TMAC Travels
October 2018

1. President's Report
2. Executive Director's Report
3. Conference Wrap Up
4. Chapter Reports
5. New Members
6. Member News
7. Spotlight on New Members
8. Save the Date: TMAC's 2019 Conference & AGM

It's hard to believe that its Thanksgiving already. Where did the summer go? I am pleased to report that our annual conference in Victoria was a huge success. In total, we had 180 attendees comprised of 100 industry and 80 media members. Our media marketplace received excellent reviews as more than 1600 meetings were held. At the end of our conference, we announced that our 2019 meeting will take place in Sault St. Marie from June 19 - June 23, 2019.
I am also pleased to inform you that two new members joined the National Board in June. Yashy Murphy and Guy Theriault will serve as National Board members for the next two years.  
To provide the leadership and direction TMAC requires, the National Board retained the management and administrative services of Executive Director, Elizabeth Kerr and the WIT Corporation, for a two-year term.  
Initiatives that your Executive Director and National Board will continue working on over the next year include:
  1. Finalizing a more inclusive membership application process that recognizes the changing travel media landscape
  2. Pursuing sites for future conferences in 2020, 2021 and 2022
  3. Continuation of our Volunteer Engagement Plan and Committee Structures
  4. 2019 Financial Plan and Budget
  5. Development of a formal governance structure to improve communication between chapters and the national board
On behalf of our National Board, I would like to thank you for your continued support of TMAC. Under the direction, leadership and guidance provided by our Executive Director, our National Board, chapters, committees, and volunteers, TMAC continues to evolve and improve to better serve its membership and be the leading voice in Canadian travel journalism.
Should you have any questions or comments, I invite you to contact me anytime at either 905-484-4642 or

Grant Fraser , president
Travel Media Association of Canada


It is hard to believe that I have had this role for more than year and what a year it has been. 

At the outset, I would sincerely like to thank TMAC's National Board, as well as all the wonderful and talented TMAC members who have offered me support and guidance throughout this initial journey. It was definitely a year of learning, re-designing and fine-tuning our processes to ensure that TMAC takes advantage of its resources and its technology while constantly looking for ways to better support and grow its membership.

I am delighted to announce that Melody Wren, National Board member, has offered to Chair the Volunteer Committee; Sabrina Robson has offered to join her. We recognize that this is a very critical role in helping to build TMAC to better serve its membership, which is why we put some incentives in place. A formal Call for Volunteers will be issued shortly. If you are interested in volunteering and want more information, please contact Melody Wren at

However, we do have some current positions that I would like to see filled sooner rather than later. 

The most timely of these is the  New Membership Criteria Committee . Yashy Murphy, National Board member and Chair, has already started the review process and has made some excellent recommendations to be reviewed by members of the committee, as well as the Board, after which a short survey will go out to all members in order to get feedback and support. Once finalized, the new online portal will be built to streamline the membership/re-qualification process. If you are interested in and have the time over the next few weeks to review our recommendations, please contact Yashy Murphy at .

The Media Membership Review Committee also needs your help. We are heading into the re-qualification period for members whose last names end in A-K. Currently, Jennifer Merrick and Ursula Maxwell-Lewis are holding the fort, but we do need more volunteers to not only review re-qualifying members but new members as well, so we can turn around applications in a timely manner. Offering to review 10 applications would be a great help. If you are interested, but would like to learn more, contact Jennifer, Ursula or me.

Other short-term initiatives include:

1. Accessing the Members' Directory on demand, by custom search or in its entirely in printable PDF format. Currently, however, more the 50% of our members have not completed their profiles. Individual reminders will be sent out shortly. We would like to encourage everyone who has not yet created or updated their profiles to do so as soon as possible. The Members' Directory is a key component of TMAC and a valuable member benefit.

2. Building and accessing a Canadian Editorial Directory. Currently, TMAC members do have access the entire database of Magazines Canada's member magazines HERE. It allows you to search by category and then hone in on individual magazines. This database is the most current online database available. We will, however, be building our very own over the next few months. If you have any interest in volunteering to help on this project, please contact me.

3. Expanding the individual Chapter pages to include Board members, a downloadable list of Chapter members, upcoming events and announcements, and new members.

