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November | December 2015
contentsNovember | December 2015 - Inside TMAC Travels
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bod2015-16 Board of Directors


Elizabeth Kerr (media)

Toronto, ON 

Phone: 416-258-9948



Jerry Grymek (industry)

Account Director, LMA Communications Inc.

Toronto, ON 

Phone: 416-440-2500



Melody Wren (media)

Guelph, ON

Phone: 519-836-6264



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



Glenn Cameron (industry)

PR Consultant, Clear Communications

Toronto, ON 

Phone: 416 920-5817


Dale Dunlop (media)

Head of St. Margarets Bay, NS

Phone: 902-826-7713 


Holly Lenk (industry)

Manager, Travel Media Relations, Tourism Victoria

Victoria, BC

Phone: 250-414-6974

Mary M. Tulle (industry)
CEO, Destination Cape Breton Association
Sydney, NS
Phone: 902-563-4636
New Members

Helen Earley
Halifax, NS


Ijor Malakhov
Toronto, ON


Keith Wells
Armchair Tourist Video Inc.
Victoria, BC


Jayda Fogel

Contributors to This Issue

Thanks to:


Brian Cant,

Grant Fraser,

Steve Gillick,

Elizabeth Kerr,

Josephine Matyas,

Sandra Phinney,

Debra Smith,

Kat Tancock,

Candice Walsh,

Pam Wamback,

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Dear  :
There is no getting around it: summer is long gone. But with winter comes a spike in travel for many of us and, hopefully, a spike in assignments and coverage as well. 

There's lots of news: TMAC's new board has been busy keeping the engine humming, members have been trotting up to the awards podium and planning for the 2016 conference is well underway. 

Take some time to read and catch up. Enjoy!

- Josephine Matyas TMAC Travels editor
President_ReportPresident's Report

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all members of our national board for volunteering to work together to make TMAC bigger, better and stronger. It is so refreshing and rewarding to witness everyone on the board participating in our monthly calls and taking ownership of the decisions and initiatives we are making.


In addition to this year's ten-member board, there are more than 20 other TMAC members who are working behind the scenes to ensure TMAC continues to thrive. But we still need more help. A Call for Volunteers will be distributed shortly and I encourage you to join the more than 30 TMAC members who are currently volunteering more than 500 hours of their time. Many hands make light work and rewarding results.


Registration for the 2016 Conference and AGM is now open ( and plans continue to unfold for what promises to be a great event with an extraordinary choice of pre- and post-tours.


Requalification for media members (L-Z) is now underway ( and everyone is encouraged to complete this process sooner rather than later to allow the Membership Committee enough time to process your applications.


Watch out for an upcoming announcement re: membership renewals shortly!


As this is the last TMAC Travels before 2016, I would like to wish everyone the happiest of holidays and the most safe and wonderful adventures in 2016.


Positive, pro-active and productive!


- Elizabeth Kerr, TMAC president

finance_reportFinance Report

As of Oct. 31, 2015, TMAC revenues were $328,499. This figure is comprised of membership revenue ($110,086), conference revenue ($180,622), other revenue ($24,760) and travel subsidy/grant fund ($13,031). Compared to the same period last year, revenues are up $111,353 ($217,146 Oct. 2014). Membership revenue is up $17,707 from last year. Conference revenue saw the biggest increase, up $73,454 from 2014.


Total expenses were $188,350 compared to $201,326 for the same period in 2014. Total expenses are comprised of administrative expenses ($116,532), conference expenses ($56,035) and travel subsidy/grant fund ($15,783). Management fees account for the largest amount of administrative expenses ($73,535) and venue (conference location) accounts for the largest conference expense ($35,321). Much of the decrease in the total expense figure can be attributed to a $25,806 reduction in 2015 conference expenses from the previous year ($56,035 vs. $81,841).


Net income for the period is up considerably year-over-year. As of Oct. 31, 2015, net income was $140,149 vs. $15,820.


Total assets for the period are up for the period. $180,628 vs. $90,616 a year ago. This increase is primarily due to a higher cash balance of $104,925 vs. $39,362 as of Oct. 31, 2014. 


Should you have any questions regarding TMAC's financial position please contact me at the email below. 


- Grant Fraser, TMAC national treasurer

website_updateWebsite Update

Many of you have been asking about the new TMAC website. As of June 1st, we've moved to a new platform, which will require you to use your email to login. Old login information should be discarded. So, the next time you're trying to access the Online Member Directory or the Member Forum, please go to, click LOGIN in the top right corner, then click REQUEST NEW PASSWORD, enter your registered email and await instructions.


