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January and February 2012 - 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


Liz Campbell (media)

Phone:  416-207-9150

Grant Fraser (media)

Phone:  905-844-7666

Judy Hammond (industry)

Phone: 416-920-5817

Catherine Kaloutsky (ex-officio)

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

Mélissa Brisson

Festival d'été international de Québec

Québec, QC

Megan Stoudt


Toronto, ON

Janice Arseneault

Edmundston Madawaska Tourism Office

Edmundston, NB

Dana Huggard

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts of Ontario

Toronto, ON




Mike Fisher

Calgary, AB 

contributorsContributors to This Issue




Ron Brown  


Liz Campbell 


Dale Dunlop


Susan Mate


Josephine Matyas


Jane Mundy


Sandra Phinney


Joanne Sasvari


Hans Tammemagi 


Jantine Van Kregten  


Happy New Year everyone! Another writing, editing and photographing year is behind us . . . and an exciting one is ahead. This issue of TMAC Travels is loaded with news, updates and PD pieces to stoke your creative fires. Enjoy!


- Josephine Matyas, TMAC Travels editor  
President_ReportPresident's Report
Welcome to 2012! Here's hoping this will be a terrific year for TMAC, and for all of you.

But before we can fully embrace the new year, we have some business to finish with the old. Have you renewed your membership? Registered for the 2012 Conference & AGM? Entered your stories and photographs in the TMAC Awards? Applied for the new Media Travel Grant? We've extended many of our deadlines (including the TMAC Awards and early bird registration for the conference), so you still have time to take advantage of all the opportunities TMAC offers.

This is going to be an action-packed year for TMAC. For one thing, we're very excited about the upcoming conference in Fredericton, May 2 to 5. It's a beautiful destination with countless opportunities for story telling, and our hosts have lined up a spectacular array of tours, events and parties. We suspect the closing night kitchen party will be nothing short of epic.

Most importantly, though, the TMAC Conference & AGM is the best opportunity you'll have all year to see your TMAC friends and colleagues, and to participate in the one marketplace that truly connects Canada's most exciting travel destinations, attractions and properties with the country's best travel media.

So go to to read about the new Media Travel Grant and to register for the conference. We can't wait see you in Fredericton!

Meanwhile, the national board is working hard on a strategic plan to improve both the way TMAC does business and the value that we offer our members.

Over the next 12 months, we'll be developing a master communications plan, as well as new revenue streams, a new website, a better volunteer organization and a plethora of new benefits, starting with a medical and dental plan. Some of these changes you'll start to see right away; others will take longer to implement. But all of them are designed to improve what TMAC can offer our members, which means this is all good news for you.

However, we won't be able to compete this massive undertaking without you.

In 2012, TMAC will start offering points toward media membership for our volunteers, so there's never been a better time to get involved. Why not run for your chapter or national board? Or how about volunteering for a committee or special project? If you're interested in getting involved, tell your chapter chair, fill out a ballot when nominations launch on Feb. 1 or let our volunteer co-ordinator Sandra Phinney know. We'd love to have you on board!

Finally, in late-breaking news, there have been some rather sudden changes at our management company, T*OCS. Xi Pan, who takes care of all our online and website needs, including the formatting of TMAC Travels, unexpectedly had to take early maternity leave at the end of last week. Luckily, T*OCS has all TMAC's needs in hand, so there should be minimal disruption to us. More importantly, we wish Xi and her family the very best as they begin this new chapter of their lives!

And I wish all of you happy and safe travels in the New Year, wherever your travels may lead you.

- Joanne Sasvari, TMAC national president  

Finance_GovernanceFinance Report
TMAC's financial situation continues to improve. The year-end financials are in the process of being assembled and the 2012 budget is being prepared.

- Dale Dunlop, TMAC treasurer

Board_NominationBoard Nominations
We want you! In a few weeks, nominations will open for several positions on the TMAC national board: four directors and the Vice-President (Media), who will take on the role of President in 2013. This is your opportunity to get more involved with TMAC and play a role in the future not just of our association, but our entire industry.

