April 2018


It's just a little more than a month before Victoria welcomes us to the 2018 TMAC Conference, and we're all getting excited about it. 

In this issue, we'll provide the usual chapter reports, profiles - and a special message from President Grant Fraser.

We also have a couple of new tweaks to the newsletter this month: we're including profile photos of all our contributors. It's always nice to be to put a face to the name of the writer.

One final note: the official social media hashtags for the Victoria conference are:

#TMACVictoria and  #ExploreVictoria

If you post anything about the conference on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, using these tags will ensure it gets more exposure.

- John Geary, TMAC Travels editor


As most of you are aware, the National Board of TMAC met on February 22, 2018 in Toronto for its second annual strategic planning session to continue the process to build a viable, operational plan for the association.

The discussion was frank and forward-thinking with the commitment to bettering TMAC from all our National Board members being most apparent during this intensive eight-hour session.  During our strategic planning session, considerable time was spent looking at the association's National Board, National Committees and Chapters to ensure we had the best organizational structure in place to lead TMAC into the future.

It became very clear how very important the many volunteers who work on behalf the association are to us. In line with National Volunteer Week, I am pleased to announce that we will be launching TMAC's first official Volunteer Engagement Program. The details are still to be finalized and will be discussed at the next National Board meeting, but the highlights include:

Annual dues to be waived for:
  • National Board members
  • National Committee Chairs
  • Chapter Board Chairs
In addition, the volunteer point system will be evaluated to ensure it better reflects the time and effort of each volunteer role.

Guidelines are being reviewed to ensure committees and chapters are properly supported and roles, terms and succession plans are in place. A National Board member will be appointed to each Chapter and National Committee to act as the liaison to the National Board with the intention of improving the lines of communication between all TMAC groups. It is only through open communication and volunteer engagement that TMAC will remain strong in the future.

There will be a Call for Nominations for the National Board going out shortly. Further details regarding National Board applications will be elaborated on at that time.

On behalf of the National Board, I would like to thank our 75-plus volunteers who currently serve TMAC and hope that this new Volunteer Engagement Program will encourage others to get involved. Our continued success depends on it.  

I look forward to seeing everyone in Victoria. Our 2018 conference promises to be another outstanding TMAC event.

Grant Fraser , president

Membership Dues
A reminder notice has now been sent to all members who have not yet paid. 

Please note Chapter funding is based on the number of members in good standing as at April 30, 2018!
Chapter Funding
Chapters will receive funding as per the previous year's formula as follows:
  • $25.00 per member in good-standing as at February 28, 2018
  • Minimum Funding: $500.00
  • Maximum Funding: $2,000.00 
TMAC Website
The website is ever-evolving. Members have made some great suggestions, most of which have already been implemented. Others are a work-in-progress. Please feel free to send any recommendations you feel will make TMAC's site an even better resource.

Most recent additions:
  • Media Marketplace Appointment Module Launched April, 2018
  • Awards Online Submission Module Launched April, 2018
Your Online Profiles - Please Update/Create Your Profile Now
Your profiles are the heartbeat of this site. If you have not already done so, please create/update your profile now. If you have not done so yet, this would be an ideal time to create/update your profile. This is what delegates will be looking at to determine whether or not they would like to request an appointment with you.

Your profiles are the heartbeat of this site. If you have not already done so, please create/update your profile now. 

TMAC 2018 Conference and AGM * Victoria, BC * May 29, 2018-June 2, 2018 * SOLD OUT
We are delighted to announced that the 2018 conference is now sold out. 80 media members and 100 industry members (with 80 appointment schedules) will ensure robust appointment schedules this year.

Fairmont Express Room Block To Be Released April 27, 2018
As you are aware, TMAC must guarantee a certain number of hotel nights as part of its contract for the TMAC Conference & AGM. At the outset, we estimate the number of delegates and the number of room nights we will require. We have one opportunity to reduce that commitment which we have already done. The remaining rooms will be available until April 27, 2018 after which the rooms will be released and availability will not be guaranteed. If you have not already done so, please book your accommodation today!

Fairmont Express Room Block To Be Released April 27, 2018
As you are aware, TMAC must guarantee a certain number of hotel nights as part of its contract for the TMAC Conference & AGM. At the outset, we estimate the number of delegates and the number of room nights we will require. We have one opportunity to reduce that commitment which we have already done. The remaining rooms will be available until April 27, 2018 after which the rooms will be released and availability will not be guaranteed.
There are still some space on the following pre-tours. If you would like to participate, you must sign-up by April 27, 2018.

