Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter 
September/October 2016

There's plenty of interesting stuff in this edition of the newsletter, including a summary of the survey from the 2016 national conference in Cape Breton as well as a great primer on using the social media tool: Snapchat.

We have the usual news and profiles for our members, as well. Enjoy! 
John Geary, TMACTravels editor


Fall at TMAC is extremely busy with Membership Requalification, Membership Renewals, Contract Renewals, 2017 Budget Preparation and Conference Launch...all requiring many hands on deck to ensure all goes smoothly and in a timely fashion. And some of those hands are new.

First and foremost, let me congratulate Tina Hutchinson on behalf of the entire TMAC membership on her very exciting news. Tina will be leaving us for 12 months in early January to go on maternity leave but has promised to offer us a lifeline should we need it while she is away.

Replacing Tina, please welcome Albert Orellana. 
He joined TMAC in early October to shadow Tina in order to ensure a smooth transition.  He brings an entrepreneurial and innovative management style with over 20 years of extensive meetings and events experience.

"I am an analytical professional, skilled in analyzing market trends and successfully planning and executing operations and event management strategies to optimize guest satisfaction by enhancing facilities, services, and processes" (Albert Orellana).

At his previous position, Albert implemented initiatives that resulted in exceeding guest satisfaction, corporate benchmarks year-over-year, enhancing event planning processes, and improving global financial reporting systems. In addition, he was a champion for hotel green initiatives such as implementing a paperless process and saving over 12 thousand pages of printed media per year.
Albert is eager to put his experience and knowledge to work and become part of the management team at TMAC.

In an effort to better align  TOCS  resources and TMAC's initiatives,  Emily Cloutier  is the new ly appointed client manager.  
Emily has been a part of the TOCS team since March 2016 and behind the scenes of TMAC since May 2016. She comes with over 15 years of solid administration, project management, events and communications experience.

"My mission is to always search for the most innovative and unique approach to set my clients apart from the rest! I try to add a refreshing sense of professionalism and humor to make collaboration more enjoyable" (Emily Cloutier).

She holds a degree in English Literature and has experience with managing demanding projects and deadlines, drafting and editing, coordinating events, and managing association boards and governance.

If you attended the TMAC Conference in Cape Breton, NS this past June you would have met Emily as she assisted in supporting the conference logistics and was the Vanna White of the TMAC Awards ceremony.

Emily is personable, professional and eager to start working with the TMAC volunteers and board members. 

In addition to the above activities that will keep us all on our toes, all members of the TMAC National Board will be attending a Strategic Planning Workshop in early November to set the stage for the development for Five Year Strategic Plan. 
Every board member will play a role in this workshop and we look forward to reporting out on the identified priorities and some of the exciting initiatives that will result from our hearty discussions. In the meantime, however, if you have anything you feel we should include in our agenda, please contact me at

As you know, we have decided to sever ties with our existing website developer and are very close to issuing an RFP for the purpose of selecting a new provider to take over the website to: 1) resolve the outstanding issues; and, 2) provide a plan and on-going support for Phase 2 and beyond. 
At this juncture, I would invite any TMAC members who would like to be part of the newly-created Website Task Force to: 1) help with the selection process and, 2) provide ongoing support of and recommendations for the website. 
Please contact me at if you are interested.

As always, we are looking for TMAC members to volunteer in whatever capacity they feel that they can contribute. Please visit for more details or contact me at at if you are interested.

A formal Call for Volunteers will be issued shortly and I strongly urge you to jump in with both feet. It's fun. It's gratifying (for the most part). You'll give something. You'll learn something. And you'll meet some great TMACers along the way.

Positive, pro-active and productive!

Elizabeth Kerr, TMAC president
Coming to your inbox soon:

Renewals and Requalifications!
Invoices and further details will be issued in November.


"Maybe the best conference ever."
Wow. That's the kind of comment the organizers of this y ea r' s conference in Cape Breton were hoping for. And they weren't disappointed - more than 85 per cent of  both  media and industry members who attended the June conference rated it either excellent or very good.
Many mentioned the warm welcome we received, both from the volunteers who worked long and hard to put the conference together and the locals who seemed genuinely thrilled that we were there.

