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tocSeptember and October 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

Susan Mate (media)

Phone: 403-230-0731

Atlantic chapter chair

Sandra Phinney (media)

Phone: 902-648-0462

B.C. chapter chair

Jane Mundy (media) 

Phone: 604-251-4443 

Ontario chapter chair

Ron Brown (media)

Phone: 416-757-9798
New_MemberNew Members

Fraser Abbott 

Hotel Arts Group

Calgary, AB

Patrizia Antonicelli

Seven Directions LLC

Santa Fe, NM

Debra Chan

Argyle Communications

Toronto, ON

Bernice Couto

GCI Group

Toronto, ON

Dagmara Grabowski

Weber Shandwick

Toronto, ON

Charlene Kauhane

Maui Visitors Bureau

Wailuku, HI

Jillian MacKinnon

Saint John Destination Marketing

Saint John, NB


Sheenah Rogers

Anstice Communications

Calgary, AB



Tricia Woikin 

Banff Lake Louise Tourism

Banff, AB





Kathy Buckworth

Mississauga, ON



Seema Dhawan

Calgary, AB



Elizabeth Kerr

Kerrwil Publications Limited

Toronto, ON



Mark Medicoff

Montreal, QC



Jan Napier

Halifax, NS



Karan Smith

Ottawa, ON


contributorsContributors to This Issue


 Laurie Carter


Martha Chapman


Gary Crallé


Dale Dunlop


Susan Mate


Josephine Matyas


Jane Mundy


Sandra Phinney


Kathy Renwald


Joanne Sasvari

It's been a while . . . so, there is a lot to catch up on in the world of TMAC! Hope you've all had a warm, wonderful - and productive - summer. Here's to much of the same for the upcoming fall!


- Josephine Matyas, TMAC Travels editor 

President_ReportPresident's Report

Forget January 1. To me, September always seems like the beginning of the new year. And so it seems only appropriate that the TMAC national board is entering the fall season all energized and ready to tackle a host of projects.

This month's biggest news is the launch of registration for the 2012 Conference & AGM in Fredericton. We have an exciting program planned for you, with some terrific pre and post tours, practical professional development sessions and real down-home Maritime hospitality in one of the friendliest cities we've ever visited.

We've also just sent out the RFP for our 2014 conference. For the first time, we've opened the conference to any destination anywhere in the world, so if you want 200 or so of Canada's best travel writers, photographers and industry professionals visiting you and telling your destination's stories, well, this is your big opportunity. If you missed the e-blast, contact Tina Hutchinson ( for details.

September's other big project is the beginning of membership renewals (see the report below). For media members, if your last name starts with L to Z, you'll want to start compiling your tearsheets now.

On the renewal forms, you'll notice one significant change. We're asking you to indicate whether you want a hard copy of the Membership Handbook or not. We know not all of you use the hard copy, but those who do are very attached to it. At the same time, we're trying to control both our costs and our impact on the environment, so we're only sending it to new members and those who really want it.

Next year, though, you'll see an even bigger change: To reward those who volunteer their valuable time for TMAC (and to encourage others to do so), we're going to start counting points for TMAC volunteer positions. The membership committee is working on a proposal for what those points values should be, and we plan to start implementing them when we launch the A to K part of membership renewal in 2012.

And speaking of changes . . .

Another big change is one you'll notice when you register for the conference. We have updated our Media Code of Conduct, and for the first time we have a formalized system in place for dealing with disputes involving TMAC members. We have also struck an Ethics Committee, chaired by Dale Dunlop, who spent the summer revising the code while the rest of us were at the beach.

There are basically three major changes. The first is that we have added the following item:

"The annual Media Marketplace is a forum for exchanging ideas and generating opportunities for media stories. It is not to be used as a means of advancing personal business interests or promoting products and services for financial gain to industry members."

The second is that, upon registering for the conference, our media members will be asked to check a box indicating that they have read the Code of Conduct, agree to its terms and understand the consequences of violating the code. This is in keeping with what similar organizations, such as SATW, do as well.

