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May | June 2015
contentsMay | June 2015 -
Inside TMAC Travels
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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



Annette Brown

Temecula Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau

Temecula, CA



Danny Morton

Nova Star Cruises Ltd

Halifax, NS



Caroline Newson

CL Communications

Glasgow, United Kingdom



Mary M. Tulle

Destination Cape Breton Association

Sydney, NS






Julie Van Rosendal

Calgary, AB



Contributors to This Issue

Thanks to:

  • Josephine Matyas
  • Mark Stevens
  • Grant Fraser
  • Debra Smith
  • Anne Marshall
  • Catherine Roscoe Barr

  • Amy Rosen

  • Veronica Leonard

  • Sandra Phinney

  • Anne-Marie Forcier

Dear  :

This will be my last hurrah as editor of TMAC Travels. After three years on the national board and another two at the chapter level, I'm stepping down from volunteer work for TMAC for the foreseeable future.


It's been a rewarding five years - I've learned a lot about how the organization works and I've forged many great friendships. But, as tends to happen, life has gotten in the way. Earlier this year, I took on a new job as editor of a small magazine on top of my continuing work as a travel writer, and something has to give.


I know that you've heard this before, but TMAC needs new blood to stay engaged and relevant to its members. So please consider volunteering however you can - as a board or committee member at the national or chapter level, or just offering whatever talents, energy and time you can to the organization. It's both vital and appreciated. Hey, I hear the job of newsletter editor is up for grabs ...


That said, I'll continue to be an enthusiastic member of TMAC and I hope to see many old and new friends at the June conference in Peterborough.


- Joanne Blain, TMAC Travels editor  
tmac_awardsTMAC Awards - Sponsors

This is the perfect chance to be seen at the important annual event in front of Canada's leading media members. The following categories can still be sponsored by Friday, May 29th:

  • Written Word - Best Service Feature
  • Photography - Best Action Photo
  • Photography - Best Evocation of a Place Photo


Thank you to our TMAC Award sponsors!




President_ReportPresidents' Report

It's funny how subjective time can be, depending on one's state of mind and on the events and challenges one faces in a given period.


Such has been the case for our co-presidency: a time of challenges and a time of rewards. Sometimes the year has seemed like a decade, sometimes it has passed in the twinkling of an eye.


To paraphrase Mark Twain: we have had numerous worries in our tenure. Thankfully, most of them never happened. But there have been challenges. Nothing ever happens exactly the way you think it's going to. No regime is perfect. TMAC itself is not perfect.


Which brings us to the first of two items on this entry's agenda. 


We want those of you who are joining us in Peterborough to give some thought before you arrive to what you like and don't like about TMAC - what works, what doesn't, what challenges we face, what has annoyed you about both the organization and the industry as a whole, what hopes and fears you have, what thoughts and insights you can offer into how our next board can continue to ensure that TMAC is both relevant and a valuable resource.


We want you to do some homework. And then we want you to bring those thoughts and insights to the Saturday round-table session where we can brainstorm the very future of TMAC, ably guided by a moderator (ideally provided with a Taser) who will keep things on track, who will ensure that your voice is heard, that your concerns can be informally discussed, that the discussion will be positive, constructive and kind. If you're not joining us, send a proxy with your gripes and kudos.


Which brings us to item two on our agenda.


While it's quite likely we'll spend a bit of time in our last communication with you all (at the AGM) listing what we humbly think we've accomplished in this time, now is the time for all good presidents to come to the aid of their board.


To wit, a heaping helping of praise for those who served faithfully and generously, for those who made our job easier, who supported our decisions when it was impossible to make that job easier, who challenged us with thoughtful input when we didn't know how to make the job easier. This collegiality, this cooperation, this positive energy was unanimous and almost completely omnipresent.


For that we thank those who have given so much: chapter chairs, committee chairs and members, our friends at TO Corporate Services and, finally, to the board itself.


