TMAC Travels
April 2019
FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK
 
As you read this issue of TMAC Travels, we'll be less than two months away from the start of the 2019 national conference in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
 
They have some amazing pre-trips and day tours planned, the PD committee has come up with some very interesting sessions and our awards presentations will welcome some new categories to reflect the growth of our organization over the past few years.
 
If you haven't signed up yet, don't delay any longer, as registration will close soon.
 
In this issue we welcome long-time TMAC member but new contributor Martha Chapman who will now produce our member profiles.
 
We have a few other tidbits for you, be sure to read them, and enjoy. And we hope to see you at the conference in June!
 
John Geary, TMAC Travels editor
johngeary@bearlair.ca

IN THIS ISSUE

INSIDE TMAC TRAVELS
 
1. PRESIDENT'S REPORT
2. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S REPORT
3. TMAC AWARDS UPDATE
4. CHAPTER REPORTS
5. MEMBER NEWS: MEDIA
6. MEMBER PROFILES
7. CONTRIBUTORS

1. PRESIDENT'S REPORT
 
My term as your president is nearly over. During that time, I have had the pleasure of working with some amazing board members, national committee chairs, chapter chairs, and our executive director, all of whom were instrumental in facing some hurdles and implementing new initiatives including the volunteer engagement program, the media membership criteria, and the ongoing strategic planning process.
 
Our volunteer engagement program offers waived annual dues and/or points to every volunteer. More details can be found on the website under VOLUNTEERS.
 
Our volunteers now represent 59 members across Canada and include: Noelle Aune, Lucas Aykroyd, Kelly Bonnell, Ron Brown, Liz Campbell, Leslie Chang, Rod Charles, Ange Chew, Michel Chicoine, Marisa Cuglietta, Deb Cummings, Aisha Dalla, Dale Dunlop, Helen Earley, Liz Fleming, Nathan Fong, Tracy Ford, Grant Fraser, Shawna Gardham, John Geary, Steve Gillick, Jerry Grymek, Kimberly Hartley, Carolyn Heller, Kelly Jessup, Jim Kemshead, Paul Knowles, Suzie Loiselle, Jennifer Mallia, Anne Marshall, Voula Martin, Ursula Maxwell-Lewis, Leigh McAdam, Heather McEachen, Jennifer Merrick, Barb Munro, Yashy Murphy, Jan Napier, Tara Nolan, Rebecca Peters, Sandra Phinney, Darcy Rhyno, Jody Robbins, Sabrina Robson, James Ross, Jami Savage, Minto Schneider, Kendra Scurfield, Jenn Smith Nelson, Mark Stevens, Margaret Swaine, Guy Theriault, Sandra Thomas, Mary Tulle, Wendy Underwood, Pamela Wamback, Jennifer Widmer, Paula Worthington, and Melody Wren.
 
April is Volunteer month in Canada (and around the world) so there is no better time to say "Thank you!" for all you do.
 
Our new media membership criteria has officially been implemented. Every member who has re-qualified did so using the new online system. For the most part, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive; ease of use and speed of review got top marks. There are a few categories and a few anomalies that we are refining with the help of TMAC members whose valuable feedback will be incorporated.
 
The national board hosted its third annual strategic planning workshop in February at the Chelsea Hotel in Toronto. As a result of this day, we have identified 15 key objectives which we will share in more detail at the 2019 AGM in Sault. Ste. Marie to encourage input and feedback and enable us to prioritize.
 
At time of publication, we will be 63 days away from the 2019 Conference & AGM . It promises to be an outstanding event, so please join us in Sault Ste. Marie as we celebrate TMAC's 25th Anniversary during the awards ceremony and closing dinner.
 
Make sure to stand out - bring your silver fascinators, your silver clothing, and your silver jewelry for this occasion!

Regards,

Grant Fraser , president
Travel Media Association of Canada

2. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S REPORT

CONFERENCE UPDATE
64 days and counting until TMAC members meet in Sault Ste. Marie for its 2019 Conference & AGM and help us celebrate TMAC's 25th Anniversary.
 
Keynote Speaker Announced
We are delighted to announce that Deirdre Campbell, managing director of Canadian-based Beattie Tartan, will be TMAC's 2019 keynote speaker this year. Here's what she'll be sharing with us .
 
"Let's get rid of the buzz words and talk about the impact tourism can really have on our world today. Your role as a journalist, publicist, and marketer can be a powerful motivator for change on the way people travel. Do we want to provide transformative experiences for our guests OR provide them with ways they can help transform communities and destinations for the better? Can we do both?"
 
