This will be the last issue of TMAC Travels before the conference and AGM in Cape Breton. There are some great updates on our members' activities, wonderful news about our finances and tips you'll want to pay attention to for your business.

Finally, I'd like to say thank you to our president Elizabeth Kerr. This will be my last issue as editor of TMAC Travels and I have appreciated her guidance, wisdom and input with every issue. I am handing the reins over to B.C. media member John Geary ( who I am sure will do a fantastic job. Thanks everyone!

- Josephine Matyas TMAC Travels editor



It's difficult to believe that we have conducted 10 board meetings, several conference calls and too many emails to count have been shared by TMAC volunteers and T*OCS staff during the past twelve months.

It's even harder to believe that our 2016 Conference and AGM is less than two weeks away (at time of writing). It has become very clear to me that our conference is a pivotal signature event for TMAC and countless hours of volunteer time go in to make it appealing and productive. That and our partnership with host Destination Cape Breton - who continues to go above and beyond to ensure that our Cape Breton experience will be exceptional. I suspect too that many of us just may leave our hearts there. Only time will tell.

I have highlighted our many accomplishments in previous reports and via e-blasts to you all. I'd like to take this time to thank my national board, all of whom have pitched in to make the 2015/2016 term a successful one. My heartfelt thanks goes to: Jerry Grymek (VP, Industry) whose enthusiasm is ever-present and infectious; Melody Wren (VP, Media) my 24/7 go-to sounding board whose creativity and out-of-the-box thinking are so refreshing; Grant Fraser (Treasurer) whose cool, calm and collective demeanour keeps me sane; Dan Young (Secretary) whose professionalism, organizational skills and delightful personality make me look much more astute than I really am (and who I will be very sorry to see go); Dale Dunlop whose wisdom and pragmatism continue to guide me; Glenn Cameron, whose thoughts and opinions always provoke more thoughts and opinions - that's a good thing (I'll be sorry to see you go too); Holly Lenk whose optimism and commitment to TMAC is always evident; John Geary whose questions just keep coming and keep everyone on their toes, especially me; and Mary Tulle whose experience and passion for her role help keep me on top of my game.

I'd also like to recognize board members who have served on Committee Chair positions throughout the year in additional to their role on the board: Jerry Grymek (Conference and Sponsorship); Melody Wren (Conference and Professional Development), Glenn Cameron (Listserv), Dale Dunlop (Governance and Nominations) and Holly Lenk (Sponsorship and Chapter Liaison).

Thank you, too, to the other Chairs whose committees truly help shape TMAC that include: Jantine Van Kregten (Awards) - the busiest TMACer I have met to date, yet someone who still finds the time to volunteer; Cathy Stapells (Membership - Media) - whose speedy responses to any and all enquiries and asks is so appreciated and done with such grace; Kat Tancock (Social Media) - a great communicator and leader, Pam Wamback and Margaret MacKenzie (Membership - Industry) - both ever efficient in the processing of applications and responding to industry members' needs; Liz Campbell (Benefits) - who remains so very loyal and committed while trying to break the record for longest-standing chair; and, last but not least, our TMAC Travels editor, Josephine Matyas whose patience I know I have tested with every issue and yet who manages to persevere and provide well-written, timely and professional issues of TMAC Travels six times a year!

Thank you, everyone, for making my role as president that much easier!

Positive, pro-active and productive!
- Elizabeth Kerr, TMAC president


The following report is based on the audited year-end financial information provided by our accountant, Les Lucyk, CPA and TOCS.

For the year ending December 31, 2015, TMAC's total assets were $193,352 vs $84,146 a year ago. This increase is due to a higher cash balance in our current account ($173,464 vs. $69,083 Y/E 2014).

Total TMAC 2015 revenues were $306,463 vs. $219,342 in 2014. The total revenue figure is comprised of membership dues ($110,836 vs. $93,987), conference revenue ($170,622 vs. $107,368), and awards ($25,005 vs. $17,987). Travel and awards subsidies collected were $23,031 vs. $15,783 expended resulting in a surplus of $7,248. This amount is included in the total operating surplus figure of $101,179.

Total expenses were $212,532 compared to $235,684 for the same period in 2014. Conference expenses ($67,287) and TOCS management fees ($88,242) account for the largest amount of administrative expenses followed by the website and maintenance expense (Kellett) of $16,530, as budgeted.