We've often been humbled by the scope, the quality and the amount of support we've received and we're proud of what we've all done together. We're even prouder of the slate of people poised to continue to lead TMAC into the future.


And we're grateful to you for sharing your vision for that future.


- Josephine Matyas, Mark Stevens

TMAC co-presidents  

finance_reportFinance Report

The following report is based on the audited year-end financial information provided by TO Corporate Services, TMAC's management company.


For the year ending Dec. 31, 2014, TMAC's total assets were $84,146, compared to $114,719 a year previous. This decrease is primarily due to lower cash balances ($69,083 vs. $96,271).


Total TMAC 2014 revenues were $247,848 compared to $265,691 in 2013. As of 2014, TMAC now includes travel and awards subsidies collected as a revenue item. Our 2013 and 2014 year-end statements were adjusted to reflect this change. The total revenue figure is comprised of membership dues ($93,987 vs. $86,622), conference revenue ($107,368 vs. $114,574), awards ($17,987 vs. $23,469) and travel/subsidies collected ($28,506 vs. $41,026). 


Total expenses were $246,518 compared to $291,109 for the same period in 2013. Conference expenses ($96,520) and TO Corp. management fees ($89,713) account for the largest amount of administrative expenses, followed by the website expense (3-Way Street) of $22,410 and the offsetting travel and awards subsidies expense of $10,834. 


Despite an increase of $11,564 or 13.6 per cent in conference expenses from 2013 ($96,520 vs. $84,956), total administrative expenses (excluding management fees) decreased by $56,155 or 27.2 per cent ($149,998 vs. 206,153). The largest contributors to this decrease were professional fees ($4,707 vs. $14,765) and administrative fees paid to TO Corp. ($89,713 vs. $102,718).  


I am pleased to report that at the end of 2014, TMAC reported a small surplus of $1,330. This compares to a $25,418 loss in 2013 and a loss of $1,490 in 2012.


If you have any questions about TMAC's financial statements, feel free to send me an email at


- Grant Fraser, TMAC national treasurer 

chapter_newsChapter News

albertaALBERTA & N.W.T. - First up, here's a warm TMAC Alberta & NWT welcome to our newest media members, Julie Van Rosendal, Gerry Feehan, Leigh McAdam and Tamara Elliott.


Leigh McAdam, one of the Alberta chapter's newest media members

As this newsletter is being written, TMAC Alberta & NWT chapter members are looking forward to gathering in downtown Calgary at the beautiful Hotel Arts for our sold-out professional development weekend on May 1 and 2. Our theme this year is "Looking Through a New Lens" and our outstanding speakers include Tom Babin, tablet senior producer at The Calgary Herald on the future of newspapers; yoga teacher and entrepreneur Kim Wiebe on the mind/body connection; award-winning travel photographer Neil Zeller on how to shoot the best travel pics; and the CBC Eyeopener's food guide Julie Van Rosendaal on personal branding. We'll learn how to make the most of Twitter, WordPress, YouTube and hear about the many digital platforms available for storytelling during our moderated Q&A session. 


On Friday evening, a big red trolley (courtesy of the Calgary Stampede) will whisk us away to experience the magic of Kurios thanks to the sponsorship of Cirque du Soleil. Later, we'll stroll over to Zen 8 Grill and there is a possibility that the karaoke machine could lure some members into the spotlight. A special Saturday networking lunch by the pool will give us a chance to kick back and socialize.


This fun and exciting weekend would not have been possible without our PD coordinator Paula Worthington and her team (notably Deb Cummings, Jody Robbins, Noelle Aune and Andrea Visscher) with lots of support from all our board members. Thanks also to all our generous sponsors including Hotel Arts, Zen 8 Grill, Tourism Calgary and Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts.


Stay tuned for more networking opportunities at this year's upcoming Munch & Mingles. "Save the date" announcements will be coming your way soon.


