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November 2017

This will be the final issue of TMAC Travels for this year, so we'd like to take this time wish everyone a very happy and safe holiday season, however you choose to celebrate it.
Highlighting this issue, we have our president's report, some exciting member news as well as the usual chapter and members news and profiles. Enjoy!
We're aiming to get the bi-monthly newsletter out the second Tuesday of every other month. To do that, we need to have material in two weeks prior to that. We will make a slight exception in January, because of the holiday season. I will send out a call for submissions two weeks prior to the deadline, and a reminder a week before.

January 16
January 2
March 13
February 27
May 8
April 24

- John Geary, TMAC Travels editor 
  5. 2017 NEW MEMBERS
As you are aware, the fall is a very busy time for TMAC. Today, we stand at 394 members, of which 28 joined TMAC in 2017. In addition, we have more than 10 potential members whose applications are currently being reviewed. We started the re-qualification October 31, 2017 to give both re-qualifying members and the Media Membership Committee the time needed to review as many applications as possible before the renewal process begins in December.
Having said that, our Media Membership Committee is looking for a few volunteers to help with the vetting process. More than 80 media members must requalify this year. Anyone interested in joining this key committee should reach out to Chris Ryall ( or Judy Hammond ( as soon as possible, both who have graciously agreed to stay on. Both media and industry members are welcome to join.
I am happy to report that we have filled some of the volunteer positions posted in the last TMAC Travels but we are still looking for some talented TMACers to consider the following opportunities.
Communications  Chair  Either 
Members (2) 
Members (2) 
Member Benefits 

Elizabeth Kerr, our new executive director, is busy behind the scenes driving the imminent launch of our new and improved website, ensuring that the re-qualifications process goes smoothly, preparing for renewals in December and supporting the Conference Committee however she can. The content, design and development of our marketing materials "WHY TMAC?" is currently underway and will be used for attracting new members and promoting our organization, all supported by our new mission statement and tagline.
The 2018 conference committee is in its initial stages of developing next year's program to ensure we address everyone's thoughts and recommendations. Plans are already underway to confirm hosts for 2019 and 2020 and an RFP will be issued to TMAC members at the beginning of January to solicit bids.
As always, if you have any comments, concerns or suggestions to help serve you better, please call me at 905-484-4642 or email at
Thank you.
Grant Fraser, president

The Atlantic chapter currently has 30 members, split evenly between media and industry.

We congratulate members George Burden and Stella van der Lugt on their recent engagement to be married!

On October 21, we held our fall meeting at Pier 21 Museum of Immigration. After the meeting, we visited a Halifax Escape room, trying to break out of a "medieval prison"! Although we failed to outwit our captors, a drink at a local Irish pub helped heal our wounded pride!

The Escape Trapped Room in Halifax. PHOTO CREDIT: Stella van der Lugt.

Tourism Fredericton (contact Stacey Russell) is pleased to announce that Fredericton's Beaverbrook Art Gallery recently opened their highly anticipated Pavilion. The Gallery, which is recognized globally, counts works by Mary Pratt, JMW Turner, Henri Matisse, Walter Sickert and Lucian Freud, and many more among its collection.

One of its signature works, a massive Salvador Dali painting titled Santiago el Grande, now has a purpose-designed home in the new wing.

The new Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton. PHOTO CREDIT: Beaverbrook Art Gallery.

A shout-out to industry member, Bay Ferries Limited (contact Monica MacNeil) which provides media with 50 percent reduced rate on ferries running between New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Massachusetts.

A view from the deck of the MV Fundy Rose as she sails from NS to NB. PHOTO CREDIT: Sandra Phinney.

