March/April 2012 - Table of Contents
Quick Links
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




Hillary Angel

Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism

Palm Springs, CA   

Leah Piltz

Ontario's Highlands Tourism Organization

Pembroke, ON

Mélanie Marcouiller

Tourisme Mauricie

Shawinigan, QC

Nicola Blazier

Jesson and Company

Toronto, ON

Nancy Liedtke

Brewster Travel Canada

Banff, AB

Ian McMillan

Tourism Sault Ste Marie

Sault Ste Marie, ON

Cynthia Peters

Taste the County

Wellington, ON




Alison Kent

Toronto, ON
Julie Ferguson

Port Moody, BC

Trish Friesen

North Vancouver, BC

Nathan Fong

Vancouver, BC

Chris Ryall

Toronto, ON
contributorsContributors to This Issue


  • Ron Brown 
  • Martha Chapman 
  • Dale Dunlop 
  • Benoit Legault 
  • Susan Mate 
  • Josephine Matyas 
  • Jane Mundy 
  • Sandra Phinney 
  • Joanne Sasvari 
  • Michele Sponagle 
  • John Sylvester 
  • Jantine Van Kregten



Thanks to your Contribution.



In this issue you'll find the fantastic work - yet again - of a very busy PD committee. This seems like the right time to mention that TMAC Travels is always looking for articles written by members, both on the media and the industry sides. Contact PD committee chair, Sandra Phinney, if you've got something you'd like to contribute. 
And a heads up: Beginning with the May/June issue we'll be starting a new, short PD column called "Q&A: INQUISITIVE MINDS WANT TO KNOW . . ." Submit a question about the business of travel writing or travel promotion and we'll try to find the skinny on it (send questions to me). Short bits of inspiration and information to keep you fuelled!


- Josephine Matyas, TMAC Travels editor  
President_ReportPresident's Report

Communication. As professionals, it's what we do. As an association, well, sometimes we don't do it as well as we would like.


But over the next few months, that is going to change.


TMAC has embarked on an ambitious new communications strategy that will bring us into the 21st century with a combination of old, new and social media designed not only to improve communication within TMAC, but to spread the word about our group with the rest of the world.


In fact, the first step in the plan may already be complete. At press time, we were just days away from uploading a sophisticated new look for the current website. If it isn't up by now, it will be shortly, so take a look - we hope you like it! Its simple, clean design will eventually set the tone for all our communications, from e-blasts to press releases and even TMAC Travels.


Within the next few weeks, we also plan to have our social media strategy in place, with LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter accounts for TMAC. (Be sure to follow us at @TravelMediaCA!) We're also working on protocols for press releases to share TMAC news, as well as ways to respond to news events that involve travel and travellers. After all: We are Canada's travel experts. When travel news happens, we should be out there commenting on it.


Mostly, though, we want to make sure you hear about all the exciting new things that are happening at TMAC.


And the best place to hear about all that's new will be at the 2012 Conference & AGM, May 2 to 5 in Fredericton, where we'll be rolling out several new initiatives. For one thing, we are working on some terrific new benefits options, including health and dental care. For another, our professional development team will be able to tell you about a timely and valuable online PD session they're planning for May.


I am particularly delighted that we will be able to officially announce that, as of the next round of media requalifications, which will start this fall with A-L surnames, TMAC will start counting points for the volunteer work media members do for the association. It's a recognition of the hard work and countless hours some members do, and an incentive for other media members to roll up their sleeves, too.


Add to that a terrific lineup of PD sessions, social events, local tours, the best marketplace for Canadian travel media, the AGM, and the opportunity to mingle with your TMAC friends. As you can see, there will be plenty of great reasons to attend the conference. So if you haven't registered yet, go to and sign up now. We can't wait see you in Fredericton!


Meanwhile, I wish you all happy and safe travels, wherever your travels may lead you.

- Joanne Sasvari, TMAC national president  

Finance_GovernanceFinance and Governance Report

The 2012 budget has been prepared and passed by the board. It calls for a surplus and contains a lot of comparative material that makes it easy for members to follow TMAC's finances over the last four years. This material will be posted on the website. If members have questions about the budget, please email me.


The governance committee has recommended several potential by-law changes that will be voted on in Fredericton including whether or not the president should receive a financial honorarium and changes to comply with the newly amended federal act that governs federally incorporated non-profits.



- Dale Dunlop, TMAC treasurer

bc_chapterChapter News

BRITISH COLUMBIA - March 3rd was the B.C. chapter's PD day at the Pan Pacific Vancouver hotel. The theme, Defining your Market and Refining your Message, brought industry and media together in three sessions. Two social media experts generously gave up their time; one speaking on how to enhance your professional image via social media and how to overcome bad PR, and another weighing in on social media strategy. Our own PR and media panel discussed successes and pitfalls when working together. But first up was a presentation from the Writers Coalition on medical/dental insurance and benefits, of foremost concern for our media members. And last but far from least, TMAC National President Joanne Sasvari gave us an update on national TMAC news. Thank you to our generous sponsors, Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association, Tourism Kelowna, Tourism Kamloops & Pentiction and Wine Country Tourism for making this event possible.  