- Debra Smith, Alberta & NWT chapter chair 

ONTONTARIO - Our March Munch & Mingle in Toronto was warmly received as our hosts, Kentucky and Buffalo Trace Bourbon, provided a bourbon tasting at the Turf Lounge. The venue, the libations and the spirit of Kentucky are sure to generate stories in the future.

A tasting with Buffalo Trace Bourbon was one of the highlights at the Ontario chapter's March Munch & Mingle


Don't miss the May Munch & Mingle at Cantine Bistro and Bar (Avenue Road south of Davenport) in Toronto on Tuesday, May 26 at 6 p.m. Our host, Israel's ministry of tourism/IGTO, will have updates on the destination and outline media fam tour opportunities. RSVP today. Just a note of thanks to Jerry Grymek for his energy in confirming our hosts.


Here's a timely conference reminder:

Who? TMAC members from across Canada are invited to the party.

What? Our annual conference, with opportunities for learning, networking and having fun (you do remember how to have fun, don't you?)

Where? Peterborough & The Kawarthas, Ontario.

When? June 10 to 14.

Why? Why not?


Our membership committee has produced an informative flyer designed to recruit prospective members. It's available to all chapters in a PDF format. Thank you, Jacquie Durrand, for your craftsmanship. If you wish to include the flyer in your correspondence please contact membership chair Kimberly Hartley (


Kimberly and Tracy Ford have proposed new name badges for members attending Munch & Mingles and other functions.


Jacqueline Swartz, media co-chair, is planning the October PD session - anyone interested in assisting should contact her at


The first trilliums are out, so spring is officially here. Enjoy!


- Anne Marshall, Ontario chapter chair

Back to Table of Contents

BCBRITISH COLUMBIA - The B.C. chapter's annual general meeting is coming up on Monday, May 11 at the Pinnacle Hotel Vancouver Harbourfront. After a year on the board, I'm stepping down as chair, and after four years on the board, Liz Sperandeo is stepping down as secretary, so we encourage interested candidates (for any position on the board, but those two especially) to put their name forward before May 11. 


Our Summer Sizzler is scheduled for late July in Vancouver. More details will be sent to B.C. members shortly.


- Catherine Roscoe Barr, BC chapter chair

Back to Table of Contents

member_newsMember News

In late January, the folks at Peterborough & the Kawarthas Tourism sent a miniature message in a bottle to all TMAC members in the mail, inviting them to attend this year's conference and AGM in Peterborough. They also invited TMACers to share their images of their message in a bottle on social media, using the conference hashtag #TMACPtbo, for a chance to win a complimentary two-night stay during the conference. They received 49 entries and the winner of the random draw was Liz Fleming. Congrats, Liz!


Liz Fleming's cocktail-themed "message in a bottle" photo was the winner of the Peterborough & the Kawarthas' social media contest

All TMAC members can stay connected by following Peterborough & the Kawarthas Tourism on Facebook and Twitter, and by following #TMACPtbo before and during the conference. And keep an eye out over the coming weeks for the announcement of another conference contest in partnership with Parks Canada.


TMAC members Robin and Arlene Karpan won the 2014 Travel Media Award in the Saskatchewan Tourism Awards of Excellence. The judges cited the success of their book The Great Saskatchewan Bucket List and articles on Saskatchewan during 2014 in their travel column in The Western Producer. Media memberJenn Nelson was a finalist for the award.


Industry member Destination Halifax has been awarded the National Meetings Industry Day Influence Award by Meeting Professionals International. The award recognizes people or organizations outside the direct meetings industry that have supported the development of meetings and conventions or policy and programs impacting the industry.


Heather Greenwood Davis's essay "Horizons: Expanded" about traveling around the world with her husband and two young sons has been included in the latest offering from Oprah Winfrey, O's Little Book of Happiness.  The book of essays is published by FlatIron Books in New York and also features essays from Neil deGrasse Tyson, Elizabeth Gilbert and others.


A couple of TMAC members were left out in the item in the March/April newsletter about winners and finalists for the 2014 awards recently handed out by the North American Travel Journalists Association. Theresa Storm and Jenn Nelson were also finalists.