As the new site is still under construction, we ask that you be patient with any glitches you experience and, of course, report them back to us. Your go-to person is Letricia at


tocs_updateT*O Corporate Services (TOCS) Staff Announcement

TOCS would like to announce the departure of Olga Kasjanova. Olga has served the TMAC board of directors and members for the last 5+ years and we wish her well in her upcoming endeavours.


And with change comes new beginnings. We are extremely pleased to welcome our newest team member, and TMAC's new client services coordinator, Letricia Fullerton. She will be resuming all of Olga's previous TMAC responsibilities. Letricia has many years in client support management in various capacities, has event and festival experience and has already hit the ground running. She will be supported by the rest of the TOCS/TMAC team - Seare Araya, Senait Ghebru and Tina Hutchinson.


Letricia will be assuming TMAC's email and extension 313.


Please join us in officially welcoming Letricia to the team!


chapter_newsChapter News
 albertaALBERTA & N.W.T.

Our Munch & Mingle coordinator, Noelle Aune, has been hard at work organizing some outstanding events for our chapter. More than 25 TMAC AB & NWT members had a visit with "The Butcher, the Baker and the Coffee Maker" at the Simmons Building in Calgary's vibrant East Village on Sept. 22. This former feather mattress factory has now become the cornerstone of the area's redevelopment. It's become the gathering place that John Jackson and Connie DeSouza from Charbar, Aviv Fried from Sidewalk Citizen Bakery and the team at Phil and Sebastian Coffee Roasters envisioned. Their design won out over 200 other potential developers for the space.

We were treated to a tour of the 103-year-old heritage building, its red brick and weathered beams complemented by state of the art facilities. An elevator trip to The Rooftop Bar gave us an outstanding view of the fall foliage along the river and the St. Patrick's Island redevelopment. Afterwards we were treated to an innovative lunch menu that included a colourful fall vegetarian ceviche with flower complements. The open concept kitchen with a 50-kilogram steel Argentinian grill called a "parilla" produced a fine Charbar lunch with Italian and Spanish influences. Dessert was courtesy of Sidewalk Citizen Bakery. Their luscious pastries (including gluten free brownies) and the exotic sandwiches and breads should put them on every foodie's radar. Phil and Sebastian's coffee was the perfect balance to dessert. As Phil Robertson said, "If you need cream and sugar, you need to be drinking a different kind of coffee." It was a great networking opportunity and a chance to meet this hyper-local community of friends. Thank you to everyone involved and to Stephanie Jo from Immedia PR for coordinating the event.

On Oct. 15, our chapter was treated to an evening of beautiful surprises as the Calgary Zoo opened its doors after dark for the ILLUMINASIA Lantern and Garden Festival. After Asian themed appies and cocktails at Grazers Restaurant and a delightful Bollywood dance presentation, our journalists, industry members and guests were let loose in the Dorothy Harvie Gardens. We searched for the glowing tigers, giant floating butterflies and incandescent insects that were hiding in the bushes and hovering around the grounds. More than 366 handcrafted lanterns used in the display are maintained by a team of Chinese artists brought over by the Calgary Zoo. Many thanks to our partners and industry members from the Calgary Zoo, Trish Exton-Parder and Larissa Mark.

Our Christmas Munch & Mingle is slated for Dec. 1, so stay tuned for more information. As always, we invite TMAC members from all chapters to join us at our M&M's.

- Debra Smith, Alberta & N.W.T. outgoing chapter chair

Back to Table of Contents



The Ontario Board met in September to review individual responsibilities for the months leading up to the TMAC AGM in May 2016. The following was decided:


Steve Gillick

Media co-chair

Tracy Ford

Industry co-chair

Anne Marshall


Kimberly Hartley, Tracy Ford


Jerry Grymek

Munch & Mingles

Ron Brown

Cash for Clips

Igor Kravtchenko

Events, Photography

Jacqueline Swartz


The October Munch and Mingle was hosted by Visit Florida at the Bata Shoe Museum in downtown Toronto. The Museum graciously allowed members access to all the exhibits during the evening.

After munching on finger foods and enjoying some refreshments, the 106 media members at the event gathered by the podium for the much anticipated presentation led by Megan Dougherty from Visit Florida.