- Jane Mundy, B.C. chapter chair

ab_chapterALBERTA - Alberta TMACers are off to Banff for their first professional development retreat of the year, and it's shaping up to be one of the best yet. Our fifth annual PD event - slated for March 18 to 19 - is called Stylin' and Profilin' in the Rockies, and features one full day of speakers and panels, then a second day of story-generating experiences. Day one features a hands-on social media lesson, one group for beginners and the second for advanced bloggers/tweeters. Sponsor Parks Canada will offer a lunchtime keynote on bear conservation; then a panel of editors will speak about trends for travel writing and how industry and editors use story segmentation to target audiences. These Mountains Oughta Be in Pictures features photography advice - especially on landscapes, time lapse and motion blur. The venerable Grizzly House will dish out a four-course dinner in partnership with Banff Lake Louise Tourism (our weekend host). The second day brings a search-and-rescue demo with Cazz the Shaggy Dog (and a Parks Canada warden), then either tubing or skiing at Ski Norquay in Banff, or a cultural tour to showcase Spring stART - a month-long arts/culture festival in April. Thanks to our hosts and TMAC's fantastic Alberta board for making this happen. See you in the Rockies!  

- Susan Mate, Alberta membership co-chair

on_chapterONTARIO - Our February Munch and Mingle was held in Toronto's popular and historic new tourist spot, the Distillery District, and was hosted by New Brunswick Tourism and Fredericton.   

Given the success of the day trip to Peterborough and the Kawarthas and the lovely Elmhirst Resort on Rice Lake in June of 2011, the Ontario board has discussed the opportunity to try this every year. A popular resort in Collingwood expressed interest in hosting a 2012 day trip at some point during the year, but details remain to be confirmed. 


With the social media PD sessions working well, especially the one offered by Google and held jointly with SATW, the board is looking at the potential for a Facebook or LinkedIn event. 


Cash for Clips continues with the latest winner being Michele Peterson. 


 Our chapter elections will be held in June with roughly six vacancies on offer. Please think in terms of joining the Ontario board.

- Ron Brown and Jerry Grymek, Ontario chapter co-chairs and  

atlantic_chapterATLANTIC - The Atlantic Chapter welcomes new media member, Candice Walsh, a self-employed travel writer, blogger and social media consultant living in St. John's, N.L. In addition to contributing to several publications, she is also an editor at Matador Network. Her specialty is her home province, where she has lived her whole life. Candice's other passions include twentysomething travel, Greece, the Mediterranean and adventure tourism. 


Our chapter had its first online email meeting and it was successful with a good exchange of information and ideas. (We actually managed to reach consensus on topics that required decisions. Not as fun as being face-to-face, but doable.) Next big item to dig our teeth into right after we meet at the conference is to stage a spring PD session. We're playing copycat to Ontario who had Andrew Swartz present a PD session titled Google for Journalists. He's agreed to do a similar session in Halifax. We'll open it to journalists and writers in Atlantic Canada, use it as a fundraiser, and also as an opportunity to promote TMAC.


- Sandra Phinney, Atlantic chapter chair  

member_committeeConference Committee Report

Be prepared to be wooed and charmed by Fredericton, our host destination for the 2012 TMAC Conference & AGM, from May 2 to 5. It's a happening city with plenty to discover. If you haven't signed up, there's still time to register. And, of course, the media marketplace will be front and centre. It's the ultimate meet-and-greet opportunity for media and industry members. With GoMedia (organized by the Canadian Tourism Commission) whittling down the number of Canadian media members invited to its annual event, this is the best opportunity of the year to connect and gather story ideas. You should not miss it!


Thanks to a great lineup of activities, tours and PD sessions, plus a generous grant from the kind folks at Tourism New Brunswick to help transport media members, registration currently stands at 65 media and 93 industry partners.


Meanwhile, there's no dust on the conference committee as contracts have been signed for 2013. The ink is still drying, but we'll be announcing the fantastic western host destination for next year just before we say goodbye to Fredericton. For those forward thinkers, hold the dates: June 12 to 15, 2013.


And speaking of forward thinking, the conference committee has been looking at host cities for 2014, enduring snow, ice, rain and heat in the name of research. In the end, one destination won us over with a combination of enthusiasm, warm hospitality and a plethora of unique story angles that will knock the collective socks off TMAC delegates. That's all we can say for now. We promise the wait will be worth it.



- Jantine Van Kregten and Michele Sponagle, conference committee co-chairs and


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Member_NewsMember News

Media member Michael DeFreitas ( won three writing and photography awards in the 2011 Annual NATJA (North American Travel Journalists Association) Awards Competition. Gold in the Cruise category for his feature "Jungle Fever," Silver in the Overall Excellence in Photography category for his illustrated feature story "Hawaii: A Study in Contrasts," and Bronze in the Destination Travel category for his feature story "Alaska's Un-Cruise Experience."