Overall, total administrative expenses decreased by $23,152 or 9.8%. The largest contributors to this decrease were conference fees ($67,287 vs. $96,520 in 2014). Fees paid to TOCS remained virtually unchanged at $88,242 vs. $89,713 in 2014.

I am pleased to report that at the end of 2015, TMAC reported a surplus of $101,179. This compares to a surplus of $1,330 in 2014, 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.

- Grant Fraser, TMAC treasurer


The TMAC Alberta/N.W.T. chapter is busy planning our greatest spring season yet. Fresh off a fun and successful Mix & Mingle hosted by Tourism Golden, we are moving right into our next M&M event at Pigeonhole; named Canada's Best New Restaurant 2015 by enRoute magazine. The event is sure to be a crowd pleaser, offering members an opportunity to connect over Canada's most delicious fare.The TMAC Alberta & N.W.T. chapter is pleased to report that we've had another great year. We've seen encouraging growth in our membership for both media and industry members and have been seeing record attendance at our Munch & Mingle events and at our annual Professional Development weekend.

Our PD event was well attended by members both near and far. Kudos to the board members for developing many engaging and thought provoking sessions. The event was well received by members and guest non-members. The keynote presentation was an informative session on productivity and brain health by Catherine Roscoe Barr, followed by a session from social media influencers on how to grow your brand and stay authentic to your audience. Rebecca Bollwitt (Miss604), Leigh McAdam (, and Chris Amat (@christopheramat) discussed creating content that resonates, how to grow and maintain a following, and more. We learned more about SEO tips and Insights and finished off Day 1 with an editors' panel featuring Jill Foran (WestJet Magazine), Bob Sumner (CTV Calgary) and Kim Gray (Toque & Canoe). Following a long afternoon of learning, the group got to unwind and enjoy dinner at Bar C, compliments of Bar C and Travel Alberta. Day 2 kicked off with presentation from Mary Kapusta on conveying vision through storytelling, a session from Camara Miller on the growth of podcasting, a photography workshop with Neil Zeller, and finished off with a lunch address by Nancy Smith, Director of Social Media at North Strategic. 

We've had some incredible Munch & Mingle events in the last few months, with many more coming up! Most notably, a Christmas event at Truve Wines with registration fees waived with the donation of a non-perishable good for the Calgary Food Bank, a Swiss Heritage & BC Mountain Culture-themed event at Edelweiss Village, and a sold-out event at Vin Room, a beautiful Spanish wine cellar. Coming up next is a visit out to the Canadian Badlands and performance at the Rosebud Theatre on June 10th. 

Our chapter also developed a professional partnership with AMPA, the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association. They extended our TMAC chapter members an invitation to attend their 20th anniversary conference at their member rate, and we offered AMPA members the same at our PD Event. It was a great opportunity to learn more about the industry and we look forward to building our partnership in the future! The rest of 2016 looks bright, and we are excited to continue this great momentum with a strong Alberta N.W.T. showing at the TMAC National Conference and AGM and at TMAC events to come!

Chapter Chairs: Paula Worthington & Andrea Visscher

Secretary: Barb Munro

Treasurer: Open

Membership: Neil Bousquet

M&M Coordinator: Noelle Aune

Social Media: Seema Dhawan

Members-at-large: Deb Cummings & Rose Bolton

- Andrea Visscher, Alberta & N.W.T. chapter chair
The February Munch & Mingle was hosted by TMAC Ontario in partnership with Destination Cape Breton. It was held at Verity - voted Top 5 Women's Private Club (CNN). Swag bags were given to all attendees thanks to Verity and Destination Cape Breton. One of our illustrious members, Guy Theriault of Ontario Parks, ensured that everyone went home with a toque or scarf! Pictures attached thanks to Anne Marshall and Guy Theriault.The Ontario chapter has been implementing their new membership protocol for a few months now and the reaction has been extremely positive. New members are welcomed with emails from the Membership chair (Kimberly Hartley) and the Media chair (Steve Gillick). Members are then greeted at their first Munch & Mingle and introduced to the membership. At the May meeting, we had the pleasure of introducing David Bell, a former TMAC member. In addition, a number of members brought guests to the meeting as potential future industry and media members.

The May M & M was sponsored by the OTMPC (Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation) at the very prestigious Toronto Island Yacht Club, amidst a tranquil setting of trees, birds, flowers, yachts and Lake Ontario with the backdrop of the Toronto skyline.