And the third addition is that we've established a process for dealing with disputes. If there is an issue that cannot be resolved between the individuals involved, it should be put in writing and brought to the attention of the national president. Depending on the circumstances, it will most likely go to the Ethics Committee, who will make a recommendation as to how to deal with the issue. Consequences could be a verbal caution, written reprimand, suspension from certain activities, or in truly extreme cases, expulsion from the association.

The idea here is to be open and transparent and to make sure as far as possible that everyone understands TMAC's rules and expectations, and what the consequences are for violating them. Indeed, our sincere hope is that we never have to invoke any of this. But if we do, at least there can be no surprises. You can (and should) read the whole Code of Conduct at

This is all part of our ongoing effort to establish a strong foundation for a thriving and successful professional association. As we continue through the fall and winter, we'll be working on some long-term strategies for TMAC, including revisiting the RFP for a new website. We have lots of projects, both big and small, in the works, which seems only fitting for the beginning of a new year. We'll be sure to keep you posted.

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

- Joanne Sasvari, national president, TMAC


Q_20Twenty Questions with Joanne Sasvari, TMAC President:
Joanne Sasvari
Joanne Sasvari

Want to know a bit more about TMAC's president, Joanne Sasvari? One of our inquisitive reporters sat down with Joanne to find the answers to . . .

  1. Where were you born? In Don Mills, Ont.
  2. What is your current job description? Freelance writer.
  3. How long have you been doing that?  For five years - before that I was either a writer or editor at newspapers and magazines for many years.
  4. What's the best thing about volunteering with TMAC? There are so many benefits, it's hard to pick one. You get to meet really interesting people on a different level than just socializing or at Media Marketplace. And you gain a real insight into how the industry works on both sides and who makes things happen.  
  5. What's the scariest thing you've ever done?  Leaving the comfort and security of working for a major newspaper to run my own business.
  6. Any guilty pleasures? Oh many! But lucky me, I've managed to make them into paying work . . . cocktails, gossip and fashion!
  7. What's your favourite airline? I have to say flying business class on Air New Zealand is a pretty awesome experience.
  8. And favourite destination?  Anywhere in Italy makes me happy.
  9. What was your best press trip? The government of Capri (Italy) invited me on an individual trip, and let me bring my husband along. For a whole week we had guided tours in the morning and free time in the afternoon. Bliss. And I got a ton of stories out of it.
  10. What will be the biggest challenge for TMAC in the next 12 months? We are at a crossroads: We have to decide what kind of organization we want to be, what our role should be and how, or even if, we want to grow. We also have to decide how we can best help our members navigate this very challenging time in the industry.
  11. Who do you most respect in TMAC? There are so many people - anybody who takes the time to volunteer and create a better organization.  People like Jo Matyas and Dale Dunlop, unsung heroes who do so much work and are so smart.
  12. What is your greatest extravagance? Designer handbags. I appear to be in denial about being a freelance writer! And I'm addicted to mystery novels.
  13. If you could sit next to any man on a long-haul flight who would it be? I believe Colin Firth would be at the top of that list. 
  14. Any woman? Though she'd be terribly intimidating - Hillary Clinton because she's so smart and I'll bet she has some great stories.
  15. What is your major bugbear about travelling? Oh! Hands down: airport security.
  16. What is your "must have" item when on the road? My beautiful lavender cashmere shawl.
  17. Any tech item you like to travel with? My e-reader.
  18. How much do you travel each year? A lot, sometimes up to half of the year.
  19. Is there anything you won't eat? I'll try anything once.
  20. What do you hope to be doing in 10 years? To have a novel sitting on top of the Globe and Mail bestseller list!


