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November/December 2016
We obviously have some amazing writers in TMAC, and some of the members may have to get more wall space to display their award plaques. Three members won awards for their writing this past month - and these are awards competed for provincially and nationally, and not just against other association members. Two of them were for newspaper articles, the third was for a book.

On the social media front, a few tweaks are being made in the group's Facebook page, which we'll explain, as well as go over a few more tips about how best to use it.
We have the usual news and profiles for our members, as well. Enjoy!

- John Geary, TMAC Travels editor

As we head into the holiday season and the end of another year, it's hard not to reflect on and thank all the TMACers for their hard work during the past twelve months. Although I have been on he Board formerly as VP, Media and now President, I always forget how busy the fall is for TMAC with the launch of conference registration, renewals and requalifications (for A-K).
The time, energy and collaborative efforts of the Conference Committee, the PD Committee and the Media and Industry Committees all supported by T∙OCS are immeasurable.
As part of our goal to ensure all committees are properly resourced and have clear objectives moving forward, we issued a Call for Volunteers in November. To date, more than 10 new TMAC members have joined various committees including Sponsorship, Media Membership, Industry Membership, the PD Committee and, of course, the Social Media Committee.
More help is still needed with the Communications Committee and, more specifically, the new TMAC website, not only in the review and selection of our new vendor but also for ongoing content management and developments for new add-ons. A Call for Volunteers will be issued in early January with some very specific asks but in the meantime, feel free to reach out to me if you want to help in any area that interests you.
As you may recall, the TMAC Board met in person in Toronto for an entire day to kick start the process for developing a five-year Strategic Plan. The day began with a presentation by Holly Link that reported out on the results of her Capstone project that focussed on TMAC membership (much more later). This was followed by presentations from each member of the Board on mission, vision, communications, social media, volunteerism, sponsorship, board and committee structure and, of course, financial planning. A great deal of ground was covered and everyone participated. I felt somewhat humbled by the calibre of commitment, conversation and collaboration in the room.
A summary of the day will be vetted by the Board, the results of which will be shared with the TMAC membership over the coming months.
Best wishes for a wonderful new year filled with health, happiness and spectacular success.
Positive, pro-active and productive!

- Elizabeth Kerr, TMAC president

Based on some of the comments and requests the social media committee receives on its Facebook group page, here's a quick rundown of points to remember when using Facebook, and how to get the most mileage out of it.
There are two main aspects to our presence on Facebook:

1)     The public page , which anybody on Facebook can see. This is where members' stories and industry news is published for the world to see. It is our "face to the world," so to speak. The best way to use ensure your work or news item is published here is to submit links to published stories or news releases in the Facebook group page, "TMAC - Travel Media Association of Canada, National - members only" page. If you just submit directly to the public page (there is a place for that, but it's meant to be used for comments about the page, questions about the organization from others than for use by members to publish stories), it may not make it onto the page where anyone can see it as part of their newsfeed.

2)     T he group page "TMAC - Travel Media Association of Canada, National - members only" is for discussions among members, stories about news in the travel and travel writing industries, and as a place to share stories and news for posting on the public page. It is a closed group, meaning only members can read it. It's here we ask for your content in the #MondayMedia and #IndustryWednesday comment threads, posted weekly. The volunteer in charge of Facebook that week will post a call out. It's best to try to post your link as a comment in that thread, even if it's the next day. It may be missed if you post it as a separate comment in the page. If you are on Facebook but not a member, please send us a request to join.

In the new year, we plan to move that page to a "secret" group status. Because of the way Facebook operates, the platform often suggests "groups to join" to all its users. For example, if you show a lot of interest in travel, the Facebook algorithms may suggest joining our group, even though it is "closed." This results in a good many requests from non-members who have never even looked at our group page and have no real clue what TMAC is about. The only way to eliminate this is to move it to "secret" status.
That doesn't mean no one new can join; it just means people who are not members cannot see it, nor will they receive invitations from Facebook to join.
We will have additional information about how new members can join a secret group in an upcoming issue.
- John Geary, TMAC Travels editor

Jerry Grymek makes a point during his talk.
The Ontario Chapter held a great professional development (PD) session on Nov. 3 at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto. 

"The Numbers Game" featured four speakers who enlightened the audience about the pros and cons of using Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms, as well as "listicals," native advertising, metrics and even Buzz Sumo.

Jacqueline Swartz, the education chair, organized the event with the assistance of Maureen Littlejohn, TMAC member and vice chair of the Society of American Travel Writers. Social media speakers included Sharon Medelaoui of Dream Travel Magazine ( and Helen Hatzis of Trip Jaunt (

The industry side was represented by Susan Webb, president of VoX, and Jerry Grymek, account director of LMA Communications (and the Ontario M & M coordinator).

Tiramisu cups one of the evening's treats.
Big thanks go out to the Sheraton Centre for sponsoring the room, providing delicious food (really!) and even treating us to beer, wine and refreshments.

All in all, the evening was deemed a great success.

The TMAC Ontario Cash for Clips winners were announced, recently. Congratulations go out to Habeeb Saloom and Judy Eberspaecher.

Members are reminded to submit their articles to the attention of Ron Brown at

- Steve Gillick, Ontario chapter co-chair (industry)

The holidays are almost here and many of us are gearing up for a fantastic 2017! 
A big thanks to those members who brought potential new members to our annual fall membership drive and professional development (PD) event.
Sponsored by Tourism Vancouver and held at the Pacific Yacht Charters, with wine poured by Arrowleaf Cellars, the format of our event was "Ask Me Anything," or AMA. The evening featured sessions on: "Ask a travel writer," "Ask an editor," "Ask a social media expert," and "Ask a destination expert".
Oh - and did we mention it was on a yacht?
We're looking forward to seeing everyone in March at our spring PD event.
- Brian Cant, British Columbia chapter chair

Six TMAC members and three invited guests took an afternoon professional development session in Halifax, focusing on photography, Nov. 19. Mel Hattie, a TMAC members, led the session, with her presentation titled, "How to shoot, sell, and flourish as a travel photographer," which was well received.