Our website's functionality will be continually refined and upgraded and, as always, I welcome any and all constructive suggestions. 

Our sponsorship package will be revised and refreshed to ensure we offer opportunities to meet the needs and budgets of our members, not just for the conference but throughout the year.

Needless to say, there is a lot of "behind the scenes" work being done by an army of dedicated volunteers, without whom many of these initiatives would simply not get done. Thank you to everyone.

Elizabeth Kerr , Executive Director
Travel Media Association of Canada



Darcy Rhyno - Felix Arseneau, Magdalen's Smokehouse - Saltscapes Food & Travel - May 1, 2017
Leigh McAdam - Celebrating Canada Day in the High Arctic - - August 6, 2017
Mike Fisher - Life Beyond the Beach - Toronto Star - November 7, 2017 

Rhonda Krause - The Gold Rush Girls -
 - November 5, 2017
Sharon Matthews-Stevens - Preparing for Battle - - June 28, 2017 Leigh McAdam - At the End of the Portage, Quetico Provincial Park - - August 23, 2017
Photo Series
John Sylvester - Where Highlands Meet the Sea - Country Magazine - August 1, 2017
Rhonda Krause - Ireland - - October 23, 2017
Leigh McAdam - 20 Photos That Will Make You Want to Trek in Northern India - 
- October 16, 2017


Anne Bokma - Prisonland - The United Church Observer - January 1, 2017
Mike Fisher Blues and Soul - Toronto Star - June 29, 2017
Lisa Kadane - Tijuana Guided Tours Open a Window into the City's Culture and Cuisine - The Globe and Mail - May 13, 2017
Responsible Tourism

Hans Tammemagi - An Old-growth Battlefield - British Columbia magazine - October 1, 2016 Carol Patterson - Where the Wild Things Are -ONBOARD magazine - April 1, 2017
Diane Selkirk - The South African Winery Gave its Workers an Ownership Stake - ABP Media - September 18, 2017

Carolyn Heller - IHOP over Idaho - Almost Fearless - October 9, 2017
Jody Robbins - Trying to Outwit Ranchtracker - Calgary Herald - October 22, 2017
Jennifer Bain - Spend a Day Prowling with the Puffin Control - Toronto Star - October 14, 2107
Food and Drink

Christina Newberry - Sea, Smoke and Fire: The Ancient Seafood Traditions of Ise-Shima, Japan - PAX magazine - March 1, 2017
Amy Rosen - Get Real: Montreal's Authentically Inauthentic Chinese Food - Eighteen Bridges magazine - June 1, 2017 Cinda Chavich - Vancouver's Stunning Asian Banquet - Doctor's Review - April 1, 2017
French Language

Sylvie Ruel - Voguer sur l'Amazone et l'Orénoque -
Journal de Montréal - May 6, 2017

Michel Chicoine - 
L'Irlande : Le pays des gens sympathiques - 
Le Food Blog -
September 8, 2017

Arlene Karpan - Sleeping with Rhinos - - December 27, 2017 Darcy Rhyno - Finding Dory - Outdoor Canada - September 8, 2017 Carol Perehudoff - Coasteering in Snowdonia - 
- August 25, 2017

Jody Robbins - Safe-cation - Best Health - July 1, 2017 Lisa Kadane - 3 High-end Hiking Trips Close to Calgary - Avenue Magazine - June 20, 2017 Mike Fisher - Austin Texas - Conteneder as Live Music Capital of the World - Toronto Star - August 3, 2017

Diane Selkirk - Cape Town's Tidal Swimming Pools - The Independent - August 24, 2017
Spirit of Canada

Amy Rosen - Cold Comforts - enRoute magazine - December 1, 2017
Darcy Rhyno - Not Fancy But a Boatload of Fun - Saltscapes Food & Travel - May 1, 2017 Debbie Olsen - A 518km Ice Road Across the Tundra - BBC Travel - May 10, 2017

Marc Smith has graciously agreed to assume the role of chair for the social media committee. We've been very hard pressed to find a replacement for previous chair Kat Tancock who did such a great job organizing and looking after the committee. He has some ideas about how to make even better use of the Facebook group page as well as the Twitter and Instagram accounts. Over the next few months, we'll be implementing them.
John Geary , Social Media liaison to the TMAC board

