TMAC Travels
February 2019
As we usher in a new year, we also usher in continued growth in TMAC.
New this year is our website-based qualification/re-qualification process for new and returning members. No more adding up points and trying to calculate all those numbers yourself - the website crunches the numbers for you!
It's very user-friendly and helps make what at one time could be considered an onerous process to a very quick and painless procedure - kind of like substituting a long hospital stay for day surgery. We've definitely "cut out" some of the tedium from the process.
Along with that comes a new set of qualifying guidelines which members should have received notice about via email, earlier this month. Many people worked very hard to create and establish a process that we hope will reflect the changing face of travel media in the 21st century.
Other highlights in this issue include some new books published by members and an opportunity for a travel writer in Nova Scotia.
- John Geary, TMAC Travels editor



As you are now aware, I sent out a message yesterday regarding the  New Media Membership/Re-qualification Policy. Given the significance of this policy change, the National Board has decided to put the new membership/ re-qualification policy to a vote. You have been asked to vote Yes or No on the adoption of the new policy. Re-qualification will commence immediately after the votes are counted and announced. Please vote on or before 12:00 p.m. (EST) on Friday, February 22, 2019. To vote, please use the link in the e-mail sent to you yesterday. If you no longer have that link, a reminder will be sent out tomorrow.

If you like, you can read my message in its entirety here.


I am pleased to report your National board is already working hard to ensure 2019 will be a great year for TMAC.

All of the pieces for our 2019 conference in Sault St. Marie are falling into place thanks to the hard work of our conference planning committee led by Suzie Loiselle and Guy Theriault. Conference information and details will soon be available on our website.

On February 21, the National board will convene in Toronto for our third annual strategic planning session. The purpose of this meeting is to revisit previously established benchmarks and revise our three- to five-year plan to ensure TMAC remains relevant in the Canadian travel marketplace. During this planning session the board will continue to focus on three important questions
  • What is TMAC?
  • What does TMAC need to do going forward?
  • How do we get there?
In our next newsletter letter I will provide you with a summary of the outcomes of our strategic planning session.

In the meantime, if you have any questions, comments, or recommendations regarding TMAC, I invite you to email me at or call 905-484-4642 before our meeting on February 21st. I look forward to hearing from you.    
Thank you.


Grant Fraser , president
Travel Media Association of Canada

In recognition of this of this landmark occasion, we have created a logo to acknowledge this to be used on our website, our signage, press cards and promotional materials throughout the year.

Renewal notices were sent out on Thursday, December 13, 2018. Members have the option of paying online with a credit card through the website, via Interac e-transfer, wire transfer or cheque. Once you have completed the online renewal form, you will automatically be sent a summary receipt and an invoice for your records.

Chapter funding will be calculated based on members in good standing as at February 28, 2019.

The member re-qualification will commence shortly. Thank you to all the testers who stepped up to test the functionality. We have a few final adjustments to make before sending out the link. Even so, there may be further tweaks as we move forward, as with anything new.

A notice re: Press Card Request will be issued shortly. You will be sent a link in order to complete a PRESS CARD Request Form and have the option to supply a new photo. To minimize costs, press cards will be produced in bulk, so I would encourage you to complete the form at your earliest convenience. The first batch will be sent out within two weeks.

I am looking forward to a busy 2019. We have committed to a number of significant deliverables which I am sure members will appreciate. Stay tuned for more...soon!

Elizabeth Kerr , Executive Director
Travel Media Association of Canada


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

To date, more than 15 members have submitted 60 entries in all categories. The race is on.  Everything you need to know can be accessed  HERE !

Thank you to our returning TMAC Award Sponsors: Chelsea Hotel, Toronto;  Destination British Columbia and Qu├ębec City Tourism. 

For more informati on on sponsoring a TMAC Award, please click   HERE.

Awards competition closes Friday, March 15, 2019.

Good luck.

Tracy Ford, Secretary, National Board & Awards Chair
Travel Media Association of Canada

The TMAC Atlantic chapter AGM will help celebrate the Shores of the Bras d'Or Lakes on Cape Breton Island this winter. During the weekend of March 1-3, chapter members will meet there to deal with business - then enjoy many outdoor activities ranging from snowmobiling to bon fires, from cross-country skiing to culinary delights.
The tranquil setting will be sure to complement the AGM business at hand.
If you want to rise above the temperature, embrace Cape Breton Island in all her winter glory and attend TMAC's Atlantic chapter AGM.
TMAC Atlantic also welcomes new member, Pat Lee, into our fold. An experienced food and travel writer with an impressive portfolio, we've been trying to lure Pat into our Atlantic TMAC family for a while now, so we're delighted that she has finally joined our chapter.
Helen Earley , chair
Atlantic chapter board
The Ontario chapter kicked off the new year with a terrific Munch and Mingle, hosted by the city of Tokyo.
A full-house crowd heard about Tokyo's new brand, "Old Meets New," from Shin Kawai, Tokyo Tourism Representative in Canada, and chapter past-chair Steve Gillick, of Talking Travel.
The event took place at the Ki Modern Japanese and Bar - and not surprisingly, involved some terrific Japanese food and a wonderful sake tasting bar, under the supervision of "Sake Samurai" Michael Tremblay.
Ontario TMAC member Sabrina Pirillo with Sake Samurai Michael Tremblay

In other news, the chapter's executive are preparing for our first-ever virtual executive meeting, set up by co-chair Rod Charles.
A shout-out to a number of Ontario Chapter members who picked up honours in the recent North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA) awards.