Finance_GovernanceFinance Report
Since I took on the job as Treasurer of TMAC two years ago I have been the voice of doom and gloom, concerned that if we did not turn the financial ship around we were going to hit an iceberg. Well, I am glad to say that the ship has turned and TMAC is on its way to financial stability. The second quarter financials are now posted and I urge all members to review them. The turnaround can be attributed to a number of factors - expenses have been trimmed without affecting efficiency or delivery of services and revenues have risen nicely, but by far the most significant factor was the huge financial success of the Ottawa conference which, despite an increase in venue costs of almost $60,000 over Wales, generated a very healthy profit. Last year at this time TMAC was in a money losing situation; we now are $120,000 to the good. Obviously this did not happen without the efforts of many, many TMAC members and those efforts will continue into the future. My hopes are that with two more successful conferences TMAC will once again be in a position to offer media subsidies to attend, but that will only happen if we all do what we can to make TMAC a viable financial organization.


As usual, if you have any questions feel free to email me and I will do my best to answer them.

- Dale Dunlop, treasurer, TMAC

bc_chapterChapter News

BRITISH COLUMBIA - The B.C. chapter has a few new members and we are hopeful that our membership drive in October will attract more-from both media and industry.


At our AGM last April, which was held at the Listel Hotel, president Randall Shirley handed over the baton to Jane Mundy and several members offered to stay on the board, along with a few new faces. Our main goal is create events and services that will build our membership. Here is the new TMAC B.C. board:

  • Jane Mundy (President, media)
  • Joanne Blain (Vice President, media)
  • Morgan Sommerville (Treasurer, industry)
  • Rose Chase (Secretary, industry)
  • Jorden Hutchison (Events Coordinator, industry)
  • Jane Ince, industry
  • Michelle Dunn, industry
  • Lucas Aykroyd, media
  • John Lee, media
  • Luba Plotnikoff, industry

Several TMAC B.C. members attended the TBEX conference in Vancouver. Some members, industry and media alike, found it rather disappointing, but they likely didn't attend the "non-narrative travel writing" event, which included chapter member and our former pres Randall Shirley. Naturally, it focused on the art of creating a list (his blog is all lists of travel favourites,

Our summer sizzler at the newly renovated Hotel Georgia had a good turn-out (about 40) and fun was had by all! Our next meeting is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 24, hosted by Fredericton Tourism and New Brunswick Tourism in an effort to attract our members to the national conference. Looks like it will take place at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts. As mentioned, our main focus is membership drive, just in time for a big turnout at our PD day in January - we are hopeful that a Pacific Northwest marketplace can happen. Last year, despite a freak snowstorm, our PD was a great success, thanks largely to Tourism Richmond.

TMAC B.C. board member Lucas Aykroyd is among the contributing authors for the inaugural edition of Frommer's Far & Wide: A Weekly Guide to Canada's Best Travel Experiences, which hits shelves this fall. Aykroyd covered everything from hockey and hiking to festivals and fine dining in his native province. And a flagrant blurb of self-promotion: My The Ocean Wise Cookbook has been short listed for the Canadian Culinary Awards. That's it!


- Jane Mundy, B.C. chapter chair

ab_chapterALBERTA - It's been a smashing summer for TMAC's Alberta chapter. We're thrilled with the success of our Escape to Edmonton professional development weekend June 3 to 5 in the provincial capital, hosted by Edmonton Tourism. Hats off to Travel Media Relations Manager Amy Wolski, Communications Manager Bin Lau and their great team for rolling out the red carpet for about a dozen TMAC members and guests.


The weekend kicked off with a Friday night welcome reception at the tasty Zinc restaurant at the beautifully renovated Art Gallery of Alberta (we also got a behind-the-scenes tour). We gathered the next morning at the downtown Matrix Hotel for a full day of PD, kicked off by Jim Barr and his team at Snowseekers, who showed us a few tricks on how to produce whiz-bang high-resolution videos for the tourism market and how to market videos using social media. Next, Calgary tourism consultant Carol Patterson of Kalahari Management shared her experiences reinventing herself in a presentation "Unlocking your inner superhero." Foodie Sharon Yeo kept her audience engaged (and oh so hungry!) by talking about her highly successful food blog, Only Here for the Food (, while software developer Mack D. Male showed why he's one of Edmonton's top entrepreneurs with a session on Social Networking for Travel Writers. A bit later, members of our TMAC gang whetted their appetite at wine & cheese at the grand Fairmont Hotel McDonald, followed by a dine-around at three local eateries - Moriarty's, The Creperie and Sorrentino's - before being whisked to the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra at the stunning Winspear Centre.


