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February 2017

It's a brand-new year, and we have plenty to share with you since our last late fall-early winter issue. Hope everyone had a safe and happy (and adventurous!) holiday season.
Highlighting this issue, we have some info about changes to the Facebook group page, news about the Lucas Ackroyd sponsored scholarship, and plenty of chapter and members news and profiles, as well.

March 13
February 27
May 8
April 24

- John Geary, TMAC Travels editor 



I am pleased to report your national board is working hard to ensure 2018 will be a banner year for TMAC. Our new website is up and running and will become our one-stop-shopping platform for all membership functions (i.e. membership applications, renewals, conference registration, etc.). It has been a long time coming but our website is now something we can be proud of.
All of the pieces for our 2018 conference in Victoria are in place thanks to the hard work of our conference planning committee led by Suzie Loiselle and her team. If you haven't already, visit our website to register and sign up for one of the outstanding pre tours.
One of the key initiatives I continue to work at is the quality of communication within our organization. Your national board continues to meet monthly to discuss TMAC business and strategy. Our chapter chairs are invited to our monthly meetings to share any concerns or ideas they have received from their members. Minutes from our monthly meetings are taken and, starting this month, will be made available for all TMAC members to see on our website.
Later this month the national board will convene in Toronto for our 2nd annual strategic planning session. The purpose of this meeting is to map out a 3-5 year plan to ensure TMAC remains relevant in the Canadian travel marketplace. During this important planning session the board will focus on three questions.  1. What is TMAC? 2. What does TMAC need to do going forward? 3. 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, recommendations, concerns, etc., I invite you to email me at or call 905-484-4642.  I look forward to hearing from you.      
Thank you.
- Grant Fraser, President
Membership Dues
All 2017 members have now been invoiced for 2018 dues. A reminder notice will go out shortly to all members who have not yet paid. If you require a copy of your invoice, please contact me immediately. A list will also be supplied to Chapter Chairs. Please make sure cheques are mailed to:

Travel Media Association of Canada
602-319 Merton Street
Toronto, ON
M4S 1A5

We also accept VISA, MASTERCARD and Interac e-transfers.

Please note that only those members in good standing will be able to register for the 2018 Conference and AGM in Victoria, BC May 29, 2018 - June 2, 2018. The Early Bird rate ends February 28, 2018.
Press Cards
Press cards for all who have supplied a current photo will be mailed within the week. Anyone wishing a new press card, please send a photo to me as a jpg. Please note that the higher the resolution, the better the quality. Please allow two weeks from receipt of photo.

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
As you are now aware, the new TMAC website was successfully launched on December 15, 2017 and the Membership Networking functionality became accessible on December 22, 2017.


The key to this  website's success is its database of member profiles, searchable on several criteria here. If you have not completed your profile yet, I would encourage you to do so.


Directions on how to complete your profile can be found here.
TMAC 2018 Conference and AGM * Victoria, BC * May 29, 2018-June 2, 2018
As at Feb. 13, 39 media members and 21 industry members have already registered for the conference. The Early Bird rate ends February 28, 2018.
Directions on how to register can be found here.

Please note that we are currently working on a solution to allow second industry delegates who are not members to complete registration. If you are registering a second delegate who is not a member of TMAC, please contact me directly at
Tourism Victoria has designed 12 pre-tours from which to choose. Media members who have assignments will be given preference in the selection process. However, everyone who requests a pre-tour will get one.
Pre-tour descriptions can be found HERE.
Local Tours
Tourism Victoria has designed 10 local tours from which to choose. Local tours are open to both media and industry members.
Local tour descriptions can be found HERE.
PD Sessions
The PD Committee has created nine dynamic workshops to suit both media and industry members.
PD session descriptions can be found HERE.
Sponsorship Opportunities
The 2018 TMAC Sponsorship Package is now available HERE.

Thank you to our confirmed sponsors to date.