Paul Knowles, co-chair
Ontario chapter board


TMAC's NWT/Alberta chapter wrapped up 2018 in a memorable way.

After a year full of events, including five Munch and Mingle events and a rejuvenating professional development weekend at the Pomeroy Kananaskis Lodge and K Nordic Spa, we toasted the year with a holiday soiree at the Founders' Lounge at Heritage Park Historical Village.
Media and industry members gathered to reflect on the year, celebrate wins and enjoy wine, cocktails and incredible food from Heritage Park's talented culinary team.
A special "thanks" goes out to Heritage Park and to Tourism Cranbrook for their generous support to help make the event possible. We are so happy to see many returning members seeing the value of our activities and renewing their memberships, and new members joining our chapter. The TMAC momentum in Alberta is strong!
The board is busy planning the year ahead, which will include a wide variety of M'n'M events and a PD event which has become a highly-anticipated spring tradition.
Please stay tuned to our social media channels and your email for updates soon!

Paula Worthington , co-chair
Alberta chapter board

Happy New Year from the TMAC BC chapter!
After a busy holiday season, our chapter celebrated the New Year with a Mingler at Chicha, one of Vancouver's popular and intimate restaurants featuring Modern Peruvian tapas and stellar cocktails.
Thanks to our hosts, chef/owner Shelome Bouvette and owner Kumiko Umeno, who welcomed an enthusiastic group with pisco sours and some of their tantalizing and creative tapas.
Our events committee has started to plan out the beginning of the year with minglers, a spring professional development day, a Whistler ski day and more.
Thanks to Sonya Hwang (industry) and new member Shawna Gardham (industry) for their dedicated time.
Congratulations to one of our new members Josh Rimer (media) who has been picked to be our country's representative for "Mr. Gay Canada."
Our next mingler will be in March, and our spring PD day and Ski Day in April.
Nathan Fong, chair
BC chapter board


For the third straight year, Lucas Aykroyd is offering a $1,000 US scholarship for women pursuing degrees in journalism, creative writing, or literature. The Irene Adler Prize essay competition opened Jan. 30. The deadline to enter is Apr. 30. More details about the award can be found at:
Please feel free to share the link with potential applicants.

Jenn Smith Nelson has certainly added a few feathers to her cap, recently.  And we're not just talking about her birding adventures!

Jenn and Doug O'Neill have written a new book, 110 Nature Hot Spots in Manitoba and Saskatchewan: The Best Parks, Conservation Areas and Wild Places.
Each entry includes a descriptive destination profile, beautiful photographs and at-a-glance information about special features, locations and available activities and amenities. It's due out April 15.

Before that, in 2018, she was awarded the Explore Canada Award of Excellence in the Canadian category at Destination Canada's 2018 Go Media conference, for her story, Sea Wolf, a highlight of B.C. travel experience that combines nature and Indigenous culture, which appeared in the Toronto Star.

This award recognizes contributions to storytelling that inspire travellers to explore Canada.

Long-time TMAC member Ron Brown also had a book published, recently: Canada's World Wonders.  It focusses on the many UNESCO and national historic attractions, and other natural, historic and even just odd places.  It was published in September by Dundurn Press in Toronto. This is Ron's 25th travel book.


The Municipality of Clare, Nova Scotia celebrates Gran Fondo Baie Sainte-Marie's Fifth Anniversary and Ride with 1000 cyclists on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019!
They've got a ride for everyone including a new fifth route: the 88.5 km Mezzo "middle" Fondo.
Much more than a cycling event, the Gran Fondo showcases Acadian culture and exceptional community spirit.

You can watch the 2019 promo video for the event online, right here:
Note to our media members:  they are looking for a travel writer to cover this 2019 event. Interested members should contact Larry Peach at or call 902-769-8555.


The countdown begins. At time of writing, the 2019 TMAC Conference & AGM is 133 days away. The official launch date will be announced shortly. We are still finalizing some important details to include in registration.
The Conference Committee, co-chaired by TMAC National Board members  Suzie Loiselle and  Guy Theriault , along with  Liz Fleming, Jami Savage and   James Ross have met with our host Jennifer KingCallon to discuss how to raise the bar and make 2019 the most memorable conference to date... a tradition that will continue.
The PD Committee, co-chaired by  Jami Savage and  Jenn Mallia , along with  Kelly Jessu p and
Jennifer Widmer have created a PD program filled with new, innovative, and interactive sessions during the conference, some of which have been suggested by TMAC members through the Call for Ideas survey.
The Sponsorship Committee, chaired by Jerry Grymek is currently working on some amazing new sponsorship opportunities for 2019. Volunteers wanted. Details to follow.
All will be revealed soon!
Helen Earley,
John Geary,
Paul Knowles,
Paula Worthington,  
Nathan Fong,

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.