The next day our group got a chance to tour the city's river valley on Segways (what a hoot) and take part in a fascinating walking tour of the funky Old Strathcona district. A special thanks to TMAC media members Deb Smith, Deb Cummings and Neil Bousquet for their Herculean efforts to pull off the PD weekend - and thanks to those who made the trek, our hosts and speakers.


Our chapter's second summer event was also a big hit - the annual Barbados Cup Challenge early last month at the Calgary Polo Club, hosted by Tourism Barbados - a big thanks to TMAC member Gail Quinn for organizing this fun outing.


And finally, former Alberta chapter chair Debra Cummings has stepped back to focus on her work as editor of WestJet's up! magazine; Susan Mate (media, former chapter chair) and Jessica Harcombe (Travel Alberta) will share the task of chairing the chapter into 2012. Rounding out the board are Cummings, Neil Bousquet, Jennifer Santos, Deb Smith and Hala Dehais. 

- Susan Mate, Alberta membership co-chair



onONTARIO - No Report

- Ron Brown (media), Ontario co-chair

Atlantic Chapter PD DaysatATLANTIC - The Atlantic Chapter met in Charlottetown, P.E.I. Sept. 9 to 11. Participation was great with 15 media and industry members from three provinces. It was a great combination of a mini-press trip focused on the Fall Flavours Festival . . . covering culinary, culture and outdoor experiences. Lots of networking opportunities and a lively/informative chapter meeting. Most media members have several stories lined up based on this trip. Next meeting will be a PD session that Julie Watson will present on e-books and print on demand, Oct. 22 in Halifax. It will be open to the public and also used as a PR tool to recruit new members.

- Sandra Phinney, Atlantic chapter chair

Membership Committee News

member_committeeIt's requalification time for media members! If your surname begins L to Z, this means you! You'll be receiving notification very soon. Generally, it all goes pretty smoothly for both requalifying members and the Membership Committee (big thanks to Michele Sponagle, Amy Rosen, Mark Stevens and Laura Byrne Paquet). I know we are all busy people and it seems like it's a lot of fuss to put your documentation together. It really isn't. And it's an essential part of what keeps TMAC vibrant and meaningful.

So, where do most people get caught up and end up delaying the process? They submit work from outside the review period. Don't make that silly mistake yourself. WORK TO BE SUBMITTED IS FROM THE PREVIOUS CALENDAR YEARS - THAT'S JAN. 1, 2009, TO DEC. 31, 2010. (Do not submit work from 2011. That will be used next time.)

Please review the guidelines and point system, as there have been a few changes since you last requalifiied. Points have been increased in many areas, particularly for website writing and short editorial items (i.e. fewer than 500 words). Also, blogs are now allowed; however, blogs will count for a maximum 25 points of the 50 points required for membership. Samples of work from additional media (video, radio or print) must be included to make up the remaining 25 points required. If you are concerned that you may not have enough points to requalify, please complete the process anyway and include a letter outlining your concerns. Or contact me for assistance and clarification - I'm happy to help.

And finally, don't wait until the deadline. The sooner you requalify, the sooner you can register for next year's Conference & AGM (May 2 to 5, 2012) in Fredericton, N.B.

- Cathy Stapells, media membership committee chair

Back to Table of Contents 

Member_NewsMember News

TMAC handbook correction: The incorrect phone number was listed for media member Jane McLean. The correct number is 905-975-9943.