The TMAC Awards Committee is currently finalizing the criteria for this year's awards. Awards submissions will be open on March 22, 2018 and close April 19, 2018. More details to follow shortly.
Key Dates*

Conference Registration Opened

February 1, 2018
Early Bird Registration
February 28, 2018
Pre-tour Selection
March 15, 2018
Pre-tour Announcements
March 22, 2018
Travel Grant Announcements
March 22, 2018
Awards Open
March 22, 2018
Awards Close 
April  19, 2018
Media Marketplace Opens
March 29, 2018
Media Marketplace Closes
April 25, 2018
Registration Officially Closes
April 25, 2018
Shuttle Requests Due
April 25, 2018
May 27-30, 2018
May 30-June 2, 2018
June 2, 2018

*Subject to change

- Elizabeth Kerr, Executive Director
One of the issues admins for the TMAC National Facebook group page have to deal with constantly is "requests to join" from people who are not only non-members, but who have no real idea what TMAC is about; they are simply asking to join because Facebook has suggested they do so.
That's because Facebook's algorithms automatically suggest "groups to join" to anyone who shows interest in a particular subject. So anyone who seems to be interested or involved in travel is encouraged to join "travel" groups - like TMAC. The vast majority of these people do not even look at the group page, they just hit "request to join." This occurs even though we are a "closed" group for TMAC members, only.

We get several of these requests a week that we have to vet and delete. It ties up volunteer resources that are already stretched thin.
The only way to eliminate this is to make the group what Facebook calls a "secret" group (their terminology, not ours). That way, the TMAC group page will not show up as a "suggested" group. The social media committee, formerly chaired by Kat Tancock discussed the possibility of doing this at the end of 2016, and it came up for discussion again in early 2017.
With this type of Facebook designation, people who are not currently members will only be able to access it via invitation. An invitation to join will be included in every new membership. Then it's up to the member to decide whether to join or not.
That will make it much easier to administrate the page, as the only people requesting to join will be paid members and approving them will be just a matter of hitting "accept."

We are currently in the process of removing non-members from the national group page, and encouraging the provincial Facebook chapter pages to do the same.
This change will take effect in the national page in the first week of March.

On the heels of the successful 2017 Adventure Travel World Summit held in Salta, Argentina, last month, the  Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) and the adventure travel industry are already gearing up for the 2018 Adventure Travel World Summit, which will be held  15-18 October in Tuscany's Montecatini Terme, Italy. The annual Summit is the preeminent opportunity for adventure travel professionals to gather for networking, education, and inspiration. 

A limited number of official media delegate spots are available for selected media to learn about new companies and trends in the adventure tourism space, discover stories from operators and destination, and form new lasting relationship while experiencing Tuscany in a fresh new way. 

The ATTA encourages media specifically based in North America, Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Europe (specific countries) who specialize in adventure and sustainable travel stories to apply for a spot.

More information about the role of media at the event, qualifications, the selection process and the evaluation criteria here.

About Adventure Travel Trade Association
Established in 1990, the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) serves over 1,000 members in 100 countries worldwide. Members predominantly include tour operators, tourism boards, specialty agents and accommodations with a vested interest in the sustainable development of adventure tourism. The ATTA delivers solutions and connections that propel members towards their business goals and the industry toward a responsible and profitable future. Through its regional AdventureConnect and AdventureNEXT events and annual Adventure Travel World Summit and AdventureELEVATE trade conference, the ATTA excels in professional learning, networking and partnering services. With expertise in research, education, adventure travel industry news and promotion, members of the ATTA receive competitive opportunities that help establish them as leaders in adventure tourism.

Questions may be directed to Tami Fairweather.  