Kate Pocock won a Silver in the recent NATJA awards competition for her story "Germany: Freedom of Expression" (The Globe and Mail), and a Bronze in the Internet category, Leisure Activity, for her story "Corn Mazes: Ripe for Family Fun" (

Kate also won a recent photo award in SATW's annual Bill Muster Photo Showcase: an Honorable Mention in the Natural Scenic Category for a photo of Mary Lake in Huntsville, Ontario.


Chris Ryall, who has worked with many TMAC members over the years as an industry member representing destinations from around the world, is returning to his media and writing roots. Chris was approved in January 2012 for media membership and would like to point fellow members towards his updated profile on the TMAC website.


Amy Rosen has resigned from her position as Food Editor at House & Home magazine and is the Acting Food Editor at Chatelaine magazine during Claire Tansey's maternity leave.


The Westin Nova Scotian renamed their lobby lounge to recognize 49 years of outstanding service by Roy Clorey. Roy began his career in the Nova Scotian Hotel in 1963 at The Griffin, which was located where Sykea Spa now resides. He has worked in several food and beverage facilities throughout the hotel during various ownerships and managements. When The Nova Scotian became The Westin Nova Scotian in 1996, the hotel was pleased to keep Roy on staff. He is currently bartender at the lobby lounge being renamed after him - Roy's Lounge.

New Castle Hotels and Resorts is also pleased to announce the addition of Matthew Mackenzie to the position of General Manager of Keltic Lodge Resort & Spa on Cape Breton. Matthew has carefully developed his hospitality career over the past 18 years in world-class destination resort properties primarily on the west coast of Canada. His abundant skills in all aspects of hotel operations will complement the Keltic Lodge's 2012 season - just in time for some exciting renovations.

Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism's marketing campaign, Find Yourself, has won the quintessential award for advertising in Canada, a Grand Prix Gold CASSIES (Canadian Advertising Success Stories). The award was presented Jan. 23 at the 2012 CASSIES Award show in Toronto. "In the world of Canadian advertising, it doesn't get any bigger than this," says the Honourable Derrick Dalley, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation. To date, the Find Yourself campaign has won 137 awards.

Tourism Prince Edward Island is happy to have Isabel MacDougall on board as the new media relations officer. She's had previous experience working as the media relations officer for Nunavut Tourism and recently completed a field research project on sustainable development, focusing on tourism. Isabel is originally from P.E.I. and is excited to be back home, promoting tourism in her favourite place


Loving_linkedinLovin' LinkedIn

Hans Tammemagiby Martha Chapman


As a method of communicating between professionals, LinkedIn has become a powerhouse with a whopping 150 million members around the world. I spoke with a few TMAC members to see how they use LinkedIn and the benefits of doing so.


Media member Kate Pocock says she's been on LinkedIn for about 18 months, and apart from updating her profile on a regular basis, doesn't find it time-consuming. Kate checks in about once a week and says, "Resisting the temptation to open every message helps!" She also uses LinkedIn as a research tool. "If I'm pitching a query, I look to see if the editor is there to get a feeling for his or her past and fields of expertise. This is a great help in tweaking the pitch." Highlights for Kate have included hearing from a past editor, a former publisher and a headhunter who wanted to offer her a job!



Please click here  to read the article.  

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stockphotographySo you want to be a stock photographer?

By John Sylvester


Last November I gave a short presentation of my work at a cancer fundraiser in Toronto. After the presentation I received an email from one of the attendees. He told me that after 24 years at his present job, it was time for a change. He liked photography and travel (who doesn't?) and wanted advice on how to earn a living as a travel photographer. He sent me a selection of his images taken in locations as far flung as Kenya and Bora Bora. I told him that if he can afford holidays in those locations in his present job, he should stay where he is and continue to enjoy photography as a hobby. 

Please click here to read the article.  

listserve Listserv: Peeves and Perks  

by Sandra PhinneySandra New Market Nov


Listservs. I have a love-hate relationship with listservs in general, and TMAC's in particular. But the perks outweigh the peeves.

Thanks to Bruce Bishop who started the listserv (May 2000 when he was president), it's always functioned as an exchange of information - similar to the village well in days of old. It also provides an "ear to the ground" for keeping up with fast-breaking interests or concerns among members.

Please click here to read the article.


awardwinningstoriesAward winning stories often linked to unusual itineraries

By Benoit Legault


As travel writers, we dig deep in our emotions and dreams to bring stories to life . . . for so little money that it is a labour of love. We are usually happy just to be read, and ecstatic to be published in a prestigious newspaper like Le Devoir. 


Writing is also a very solitary experience. And we get little feedback from readers, even in these days of Web 2.0. However, gaining a TMAC award is a form of supreme, positive feedback. 

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 TMAC 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