Martha and AllThe Caribbean island of Anguilla was the scene of a mini Munch'n'Mingle as several TMAC members joined Martha Chapman of Tourism International on a recent press trip.  From left to right, Doug O'Neill (Canadian Living), Jo Matyas (freelance), Martha Chapman and freelancer Laura Byrne Paquet.

Congratulations to media member Sandra Phinney who won gold for best magazine feature/profile in the Atlantic Journalism Awards in Halifax. Her story was "Only in Pubnico" and appeared in Saltscapes.

Two TMAC members took home awards at the International Regional Magazine Association's annual conference in Reno, Nevada. Congratulations to Shelley McCarron for 100 Reasons to Love Atlantic Canada and Sandra Phinney for Only in Pubnico, both published in Saltscapes magazine.

The Atlantic chapter has four new members! Welcome to . . .

Jan Napier hails from Halifax. She was recently accepted as an exhibiting member of ViewPoint Gallery in Halifax, an artist-run co-operative. Visit their website at

John Sylvester is a professional photographer from P.E.I. You'll see his work in Tourism P.E.I.'s marketing materials. He's also won awards for his stories and photography (latest award was from Northern Lights this past spring).

Jillian MacKinnon is the new Marketing & Communications Manager for the city of Saint John, N.B., and is delighted to be part of the Discover Saint John team. Jillian joined the tourism industry after 14 years in marketing and communications at Bell Aliant, Atlantic Canada's largest telecommunications provider.  

Andrea Young just joined the team at Destination Halifax as the new Communications/Web Manager. Having played a key role on the communications team for the Halifax 2011 Canada Games Host Society, Andrea comes to Destination Halifax with a range of talents and experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors.

Media member Helena Katz just published her fourth book with Dundurn. Justice Miscarried: Inside Wrongful Convictions in Canada tells the heart-wrenching stories of twelve innocent Canadians who were wrongly convicted and the errors in the nation's justice system that changed their lives forever. A story about her book made the front page of the Saturday Telegram in St. John's, Newfoundland & Labrador.

Jennifer Merrick's ( iPhone app -Toronto Essential Guide - has been published with Sutro Media. Over 200 entries and 1400 photos give visitors an insider's view of the city.

Tourism Richmond has launched a contest for North American travel writers. Visit and submit your feature story on Richmond, B.C., and you'll have a shot at snagging one of two $1,000 cash prizes - one for best culinary story and one for best overall destination story. The contest runs from April 1, 2011 to March 31, 2012 and all articles must be published during this time. All contest entries must be submitted to Tourism Richmond by June 1, 2012. Winners will be announced in November 2012. Visit to view detailed contest rules.

TMAC industry member Lois Gerber is pleased to announce the 2011 Visit Europe Media Exchange (VEMEX) will be held on Monday, Oct. 17, in Toronto, at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel. Go to for more details.


boot_from_editorHow Not to Get the Boot From an Editor

Laurie CarterBy Laurie Carter


TMAC member Laurie Carter - senior editor of Okanagan Life magazine - speaks about what she's looking for in a writer.


Please click here to read the article.


Back to Table of Contents

straight_shooterStraight Shooter


By Gary Crallé 


TMAC member Gary Crallé gives a detailed review of the SIRUI T1204X Tripod, a tripod for photographers who don't like to carry a tripod.

Please click here to read the article.


Three Minute PD Three-Minute PD: How - and What - to Quote For Copywriting

by Martha Chapman


TMAC industry member Martha Chapman gives five suggestions to help quote for work.

Please click here to read the article.


press_tripsPress Trips


by Kathy Renwald

TMAC member Kathy Renwald talked with TMAC industry members about their expectations from journalists on press trips.


And don't miss NEXT ISSUE: What about using social media to cover a tress trip? Skipping parts of an itinerary? Industry pet peeves and advice.

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.

Travel Media Association of Canada | 55 St. Clair Avenue West - Suite 255 | Toronto | ON | M4V 2Y7 | Canada