Expect an e-mail from the Governance and Nominations Committee on Feb. 1 with all the details of how to nominate a candidate. The official deadline for nominations is Feb. 28, but remember that you can always nominate someone from the floor at the AGM on May 5. And good luck to everyone who chooses to run!

bc_chapterChapter News

BRITISH COLUMBIA - Mark your calendars for the B.C. chapter's annual professional development day, which will take place March 3 at the Pan Pacific Hotel in downtown Vancouver. We're in the process of putting together a great lineup of speakers on topics ranging from how to craft an effective pitch or compelling press release to strategies for dealing with the HST, as well as a presentation on medical and dental insurance for the self-employed. It should be an informative day for both media and industry, so keep your schedule open. We're currently on the hunt for sponsors for the lunch and refreshment breaks, so if you represent (or know of) a travel-related industry group that might be interested in doing so, please let me know ASAP.

I attended a strategy meeting of the national board in Toronto in November and found it very informative. Moderator Peter Wright did a great job of keeping us all focused on the goal of crafting a strategy to guide TMAC's future over the next several years.

The B.C. board would like to thank the Glowbal group for the fantastic Christmas lunch they hosted for us at Black + Blue on Alberni Street in mid-December. National president Joanne Sasvari joined us, to update us on the ongoing strategy sessions and other national issues. We were wowed by the food, the decor and the attentive service - the real miracle was that we managed to get any work done between courses!  


- Jane Mundy, B.C. chapter chair

ab_chapterALBERTA - About 20 TMAC members and guests got an early taste of Christmas cheer at Heritage Park Historical Village on Nov. 15. Organizer Barb Munro put together a great itinerary with a sneak preview of the park's Once Upon a Christmas, an evening of traditional Yuletide activities . . . and the weather co-operated! Thanks to TMAC Alberta's board members and supporters for all their help in 2011 - we're slowly but steadily gaining numbers with a good mix of media and industry. But we're also interested in better serving those members we DO have, and appreciate you sticking with us as we near the 40 members mark. Please send us your ideas, feedback, concerns and kudos. Along those lines, we're organizing our next professional development weekend, hopefully sometime in February, thanks to a kind invitation from Banff Lake Louise Tourism. The itinerary and PD sessions are in the works - stay tuned for dates. The sessions will include a terrific hands-on workshop on new media with our local bright light and media member Seema Dhawan, who is a whiz at the tech talk that is a foreign language to some of our members. In the meantime, thanks to Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts' Divino restaurant for picking up a chunk of the tab for our thank-you lunch for board members. All the best to TMACers across the country for 2012.  

- Susan Mate, Alberta membership co-chair

on_chapterONTARIO - The Ontario chapter board held its monthly meeting on Dec. 6 at the Sheraton Hotel in Toronto. Items discussed included upcoming vacancies on the board, a possible day-trip, as well as concerns over the expense in travelling to the AGM in Fredericton. Following the meeting, the board joined members of TMAC's Ontario chapter in celebrating a Holiday Appreciation event in the hotel's Churchill Room. Hosted by the chapter, the participants enjoyed hors-d'oeuvres prepared by the hotel's fine chef, and a cash bar. Door prizes were provided by the Sheraton Hotel, the Delta Chelsea and members of the board, especially Liz Campbell. Many thanks to the chapter's industry co-chair, Jerry Grymek and Dan Young of the Sheraton Hotel for putting together a very cost-effective event. The next Ontario Munch and Mingle is hosted by the Delta Chelsea Hotel and will be on Jan. 31.

- Ron Brown (media), Ontario co-chair  


at_chapter ATLANTIC - Media members are lining up trips and stories, industry members are preparing for a new season, and everyone is gearing up for 2012. We are all looking forward to the AGM in Fredericton. Before then, we'll be holding a virtual chapter meeting either by web forum or Facebook.