Media and Industry members met during the conference and confirmed transportation details for media to get to Grand Manan Island for a combination September chapter meeting and mini press trip.
We also planned set the date and place for our 2019 gathering, which will be in Cape Breton during the winter of 2019!
PD sessions are also outlined for fall (photography) and winter (social media) in Halifax.
Of course, we are hugely proud of our award winners, Darcy Rhyno and John Sylvester.
Darcy waltzed away with a triple play (one first and two second place awards for Best People Photo, Best Outdoor Adventure Story, and Best Spirit of Canada awards respectively), and John was awarded first place for Best Photo Series.
Helen Earley , chair
Atlantic chapter board
There were plenty of highlights at the national conference in Victoria; one of them was a well-attended and enthusiastic annual meeting of the Ontario chapter.
A new Ontario chapter executive was elected for the coming year. There was sufficient interest that we actually had to vote! Elected to our chapter executive were:
Co-chairs: Paul Knowles and Rod Charles
Secretary: Ron Brown
Treasurer: Anne Marshall
Past chair: Steve Gillick
M&M event planning and scheduling: Jerry Grymek
Membership - Kimberly Hartley
Members at large: Kelly Bonnell, Liz Campbell and Aisha Dhalla.
All of us from Ontario were very proud that one of our own, Yashy Murphy, was elected to the national board. It shows our chapter's commitment to the national organization when you realize that three of the four nominees for director on TMAC's national executive were from Ontario!
Congratulations, as well, to Guy Theriault, who we consider to be an honorary Ontario member, at the very least!
One key focus emerging from our chapter meeting involves professional development; we have committed to providing better and more frequent PD opportunities to our members, and a four-member committee chaired by Rod Charles is already into the planning stages.
Finally, everyone in Ontario is delighted to welcome the rest of Canada to the 2019 TMAC National Conference, to be held in Sault Ste. Marie. We couldn't be more thrilled!
Paul Knowles , media chair,
Ontario chapter board
TMAC Alberta-NWT will hosted a Munch 'n' Mingle event in June at the Calgary Zoo.
The zoo, known for its conservation efforts, recently welcomed the arrival of four panda bears, who will be "in residence" for the next five years.
Our group had an opportunity to enjoy an early morning breakfast, learned about the species, then visited them firsthand!
We had a strong contingent of industry and media members at the National Conference in Victoria, where a number of our talented writers received accolades for their work.
Congratulations goes out to Mike Fisher, Rhonda Krause, Leigh McAdam, Debbie Olsen, Carol Patterson and Jody Robbins!
Paula Worthington , co-chair
Alberta chapter board

Thank you to everyone who attended our BC Chapter meeting in Victoria.
We had a great turnout of more than 30 members, both new and old faces!
The new BC chapter board celebrated its first summer function in July with a monthly mingler at the elegant Shangri-la Vancouver, much thanks to industry member and Director of Communications, Liz Sperandeo and the hotel's executive chef Ken Nakano. A celebration of wonderful cocktails and chilled rosé, the hotel was showcasing its new French Provence-themed summer brunch for our TMAC group.
August brought our summer sizzler to the new Parq resort complex featuring The Douglas and JW Marriott Hotels. Thanks to Industry and BC board member Rebecca Peters and industry member Samantha Geer from Avenue PR for organizing a wonderful cocktail reception at the Douglas Hotel's spacious and beautiful outdoor terrace at their D/6 Bar + Lounge.
Our Fall PD Day takes place Saturday October 13th at the new Autograph Collection Civic Hotel in the newly developed Surrey Central City. Our day-long event will feature various panel discussions from restaurant reviewing (with Top Chef Canada's Mijune Pak), YouTube and Videos, to a stellar wine tasting class thanks to the BC Wine Institute.

