New Logo
November | December 2014
contentsNovember | December 2014 -
Inside TMAC Travels
Quick Links
bod2014-15 Board of Directors


Jo Matyas (media)

Kingston, ON 

Phone: 613-546-6266


Mark Stevens (media)

Caledon, ON 

Phone: 905-583-0059



Jerry Grymek (industry)

Account Director, LMA Communications Inc.

Toronto, ON 

Phone: 416-440-2500



Elizabeth Kerr (media)

Kerrwil Publications Limited

Toronto, ON 

Phone: 416-258-9948



Grant Fraser (media)

Tee to Green Magazine

Burlington, ON

Phone: 905-844-7666



Dan Young (industry)

Public Relations Manager - Canada, Starwood Hotels &

Resorts Worldwide Inc. 

Toronto, ON 

Phone: 416-947-4955 ext. 4458



Joanne Blain (media)

Joanne Blain Creative Services Ltd

Vancouver, BC 

Phone: 604-734-0584


Glenn Cameron (industry)

PR Consultant, Clear Communications

Toronto, ON 

Phone: 416 920-5817 


Holly Lenk (industry)

Manager, Travel Media Relations, Tourism Victoria

Victoria, BC

Phone: 250-414-6974

New Members



Eric Fletcher

Quyon, QC 



Condrea Fung

Richmond, BC 


Sheri Radford

Vancouver, BC


John Thomson

Vancouver, BC






Victoria Larson

VKLarson Communications

New York, NY


Angela Berardino

Turner Public Relations

Denver, CO



Leeann Froese

Town Hall Brands

Vancouver, BC


Brian Hayden

Visit Buffalo Niagara

Buffalo, NY



Sarah Lusk, Amy Watkins

Hawksworth Communications Vancouver, BC


Elyse Mailhot

Elyse Mailhot Marketing Communications

North Vancouver, BC



Lesley Weeks

Tourism Squamish

Squamish, BC
Contributors to This Issue

Thanks to:

  • Josephine Matyas
  • Mark Stevens
  • Catherine Roscoe Barr
  • Debra Smith
  • Anne Marshall
  • Sandra Phinney
  • Anne-Marie Forcier
  • Jan Feduck
  • Candice Walsh
  • Kat Tancock
  • Wendy Underwood
  • Maurice Li
  • Grant Fraser
Dear  :

We're well into the final months of 2014, which for many TMAC members means trying to get a grip on deadlines so that they can close out the year with a clean slate. So before you ring in the new year, remember to renew your TMAC membership. And if you're a media member whose last name starts with the letters A through K, make sure to add "requalification" to your year-end, must-do list. It's on mine!


- Joanne Blain, TMAC Travels editor  
President_ReportPresidents' Report

There's no other way to say it: It's been a very busy few months. Luckily the workload has been shared by a stellar group of board members as well as committee volunteers, and we are grateful to have them all on the team. Wrapping up a conference past, planning for conferences to come, thinking outside the box for PD sessions and keeping the TMAC finances "between the white lines" are some of the major issues on the table.


Membership requalifications and renewals have recently been issued and you may have noticed an increase in annual dues. As you may know, TMAC's finances have taken a bit of a beating in recent years and this board is committed to the task of restoring our association to robust financial health.


It's fairly straightforward - we look for ways to reduce expenses through belt tightening and we look for ways to increase revenue. This increase in membership fees is the first in several years. The amount is in line with other professional writing organizations and we hope you agree that you receive value for your money.


Our organization continues to evolve. We are looking forward to welcoming our first full-time bloggers into the fold. Our PD team is coming up with creative, outside-the-box ideas for the 2015 conference. The conference planning committee is full steam ahead: details are being organized for 2015 venue Peterborough and a 2016 host city has been chosen (sorry, can't tell yet!).


A board sub-committee is breaking new ground by investigating enhanced sponsorship partnerships on the conference front. Our handbook is being revitalized and, following a new model, will be back on the scene in 2015. The long-awaited development of a new website is back on track and should be unveiled by the end of November. Finally, after a long wait, we are pleased to announce that the issue of TMAC "orphan members" (those who live outside formal chapter boundaries) has been solved. Orphan members have been invited to join their neighbouring chapters. Welcome!


As we mentioned at the beginning of this message, it's taken an amazing team of committed people to get things moving in the right direction. And there is always room for one (or two, or three) more. There is no better way to understand TMAC - or to get the most from your membership - than to step forward and volunteer for a task. Large or small, it doesn't matter. Pick up the phone. Tap out an email. We'd love to hear from you.