Deirdre Campbell has been entrenched in the global tourism market for more than 17 years. What began as a west-coast based boutique PR agency called Tartan in 2001, with a handful of Canadian signature experiences, quickly expanded internationally with a range of luxury eco resorts across Central and South America. This was also the beginning of Deirdre's passion for sustainable tourism, and she is a founding member of the Global Ecotourism Network and the IMPACT Sustainable Travel and Tourism conference held annually in Victoria, BC. IMPACT's goal is to host the important dialogue around tourism's legacy across Canada. In 2017, Tartan merged with the Beattie Group, a UK based PR agency with over 34 years of experience and 12 offices. This allowed Deirdre to expand her team's digital expertise and build a substantial client base across Canada. With offices in Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria and Calgary, and associates in Ottawa, Winnipeg, Montreal and New York, today Beattie Tartan counts the Jordan Tourism Board, Destination Canada and Indigenous Tourism Canada along with many outstanding signature experiences among its tourism clients. Her career in sustainable tourism has taken her to Chile, Jordan, Korea, China, Australia, Costa Rica, US and across Canada to speak about tourism's impact.
 
Pre-tour/Travel Grant Announcements
Many of the pre-tours are filling up. Those media members who have already requested a tour will be notified of their tour selection on April 18, 2019. 
 
Registration Closes April 30
Although the Early Bird offer is now over, there is still time to register and participate in four exciting hosted events, one of 12 fun and active local tours and the amazing line-up of PD workshops. Register here today!
 
Save 10% on Airfare
For more details, please click TRANSPORTATION  to learn more about Air Canada and Porter discounts.
 
SPONSORSHIP UPDATE
Sponsorship opportunities to fit your budget are still available for both Conference and Awards. Please contact Jerry Grymek at jerry@lma.ca for Conference opportunities and Elizabeth Kerr at elizabethkerr@travelmedia.ca for Award sponsorships.
 
 
ONLINE PROFILES
It is more important than ever to get your online profiles created and/or updated. This is where TMAC members go to learn more about you and determine if you are a good fit for a Media Marketplace appointment.
 
You can access instructions here:
 
 
 
PRESS CARDS

QUESTIONS, COMMENTS & SUGGESTIONS
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, all are warmly welcomed. Please do not hesitate to reach out and ask. We will get back to you as quickly as we can.

Elizabeth Kerr , executive director
Travel Media Association of Canada

3. 2018 TMAC AWARDS UPDATE

On Monday, February 4, 2019, TMAC announced its 2018 Awards Competition with new categories, new judges, and new monetary prizes

We received almost 400 entries this year in all 12 categories. All submissions are currently being reviewed by our 2018 judging panels. The top five finalists in each category will be announced the week of May 13, 2019.

PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD
The People's Choice Award will be available online May 1, 2019. 18 TMAC members have entered this category and are counting on YOU to vote. More details to follow.

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS
Thank you to our returning TMAC Award Sponsors: Chelsea Hotel, Toronto;  Destination British Columbia, Qu├ębec City Tourism and welcome to a new sponsor, Quebec By The Sea.












SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES STILL AVAILABLE
For more informati on on sponsoring a TMAC Award, please contact Elizabeth Kerr at elizbethkerr@travelmedia.ca or click   HERE.

Tracy Ford, Secretary, awards chair
Travel Media Association of Canada

4. CHAPTER NEWS
 
ATLANTIC CHAPTER
 
Winter chapter meeting: Members of the Atlantic chapter met March 1-3 in beautiful Whycocomagh, Cape Breton. Many of you know Cape Breton as a summer destination, but as we discovered, the region is just as beautiful during the winter, with plenty of activities such as skiing, hiking, snowmobiling, music-making, fire-huddling, chowder-devouring - and a little beer drinking too.
 
A great big thank you to our new Cape Breton rep, Mark Barber for his hospitality.
 
Media members take a stand against poor forestry management: TMAC Atlantic media members have decided to take a stand on clear cutting in Nova Scotia. As travel writers, we feel that the poor management of Nova Scotia's forests directly impacts our work as storytellers, guides, and ambassadors to the region.
 
To that end, the group drafted a letter to our Minister of Lands and Forestry, the Hon. Iain Rankin, as well as a letter to CBC radio. On Tuesday, April 2, Helen Earley and Zack Metcalfe were interviewed on Halifax's morning show, Information Morning, about the campaign. We'd love to hear about ways that other chapters are involving themselves in local or national activism.
 
Mix and Mingle: On June 7, our group will meet for an exciting "Mix and Mingle" - but it won't be just any social gathering. It will take place aboard the Fundy Rose Ferry, which travels between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The ferry schedule will allow members from both provinces to hop aboard - and we will mingle in the middle!
 