Fifty members and guests attended this great networking event to drink summery refreshments and nibble on delicious hors d'oeuvres. Steve Gillick introduced Jerry Grymek, Ontario's Events chair, who in turn introduced Roger Holgerson, the President and CEO of the OTMPC to talk about exciting Summer Road Trips program. Roger introduced his team of Media Relations Coordinators: Helen Lovekin and Kattrin Duncan.

It was a very relaxing M & M in an equally relaxing environment on a hot, spring day.

A number of Ontario members will be attending the TMAC Conference in Cape Breton and they were urged to attend the Saturday morning chapter meeting to discuss how we can further enhance value for membership.

Finally - keep your eye open for details on the July Road Trip hosted by Tourism Toronto for Friday July 15! 

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

All is well on the #WestCoastBestCoast as we begin planning for our Summer Sizzler. We're engaging with members new and old as we plan for our AGM during the national conference, out of respect for the busy travel schedule for many of our members - both industry and media. 

Many of our members will be travelling to Cape Breton Island and we cannot wait to experience all the #EastCoastBestCoast has to offer! Recently, we've had many of our media featured in leading publications and have seen a bump in coverage featuring our industry partners. 

Since our last update, we haven't had any further formal or planned get-togethers, but suffice to say we're all still feeling the after effects of having Darth Vader emcee our spring PD session.

- Brian Cant, B.C. chapter chair

No report.
- Pam Wamback, Atlantic chapter chair 

In less than three weeks Cape Breton will be hosting 80+ media and 100+ industry for the TMAC 2016 Conference & AGM: Your Heart Will Never Leave.

While the conference dates are quickly approaching, there is still the opportunity for you to participate.

Media can register at any time. There are still a few pre- and post-tours available for those last-minute planners, but also an opportunity to connect and do business for marketplace. You'll have more than 100 industry to meet with! If you're interested in taking part, contact Tina Hutchinson ( for your participation options.

At this time, industry can only register for the conference. Media marketplace appointment tables are sold out. Instead, plan to make your media connections at one of the numerous networking opportunities: local tours, evening socials, professional development sessions and the TMAC Awards. Looking for something more? Grander perhaps? There are still a few sponsorship opportunities available, packages to meet every budget.

In addition to the always-stellar Media Marketplace, a number of PD sessions and roundtable discussions for both media and industry members are on the schedule. The PD committee would like to thank all of the speakers in advance for the time and contribution to TMAC's member education. Your hard work and industry expertise make every session a home run!

Cape Breton promises to knock our socks off with fabulous local entertainment, East Coast hospitality and traditional maritime meals. We absolutely look forward to seeing you all in Cape Breton very soon!

Saturday, June 25, 2016 * 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
All members are welcome to join in this open forum discussion regarding all things TMAC. Where is the organization heading? What are the industry trends TMAC should be embracing? How can we improve and expand your membership benefits? 
If YOU have a question that relates directly to building the future of TMAC , please e-mail it directly to Jerry Grymek, our Open Mic facilitator, at If you would like to pose that question personally during the discussion, let Jerry know. If you would prefer to remain anonymous, there will be a collection box for your Open Mic questions at the registration desk at the conference.  
Questions will be selected randomly by Jerry Grymek on site. Thank you in advance for all suggestions. Those that are not covered during the discussion will be shared with the new board and addressed in a future issue of TMAC Travel.


The 2015 TMAC Awards is well on its way with 338 entries combined in both the written and photography category.   This is over 100 entries more than we had in 2014.  Of course we could not have done this without our long standing award judges Don Genova, David Homel, Dan Brown for our written category and Mishell Raedeke and Boris Spremo our photography category. The first place winner in each category received $750 and the second place winner received $250. In some categories, up to two Outstanding Achievement efforts were also recognized.
The Awards are sponsored by different TMAC industry members and we still have a few categories up for grabs.  Please contact Holly Lenk at to discuss sponsorship opportunities.
We are looking forward to our 2016 Awards presentation that will be taking place on June 26th, 2016 in Sydney, NS. Hope to see you there!


Media member Dale Dunlop has a new book co-authored with Ryan Barry. It is Outdoor Adventures in Halifax and details 25 different outdoor activities that Haligonians can do and are just minutes away. Most have not appeared in print before. The publisher is Formac, which has also done the six editions of Exploring Nova Scotia.

