TMAC Travels
October 2019
With the coming of the fall, a new season is upon us, and some new faces will be featured in this month's newsletter.
Veteran TMAC member Dale Dunlop is our new president, and some of the chapter chairs have changed as well, as you'll be able to tell when you read the chapter reports.
That will continue to evolve as new people move into looking after the content for their chapters; for this issue, some long-time contributors have once again stepped to the forefront to help the provincial chapters transition.
My thanks go out to Helen Earley, Paul Knowles, Paula Worthington, and Nathan Fong for their past, and for some, continued contributions to TMAC Travels. Welcome aboard to Rod Charles, who will take on the task of reporting for the Ontario chapter.
Remember, if you have anything you want to contribute to the newsletter, check the guidelines at the end of the issue and be sure to email your material to me.
John Geary,  TMAC Travels editor



Over the past four years, the media side of TMAC has undergone a genuine transformation from a largely print-based group of journalists to a wide range of media professionals in which we can all get the message out about our industry partners. We could have stuck our heads in the sand and tried to pretend that the change in the media universe was not really happening, but instead we have embraced it and after a few hiccups, I think we have come up with a "Goldilocks" solution that works for everyone.

In addition, TMAC has transitioned to an almost totally online organization where new members can join, existing members can re-qualify, everybody can share their stories and we can create a sense of commitment to excellence in travel media that is unrivalled in the world.
Okay, maybe I'm getting a little carried away there, but I am genuinely excited about the direction TMAC is going and I hope all members will share that excitement.

None of this would be possible without the work of Elizabeth Kerr, our executive director who has proven that our decision to go with a dedicated full-time person whose only interest is TMAC was the right one. I look forward to working with Elizabeth, the TMAC board members, the chapter and committee chairs to making sure that the progress we have made as an organization continues. I'd also like to thank Darcy Rhyno who has volunteered to be our treasurer this year.

We have a strategic planning session in Toronto next week and I urge any members who have any suggestions, concerns or questions to send them to Elizabeth and we will do our best to address them at that time.

Lastly, please keep Tuesday, June 9 to Friday, June 12 open in your calendars for the 2020 conference in Sudbury.

Dale Dunlop, president
I celebrated my two-year anniversary as your Executive Director over the summer. The first year was spent learning the ropes. The second was spent fine-tuning the processes. There is still lots to do to provide TMAC members the best member experience possible and I welcome your suggestions and ideas to help make TMAC even stronger.

I have had the immense pleasure of working with TMAC's National board - old and new - and look forward to supporting and implementing their great ideas in the near future.


Re-qualification will take place in mid-October for all TMAC members whose last names starts with L-Z who were members prior to December 31, 2017.

Notifications for renewals will start November 1, 2019. Chapter funding will be estimated based on the number of members in good standing as at February 29, 2020.

We have been working on an online directory of our membership which will be available as a PDF before the end of the year. The directory will be updated quarterly in 2020. Print versions will be available on request. 

However, more than 30% of our membership has still not completed their online profiles, the content for which the directory will be created. 

It is more important than ever to get your online profiles created and/or updated before we go to print.
You can access instructions here:

Laura Byrne Paquet and Jane Finn are working hard to get the first version of TMAC's online editorial directory ready by the end of October. Firm launch date to be announced later this month. For those who are willing, there will be an online form to add to the directory by all members willing to share a contact.

Members and non-members are now able to add an event to the TMAC calendar. If you know of an upcoming event or awards competition you feel would be of interest to  members, please complete the SUBMIT AN EVENT form under EVENTS.


The new member application for new members is now accessible online. Please share this link with potential members.



If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, all are warmly welcomed. Please do not hesitate to reach out and ask. 

Elizabeth Kerr , executive director

The Atlantic chapter is delighted to announce that we've had a spike in membership, bringing us to 32 members in total, roughly half industry, half media.
Our new industry members are Donna Hatt from White Point Beach Lodge and Pamela and Patrick Wallace from Trout Point Lodge.
The newest media members to join include Jason Nugent, Adam Barnett, Lia Rinaldo, and returning media member Cathy Donaldson.
We are also delighted to welcome long-time Quebec-based members Sandra Phillips and Stan Posner into our Atlantic family.
If anyone else from the chapter-less Quebec region wants to link to our chapter, we'd love to connect. Please email Helen Earley ( and Elizabeth Kerr (
Helen Earley
For the Atlantic chapter board
The Ontario chapter is proud to report that we had a wonderful, relaxing (yet somewhat) productive summer. We hope you all had a great summer also.

Summer highlights included a remarkable trip to Buffalo, New York where we explored Frank Lloyd Wright's Martin House Complex, a historic building that has just finished a 25-year restoration.
We also visited the trendy Buffalo RiverWorks. Bryan Hayden, communications manager for Visit Buffalo-Niagara, and his team did a wonderful job showcasing the city. He proved that there is indeed much more to Buffalo than wings.