Megan proved to be a very personable and informative MC as she asked each of the nine partners to give a short introduction to the area they were representing, including Visit Central Florida, Florida Keys & Key West, Fort Myers & Sanibel, Kissimmee, Orlando, Palm Beaches, St. Pete's/Clearwater, Sarasota and Tampa Bay.

Joseph Frey won the evening Grand Prize draw of a trip to Florida including flight, accommodation and passes to attractions in St. Pete's and Tampa.


Details of the annual Christmas get-together will be sent out to members shortly.

-  Steve Gillick, Ontario chapter co-chair (media)

Back to Table of Contents


Our annual fall membership drive launch was held Nov. 9, featuring the return of the WHEEL OF TMAC! The evening included a mix of professional development (via questions submitted) and a panel discussion (from the Wheel of TMAC), as well as a networking opportunity for members to mingle and share the benefits of membership with potential new members.


A big welcome to new members Jackie Kai Ellis and Keith Wells!


- Brian Cant, B.C. chapter chair



On Sept. 9 the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site hosted the Atlantic Canada Chapter for a workshop with Dave Bouskill and Deb Corbeil of The Planet D ( Dave and Deb enthusiastically shared tips on using photography and videoing apps in an effort to enhance social media channels and maximize potential reach. We've heard that several in attendance put the tips to good use immediately and the results are paying off! We tend to be pretty quiet over the winter months but looking forward to hosting fellow members in Cape Breton in June 2016!


- Pam Wamback, Atlantic chapter chair

member_newsMember News

Jody Robbins was recently awarded the 2015 Alberta Tourism ALTO Award for Tourism Media for her article  Banff's new Iron Road tests your mettle  published in (also a TMAC member).


TMAC industry and media members held their own at the Ontario Tourism Summit's Tourism Marketing and Travel Media Awards held in Toronto on Nov. 10. Congratulations go out to industry members Tourism Thunder Bay, Tourism Sault Ste. Marie, Tourism Toronto and Peterborough and the Kawarthas Tourism  for their selection as finalists in a number of categories recognizing excellence. Special congrats to Tourism Toronto for winning.  TMAC was also well represented by media members. Of the three finalists in the photography category, two - Sharon Matthews-Stevens and Bruce Kemp - are TMAC members. In the writing category Mark Stevens was one of the three finalists. Great job one and all. TMAC does it again.


Some of Canada's top travel writers and photographers were celebrated at the Caribbean Tourism Organization's (CTO) Travel Media Awards Luncheon on Nov. 17 in Toronto.  TMAC members showed the colours once again!
  • Best Feature Article In A Consumer Magazine
    Josephine Matyas - Living in the Past (Nevis) - Doctor's Review
  • Best Online Feature
    Jim Byers - St. Lucia: Romance is a Caribbean cocktail of flowers, sea breeze - Toronto Star
  • Best Feature by a Canadian Journalist - Foreign Consumer Media 
    Mark Stevens - Martinique: The Belle Island - All At Sea
  • Best Photograph accompanying a feature 
    Sharon Matthews-Stevens - The Other Virgin Islands (St. John's, USVI) - Canadian Yachting
  • Best of the Best
    Josephine Matyas - Living in the Past (Nevis) - Doctor's Review
Nova Scotia's provincial paper, The Chronicle Herald, changed its contract from all-rights (including moral rights) to first-rights. This means writers can hold onto their copyright. Also, for the first time in more than 15 years, Atlantic TMAC members' pitches are getting thumbs up. Darcy RhynoSandra and John Nowlan and Sandra Phinney are publishing travel stories there on a regular basis. See the feature article in this newsletter.

The Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) has chosen Adventure Canada as a finalist for the National Cultural Tourism Award, recognizing a commitment to authentic, innovative, and enriched cultural experiences. This award is part of TIAC's Canadian Tourism Awards celebrating success, leadership and innovation in Canada's travel and tourism industry. Award winners will be announced during the Canadian Tourism Awards gala evening, held Dec. 2, in Ottawa. 


Candice Walsh has relaunched her travel and lifestyle website with a new name and look: 


Ross Jefferson is the new president and chief executive officer of Destination Halifax. He has over fifteen years of management experience, including five years as Executive Director of Discover Saint John in New Brunswick. The role of president and CEO involves leading the development, implementation and evaluation of a long-term strategy aimed at building the economic potential of tourism for the Halifax region.