- Josephine Matyas, Mark Stevens


social_mediaSocial Media Committee Report

The new TMAC social media committee was formed this fall after a call for volunteers from Jantine Van Kregten (director of communications, Ottawa Tourism) at the annual general meeting in Pittsburgh. It currently includes media members Katharine Fletcher, Jenn Smith Nelson, Tara Nolan and Kat Tancock. The committee has met twice so far via conference call. Below is what we've accomplished so far. Please feel free to contact us (via Jenn at if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.


During the first meeting, committee members discussed which social media platforms would best serve our organization at this time. We decided to focus on three: Facebook [link to], handled by Tara and Katharine, Twitter [link to], handled by Jenn and Jantine and Instagram [link to], launched by Jenn and Kat.


Our goal is to use social media to raise the profile of TMAC, to establish the organization as an industry expert and, hopefully, to encourage membership growth. We encourage all members to follow and interact with TMAC on the various platforms.


The first efforts of the social media committee:


Official reporting mechanisms
Jantine, as chair, will keep the TMAC board of directors informed of our committee's progress. Katharine will write reports as needed for the TMAC Travels newsletter.


Gathering members' social media info

Jantine asked TO Corporate Services for TMAC members' social media handles (though records are primarily for Twitter). We've been busy trying to follow all members. If we haven't followed you, please let us know!


As of Nov. 4, we have 723 followers. We encourage members to tag @travelmediaCA and use the #tmacCA hashtag in relevant tweets. (Watch for an article on hashtag use in a future newsletter.)


As of Nov. 4, we have 161 likes. It's important to note that this is a public page, not for member-only discussions, which are best placed on the listserv or on private regional Facebook pages. The TMAC Facebook page will be used for promotional purposes and to share content created by members.



As of Nov. 4, we have 135 followers on this brand-new account. Instagrammers, make sure to tag your photos with #tmacCA for potential inclusion on this feed.


French content

Tara has volunteered to post periodically en français, but because the majority of TMAC-ers speak/write/broadcast in English - and because of our limited volunteer capacity - we will primarily post in English. We welcome any volunteers who would like to take the lead on French-language social media content.


- Kat Tancock, TMAC social media committee member 


 Back to Table of Contents

finance_reportFinance Report

As of Sept. 30, 2014, TMAC revenues were $215,917. This figure is comprised of membership revenue ($91,302), conference revenue ($107,168) and other revenue ($17,446). Compared to the same period last year, revenues are down $8,383 ($224,299 as of September 2013). Membership revenue is up $6,192 from last year. The other two revenue categories were down from last year (2013 conference revenue $115,149 and 2013 other revenue $24,040). 

Total expenses were $192,819 compared to $199,594 for the same period in 2013. Total expenses are comprised of administrative expenses ($110,978) and conference expenses ($81,841). Management fees account for the largest amount of administrative expenses ($71,130) and venue (conference location) accounts for the largest conference expense ($61,513). Management fees remained unchanged year over year. Some of the decrease in the total expense figure can be attributed to a $4,883 reduction in 2014 conference expenses from the previous year ($81,841 vs. $86,724).

Net income for the period is down year over year. As of Sept. 30, 2014, net income was $23,097 compared to $24,705 in 2013. 

Total assets for the period are up for the period, $96,266 vs. $87,933 a year ago. This increase is primarily due to a higher cash balance of $43,511 vs. $27,468 as of Sept. 30, 2013. 


- Grant Fraser, TMAC national treasurer 

chapter_newsChapter News

bc_chapterBRITISH COLUMBIA - Thanks to the support of the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, Tourism Whistler, Destination British Columbia, the rest of our incredible sponsors and our wonderful presenters, we had more than 70 media and industry members confirmed for our professional development weekend, held Nov. 6 to 8 in Whistler in concert with Cornucopia, Whistler's Celebration of Food + Drink. 


Once again, we've used Survey Monkey to track attendee participation in our numerous weekend events, including meditation and yoga sessions. Our keynote speaker was Sunset magazine food editor Margo True. We also enjoyed a food photography seminar featuring notable foodies Joanne Sasvari, Erin Ireland, Joann Pai and Murray Bancroft, and Cellar Door, a grand tasting event featuring more than 100 premium wines. 


In the wake of our Whistler even, we'll soon begin planning our next professional development day in March 2015. Stay tuned for what's sure to be another fun and informative event!


Following the departure of event planner Dee Raffo and co-chair Andrea Visscher, we're excited to announce two new B.C. chapter board members: member-at-large Carolyn Heller (media) and event planner Kristine George (industry).