The BC chapter during chapter meetings in Victoria. (Photo credit: Nathan Fong)
If any TMAC members happen to be in Vancouver for any of our dates, please let me know and we'd love to have you attend one of our events!
Thanks to our new and hard-working BC board for making everything happen!
Nathan Fong, chair, BC board


Starting this month, all new members will be announced on the website under the NEW MEMBERS section as well as headlined on Chapter pages. Stay tuned for more details. Once posted, we will announce it on FACEBOOK and TWITTER and keep you posted as new members join.


Sandra Phinney has been travelling in Atlantic Canada and Ontario giving memoir workshops and doing readings from her new travel memoir, . She and Melanie Chambers are so excited about the response to the book that they are working with a professional marketing team to roll out the concept of backyard travel across Canada. But it's way more than a staycation.

Stay tuned for "The Heartsong Project."


TMAC welcomes new media member, Nancy Besharah (
Nancy has been passionate about travel for a long time. The Victoria-based travel writer/photographer says, "Dog-eared travel magazines and guidebooks have competed for space on my nightstand for decades."
While she dreamed of a career as a flight attendant or travel agent, she chose a degree instead.
"After studying economics, I worked as an economist, negotiator and in business development - each of these jobs allowed me to travel."
She and her husband committed to showing their children the world so they could learn about other countries and cultures.
"After fielding questions from friends about the ins and outs of family travel, I decided to write about it. Three years ago, I launched the 'Luxe Travel Family blog'."
In addition to travel, Nancy writes about food, wine and craft spirits.
"My story on Vancouver Island's certified craft spirits appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle earlier this year."
Nancy is excited to be a new member of TMAC. "I'm keen to connect with the Canadian travel media community," she says, "and learn about freelance travel writing opportunities, to inspire families to explore Canada."
Recently, Nancy travelled to Hawaii's Big Island, where she competed in Ironman Hawaii 70.3 on June 2.
"This event was my second triathlon - the first was Lavaman on the Big Island in March 2018. Hawaii is a favourite destination, and it's been incredible to train and compete on the Big Island."
TMAC also welcomes new industry member Tessa Humphries.
Tessa is the communications manager for British Columbia Ferry Services Inc. ( ). She joined BC Ferries a little more than two years ago. She has a background and education in broadcast journalism and tourism, and previously handled travel media for Tourism Victoria.  She says she was honoured to be named to Destination Marketing Association International's Top 30 Under 30 program as the only Canadian recipient.

Tessa says of BC Ferries, "It connects customers and communities with the people and places they want to go. It is one of the largest ferry operators in the world, providing year-round vehicle and passenger service on 26 routes to 47 terminals, with a fleet of 35 vessels. BC Ferries provides sailings to and from Metro Vancouver, Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast, the Gulf Islands, and Northern B.C. Offering the most remarkable way to experience the coast, BC Ferries encourages customers to #ShareTheCoast and their travel adventures."
As a new industry member with TMAC, Tessa says she's looking to make some new connections and share our story with other media and industry representatives.
"We have some exciting projects on the go, including the launch of a new route from Port Hardy to Bella Coola later this summer, and TMAC is a great venue to share everything that's going on with BC Ferries.
"I also look forward to learning more about projects media and industry have on the go and seeing if we can work together on some exciting initiatives."
As an avid traveler, Tessa recalls a recent trip close to home.
"Last year I was fortunate to travel the Inside Passage (the ferry from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert) and then travel by ferry over to Haida Gwaii. I think it's so important to explore where you live, and Haida Gwaii is a part of British Columbia that is like no other.
"It was simply stunning - a must-do travel experience."

Darcy Rhyno , Atlantic member


Sault Ste. Marie is host to TMAC's 2019 Conference and AGM. Plans are underway to assemble the Conference Committee, chaired by Suzie Loiselle, the Professional Development Committee, the Sponsorship Committee, chaired by Jerry Grymek. 

The Awards Committee, chaired by Tracy Ford and members Michel Chicoine, Jim Kemshead,  Jenn Smith Nelson, Mark Stevens and  Margaret Swaine have already met and are developing a quick membership survey to revitalize and refresh award categories, criteria and process. Your input is extremely valuable to us so please take a few minutes to complete the survey when it lands in your inbox.

Our host hotel will be the Delta Waterfront. Our back-up hotel will be the Quality Inn Suites - a 5-minute walk away.
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.
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.