"Everywhere we went, people were friendly and helpful. What great ambassadors for Cape Breton!" said one media member.

For both industry and media members, networking and the media marketplace were the key reasons they decided to attend the June conference. And the majority of participants from both groups were happy with the location, length and price of the conference.
The format we implemented a few years back for Media Marketplace - two half days instead of one long day - still seems to be a hit with both groups.

The most common comment from industry members is that they hope to see more media members in attendance at future conferences because they had trouble filling their appointment schedules. Some media members said they hope to see more international industry reps at future conferences, and a few hoped to see a return of the open session, where media and industry members who don't have appointments can meet up, b ut this year's marketplace venue earned high praise. "Could actually hear ourselves think!" said one respondent.

The Guidebook app, which was introduced this year in place of paper schedules, was a harder sell. About 68 per cent of industry members and 60 per cent of media members said they downloaded and used it, but some found it frustrating to use and would have preferred a printed schedule. 

A few people noted that they didn't have an opportunity to recycle their conference badges, and several people didn't like the plastic water bags handed out at registration.

About that opening reception at the cruise ship pavilion: "Natalie McMaster and Donnell Leahy? I wasn't a big fiddle fan but I am now. Great job having them there." That just about sums it up. The entertainment at the closing gala also got great reviews. But the Louisbourg event drew the biggest raves. "Freakin' brilliant!" and "loved everything about it!" were among the comments.

Only media were able to attend pre and post-conference tours. Of those who did, 55 per cent rated their pre-tour "excellent" and 22 per cent called them "very good." The drivers and ambassadors were singled out for praise from just about everyone.

Post-conference tours were an even bigger hit - 62 per cent of participants rated them "excellent" and 28 per cent "very good." Said one person: "All of the stops had knowledgeable story tellers and great photo opportunities." And another: "Fantastic! I wouldn't have changed a thing."
Moving on to the PD sessions, there were again some mixed reviews. The sessions that scored the highest with media members were The Story Behind the Shot and How to Enter the Book Publishing Market; for industry members, the photography session also scored highly, as did Travel Blogging in Today's Evolving Market and How to Conduct Effective Press Trips.
For future conferences, both media and industry indicated a preference for a spring event, although the second choice for both groups was "whatever best showcases the destination." 
And we were pleased to hear that more than 70 per cent of both industry and media members answered "Yes, absolutely!" to the question: "Are you planning to attend the conference and AGM in Quebec City May 24 to 27, 2017?"

Thanks to everyone who filled out this year's survey - your feedback, both positive and negative, is used to help plan future conferences. Yes, we absolutely hope to see you next year in Quebec City!

Joanne Blain

SAVE THE DATE! | May 24-27, 2017

TMAC 2017 Conference & AGM | Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac


Based on the financial information I received from  TOCS,  here is my Treasurer's report:
As of September 30, 2016, TMAC revenues were $261,619. This figure is comprised of membership revenue ($97,697), conference revenue ($140,396), other revenue ($13,527) and travel subsidy/grant fund ($10,000). Compared to the same period last year, revenues are down $65,941 ($327,560 September 2016). Membership revenue is down $11,467 from last year. Conference revenue saw the biggest decrease, down $40,226 from 2016.  
Total expenses were $187,062 compared to $170,699 for the same period in 2016. Total expenses are comprised of administrative expenses ($111,326), conference expenses ($57,285) and travel subsidy/grant fund ($18,452). To date, management fees account for the largest amount of administrative expenses. 
Net income for the period is down year-over-year. As of September 30, 2016, net income was $74,558 vs. $156,860. This figure will change as we near our year-end in December.
Total assets for the period are up for the period. $213,692 as of September 30, 2016 vs. $194,975 a year ago. This increase is primarily due to a higher investment balance of $70,231 vs. $0 as of September 30, 2016. This is a new high-interest, zero risk savings account which was opened earlier this year.
Should you have any questions regarding TMAC's financial position please contact me at the email or telephone number below.
Grant Fraser, Treasurer

It started as a fun fad among tweens, but Snapchat is quickly becoming the next major social media channel - so big in fact, that it turned down a takeover offer from Facebook, prompting facebook-owned instagram to come up with its own "Instagram Stories" feature to try and compete. Big brands have jumped on board, including Canadian companies such as
Whistler-Blackcomb, which recently shared some of its learnings and success during a TMAC roundtable  (learn more here) , and destinations such as Las Vegas, who are even hiring influencers (like internet star DJ Khaled) to help with their Snapchat promotion   in hopes of reaching a younger demographic.