For this event, we have also decided to invite a number of local writers and influencers who are not TMAC'ers, in order to increase awareness and recruit new members. Thank you to Monica MacNeil for this generous invitation. If anyone from another chapter is in the region, please contact one of us - we'd love you to join us aboard!
 
After our Mingle on the Bay of Fundy, there will be a mini press trip to explore Baie St. Marie. Known best for its Grand Fondo cycling race, the Municipality of Clare is home to the largest Acadian community in Nova Scotia. Members will have a tour, dinner and finally, a Stella Night Hike with a local guide. As above, if anyone happens to be in the region, please contact us, and come along! Thanks to Sandra Phinney for leading this.
 
Finally, we are pleased to welcome back returning member, Cathy Donaldson.
 
Helen Earley , chair
Atlantic chapter board
 
ONTARIO CHAPTER
 
Ontario TMAC members got a bit of a head start on spring in March, Glasgow and VisitBritain hosted our monthly "Munch & Mingle." Fantastic Scottish food and drink were on offer, and a good time was had by all.
 
Our executive meetings have gone digital - or at least, we have advanced to using 20th century technology (yes, I know, I said 20th). That's because we are following the national board's lead, and holding our executive meetings by conference call. It worked nicely, allowing our exec members from Peterborough, Waterloo Region and Sudbury to be involved - and one actually was in the US. It's a winning idea, and we're going to continue to meet by conference call, to be as inclusive as possible.
 
We have put a big push on membership, with executive members reaching out to members who had not renewed, with a very positive response. And as we reminded a few of our members, it's not only what TMAC can do for you (although that's important), it's what you can do to build and improve our industry through TMAC.
 
The Ontario chapter will hold its annual Chapter General Meeting during the conference in Sault Ste. Marie - which we are delighted to remind you, is right here in Ontario! Hope to see all of you there!  Ontario TMAC members got a bit of a head start on spring in March, Glasgow and VisitBritain hosted our monthly "Munch & Mingle." Fantastic Scottish food and drink were on offer, and a good time was had by all.
 
Our executive meetings have gone digital - or at least, we have advanced to using 20th century technology (yes, I know, I said 20th). That's because we are following the national board's lead, and holding our executive meetings by conference call. It worked nicely, allowing our exec members from Peterborough, Waterloo Region and Sudbury to be involved - and one actually was in the US. It's a winning idea, and we're going to continue to meet by conference call, to be as inclusive as possible.
 
We have put a big push on membership, with executive members reaching out to members who had not renewed, with a very positive response. And as we reminded a few of our members, it's not only what TMAC can do for you (although that's important), it's what you can do to build and improve our industry through TMAC.
 
The Ontario chapter will hold its annual Chapter General Meeting during the conference in Sault Ste. Marie - which we are delighted to remind you, is right here in Ontario! Hope to see all of you there!

Paul Knowles, co-chair
Ontario chapter board

ALBERTA & NWT CHAPTER

After record-breaking cold temperatures throughout the month of February, the Alberta-Northwest Territories chapter is happy to see the first signs of spring finally emerge.
 
On April 17, we say hello to spring by hosting a special event at Sweetgrass Lodge, located in ENMAX Park at the Calgary Stampede.
 
Darren Weaselchild from Siksika nation will share information and stories about traditional Blackfoot tipis - meanings, ceremonies and important significance - all while setting up a tipi.
 
From May 23-25, we will host a PD Conference in beautiful Waterton, Alberta, featuring a number of session and speakers. Please stay tuned for a full itinerary and registration details.
 
In June, we'll celebrate the bounty of the season at Avenida Market, a Calgary-based food hall and fresh market.
 
We also look forward to catching up with fellow members in beautiful Sault-Ste-Marie at the national conference.

Paula Worthington , co-chair
Alberta chapter board
 
BC & YUKON CHAPTER

Spring has arrived to BC with full cherry blossoms in bloom (Sorry for those still in snow covered terrain...).
 
Many of our members have thawed out and taken to warmer and tropical climates to escape the winter cold, but yet our BC chapter board continues to go forward, planning upcoming events for late spring, our annual "Summer Sizzler," and working on our fall PD day - taking place this year in the Okanagan region, thanks to Angie Chew from Tourism Vernon.
 
It's wonderful to have industry partners outside the Vancouver metropolitan area that are interested in welcoming our membership! Tourism Sun Peaks and Rachel Roberts, their media specialist, have expressed interest in hosting a PD day next year in 2020, so we're always trying to work ahead to keep our group captivated and interested.
 