In Halifax, the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, which has been closed for renovations since last October, will reopen in May, adding interactive exhibits, transformed exhibition spaces and a new Canadian Immigration Story exhibit.

Nova Scotia's inaugural Craft Beer Week will run from May 8 to 17. Events include an open brewery day at participating breweries on May 9, Beer and Beethoven with Symphony Nova Scotia on May 8, a Beer Cocktail Face-off on May 13 and a Brews Cruise on the Tall Ship Silva on May 15.


Former TMAC media member Pamela Cuthbert passed away March 11 from a brain hemorrhage at her home in Toronto. She was 52 and is survived by her husband Paul French, also a TMAC media member for many years. 

pd_spotlightPD Spotlight: The Rights Stuff

By Amy Rosen


A few years ago, TMAC member Camilla Cornell approached me at a Munch & Mingle to tell me I should sign on to the Heather Robertson class-action lawsuit, which freelancer Robertson had filed in 1996 over the unauthorized reproduction of her work as well as that of thousands of other Canadian freelance writers. And so I did.


The ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada came soon after, and said, "newspapers and magazines do not have the right to transfer articles from their print editions into databases without the consent of the writers" as it's "a different product that infringes" on the creators' copyright. Thomson Reuters Canada and The Gale Group settled for millions, and I will forever be grateful to Heather Robertson for championing the cause, and to Camilla who walked me through the process of joining the lawsuit - and enabled me to renovate my kitchen, y'all. 

Of course, after that, many of the newspapers and magazines made freelancers sign contracts that took away all future rights to their works. But not all.


I recently spoke to TMAC member Alyssa Schwartz about this, as she and her business partner Shane Coblin are getting ready to launch their startup Articycle ( later this year, where writers can upload previously published articles they own for resale for editorial and branded-content purposes.


But before reselling your work, it's key to know what you own. 


Please click here to read the entire article.  

benefitsTMAC Member Benefits: Health Insurance

Did you know that TMAC offers its members access to a comprehensive and cost-effective extended health care plan? Especially if you are self-employed and not covered by an employer's plan, you owe it to yourself to check out the Writers' Coalition Program on the TMAC website.


As a group plan (it also covers members of many other writers' groups), it offers some great advantages over individual extended-benefits plans. First, you'll probably find that it's cheaper than an individual plan and covers a lot more - as well as prescriptions, it also gives you coverage for dental care, vision care, life insurance and travel emergency medical services. It also gives you preferential rates on home, tenant and auto insurance. You are not required to take a medical to join the plan, and your spouse and dependents can also be covered by your plan.


Believe me, it's worth checking out. I am a freelance writer and I was covered by an individual plan before TMAC signed on to the Writers' Coalition Program. As soon as I discovered everything it covered and compared the cost to what I was paying, I ditched my individual plan and signed up. If you have individual coverage (or no coverage at all), I'd definitely urge you to check it out at


- Joanne Blain  

frenchFrench Language Article: Le Canot

Par: Anne-Marie Forcier


Selon un sondage national organisé en mai 2007 par Radio-Canada (CBC), le canot est une des sept merveilles du Canada (avec l'igloo, les chutes du Niagara, le Vieux Québec, le Quai 21 à Halifax, le ciel des Prairies et les Rocheuses). C'est une embarcation préférée des peuples autochtones du Canada et des premiers explorateurs européens, le canot est encore très utile pour les Canadiens d'aujourd'hui. Faire du canot est une façon amusante, saine et pratique d'apprendre à mieux connaître les cours d'eau mondialement connus de notre pays.


Saviez-vous que le canot s'appelle un « Canadian » si vous demandez à quelqu'un de l'Angleterre et de plusieurs autres pays aussi? Pour ceux d'entre nous qui font de la promotion de nos circuits d'eau pour de la pagaie aux marchés internationaux  nous devons décrire l'embarcation pour mieux préciser l'expérience exacte soit en kayak, canot ou même en canot voyageur.