Helen Earley, chair

TMAC members in Ontario have enjoyed two terrific Munch and Mingle events since last report.
In September, we fast-forwarded a month to celebrate Oktoberfest, hosted by the Chelsea Hotel in Toronto, Lufthansa, and Mill Street Brewery.
The party included the traditional tapping of the keg, and a ton of networking with our hosts, with representatives of half a dozen destinations in Germany, and with each other, as communicators and industry reps mingled and munched - and yes, sipped a few beers.
From the "full disclosure dept.": the night was not without embarrassment. Our "Cash For Clips" program, coordinated by Ron Brown, is an innovative effort to encourage our members to write about the destinations and organizations that host our M&Ms.
Everyone who publishes a piece about our hosts - and lets Ron know this has been done - is entered into a draw for a cash prize. All good, so far, but at our September meeting, the annual draw for the two winners of the Cash For Clips program - carried out by two executive members with no skin in the game - resulted in past-chair Steve Gillick and yours truly winning the cash. We blushed...but we kept the dough.
Perhaps, in Victoria, the drinks should be on me. (Editor's note: We'll take you up on that, Paul!)
In October, Tourism Toronto hosted us in a double-header event: a day trip that hit some terrific Toronto highlights (social media was saturated with pix of people having a good time), and an evening M&M at the Bisha Hotel.
I want to give a shout-out to our M&M coordinator, Jerry Grymek, who continues to organize fantastic events for our members. And by the way, TMAC members from other provinces are very, very welcome to attend our M&M's. Just let us know you're coming.
We will hold a November Munch and Mingle (details TBA) and a December holiday party, December 5.
During our September executive meeting, we welcomed Grant Fraser, TMAC national president, and Elizabeth Kerr, TMAC executive director, to attend a portion of the meeting, and had a great opportunity to share ideas and get an update on developments, going forward. There is a lot of reason for optimism.
We also formed a sub-committee of the executive to bring back recommendations as to how our chapter should function, from a governance perspective. A report should be forthcoming within a few months.
On a personal note, here's something I have also shared in an email with our Ontario members: I had the opportunity, this month, to spend some time with Canada's Tourism Minister, Bardish Chagger. I wanted to share with you just a couple of things she told me in that exclusive interview.
She said that tourism is the number one service export from Canada; and that almost 20 million international tourists visited Canada last year and this year, with the 150th celebrations, will see even bigger numbers. She also told me that "Canada's New Tourism Vision includes three goals: increasing international visitation to Canada by 30% by 2021; doubling Chinese visitation to Canada by 2021; and "positioning Canada to compete for a Top Ten destination ranking by 2025."
I found these figures interesting, and thought that you might, too.
Paul Knowles, media chair, 

Lieutenant George Burden wearing the Clan Lamont Tartan. PHOTO CREDIT: Stella van der Lugt.

Media member George Burden was recently appointed by Father Peter Noel Lamont, Chief of Clan Lamont, as his lieutenant for Canada. That means George is his personal representative at any official functions to which he is unable to attend. And since he lives in Sydney, Australia that could be a heck of a lot of functions!
Member Amy Rosen's latest cookbook, Toronto Eats.
Member Amy Rosen's latest cookbook, Toronto Eats, launched in September. It's the follow-up to her bestselling Toronto Cooks (2014). It's a gorgeous full-colour romp though the city's culinary landscape, filled with over a hundred recipes from 50 top chefs, as well as their stories.
Mansoor Ladha (centre) pictured with Leela Aheer (left), MLA for Chestermere-Rockeyview and Shiraz Shariff (right), the first Ismaili MLA in Alberta.

Mansoor Ladha 's second book, Memoirs of a Muhindi: Fleeing East Africa for the West, was published recently, and launched successfully in Calgary. It is a story of a descendant of immigrants, brown in colour, living in a black society (Tanzania), who later became a brown immigrant living in a white society (Canada). The book sheds light on the experiences felt by immigrants, the challenges of cross-cultural differences, the hurt of discrimination, and other hardships of displacement.