  So should you be on Snapchat? Like any social media channel, it comes down to what you're trying to achieve and how much time you have to put into it. Snapchat is unedited (so far!) and it's really all about personality, so thought should be given to telling a whole story about your day or trip instead of just random snaps with no cohesive theme. In some ways, it has more in common with television than "traditional" social media, both in terms of production style and in the channel-surfing way people consume their feeds, as seen by how, for instance, Canadian clothing brand Kit and Ace is approaching Snapchat .
Like on all platforms, it helps to create consistent content, so if you're a food writer, be sure to include lots of food snaps, and avoid random posts of your cute new niece or taking the dog for a walk. For inspiration, check out accounts like cailinoneil and adventurouskate (you can search for their usernames in the app), two travel bloggers who excel on Snapchat (and put a lot of time into it). As well, some TMACers are already on Snapchat and ready to be followed:
  • Tamara Elliott, at globeguide
  • Kat Tancock, kattancock
  • Candice Walsh, candicewalsh
  • Alyssa Schwartz, Schwartz_alyssa
  • Jenn Smith Nelson, Jennsmithnelson
  • Jody Robbins, travelswbaggage
  • Toby Saltzman, tobysaltzman 
While traditional print writers may not feel the need to start on yet another social media network, it's something that bloggers definitely need to consider, as some destinations and PR firms are already asking for promotion on Snapchat during trips.
So...are you thinking of taking the plunge? This article by HubSpot gives a fantastic primer on some hidden Snapchat hacks, and this beginners' guide is useful for absolute newbies.
Happy snapping!

Tamara Elliott, for the TMAC Social Media Committee

CHAPTER NEWS  chapternews

Working together, the event provided an opportunity to get into the spirit of Oktoberfest with authentic food and costumes for everyone to enjoy on Tuesday, September 27 at the Chelsea Hotel, Toronto's Market Garden Patio.

This October, Visit California has invited TMAC Ontario members to 'Dream Big' for  an October 25 Munch & Mingle  from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at The  Montecito,  located on 299 Adelaide Street West, Toronto. 

At the event, guests will hear from California's destination partners on what is new and exciting in the Golden State, from Hollywood glamour and farm-to-table dining, to thrilling theme parks, beaches and National Parks; you'll see why it's always the perfect time to Visit California.

Steve Gillick, Ontario Chapter Co-Chair (industry)

We're looking forward to launching our membership drive on Thursday, Nov. 10 in partnership with Tourism Vancouver. The evening event will take place on a yacht (seriously). Details will be released soon, but all members are invited to bring potential new colleagues (read: fresh meat) to the event. 

As always, any non-BC members who find themselves in super, natural British Columbia at this time are welcome to attend! 

Brian Cant, B.C. Chapter Chair

Media member George Burden has established a new blog , inspired by the discovery that his father had an old feudal title: Baron of Seabegs. George's travels have included a visit to the ruins of his family's castle in Scotland and he has donated the Seabegs Collection of Ancient Roman Coins to the Dalhousie University classics department.
The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 in Halifax, welcomes Remo Zaccagna as the new communications coordinator.
Moncton's Rayanne Brennan, editor of Off Grid East Coast and Prime Time, has been named Editor of the Year for Canada by the Professional Writers Association of Canada. The award "promotes outstanding Canadian editors and mutually respectful writer-editor relationships."
The Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown is preparing to celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary in style. The Confederation Players, a troupe of actors in historic costume, will appear in Charlottetown as well as on tour across Canada. The players will also present The Dream Catchers of Canada - a free, outdoor performance daily at noon during the summer. After dark, The Confederation Centre will present nightly projections that will incorporate music and images from all provinces and territories of Canada.
Larry Peach, Tourism Manager, Municipalité de Clare, Nova Scotia reports that the second annual Gran Fondo Baie Sainte-Marie on Sunday, Sept 25 was a glowing success, with 835 cyclists enjoying scenic landscapes and warm Acadian hospitality. TMAC member Colleen Friesen was there and wrote about her experience  here.
Discover Saint John is proud to announce they have recently won two Summit International Awards for their 'Saint Awesome' campaign to help re-introduce the city's distinctive dining, outdoor, heritage and urban experiences.
Sandra Phinney, Atlantic Chapter Chair