Tourism Nova Scotia has been recognized by Destination Canada for excellence in showcasing our province to travel media! Destination Canada awarded Tourism Nova Scotia with Best Media Itinerary Award for JoyRide Nova Scotia at the 2015 Explore Canada Awards. In June 2014, JoyRide saw 34 media representatives from Canada, the United States, United Kingdom and Germany discover Nova Scotia at its best. Participants embarked on one of nine itineraries across the province that feted everything from cultural and culinary adventures to seacoast and outdoor discoveries. 


Confederation Centre just announced its 2016 Charlottetown Festival lineup. Anne of Green Gables - The Musical TM is back on stage at The Charlottetown Festival (for its amazing 52nd season). Joining "Anne" will be the blockbuster Mamma Mia! In The Mack theatre next door, Soulpepper's award-winning Spoon River will run in July and August. And in September the Festival presents the English-language musical version of Michel Tremblay's internationally popular Belles Soeurs.

something_to_celebrateSomething To Celebrate: The Chronicle Herald Changes Its Contract

By Sandra Phinney


In the winter of 2011, The Chronicle Herald (provincial newspaper for Nova Scotia) came out with a draconian contract. This floored everyone, as the paper was privately owned and had not - up to that point - treated freelancers unfairly. At least freelancers were allowed to keep their copyright.

Sandra Phinney


Yet, out of the blue and for unknown reasons, the powers-that-be came up with a new contract. It was several pages of legalese, which boiled down to the paper taking all rights, including moral rights. Freelancers were responsible for everything, including paying legal fees if something went bump in the night.


For months, a committee of freelance journalists working on behalf of more than 30 journalists in Atlantic Canada tried to meet with head office staff at the paper to negotiate a better contract.


The president of the CFU, Mike Riley, spent hours trying to negotiate with the upper echelon. Organizations like the Writers Federation of Nova Scotia provided support. Members of TMAC wrote letters on our behalf. No dice. It was basically a "take it or leave it" ultimatum.


Long-standing columnists and respected writers like Silver Donald Cameron, Ralph Surette and Charles Bruce were part of the group that refused to sign the new contract. The paper lost a big hunk of talent. A number of subscribers sent letters to the paper cancelling their subscriptions.


Since then a lot of water has gone under the bridge. Again, for some inexplicable reason, a new contract came to the surface a few months ago. It's a simple and uncomplicated two-pager, and copyright reverts back to the freelancer once the story is published. Just prior to that, several of the upper echelon left the paper and a new features editor (also responsible for the travel section) was hired. The change was swift, positive and welcomed by freelancers.


Did our efforts way back in 2011 make a difference? We'll never know although most of the contract changes we recommended four years ago have been implemented.


It sure is great to see TMAC member's bylines appearing in the travel and lifestyle sections.


Social_MediaTMAC Social Media Update

By Kat Tancock


Are you on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram? So is TMAC! Here's how to make the most of your organization's accounts.

  • Follow our public accounts @travelmediaca, and make sure we're following you, too. It's hard for us to keep track, so feel free to give us a friendly nudge and identify yourself.
  • Let us know about your latest news on TMAC by using the #tmacca hashtag, or tagging @travelmediaca and asking us to retweet. Tag your travel photos on Instagram with #tmacca, too.
  • Post news on our Facebook page and we'll do our best to share.
  • In B.C. or Ontario? Join your private TMAC Facebook group (just search for TMAC) for sharing and discussion opportunities.

Look for our national group page on Facebook for members only. While the main Facebook page "TMAC: Travel Media Association of Canada" will continue to be "public" and seen by anyone with a Facebook account, only members will be able to access the group page, "Travel Media Association of Canada, National - members only"


The public page will be used to promote TMAC and its members through sharing of photos, stories and videos produced by members. The group page will be for discussions among members, professional development, and any other announcements/news that is important to members, but not necessarily of interest to the general public.


If you go to the second link above and request to join, you will be added to the group.


We're always looking for a few more volunteers to help us maintain these accounts and keep discussion active. If you're interested, please email


TMAC Travels - Newsletter Submission Guidelines
TMAC Travels is published bi-monthly. Publication of solicited and unsolicited articles is not guaranteed. Final content is decided by TMAC Travels' editorial board and the national board. 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 + HST, 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.
January/February 2016December 15
March/April 2016February 17
May/June 2016April 21