Ontario TMACers on the loose in Buffalo.

We enjoyed a wonderful event in Waterloo Region, with stops at the St. Jacobs Farmers' Market, the Walper Hotel, Communitech, the Idea Exchange in Cambridge, and world-renowned Langdon Hall. It was a busy day - but a fascinating one. Special thanks to Minto Schneider, the CEO for the Waterloo Regional Tourism Marketing Corporation, who planned an outstanding event.

Ontario TMAC members at Langdon Hall, during their July trip to the Waterloo area.

With an enjoyable and productive annual conference in Sault Ste. Marie, there haven't been many meetings this summer. But it was certainly a pleasure to see so many new faces joining TMAC. The Ontario chapter is looking forward to getting to know all the new members better and we are thrilled for the opportunity to work with you.

We kicked off the fall with M&M events in mid-September and early October, and we'll have more details in the next issue of TMAC TRAVELS. November and December M&M information will be sent out to members in the near future.We are exciting to be closing the year with some exciting M&M's.

We are happy to announce a November M&M Road Trip for November 19th to Brantford! Tourism Brantford invites you to The Tournament Capital of Ontario also known as the Telephone City! This exciting day is filled with mini-tours, where you will have a chance to explore exquisite architecture, cultural gems, and historical sites. Tour the home of the great inventor Alexander Graham Bell and see where he discovered the principle for which his most famous invention - the telephone - would work. Finish the day with your feet up at Grand Wellness Spa - set inside a beautifully restored building with immense historical significance in Brantford's manufacturing industry. Please note there is a limit of 25 spaces - and preference will be given for media. More transportation information will be sent out to the RSVP list. Reply by October 21st to with your RSVP and any allergies!

And on December 3rd, we are waiting to confirm the host of our Holiday M&M - stay tuned as it is going to be a great event to wrap up 2019!
Thanks to Jerry Grymek for all of his hard work planning the M&M's, and a huge thanks to every member of the Ontario chapter board - Kimberly Hartley, Kelly Bonnell, Anne Marshall, Grant Fraser, Paul Knowles and Ron Brown for all the hard work. It has been an awesome year and 2019 is only going to get better.
Rod Charles, chapter chair
Ontario chapter board


The most obvious change from our chapter during the past few months has involved a name change!
Working in collaboration with the national team, we are proud to welcome TMAC members from Saskatchewan and Manitoba to our chapter and have in turn re-named ourselves "TMAC Prairies & NWT."
We would like to extend a very warm welcome to our members from Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and we hope that you find our events and professional development opportunities to be beneficial to you.
Last spring, our chapter hosted a very successful professional development weekend at the Bayshore Inn located in beautiful Waterton National Park. The town and region have been rebuilding after a serious fire in the area two years ago. Members enjoyed a series of professional development sessions, including time with Domini Clark, editor of the Globe and Mail's Travel section. Participants also enjoyed a "pie cruise" on the lake and were serenaded by country music superstar Paul Brandt. Feedback from this year's event has been overwhelmingly positive, and the board is already thinking about opportunities to explore for next year.
The board took a very well-deserved break over the summer, with several of our members making the trek to Sault Ste. Marie for the TMAC national conference.

We kicked off the fall with a "Pedal Pub" outing in September and a Munch'n'Mingle social and beer tasting tutorial is set for the CRAFT Beer Market in October...just in time for Oktoberfest!
The rest of our programming for the year is moving forward well, we can't wait to share what we'll be up to next.
Paula Worthington, co-chair
Prairies & NWT chapter board

The BC chapter had a wonderful Summer Sizzler in August atop the Fairmont Waterfront third floor terrace where the hotel showcased some of the its stellar local farm-to-table catering as well as their 25 year sustainable urban bee hives to the attendees.
As Ursula Maxwell-Lewis (our new vice chair) noted, "After touring the beehives on the third floor terrace at the Fairmont Waterfront, it also occurs to me that they have excellent taste in real estate.

Who wants to learn about bees? Photo Credit: Ursula Maxwell-Lewis
"With a peekaboo view of Coal Harbour in the distance and a 2,100 square foot organic herb garden, vegetable garden, plus lilac and apple trees nearby, the 250,000 honeybees seem quite at home."

BC TMACers get up close with an urban apiary. Photo Credit: Ursula Maxwell-Lewis

We also learned that the eco-operation produces some 600 pounds of honey annually and were welcomed with special honey inspired cocktails from the hotel's famed mixology team.

 Travel writers cannot live on honey, alone - Part I! Photo Credit: Ursula Maxwell-Lewis

After most of us took in the great summer weather, (thankfully with less forest fire smoke this year!), our TMAC-BC group is back in full swing planning our Fall PD Day and Autumn Minglers for the season, not to mention getting ready for the holiday season.