We're all looking forward to catching up with everyone in June at our national conference.
 
Happy Spring!
 
Nathan Fong, chair
BC chapter board

5. MEMBER NEWS: MEDIA

Atlantic chapter members Sandra Phinney and Melanie Chambers are happy to announce the birth of a new website titled HeartSong Travel. They are challenging Canadians to Go somewhere in your own backyard; Do something that makes your heart sing; Tell us about it! Check it out at www.heartsongtravel.ca.

6. NEW MEMBER PROFILES

Joining the TMAC Travels team this issue is Martha Chapman, a longtime member with plenty of experience in the travel business. Welcome, Martha!
 
We're pleased to report that we have a fresh "crop" of new TMAC members. Say a warm welcome to:

Nancy Drolet (industry) Business Development Representative, Canada, for the CTO (Caribbean Tourism Organization), Bolton Ont.

How did you hear about TMAC?
"I've known about TMAC for ages...but really started working with some of the members when I joined CTO - and particularly in working with Jerry Grymek who handles the Dominica account through LMA Communications."

Why did you join?
"To stay connected with the media here in Toronto (Canada)...to assist with communications with the members of the CTO...to facilitate and vet opportunities on both sides."

What are you most looking forward to?
"Networking - and learning more about how we can improve our relationship with the media."
A fun factoid about you: " I really wanted to be a flight attendant but I was too young so the airline (then CPAir) suggested I gain experience with a tour operator as a destination rep. I was hired by Fiesta Holidays to work in reservations and got hooked on working for a tour operator - and had no desire to work for an airline - although I did work as a destination rep for a few years!"  

You can reach Nancy at droletn@caribtourism.com; 905-857-1986.
 
Pat Lee (media) travel writer, from Fall River, NS

How did you hear about TMAC?
"I've been travel writing for several years and in my journeys met many people who are members and several encouraged me to join."

Why did you join?
"Living in Atlantic Canada, there aren't a lot of opportunities to meet and network with fellow travel writers or industry folk, so this provides that opportunity."

What are you most looking forward to?
"I'm looking forward to learning more about the travel industry in my own backyard as well as learning from others in the travel writing field."
A fun factoid about you: " I love wine! Oh, wait. Everyone knows that about me!"

You can reach Pat at patleetravelwriter@gmail.com.
 
Cat Lin (media) travel writer, in Calgary, AB

How did you hear about TMAC?
"From fellow TMAC members."

Why did you join?
"To connect with like-minded travel journalists and industry members in Canada."

What you are most looking forward to?
"Building relationships and attending the annual conference."
A fun factoid about you : "I grew up in Malaysia so I haven't seen snow until I moved to Canada 10 years ago!"

You can reach Cat at fortwoplz@gmail.com.
 
Geoff Moore, (industry) Caribou Chilcotin Coast, based in Williams Lake, BC

How did you hear about TMAC?
"From both travel and industry colleagues."

Why did you join?
"Primarily to build new and maintain current personal relationships."

What you are most looking forward to?
"Hopefully meeting some new characters and learning about something I know nothing about."
A fun factoid about you: "I can open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew."

Geoff can be reached at geoff@landwithoutlimits.com but please note he is away until June and asks that media inquiries be sent to kate.rogers@beattiegroup.com.
 
Naomi Strasser, (industry) president Aerial Communications Group, in Toronto, Ont.

How did you hear about TMAC?
"I've been aware of TMAC for many years and am often approached by TMAC members for support from our clients."

Why did you join?
"The media world is ever-evolving, and travel writers have interesting ideas about how to showcase our clients. I thought it would be beneficial to be part of a community to exchange ideas that may inform the fam and individual journalist trips we develop and stay connected to a bevy of talented writers and other travel industry professionals."

What are most looking forward to?
"The camaraderie of like-minded, well-traveled people."
A fun factoid no one knows about you : "I keep an old Canadian $2 bill in my wallet."

You can reach Naomi at naomi@aerialpr.com; 416-787-6577.

7. CONTRIBUTORS  
 
Martha Chapman, mchapman@tourismmarketing.ca
Helen Earley, helen_earley@mac.com
Tracy Ford, tracy.ford@chelseatoronto.com
John Geary, johngeary@bearlair.ca
Paul Knowles, pknowles@golden.net
Paula Worthington, paula.worthington@gmail.com  
Nathan Fong, nathan@fongonfood.com

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 Travel's editorial board and the national board. Submissions should fit into one of the following categories:
 
MEDIA MEMBER NEWS
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.
 
INDUSTRY MEMBER NEWS
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.