Les canots de voyageurs variaient en longueur et largeur selon l'utilisation prévue et les régions parcourues. Deux principaux canots servaient à la traite: le canot de Montréal (ou canot de Maître) et le canot du Nord. 


Le canot de Montréal mesurait de 9 à 11 mètres (30 à 36 pi) de longueur et pesait environ 270 kilos (570 lb). Il était conçu spécialement pour affronter les vagues des Grand Lacs et les rapides de l'Outaouais. Un équipage de huit à dix hommes assurait son déplacement.


Le canot du Nord mesurait environ 7,5 mètres (25 pi) de longueur et avait la moitié de la capacité du canot de Maître.


Aujourd'hui vous pouvez faire l'experience de pagayer un canot voyageur dans plusieurs endroits au Canada et deux de ces experiences se retrouvent dans le sud-est de l'Ontario.


« Aboriginal Experiences » a Ottawa offre un programme qui inclus le canot voyageur comme mode de transport pour se rendre sur l'ile Victoria pour une animation autoctone traditionelle. L'autre experience se trouve sur le canal Rideau avec « Voyageur Canoe Tours » animé par le groupe « Rideau Round Table ». 


A question from new media member Veronica Leonard:
Could someone explain exactly how the meetings with industry reps on Thursday and Friday morning of the conference work? How do you prepare for these and what are the industry reps expecting from you in the conversations? Should you try to have markets in hand or is this a venue to seek out the story to pitch to potential markets? I'm still very much a newbie in this organization and don't know the rules.

Longtime media member Sandra Phinney responds:
So pleased you are going to the conference, Veronica! Here's some information about the media marketplace.

First, the physical setup: You'll enter a huge room where there will be as many "stations" (tables) as there are industry members. They will be numbered - for example, Tourism Nova Scotia, # 7; Starwood Hotels, #56. You will have already booked your appointments and you'll have a printed schedule provided in your registration kit that will tell you what table to be at and at what time. Each appointment is 15 minutes long (a bell rings to tell you to move on). Think speed dating. It's noisy, intense, exhausting and invigorating. Stay focused!

Second, preparation: When you are on the registration website, you'll see a full list of industry members who will be at the conference. Highlight any one and information about them pops up to the right. Although it's time-consuming, it's worth checking out every single one to see who they are, where they are located and what they are about. This will give you a gut feeling about if and why you should meet with them.

Our business is all about relationships. This is a great way to meet people in the industry and start building relationships (and growing some you've already started). So think in terms of what you can do for industry members and what they can do for you. Think about your particular interests and expertise and how it fits in with what they have to offer. Think in terms of the media outlets you have that may support a story about X, Y and Z. Think about new markets you are willing to pitch to sell a story. You may or may not have a story or market lined up - both are okay.

Industry definitely will have story ideas for you. They, too, will have done their homework and checked out your profile. So this is a chance to give them more information about yourself and to explore what you can do for them and what they can do for you. If you are interested, destinations may put you on a list for a press tour down the road if your interests, expertise and potential markets match. You may also be able to open the door to set up individual press trips. Some industry are not destinations per se, but offer other kinds of services or attractions (such as hotels, museums, parks and festivals).


When lining up your appointments, think strategically. What are your personal goals for your business? If, for example, one of your goals is to visit a certain city or province, you might want to see as many industry members as you can who are from that region. Why? They will often pitch in together to offset the costs of a visit. For example, if I wanted to go camping in Nova Scotia for a potential outdoor story, with a side trip to Halifax for a theatre/food story, I would try to line up meetings with Parks Canada, Tourism Nova Scotia and Destination Halifax. 

Although there is not time at the conference to line up specific trips, once you have met folks eyeball to eyeball, you can then start corresponding with them to map out a trip based on your needs and interests as well as theirs. Another one of your goals may be to expand your expertise, or expand the kind of markets you write for.

Have fun!  

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.