- Sandra Phinney, Atlantic chapter chair

member_committeeConference Committee Report

Can't wait to see you at the TMAC annual conference May 2 to 5, 2012, in beautiful Fredericton, New Brunswick! If you haven't registered yet, you can do so through or directly at

Note that the early bird deadline has been extended to Jan. 31, which means media members still have time to register and take advantage of the following:

  • Early bird registration fees

  • Maximum choice for pre- and post-tours

  • The ability to register for the Media Member TMAC Conference Travel Grant

We're excited to announce that Tourism New Brunswick has just made a generous $10,000 donation to TMAC's new Media Travel Grant program. Our sincerest thanks go to everyone at Tourism New Brunswick for their thoughtful and timely support of this important new program.

The Media Travel Grant is a new initiative aimed at encouraging media attendance (which in turn encourages higher industry attendance) and TMAC is dedicated to developing a sustainable program. Conference registration fees for industry members were raised by $150 this year to create a pool of money from which we could draw, and we expected donations to be modest in this, the program's first year. Now, thanks to Tourism New Brunswick's generosity, we have much more money than expected to help get our media members to the conference, so be sure to apply when you register for the conference.


In other 2012 conference news, Fredericton Tourism will be offering participating media registrants of the 2012 TMAC Conference a number of "writeable-moments." Never before offered by a host city, Fredericton Tourism will provide special newsworthy opportunities (each only available to a very limited number of media) to unique and interesting story ideas with specialized experts. The "writeable-moments" will be listed on a special Facebook page (

And what if you're not seeing anything within the "writeable-moments" that fits your needs? No problem! Fredericton Tourism will also offer media registrants the opportunity to receive one-on-one leads and story ideas tailored to your particular area of interest. Please email for more information. 


Also, pre- and post-tour assignments should be finalized and communicated to media members shortly.

And sponsorship opportunities at the 2012 conference are still available for industry members - check online at

The conference committee has also been busy finalizing details with our 2013 conference host and, after reviewing bids from prospective 2014 hosts, will conduct site visits in late January 2012.


- Jantine Van Kregten, conference committee chair   

Back to Table of Contents 

Member_NewsMember News

Michael DeFreitas won silver and bronze in this year's SATW Bill Muster Photo Showcase Competition.


TMAC Caribbean Tourism Organization winners

(Photo credit: Kate Pocock)

There was a very strong showing from TMAC members on the podium at the Caribbean Tourism Organization's annual awards, held Dec. 8 in Toronto. Congratulations go out to Theresa Storm who won for Best Photograph in Conjunction with a Feature Article, Diane Slawych who won for Best Online Article, and Mark Stevens who took home two awards for Best Feature Article in a Consumer Newspaper and Best International Feature.


Jan Napier will be displaying fine art photography in an exhibition entitled NewPoints: First Impressions at ViewPoint Gallery, Halifax's first and only photography gallery. Several of Jan's photographs from Greece, France, Florida and home sweet home will be featured. The exhibition runs from Jan. 5 to 29.   


Sandra and John Nowlan just landed their first British assignment - World of Cruising Magazine assigned them a story about a South America itinerary they are taking in February (Santiago, Chile to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). As well, Cunard Line commissioned them to write an article about the Halifax Public Gardens for its 2012 in-suite magazine.


Sandra Phinney completed the revision (second edition) of Michelin Guide to Atlantic Canada, sold some photos to the publication and wrote some new content about the BVI for Michelin's Caribbean guide. She's also been accepted in the Canadian Writers Group, a literary agency that represents freelance writers.


Westin Nova Scotian has completely rebuilt the Executive Crown Suite to include a living room / pre-meeting area, and executive guestroom. This offers customers an opportunity to utilize an amazing boardroom overlooking Halifax Harbour.


boot_from_editorHelping the World One Suitcase at a Time

Hans Tammemagiby Hans Tammemagi


TMAC media member Hans Tammemagi shows how to donated needed supplies to poverty-stricken areas when visiting.


Please click here to read the article.  

Back to Table of Contents 

straight_shooterGoogle For Journalists

Liz CampbellBy Liz Campbell


Liz Campbell summarizes the session Google for journalists presented by Andrew Swartz, from Google Canada's public relations and communications team, that explains all the ways Google can work for journalists.

Please click here to read the article.  

Three Minute PD Individual press trips-going solo and loving it   

by Sandra PhinneySandra New Market Nov


Sandra Phinney gives some tips on how to plan for individual press trips.

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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