coming year. Coming up will be a chapter meeting in P.E.I. this fall that will combine a regular meeting with a mini press trip and opportunity for media and industry to spend some time together. There's also a chance that we will partner with the Atlantic Magazine Association again to do a PD session. Meanwhile, we're looking forward to a bountiful and productive summer for both media and industry.

- Sandra Phinney, Atlantic chapter chair

TMAC 2010 Awards Winners

awardsOf everything TMAC does to promote quality travel journalism, the TMAC Awards are perhaps the most important. They acknowledge the stories where we went just a little bit further and aimed a little bit higher, striving for that evocative turn of phrase or that unforgettable image. They also acknowledge the editors who care about great writing and photography and the publications that produce those stories and images.

They are judged by a panel of independent judges who number among some of Canada's most prestigious journalists and journalism academics. For the stories TMAC produced in 2010, the judges were: Ryerson University journalism professors Tim Falconer and Don Obe; Quebec-based journalist, documentary filmmaker and novelist David Homel; Don Genova, a British Columbia-based food and travel writer, broadcaster and instructor at UBC; and Ryerson University photojournalism professor Peter Bregg and his class of photography students. We thank them for their time and thoughtful consideration.

Congratulations to the winners of the 2010 TMAC Awards, presented March 12, at the National Art Gallery in Ottawa at the close of TMAC's 2011 Conference & AGM:

BEST BUSINESS FEATURE sponsored by Travel Media Association of Canada

Winner: Hélèna Katz for "Meeting the North," Up Here Business, May 2010

BEST CULTURAL/HISTORICAL FEATURE sponsored by New Brunswick Tourism

Winner: Laura Byrne Paquet for  "At Home in Amsterdam's Red Light District, " Toronto Star, Aug. 28, 2010


Winner: Cinda Chavich for "Where the Grizzly Bears (still) Roam," The Globe and Mail, Sept. 18, 2009

BEST FAMILY FEATURE sponsored by Days Inns - Canada

Winner: Jodie McKague, "Half-pints in Oregon," Westworld Travel: Alberta, April 2010

BEST FOOD/WINE FEATURE sponsored by the CN Tower

Winner: Colleen Friesen for "Quest for Curious British Pub Turns Obsessive," The Georgia Straight, Aug. 19, 2010


BEST OUTDOORS/ADVENTURE FEATURE sponsored by Saskatchewan Tourism

Winner: Joanne Elves for "Exotic Destination Race: The Jungfrau Marathon," Canadian Running, June 25, 2010

BEST SERVICE FEATURE sponsored by the Barbados Tourism Authority

Winner: Remy Scalza, "Afraid to Commit? Try Microcruising," The Washington Post, Oct. 4, 2009

BEST FRENCH-LANGUAGE FEATURE sponsored by Québec City Tourism

Winner: Benoit Legault for  "Ottawa La non-capitale," Le Devoir, June 20, 2010

BEST ACTION PHOTO sponsored by Ontario Parks

Winner: Kevin Oke, "Fishing the Cowichan," The Cowichan, October 2009

BEST EVOCATION OF A PLACE PHOTO sponsored by Starwood Hotels & Resorts

Winner: Remy Scalza, "Rugged Respite in Brazil's Lush Backyard Jungle," San Francisco Chronicle, July 18, 2010

BEST PEOPLE PHOTO sponsored by Tourism Saskatoon

Winner: Colleen Friesen, "Change a Constant Factor: A Musician," Travel Writers Tales / The Morning Star, June 27, 2010

To see the winning articles and photos, please visit

- Joanne Sasvari, TMAC awards committee chair

Back to Table of Contents 

Member_NewsMember News

Media member Janice Mucalov ( is pleased to announce that she won First Place (Gold) in the Cruise (Travel Articles - Print) category in the recent 2010 North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA) awards competition.

Amy Rosen scored two wins at the recent NATJA awards, including a gold for her story "Once Upon a Time in Vienna." Amy was also the runner-up at the 2010 Hamilton Tourism awards for "The Ontario Savannah," a story she wrote for the National Post.

John Sylvester (media) has been awarded second place for photography in the Canadian Tourism Commission's Northern Lights Awards For Excellence in Travel Journalism and Photography. His photo essay, "Winter Wonderland," featuring images of Prince Edward Island in winter, appeared in Dec/Jan 2010/11 issue of COASTAL LIVING magazine. The award was presented April 5, during Canada Media Marketplace, at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. This is John's fourth Northern Lights award.


Placing third in the same awards, Sandra Phinney (media) joined John in the Northern Lights Awards winner's circle in New York for her story "Only in Pubnico," published in November/December 2010 issue Saltscapes Magazine. In addition, Sandra has got a green light from Pottersfield Press to proceed with a culinary/culture book featuring communities in Nova Scotia.

George Burden (media) recently won three North American Travel Journalism Awards: Gold (Category 143: Resorts) for "Chilling Out at Quebec City's Le Chateau Frontenac" published at Life As A Human, July 30, 2010; Silver (Category 128: Intergenerational and Family Travel) "A Princess for a Day" published in The Medical Post, Apr. 6, 2010); and Bronze (Category 150: Cultural, Educational, Self-Improvement Travel) for "Having a Ball, Vienna Style" published at Life As A Human on June 12, 2010.


Prince Edward Island media member Julie Watson recently worked as a contributor to Frommer's Far & Wide, a new travel guide.  She is currently in the process of signing a contract to work on Frommer's Nova Scotia, New Brunswick & Prince Edward Island, 9th Edition. "It will be an exciting summer, touring and experiencing the Maritimes," says Julie, who is also updating content for websites:, and

Development Counsellors International has promoted Karyl Leigh Barnes to Senior Vice President and Partner. See the big announcement here:

If you are planning on visiting and writing about an Orlando spring break or summer vacation family getaway, we would welcome the opportunity to host you for an unforgettable family dining experience and editorial coverage at Fulton's Crab House, Portobello or Wolfgang Puck Café, all conveniently and scenically located in Downtown Disney® at Walt Disney World Resort. Each restaurant offers unique experiences to please the adventurous spirit of every family member with varied selections and great kids menus too. For information on each restaurant click on:, and Hosted reservations are available for a limited time and based on availability and editorial assignment. To learn more please contact: or phone 407-838-1829.

tipWe Want Your Hotel Tips

As travel journalists we can always use juicy tips about accommodation in major cities. As a group I'm sure we have some great finds. The objective of the tip column I'm planning for our next newsletter is to inform each other of the quirky, moderately priced establishments our members have come across. For our first column we're looking for blurbs of no more than 100 words each on hotels in New York City and/or Rome. Please send submissions to Evelyn Hannon:

Back to Table of Contents

find_marketTo Market, To Market

by Lola Brown

TMAC member Lola Brown follows up with industry member Charlene Rooke on what she needs for the publications she manages at Spafax .

Please click here to read the article.

Volunteer with TMAC Volunteering with TMAC

by Jantine Van Kregten

TMAC industry member Jantine Van Kregten talks about her experience as an TMAC volunteer. 

Please click here to read the article.

ask_expertAsk an Expert


by John Geary

Media member John Geary column has got some useful ideas for new media or industry members who are involved in press trips for the first time (and for old hands, as a gentle reminder).

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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