Here in Atlantic Canada, we are planning a couple of fun excursions. On Feb. 17, we will meet, then tour downtown Dartmouth, a neighbourhood that has been called "Halifax's Brooklyn." On August 18-19, a group of us will travel to Campobello Island, New Brunswick for a meeting and team trip.
In terms of our professional work, we are seeing more and more articles from our members published in Nova Scotia's daily newspaper, The Chronicle Herald. This follows a difficult year in Nova Scotia media, where many of the journalists and editors from that paper were on strike. Things are now moving forward and our relationship with the paper is strong. 
Helen Earley, chair
Atlantic chapter board

Here in Ontario, the hits just keep on coming - at least, it's no exaggeration to say that our two most recent Munch-and-Mingles were very big successes, indeed.
In December, we had our annual Christmas gathering, at the beautifully restored Maple Leaf Tavern in Toronto. The event was co-sponsored by China and Cuba, and a good time was certainly had by all. There were almost as many door prizes as there were people in attendance, as both our industry members and our media members showed up doing their best impression of the three wise men - bearing gifts.
In January, past-chair Steve Gillick and our M&M guy, Jerry Grymek, collaborated with Tokyo to stage a very popular Japanese-flavoured evening.
Plans are well underway for monthly M&Ms throughout 2018.
We're delighted that about a dozen new members were added to the Ontario chapter in 2017, and more have signed up already in 2018. It's crucial that TMAC continues to grow its membership, both in the industry and in the media categories. So, we're sending out a big, big welcome to all new members, across the country - and congratulations to all those who have re-upped their membership, as well.
Paul Knowles , media chair,
Ontario chapter board
On December 12, TMAC AB/NWT partnered with Tourism Yukon for a fantastic Yukon-inspired holiday event, hosted at Oxbow at The Kensington Riverside Inn.
Guests enjoyed a great introduction to the region - its pristine wilderness, aurora borealis skies and friendly hospitality.

Jim Kemshead is in a festive mood at the Alberta chapter December gathering.

The event featured Yukon appetizers, and beverages including Yukon Brewing beer and the infamous Dawson City sour toe cocktail. Event proceeds benefited the Calgary Interfaith Foodbank. 

 Yukon treats always raise the level of celebration.
The TMAC AB/NWT board met in early January to brainstorm and plan events for the remainder of the year, and we look forward to continuing to bring social and professional development opportunities to our valued members.

Guests enjoy the festivities at the Alberta chapter Christmas event.

Next up, we're (literally) kicking off the new year with a health-inspired M&M workout at UNDRCARD, a Calgary boxing studio. Stay tuned for more events and learning opportunities throughout 2018.

Paula Worthington, co-chair
Alberta chapter board

Josephine Matyas was a winner at the recent Caribbean Tourism Awards in the Virtual Visitor Award/Best Online Feature category for her piece Dominica lets visitors stay active or chill out on the Toronto Star website. High fives to Jo!
TMAC member, Karyl Leigh Barnes was recently named president-tourism of Development Counsellors International (DCI). In her 20 years at DCI, Barnes has advanced the agency's tourism expertise, transforming a team of three publicists into a tourism practice with four additional divisions - tourism research, digital marketing, travel trade marketing, and meetings and incentive sales. She has created communications campaigns for destinations on every continent except Antarctica.
Visit Florida announced that one of Canada's leading destination marketing firms, Pulse Travel Marketing, was named VF's new in-market representative.  The firm will work with the Visit Florida staff, agencies and in state partners to ensure that the Sunshine State is prominently positioned with the travel trade and key distribution networks in Canada.
Maritime members John and Sandra Nowlan are currently on their longest press trip ever. Aboard Crystal Serenity, they're in the middle of a 24-day cruise from Los Angeles to Australia with stops in Hawaii, Fiji, Samoa and New Caledonia.
Sandra Phinney has several readings and book launches in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Ontario lined up this spring for the imminent release of her travel memoir, "Waking Up In My Own Backyard: Explorations in Southwest Nova Scotia" (Pottersfield Press). She says it's not what you'd normally find in a travel guide.
Media member Darcy Rhyno just published his second novel for children, this one set in Halifax in the 1950's. Two kids stumble into a plot to take over the world. In "The Underworld Magician," a dark fantasy of loyalty and betrayal, of inner strength and survival, the children must face their worst fears as their loyalty is stretched to the breaking point in order to save themselves and the rest of humanity. It's available on Amazon in paperback and as an eBook.
A National Historic Site will be revitalized! The City of Fredericton has just announced the revitalization of popular Officers' Square within the Historic Garrison District in downtown Fredericton. Officers' Square, which was a centre of military activity when Fredericton was garrisoned by the British and Canadian Armies, has also been named one of Canada's Top Public Spaces.  Construction will begin in the fall of 2018 with an estimated completion of winter 2020.
In the Municipality of Claire, Nova Scotia, the 4th edition of Gran Fondo Baie Sainte-Marie, Atlantic Canada's largest cycling event, will take place on Sunday, September 23, 2018. 