Ryan Barry, Helen Earley, Sandra Phinney, Mel Hattie and Jan Napier were among those attending the Atlantic chapter event.

It was also a great opportunity for some of our new members to meet everyone and do some networking. We want to thank the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 for hosting this session and giving everyone passes to enjoy the attraction.

- Sandra Phinney, Atlantic chapter chair
The year 2016 comes to a close with the TMAC AB & NWT chapter's Christmas Mix 'n Mingle on Dec. 13 at the new Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre. The event includes entertainment courtesy of the Sorella Strings, raffle prizes, and a cash bar. All proceeds will be donated to the Calgary Food Bank.
The board has also been busy getting a head start on planning our annual professional development weekend. The highly anticipated event takes place Apr. 20-22, 2017 at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. Speakers, session announcements, and registration details will be available in the coming months. This is a great opportunity to learn, network, and celebrate Canada's 150th birthday in Alberta's beautiful Jasper National Park.
- Andrea Visscher ,
MEMBER NEWS membernews

From Media:

Calgary member Jody Robbins was recently awarded the 2016 Travel Alberta Tourism Media Award for her Calgary Herald article, "Walking Through a Winter Wonderland." Jody's first book, 25 Places in Canada Every Family Should Visit will hit the shelves in May to coincide with Canada's sesquicentennial.
At the request of an editor at Pottersfield Press, Sandra Phinney has submitted a book proposal based on her experience last summer where she visited places in Southwest Nova Scotia and posted a story every day about her adventures (and misadventures). The project was inspired by TMAC member Melanie Chambers, who did the same thing in Toronto for the month of July. The working title for Sandra's travel memoir is, Waking Up in My Own Backyard. Wish her well!
Kingston based TMAC writer Josephine Matyas won Ontario Travel Story of the year at the Ontario Tourism Industry Association Awards Gala, in November. The winning entry, "Cottage Time Without the Sticker Shock," was published in the Toronto Star.
TMAC BC member Jane Mundy won gold in the single subject category at the Taste Canada Awards, held the second week of November. Her award-winning book is, Ocean Wise Cookbook 2: More Seafood Recipes That Are Good for the Planet.

New Castle Hotels & Resorts, along with Southwest Properties of Halifax, Nova Scotia plans to develop a 178-key Courtyard by Marriott/Residence Inn hotel in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. The project's estimated completion is for 2018 and will include a 106-room Courtyard by Marriott and 84-suite Residence Inn in the Dartmouth Crossing complex.
The lighthouse at Cape St. Mary's in Clare, Nova Scotia has been designated a heritage lighthouse. Improvements to the site next year will include a webcam, benches, interpretive panels and a monument to commemorate those lost at sea.
G ot some member news - media or industry - you want to share? 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"

MEDIA : TMAC welcomes media member Ryan Barry. .
In 2010, Ryan Barry started the travel blog, Most recently, he co-authored a travel guidebook with fellow TMACer Dale Dunlop titled,
25 Outdoor Adventures in Halifax, published earlier this year.
New member Ryan Barry (he's the one with the glasses).
His background with his adventure tour company informs his writing. "I naturally drift toward the adventure side of travel. I prefer to write in a narrative manner about hiking, kayaking, canoeing and traveling to destinations around the world and embracing indigenous cultures.
"By being part of the TMAC family, I hope to meet established writers, be inspired and learn how to become a regularly published writer in outdoor related publications."
Ryan adds, "By networking with the many professionals in TMAC, I feel I will be able to build a better knowledge of the travel media world."
When asked about a recent memorable trip, Ryan recalls visiting Atlanta in October.
"My favorite part was a day-trip to the small Bavarian-style alpine village of Helen in the Appalachian Mountains. I was there during the annual Oktoberfest and got to dip my feet in the Chattahoochee River, the famous river that country superstar Alan Jackson sang about. This, was all while munching on local wild boar jerky and dried crickets and washing it all down with strong German beer."

- Helen Earley,
INDUSTRY:  Krystal Carter, Tourism Toronto
Krystal Carter  joined Tourism Toronto as media relations manager this past July. She comes to TT from New York- based Development Counsellors International (DCI) where she managed North American media relations for destinations like California, Visit Scotland Business Events, Williamsburg and Palm Springs. Krystal started her career with Delta Hotels and Resorts' corporate office.
About Toronto, Krystal says, "I think there is a misperception that Toronto is a summer-only destination. That is so wrong! We have a burgeoning culinary scene, big ticket sports, theatre and music events.

"We have more than 30 museums, Canada's most iconic attractions and a growing luxury scene - all of which can be enjoyed year-round."
Krystal values her time with TMAC.
"I've met some amazing and talented people through TMAC who I consider good friends, and who I want to maintain a great relationship with. It's good for TT and myself to keep our foot in the door to know what's happening in the industry so we can act as a better resource for travel media."
Of course, Krystal loves to travel.
"I just returned from a gap year with my husband. I know, typical millennial. We worked and backpacked through Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Singapore and Tokyo. I don't think I can ever top that."

- 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).
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. (For information on distributing electronic press releases to all media members for a fee of $75, please contact TO Corp at
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.