Jenn Nelson won a bronze NATJA award in the Illustrated Story, Magazine category for her story "Unplugged Prairie Escape in Saskatchewan," which appeared in both Just for Canadian Doctors & Just for Canadian Dentists. Jenn was also honoured to win the Travel Media of the Year Award at the Tourism Saskatchewan Awards of Excellence.

Media member Maureen Littlejohn has recently been contracted to provide the travel content for Culture Magazin. Culture has a reach of 300,000 Vietnamese/Canadian readers and is published 11 times a year. Maureen is looking for destination/culture story ideas from industry that would appeal to the Vietnamese diaspora. This includes destinations in North America, Mexico, Caribbean, Europe and Asia that might have a Vietnamese/Canadian connection. Please contact Maureen at




Rhonda Krause

Travel? Yes Please!, Edmonton, AB
Heidi Korven

Kootenay Rockies, Kimberly, BC
Jacqueline Louie

Calgary, AB
Mylisa Henderson

Scandinave Spa Blue Mountian, Blue Mountains, ON

Lin Stranberg

Toronto, ON
Tanya Otis
CMH Heli_Skiing & Summer Adventures, Banff, AB

In this new series, we shine the spotlight on a few of our new members. Each issue of TMAC Travels will highlight one new media member and one new industry member.In this new series, we shine the spotlight on a few of our new members. Each issue of TMAC Travels will highlight one new media member and one new industry member.

MEDIA Rhonda Krause

TMAC welcomes media member, Rhonda Krause of Edmonton ( As a travel writer/photographer, Rhonda says, "I created Travel? Yes Please! to be a trusted source of information and inspiration for independent travellers." She adds, "I present a mix of history, personal reflections, compelling images and first-hand tips for visiting each destination I feature."

As a photographer, Rhonda says, "What excites me the most is capturing the unique beauty of each destination. I love sharing my photos because I find they inspire others to travel like nothing else can." Her areas of interest include outdoor adventures, city breaks, small town sojourns, road trips, train travel and romantic getaways. Japan is one of her favourite destinations. "Something about it made me feel at home," she says. "Japan really has it all - historic and modern architecture, stunning natural landscapes, a fascinating culture and such kind, helpful and respectful people."

"Joining TMAC was a way to take my blog to the next level and show potential partners that I value upholding a code of conduct. I look forward to forming meaningful professional relationships with other members. I'm hoping TMAC brings me opportunities to work with tourism boards and travel companies to help showcase what they have to offer prospective visitors and customers."

INDUSTRY Municipalité de Clare

The Municipalité de Clare in sou'west Nova Scotia ( is one of TMAC's newest members, represented by Larry Peach, Tourism Manager.

Of Clare, Larry says, "I am excited to share with you the French Shore's unique Acadian culture and accessible coastlines of la Baie Sainte-Marie through active visitor experiences. Savour fresh seafood along the bay with the locals during Les Beaux Vendredis, dig for bar clams with an expert, participate in the Festival acadien's Tintamarre noise parade, take a guided night hike to see the area in a different light, or sample dried fish while cycling our scenic shores during Gran Fondo Baie Sainte-Marie on September 25th. Helping organize Nova Scotia's first Gran Fondo in 2015 was an eye-opening reminder of the power of personal connection and visitor testimonials.

"I am looking forward to connecting with a lot of great people at TMAC, growing my media network, and of course extending many invitations to sample our colourful corner of Acadie. The ultimate goal is the building of long-term relationships." 

When the former geography teacher isn't touring London on foot, he could be in Montreal cheering his beloved Habs or out for a run on Mavillette Beach . . . or at his office at

By Leigh McAdam, on behalf of the social media committee

1. Download free mobile image editor Snapseed (for iOS or Android). Use this to enhance your photos. It's easy and it makes a huge difference - especially "structure" under the Details category.

2. Post regularly if you want to grow your following - ideally every day or two. People will unfollow accounts that don't show signs of life. On the flip side, don't post a series of photos in immediate succession - one at a time is plenty.

3. Don't hesitate to use photos from the past. Fix them up in Snapseed and voilà -good as new.

4. TMAC member Tamara Elliott of @GlobeGuide recommends that your gallery have a theme or consistent look. If you're including hashtags in your post, she recommends posting them as a comment rather than in the main image description so the post doesn't look spammy. I recommend no more than two hashtags in the description.