Atlantic Canada's largest cycling event set to go again!

Watch our new promo video to get inspired to ride the enchanting Acadian Shore for an unforgettable cycling and cultural adventure!
They are looking for a travel writer and/or photographer for 2018.

For the second straight year, TMAC media member Lucas Aykroyd is offering a $1,000 U.S. scholarship for women pursuing degrees in journalism, creative writing, or literature. The Irene Adler Prize essay competition opened January 30. The deadline for entry is April 30.
You can read more about the scholarship here:

Got some member news - media or industry - you want to share in the newsletter? Check the submission guidelines at the end of the newsletter, then email John Geary,
You can also share it in the national group's Facebook group page, "TMAC - Travel Media Association of Canada, National - members only"
John Geary, newsletter editor (with files from Helen Earley)

Welcome to All New TMAC Members 

In total, 50 new members joined TMAC in 2017. Here is the list of our 11 most recent members by Chapter. Five applications are currently pending.

Jennifer Bain
Michael Cunningham
Alberta and NWT
Sarah Franklin
Samantha Fyleris
Henk Geurts
Amy Hogue
Sandra MacGregor
Yasha Murphy
Diane Selkirk
Laura Serena
Rosalind Stefanac

TMAC welcomes new media member, Jane Canapini.

Jane says she started her blog, about four years ago.

"My 'Expiry Date' came up as a creative director in advertising and I was looking for a way to fill that creative void and leverage my storytelling expertise and creative eye into Career 2.0," she says.
Travel was the obvious answer.
"It had always been a passion of mine for the past 30 years, yet I found there weren't a lot of online resources for 'grown-up travellers'," says Jane. "There was plenty of information written for budget backpackers and some for senior coach-tourists, but very little for the 45-plus crowd who didn't want to share a toilet down the hall or follow a pom-pom with 40 other people.

"So now, I try to help those readers with inspiration and information, so they can get the most out of their travels."
As a new TMAC member, Jane says, "I'm hoping I can continue to inspire travellers through assignments and partnerships via the association's network. I would especially like to cover more Canadian destinations for both national and international readers."
Last year, Jane spent a couple weeks in Medellin, Colombia. She says, "I was impressed with the 180-degree turnaround the city has undergone since the days when Pablo Escobar ruled his drug empire. In the past 10 years especially, the residents have taken back their city and Medellin has become the poster-child for positive change in the entire country.

"It's also a beautiful, cosmopolitan city, in a gorgeous valley with near-perfect weather all year long. So I know it's only a matter of time before tourists start flocking here -which is why I was glad I could visit Medellin before it appears on everyone's radar!"

TMAC also welcomes new industry member, Daniel Guerrero.

Danny is the director of client services at Myriad Marketing, an MMGY Global Company ( He has worked in the travel and tourism marketing space for more than 15 years. Currently, he oversees international and domestic destination and travel accounts where he provides integrated marketing and public relations services.
Of Myriad and MMGY Global, Danny says, "They are one of the preeminent travel marketing agencies in the world, representing destinations from Costa Rica to Qatar. In addition, NJF, MMGY's p-r practice in New York city includes hotel, travel and hospitality clients in its roster."
As a new TMAC member, he says, "Many of our clients want to forge deeper connections with travel media in Canada, and we hope our partnership with TMAC allows us to do so, while also helping us to understand the Canadian traveler."
Of course, Danny is a traveller himself.

"My most recent memorable trip involved traveling through Papua New Guinea, a Myriad client," he says.
"I will never forget the smiling children, beautiful cultural demonstrations and the wonderful wildlife."

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.