 Travel writers cannot live on honey, alone - Part II! Photo Credit: Ursula Maxwell-Lewis

Once organized, the event dates will be posted on the TMAC national Facebook group page and we invite any other TMAC members visiting to come and join us.
Nathan Fong, chair,
BC chapter board


In our ongoing efforts to celebrate and raise awareness of our members and their stories we would like to update our TMAC member social media handle database.

Please click on the link below and enter your name, whether you are industry or a media member, and then how we find you on Twitter, Instagram & your Facebook Page.

This will greatly help the Social Media committee in sharing our member stories. Also, don't forget to add the #TMACTravels when you share your work on social media so we can see it.


Robin and Arlene Karpan of Saskatoon won the Travel Media Award at the Saskatchewan Tourism Awards of Excellence. The award went to them as a result for their latest book - Saskatchewan's Best Scenic Drives - and other articles and photos in 2018 featured in publications that included Canadian Geographic, CAA Saskatchewan, and the Western Producer.

The Karpans receive their provincial award.
The Karpans also had their photo of the Big Muddy Badlands included as part of Canada Post's "From Far and Wide" Series in 2019, a series that featured nine iconic landscapes from across Canada.

Robin and Arlene's image on a stamp.

After 13 years of writing half time and managing an arts centre part-time, punctuated by stints of university instruction, Atlantic chapter member Darcy Rhyno made the leap to full time wordsmith earlier this year. He is also partnering with the owner of a local recording studio to team up for video production and the start of an exciting travel media project that will focus on highlighting small cities. He is open to discussing this project with all interested industry members.
It's been quite a summer for soon-to-be 75 year-old TMAC Atlantic member Sandra Phinney. She conducted a five-day writers' retreat this past August at an old hunting and fishing lodge called Birchdale, close to her home in southwest Nova Scotia. Sandra is also doing media work for the Yarmouth Seafood & Wine Extravaganza Society regarding a Jamaica Food and Culture event that just wrapped up in Yarmouth. She heads to Jamaica as the society's official photographer for round two of the cultural exchange, in October. She also welcomed a new granddaughterinto the world on Sept. 10: Fiona Marguerite Cooper. Another puffin to spoil!
Zack Metcalfe travelled to some extraordinary places this year, and the highlight was Machias Seal Island in the southern Bay of Fundy where he photographed a colony of Atlantic Puffins up close - including the one featured here:

Zack's puffin shot - perhaps a future TMAC award winner?

And in some big personal news: Zack was married on July 6 in the pouring rain - he says it was perfect.
Jason Nugent , one of the newest Atlantic chapter members, has been busy! He has an article coming up about winter camping in Mount Carleton Provincial Park (thanks to Parks New Brunswick for giving him unrestricted solo access to the park before its official opening!) On the weekend of September 21, he will cycle (a 120-km distance while carrying video equipment!) and write about the Baie Sainte Marie Gran Fondo with support from Tourism Clare and Tourism Nova Scotia. He heads to Spain for a month in late October, first to cover the World Rally Championship event there, then to spend a few weeks hiking in the Montserrat mountains near Barcelona.
Atlantic chapter member Pat Lee has been busy exploring the nooks and crannies of the Maritime provinces this summer as she updates the 2020 Frommer's EasyGuide to Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Thanks to TMAC industry partners Isabel MacDougall, Heather MacDonald-Bosse, Mary Ellen Hudson, Jillian MacKinnon, Monica MacNeil, Donna Hatt, Mark Barber and Pam and Patrick Wallace for being a huge help with the research.
The town of Edmunston hosted Funk'n Bier Edmundston, organized by les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault craft brewery on September 21.
La Grande Grouille (a major Fall event at the New Brunswick Botanical Garden) is celebrating its 10 years this year. This annual fall celebration is always at the beginning of October (the weekend before moose hunting season! Tourism Edmunston is interested in hosting media who wish to attend this event. 

Contact Janice Arsenault at

In mid-September, the Beaverbrook Art Gallery announced another new expansion: a new wing that pays tribute to businessman and passionate New Brunswicker Harrison McCain. The $6 million Harrison McCain pavilion concludes the final phase of the Beaverbrook campaign. It has also seen three previous, large-scale physical expansions: the East and West wings in the 1980s, the Marion McCain Atlantic Gallery in the 1990s, and, most recently, a pavilion expansion which opened in 2017.The gallery was first opened to the public on September 16, 1959 and celebrates its 60th anniversary with an evening fundraiser gala on October 16. The Gallery's collection ranks as one of the best in Canada, with a value of close to $1 billion.

DCI Announces New Study of Travel Writers Reveals Best Practices in Travel Public Relations

The experts at Development Counsellors International once again took an in-depth look at the preferences of media professionals from the U.S. and Canada to reveal the best practices in travel public relations. If you didn't pick up a copy at the TMAC conference, you can now download the study HERE for free.

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.