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"

TMAC welcomes new industry member Katie Lepage, manager of the Tour & Travel (TRADE) Department which includes the International Sales Development at Croisières AML. (
Katie Lepage joined Croisières AML in April 2012. She says it all started in 1996.
Katie Lepage
"I started as a tour leader for student groups. I quickly became the office manager of the Baillairgé Cultural Tours, a receptive company based in Québec City which offered wonderful programs to students and teenagers and to seniors and alumni travel from the USA. Then, after almost eight years with them, I moved to the Québec City Tourism office and worked for them almost ten years as account executive, which means you travel all over the world to promote the region and its members. It's a CVB.
"Finally, in April 2012, this position opened at AML Cruises and I'm here since then."
Of AML, she says, "It is a family owned business which exists since 45 years. We own 24 boats and are the largest cruise and excursion company in Canada. We operate in the province of Québec.
"We offer about 30 different types of cruises from many different locations such as Montréal, Trois-Rivières, Québec City, Berthier-sur-Mer, Tadoussac, Baie-Ste-Catherine, Saguenay Fjord and Rivière-du-Loup."
As for joining TMAC, she says, "It would really be nice for us to be more active with journalists and bloggers as well as anybody in the travel media field. We strongly believe that they are the voice and if they are followed, if people trust them, they will read their article, blog or post.
"This can help us being stronger and have an even better reputation. Nowadays, people like to read about experiences and truly believe that if someone had a good time on a trip, doing something they like, then it's something they can trust."
Katie likes to travel herself, so in celebration of a recent birthday, that's what she did.
"My spouse and I decided we would do something different. We travel so much for work that we usually simply go to an all-inclusive resort to relax for our vacation. Therefore, last fall, we went to Hawaii for the first time. We spent ten days there and visited two islands. We also rented a car and visited many different spots. This was, for us, a real treat. We took a helicopter ride over Maui and we went to a typical Luau dinner on my birthday.
"This was such a nice trip. We talk about it very often."
Darcy Rhyno, Atlantic member
We would like to acknowledge all new members who have joined TMAC in 2017. To date, 16 media and 21 industry members have joined TMAC for a total membership of 395; 12 applications are in progress at time of publication.

Our new 2017 members by chapter are:

Julijana Capone ALBERTA & NWT Industry
Mary Kapusta ALBERTA & NWT Industry
Breanna Mroczek ALBERTA & NWT Media
Greg Olsen ALBERTA & NWT Media
Gina Alward ATLANTIC Media
Stella van der Lugt ATLANTIC Media
Nancy Besharah BRITISH COLUMBIA Media
Nicole Ford BRITISH COLUMBIA Industry
Tessa Humphries BRITISH COLUMBIA Industry
Kristy Jahn-Smith BRITISH COLUMBIA Industry
Charlene Rooke BRITISH COLUMBIA Media
Linda Barnard ONTARIO Media
Ayngelina Brogan ONTARIO Media
Glenn  Cameron ONTARIO Media*
Jane Canapini ONTARIO Media
Martha Chapman ONTARIO Media*
Barry Choi ONTARIO Media
Cherie DeLory ONTARIO Media
Candace Derickx ONTARIO Media
Shane Gage ONTARIO Industry
Jacqueline Kovacs ONTARIO Industry
Ray McIlroy ONTARIO Industry
Bonnie Munday ONTARIO Media
Sabrina Pirillo ONTARIO Media
Marc Smith ONTARIO Media
Tamara Stefek ONTARIO Industry
Ashley Stewart ONTARIO Industry
Julie Barlow NO CHAPTER Media
Marie-Josee Bougie NO CHAPTER Industry
Daniel Guerrero NO CHAPTER Industry
Katie Lepage NO CHAPTER Industry
Melanie Perez NO CHAPTER Industry
Jason Picard-Binet NO CHAPTER Industry
Gustavo Rivas-Solis NO CHAPTER Industry
Sylvie Ruel NO CHAPTER Media

* Moved from Industry to Media 

Grant Kerr -
Helen Earley -  
Paul Knowles -
Paula Worthington -   
Darcy Rhyno -


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.