- Catherine Roscoe Barr, B.C. chapter co-chair


TMAC AB & NWT members can expect a winter season full of new opportunities to network, explore and enjoy.  Our new Munch & Mingle coordinator, industry member Noelle Aune of Noelle Aune Communications, has outlined a schedule that will have us getting together every few weeks well into 2015.  In addition to volunteering with TMAC AB & NWT, Noelle organizes travel, fashion and celebrity events across Canada.


Our next Munch and Mingle on Nov. 17 starts out with a tour of National Bowl at National on 10th. We're visiting a hidden gem, the Bourbon Room, followed by a chance to test our bowling skills on the lanes. Sarah Geddes of Sass Communications and Jon Molyneaux from Concorde Group are hosting TMAC members and guests at this ultimate adult playground. We're looking forward to some friendly competition as we team up to bowl the night away.


Planning sessions are well under way for our spring Professional Development weekend.  Stay tuned for more announcements about this and other upcoming events from our membership coordinator and PR wizard, Neil Bousquet. Visiting TMAC members are always welcome to join us. Contact Noelle at for more details if you're going to be in our area.


On the social media front, our twitter handle @TMAC_AB has been attracting more followers by the day.  We love tweeting out industry news, travel tips and the latest stories by our members.  Get in touch - we're happy to spread the word.

atlantic_chapterATLANTICNo report for this issue.


- Pamela Wamback, Atlantic chapter chair

on_chapterONTARIO Fall colours have continued to delight and many of our members were on assignment in October, which is great to hear.  


On Oct. 28, the Ontario chapter gathered at the Eaton Chelsea hotel for aprofessional development session on pitching and promoting. Jacqueline Swartz and Barbara Kingstone moderated a panel with Domini Clark (Globe & Mail travel editor), Claire Cooper (CAA Magazine managing editor), Andrew Roberts (VOX), Melanie Greco (CWW Travel) and Nicola Blazier (Jesson). Each offered sound advice on pitching wins, and it was interesting to hear from tourist board representatives as well as travel editors.


More than 50 members attended and enjoyed the opportunity to ask questions and mingle.  Speaker gifts included a copy of Top 115 Unusual Things to See in Ontario by Ron Brown and a wooden encased compass from the Peterborough & Kawarthas tourism group. A recent survey of our members provided a strong base for future PD sessions.


Visit California will host the Nov. 18 Munch & Mingle at Brassaii Restaurant on King Street West in Toronto. The Golden State will offer information on new developments, attractions and events in California. Don't miss this opportunity to learn about the destination, meet new members and sample some food and wine from the coast.   


Just a reminder that we are meeting in December at the new Delta Hotel in Toronto for our holiday social on Dec. 9. This event is traditionally well attended, so don't forget to register. 


Members are encouraged to  bring unwanted (or outdated) media USB memory sticks to our gatherings - we are collecting them for northern school boards who need to save data.  Steve Gillick is researching where they can best be reused.    

Plan to attend the 2015 conference in Peterborough from June 10 to 13, 2015.


Ontario chapter PD session on pitching and promoting at the Eaton Chelsea 


- Anne Marshall, Ontario chapter chair

Back to Table of Contents 

member_newsMember News

Lucas Aykroyd won the silver medal in the "Short Work on Travel" category at the 2013-14 SATW Foundation Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition for his Globe & Mail story, "Come for the statues, stay for the horses on Easter Island."


Amy Rosen's latest cookbook, Toronto Cooks: 100 Signature Recipes from the City's Best Restaurants, launched in October. It's designed to allow home cooks to recreate their favourite recipes from veterans and rising stars from many of Toronto's top eateries.


Nova Scotia media member Darcy Rhyno has created a concept for a TV sitcom with two friends (including Emmy Award winner Rob Stork), and they have entered it into the CBC Comedy Coup competition, which offers $500,000 for the winner to produce a pilot episode to be aired next fall. They've made the cut from 300 to 100, but need continued fan support. Their project is called Scratch Tracks and people can vote here:


Jan Napier's image entitled "Eye On You", taken at the Magnetic Hill Zoo in Moncton, New Brunswick, was chosen to be featured in the 2014 ViewPoint Gallery Calendar.

Candice Walsh has received a Writers Trust scholarship to begin work on a book manuscript through Humber College with Canadian author Olive Senior.


Industry member New Castle Hotels has been named one of the Top 101 Companies in Atlantic Canada by Progress Magazine.


Destination Halifax, the dedicated tourism marketing organization of the Halifax region, has won the Meetings & Conventions (M&C) Gold Service Award. The award honours convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) that have shown exceptional professionalism and dedication in their service to meeting professionals.

pd_spotlightPD Spotlight: Instagram

Five reasons why both media and travel brands need to be there


By Wendy Underwood & Maurice Li


Yes, you've heard of Instagram; it's the mobile, photo-based social media platform that seems to be the flavour of the month. And no, you're not on it.