MEMBER NEWS membernews

From Medianewsfrommedia

Ottawa member Peter Johansen won the award for best coverage emerging from the 2014 North American Travel Journalists Association Huntsville conference. The award was based on pieces he wrote based on his visit for Taste & Travel International magazine (on Huntsville's culinary scene) and for Troy Media (on two destinations in the Muscle Shoals post-trip: the museums at the separate birthplaces of Helen Keller and W.C. Handy, father of the blues). 
Longtime TMAC member Amy Rosen isn't just eating and writing about food anymore, she's also baking up a storm as she prepares to launch Rosen's Cinnamon Buns in Toronto in October. Homemade buns, fresh from the oven all day long (plus a side of attitude) is what customers can expect from her pretty little bakery at 825 College Street.

From Industrynewsfromindustry

After a competitive rebidding process, Development Counsellors International has been retained to represent Chile. A limited number of group and individual press trips are planned for 2017 to Chile's emerging tourism regions. To receive a copy of the target media list and to express your interest in participating, email
Development Counsellors International is now representing:
  • Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, debuting the renamed American Revolution Museum at Yorktown (Virginia) this October, featuring a $37 million facility highlighting America's early history
  • St. Louis, a culturally rich Missouri city with a revitalized Gateway Arch and downtown area known as the CityArchRiver project
Got 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"


TMAC welcomes media member, Michael Haynes of Halifax  @HikerHaynes , a writer of hiking guides. Six of his books are currently available, including his first, Hiking Trails of Nova Scotia. As a frequent CBC Radio guest, he discusses other outdoor activities like canoeing and Nordic skiing.  

"I was simply a novice hiker," says Michael, "who, in the late-80s early-90s, could not find accurate information." As he collected information for his own used, friends suggested he write a guidebook. He says he never writes about a trail unless he has personally hiked or biked it.

While Michael says he's uncertain of his goals with TMAC, he does want to look into writing travel articles in addition to books. And because much of his work is done alone, he is interested in meeting other TMAC members.  

Currently, Michael is researching his next book, The Best of the Trans Canada Trail.  
"I drove more than 17,000km, and hiked and biked more than 1,400km. This was the Western Canada research, with the first trail in North Bay, and the furthest west being the Galloping Goose in Victoria. One of my personal highlights was the five-day, four-night backpacking trip in Pukaskwa National Park, on the shores of Lake Superior."

INDUSTRY: Kirk Williams, Pace Group industrynewmember

The Vancouver based Pace Group (, one of TMAC's newest members, is represented by Kirk Williams, Director, Media Relations and Communications. "We have been around for more than 20 years," says Kirk, "helping clients tell their stories."

"We have all types of clients," says Kirk. "Individuals, companies, government agencies, authors, academics, and we do some really interesting pro bono work for charitable organizations. We provide media training so people feel more comfortable interacting with news organizations."

Kirk says he came across TMAC by accident. "I was trying to find Canadian travel writers for a FAM trip I was organizing for our clients, TravelNevada. I joined to get in contact with their membership. I took advantage of the TMAC news release service to pitch the trip and got tons of response. The group that I eventually ended up taking was fantastic."

Kirk has lived on both of Canada's coasts, the Prairies and in central Canada and is a lifetime traveller himself. "My most memorable trip was backpacking around the world for more than a year, when I was 23. That was before the Internet and communicating with family was done with the odd phone call (which often scared the hell out of them)."


Joanne Blain:
Elizabeth Kerr: 
Grant Fraser:
Tamara Elliott:
Darcy Rhyno:
Steve Gillick:
Brian Cant:


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:

MEDIA MEMBER NEWSmediamembernews

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.

INDUSTRY MEMBER NEWSindustrymembernews

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  T∙OCS  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.