5. TMAC member Carol Patterson from @TheCarolPatterson advises using a combination of hashtags - some that are popular with travel writers and destinations like #travelalberta, but also simpler ones like #banff or #mountain or #holiday. Add a few niche (lesser-used) hashtags so your post can linger longer - e.g. #owlsofinstagram.

6. Both Carol and Tamara say it's important to engage as well as post. Spend 15 minutes a day on Instagram. Follow others, comment on photos you like and always try to respond to comments on your own posts. Ask questions to get more engagement. Carol suggests looking for Instagrammers with similar interests. Follow them and hope they follow you back. If they don't, and you prefer to only follow those who are following you, Crowdfire can help you organize your account.

7. Tamara recommends using the Discover feature to find great photos and new accounts to follow.

8. Play along with Instagram and use their features. They want you to tag photos (e.g. you might tag other Instagrammers or destinations in the photo) and add a location (this is geotagged, so that all photos tagged with the same location can be grouped together). Location tagging is another way to be discovered.

9. Canadian photographer and successful Instagrammer Jeff Bartlett (@photojbartlett) suggests that you share your Instagram posts via at least one other social media channel (this can be done automatically as you post, through the app). In fact, people have set up Tumblr accounts solely for that purpose. 

10. Tag sites that repost photos as a way to grow your following. As an example, I regularly include #ig_great_shots_Canada - and have had my photos reposted on numerous occasions. Many tourism destinations - including, for instance, Destination Canada's @explorecanada - repost submitted shots too, and Destination BC (@helloBC) even invites Instagrammers to #guestagram for them for a week at a time. Don't forget to tag #tmacCA to share your travel photos and have a chance of being featured on our account at @travelmediaCA.

You can follow me @hikebiketravel.


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 Q & A editor, media member Jan Feduck, at

Hans Tammegami submitted this question:

How the dickens can we break into overseas magazine and newspaper markets, say Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa? Every time I try, I Google the media outlet, get the editors' names and send off (what I think is a compelling) query. And then, frustration, I never hear back. How to break this deadlock?

Alex Eberspaecher, writer and author replied:

Research your material by reading the publications and see what their focus will be. As an example, may I use something close to home, Algonquin Park. Every editor has had to deal with countless copies on the park and its attractions such as wildlife. Judy and I spend some time every year at the park and time after time we run into disillusioned visitors from Europe who have read about the park, complaining of not seeing wolves or bears but being devoured by bugs and drenched by everlasting rains. So how about a story on the pitfalls if the weather is not cooperating? Perhaps the editor would put your story on top of the hundred other ones he has already but he certainly would remember yours.

To put this in another perspective, why would I ever write a basic yachting story for a boating magazine or a story on how to taste wines for a publication where all the readers probably know more than I do?

But back to Algonquin Park for a moment. Forget the travel magazines or the travel section of an Australian or English newspaper. Look for a publication that caters to the arts or at least the art section of a new publication and focus your story on Tom Thomson instead, and his life and mysterious death in the park.

And now that I have you thinking about this, keep looking outside the box and you may be a step ahead of anybody else.

Phone calls are cheap nowadays. Pick up the phone and call the editor in GB or Australia and introduce yourself before sending your pitch. It probably will not get you anywhere, he may even have no time to listen to you, but he will most likely remember you when you send him your pitch and he might read it. If nothing else but curiosity to see why you are different from all the other writers.

Remember that today in most countries, not unlike here in Canada, most editors are no longer copy editors. Contents of a publication are often determined by a team of sales staff or at least the advertising manager. As in Canada, most editors no longer have the time to read our material, put it together, correct it, check the facts and then search for photos. My very first suggestion would be that any material submitted, INCLUDING pictures, must be ready to go to print.

Jim Kemshead, Marketing Specialist, Media Relations and Public Relations for Yukon Tourism replied:

When writing and submitting a Canadian destination piece, it may be worthwhile to contact the destination's Media Relations/PR team as most have overseas contacts/GSAs/PR agencies that work directly with in-market media outlets/journalists to promote the destination. It's worthwhile for the destination to promote and help place such articles in their primary/secondary markets.

Send future questions for Inquisitive Minds Want to Know, to media member Jan Feduck


TMAC Travels is published bi-monthly. Publication of solicited and unsolicited articles is not guaranteed. Final content is decided by TMAC Travel's 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 $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 John Geary at 
Items may be edited for length, grammar or clarity.

July/August July 220, 2016

September 23, 2016
November/DecemberNovember 25, 2016

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