Beautiful Botanicals - SPACE AVAILABLE

This is not your garden-variety tour! Victoria's year-round mild climate means that the city's gardens are blooming with bulbs when the rest of Canada is dealing with blizzards. Although there will be some time to stop and smell the roses at The Butchart Gardens, this trip will give attendees a fresh take on the beauty and abundance of the region, spanning the historic to the practical. Participants will join experts to take a look at the city's private plantings, as well as getting a taste of culinary gardens, and head to the city's rooftops-all to cultivate a deeper understanding of the why Victoria reigns supreme as a top garden destination.

Host Hotel: Brentwood Bay Resort and Spa
Minimum Fitness Level: Low
Group Size: 2-8 Participants

Hops On, Hops Off: Ales and Trails - SPACE AVAILABLE

Victoria is Canada's craft beer trailblazer, home to Spinnakers, the oldest licensed gastro brewpub in Canada. But the city's love affair with brewing goes back much further: in 1858, B.C.'s first beer was made in Victoria, and ever since then the city has been spilling over with inspired ales and laudable lagers. Victoria's official Ale Trail is a self-guided itinerary leading you through the city's best breweries and tasting rooms. This tour will give you a sampling of those stops, but first you'll need to work up a thirst! We're putting the "trail" in "ale trail," meaning you'll use two feet and two wheels to explore Victoria's peaks and paths on your way to the pub.

Host Hotel: Spinnakers Guesthouses
Minimum Fitness Level: Moderate
Group Size: 2-6 Participants

Heritage and Legacies: Indigenous Culture and Impact - SPACE AVAILABLE

Experience the diversity of First Nations culture in this engaging and enriching tour. Take a whale watching trip complete with traditional storytelling to venture deep into the traditions of the Coast Salish peoples. Visit studios of indigenous craftspeople, take a guided totem tour, and learn more about the area's native plants and their traditional uses. Participants will get an in-depth look at how indigenous plants, animals, and natural minerals shaped daily life on this interactive press trip showcasing how these legacies developed and shaped the Pacific Northwest.

Host Hotel: Chateau Victoria Hotel & Suites
Minimum Fitness Level: Low
Group Size: 2-6 Participants

Sponsorship Opportunities Still Available
The 2018 TMAC Sponsorship Package is now available HERE.

Thank you to our confirmed sponsors to date.

Key Dates*

Awards Close 
April  27, 2018
Media Marketplace Closes
April 27, 2018
Registration Officially Closes
April 27, 2018
Shuttle Requests Due
April 27, 2018
 Fairmont Empress Rooms Released
April 27, 2018
May 27-30, 2018
May 30-June 2, 2018
June 2, 2018

*Subject to change

- Elizabeth Kerr, Executive Director

Our membership currently sits at 28 (13 industry and 15 media) as we welcome new member Zack Metcalfe into the fold.

Our plans for the next few months include an evening out at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 to view the new exhibit, REFUGE CANADA.

Later in the season, it's off to New Brunswick for an Atlantic team trip to St. Andrews and Grand Manan Island.

Helen Earley , chair
Atlantic chapter board

A large group of Ontario TMAC members gathered for our March Munch and Mingle event, hosted by Colorado, and held at Zoomer Media, with the formal presentation part of the evening staged in a Zoomer television studio.

We heard from Annika Klint, representing Colorado in Canada, Andrea Blankenship, the director of international tourism at the Colorado Tourism Office, and Steve Strecker, representing the Colorado Ski Industry at the Colorado tourism office.

As usual, a good time was had by all, helped along by a superb buffet of finger food, and the always popular menu of adult beverages.

We'll meet again this month for an April M&M, but many Ontario members are looking ahead to May with great anticipation, ready to head west for the TMAC national conference in Victoria. At that conference, we'll hold our annual Ontario chapter meeting, including election of directors for the coming year.

Paul Knowles , media chair,
Ontario chapter board

Our Alberta - NWT chapter came out swinging into 2018 - literally!

With a dedicated interest from our members to achieve a better life balance, our first M'n'M of the year took place at Undrcard Boxing Studio on Thursday, Feb. 1.

Our team participated in a sweat session followed by a Q & A with studio owner Joanna "Magik" Majcherkiewicz as the team enjoyed some recovery drinks and bites.

On April 27-28, the wellness theme will continue as our team heads to beautiful Kananaskis Country for our annual PD retreat, taking place this year at Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge.

With a theme of "Water, Wellness and Wine," participants will have the opportunity to dip their toes into hot-warm-cold pools at the new hydrotherapy Nordic Spa, and check out what's behind the Pomeroy's $36-million renovation. The retreat will feature keynote Beth Thompson, editor-in-chief of Best Health Magazine, along with other speaker and panel sessions.

Stay tuned for a full re-cap in the next newsletter!

After a long and particularly snowy winter, several of our members are looking forward to some island time at the TMAC National Conference at the end of May, before gearing up for summer activities.