Why? Maybe you're already on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest and just don't have the time to try out another platform. Or perhaps you're just waiting to see whether it sticks around. Or maybe you just don't see how Instagram is going to offer you a return on your investment.


Now four years old, Instagram may well be the social media platform that's best suited to the travel industry. Think about it: what's the No. 1 way we share our vacations with family and friends? Through photos, whether as slides projected on a basement wall or photos posted on our Facebook pages.


Maurice Li, a Vancouver-based photographer, was new to Instagram when he was contracted by the Canadian Tourism Commission as their press and social media photographer to cover the 2011 Canadian tour by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (a.k.a. "Will and Kate").  


Please click here to read the entire article.  


In the next issue of TMAC Travels, we'll hear another perspective on Instagram from a photographer who is also a TMAC member.


unsung_heroesUnsung Heroes: Carla Mont

By Sandra Phinney


Carla Mont's TMAC experience started shortly after she joined Destination BC, when she took on the secretarial responsibilities for the BC chapter. Carla says, "The experience of working with Joanne Sasvari and her team was a real eye-opener for me. I saw first-hand how hard TMAC volunteers worked to make our organization a success, from the local to the national level." 

Here are some thoughts about TMAC in general and volunteering in particular from Carla.


Tell me about your volunteer role[s].


I loved working with Joanne and the team; I put my experience as an event planner to work, took copious notes and did my best to keep the organizational end of things running smoothly.

Fast-forward to 2013, and I was asked to take on the co-chair role for the BC board. I joined forces with Jane Mundy (media) and was fortunate to work with a phenomenal team - a group that had largely been in place for several years. These guys were killing it; they were pulling off major events (with major success), beefing up membership and demonstrating, in my opinion, why TMAC is relevant.  

Please click here to read the entire article. 

frenchNouvelle technologie pour le site du Patrimoine mondial du canal Rideau

«Visualisez l'histoire du canal Rideau dans la paume de votre main»


La nouvelle application Rideau Timescapes ( peut maintenant être téléchargée gratuitement sur l'iPhone d'Apple et permet aux visiteurs d'interagir d'une façon tout à fait nouvelle avec le patrimoine visuel des postes d'éclusage qui longent le canal.


Une interface cartographique vous donne accès à plus de 700 photographies historiques. D'une touche, vous pouvez accéder à de brefs récits portant sur le canal et les postes d'éclusage, et glisser au fil du temps, à l'aide de Timescape View, pour admirer les changements de paysages.


L'application détermine votre position actuelle et vous amène directement au lieu le plus proche et vous permet de superposer une image choisie au lieu actuel, en temps réel, grâce à l'appareil-photo de l'iPhone. Vous pouvez ainsi cadrer l'image historique dans le paysage et ajuster le degré de transparence.


Ce projet a été conçu et développé par les étudiants de l'Université Carleton et avec l'appui de Patrimoine canadien par l'entremise du Fond interactif du Canada.


- Anne-Marie Forcier


inquisitiveInquisitive Minds Want to Know

By Jan Feduck


Come on. We know you've got one. Send us a burning question to do with the business of travel journalism and we'll source out perspectives from a few experts who've "been there." Each issue of TMAC Travels will feature a  question with witty, brilliant, interesting and insightful answers from our members. Send your questions to media member Jan Feduck, at


The question: Remember back to the best article you wrote and share a few pointers on why you thought it was such a strong piece of writing.


Thanks so much to the Nova Scotia members of TMAC who responded so promptly. We don't all win writing awards, but I think we can learn from each other's work. 


Sandra Phinney, a Yarmouth, N.S., based freelance writer, replied:

One of my best articles was about the Tusket Islands off the southern tip of Nova Scotia (here's a link: I think its strength lies in the following: 1) I hunkered down in a shanty there for four days, totally immersing myself in the surroundings, which allowed me a chance to meet the locals and do extensive photo shoots. 2) I also did some solid research and wove both historical and anecdotal information into the story, which gives it some depth. 3) I found some interesting characters and spent time with them. This gave me rich snippets of dialogue. With feature stories like this, I try to set strong scenes to create a sense of place, find great characters and layer the story so it's not one-dimensional. My goal is always to educate, entertain and inspire. I think I was able to accomplish all three in this story. 


Please click here to read the entire article.


TMAC Travels - Newsletter Submission Guidelines
TMAC Travels is published bi-monthly. 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 $100, please contact T.O Corporate Services 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 Joanne Blain at
. Items may be edited for length, grammar or clarity. The newsletter will be delivered to members by email by the middle of every month. Material should be sent by the 1st of each month unless the editor gives prior approval.