Paula Worthington , co-chair
Alberta chapter board

The TMAC BC chapter's spring Mix and Mingle is coming up quickly and we hope we'll see you there!

The Westin Bayshore's H Tasting Lounge, one of the city's newest lounges, will showcase samples of its modern cuisine and curated cocktails*, while we enjoy the company of new and old TMAC friends! (*one complimentary beverage per person, a cash bar will also be available.)

Join us on Tuesday, May 1 (4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.) at the H Tasting Lounge, 1601 Bayshore Drive, Coal Harbour (located inside The Westin Bayshore).

The event is free to TMAC members in good standing; complimentary valet service will be provided.  If you know someone who should be a member, send us their name and we'll get in touch.  And as always, any non-BC members visiting Vancouver at this time are welcome to attend!  Please RSVP to Amy Chen, 778-998-0036 by Thursday, April 26 (invitation non-transferable).

Caralyn Campbell , chair
BC chapter board

Sandra Phinney and her husband celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary this year by renewing their vows at White Point Beach Resort in Hunt's Point Nova Scotia, with 89 other couples! All in aid of story, of course. (Part of White Point celebrating its 90th year of operation.)

Tourism Nova Scotia announces a range of must-do Nova Scotia experiences, including the Great Canadian Lobster Fishing Feast, where you can go out for the morning on a lobster fishing boat. Other experiences include camping, kayaking, tidal bore rafting - and even playing the spoons!

Welcome to Antigonish presents a series for Summer Special Olympics and all visitors to Antigonish this summer. The series will run to the end of August 2018. http://www.outandaboutns.com/category/antigonish-special-olympics.


This month, TMAC welcomes new media member, Gina Alward.

Gina says she got her start as a travel writer in 2014 when
she moved to Ireland and started a blog.

"I got a job as an editor at the Telegraph-Journal when I returned home a year later, and my boss encouraged me to write features for their Escapade section. Now, I contribute to this and other publications frequently while continuing to maintain my blog, www.thehereandwow.com ."

She has a wide variety of interests.

"My work explores everything from adventure travel and events to food and relaxation, but my main focus is on self-improvement and the ways we can share, love and grow through travel."

As a new TMAC member, Gina says, she's hoping for helping hands.

"I love talking to other writers to see how they're growing in their work and finding out ways in which I can further my own writing in the process," she says. "The collaboration of this organization is what excites me most."

Besides Ireland, Gina has some favourite recent trips.

"I recently went to Portugal and this country completely blew me away," she says. "I knew nothing about its culture or history going in. But after three weeks of exploring its land, embracing the language and breaking bread with the locals, Portugal captured my heart entirely."
TMAC also welcomes new industry member, Melanie Perez. Melanie is the director of media relations for Choose Chicago, ( www.choosechicago.com ) focused on the Americas region, working closely with travel and lifestyle media from Canada, US, Brazil and Mexico.

Melanie joined Choose Chicago in 2013 just as the city was preparing to host IPW 2014 ( www.ipw.com ).
"That was my introduction to the tourism/hospitality industry," she says. "It's been a thrill ever since. I was born and raised in Chicago and am especially passionate about promoting my hometown."

Melanie says the official destination marketing organization, Choose Chicago, promotes the city as a leading destination for both leisure and business travellers  "Canada is an important source market for Chicago," adds Melanie, "and in my role I support journalists, writers, broadcasters that are looking to tell a story about Chicago as a destination. To assist them in their storytelling I support media with resources, recommendations, itinerary development and on-the-ground support when they're in the city."

As a new TMAC member, Melanie says she is looking forward to meeting other travel enthusiasts, building relationships with writers from across Canada, and learning about how the industry is changing and expanding from her peers.

She adds, "I also hope to gain further insight into what motivates and inspires Canadian travelers to consider a destination."

When she's not representing Chicago, Melanie enjoys family travel. She took her mother and daughter to Paris, London and Dublin last summer. She says the trip was "three generation of women in my family checking off a bucket list city together.

"We all enjoyed something different about each city - personally, I was a fan of all the gardens - but the best part of the whole experience was exploring these places together."

Zack Metcalfe
Atlantic Media
David Brodie
Citizen Relations
Erica Hargreave
BC Media
Josh Rimer BC Media
Jami Savage BC Media
Emma Yardley BC Media
Marc Atchison ON Media
Sheri McDonald ON Media
Joanne Lundy ON Industry Discover the World
Sydney Loney ON Media
Braden Rosner ON Industry VOX
Anne-Marie Belzille No Chapter Industry Tourisme Abitibi-Témiscamingue

Darcy Rhyno, Atlantic member

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).
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.
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.