Travel Media Association of Canada Awards 2023 FINALISTS

In a world increasingly affected by climate change, over-tourism, and evolving travel preferences, the role of travel media in guiding and informing travelers has never been more vital. Despite the challenges faced by the travel industry in 2023, including the visible impacts of climate change on Canadian and international destinations, travelers' enthusiasm for exploration remained steadfast. In response to this dynamic landscape, the call for submissions for the Travel Media Association of Canada (TMAC) Awards was met with remarkable enthusiasm, reflecting the resilience and dedication of Canada’s travel journalists and content creators.

TMAC's annual awards program celebrates excellence in travel journalism, shining a spotlight on the outstanding work of its accredited Canadian members across 12 National Categories and six Membership and Chapter categories. The competition was fierce, with over 430 submissions in the National Categories alone, showcasing the depth and breadth of talent within TMAC's membership. The Membership and Chapter categories also received a significant number of submissions, underscoring the vibrant and diverse nature of TMAC's community.

The results of the 12 National 'judged' categories below reflect the rigorous evaluation by our panel of nine judges. This distinguished panel, including Andrea Rees, Don Genova, Nancy Bleck, April Liu, Marc Williams, Jantine Van Kregten, Rebecca Bollwitt, Ursula Beamish-Mader, and Zane Buchanan, meticulously reviewed submissions against a comprehensive scoring matrix. Each judge noted the world-class quality of submissions and the difficulty in selecting just five finalists, highlighting the depth of talent within TMAC. Volunteer and Industry Member awards were reviewed and selected by an awards committee of past TMAC members Jantine Van Kregten and Ursula Beamish-Mader, and current TMAC members of Jami Savage, Tracy Ford and Paul Knowles; while the BC & Yukon presented awards were assessed by Justin Fong, Fred Lee, Dixon Tam, Sandra Thomas, John Geary and Kent Campbell and family.

TMAC acknowledges and appreciates the support of an extensive list of champions for these awards. This year’s sponsors include Tourism Richmond, Tourism Ireland, Tourism Yukon, Visit Orlando, The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada, Quebec Maritimes, Destination BC, Tourism Saskatchewan, Tourism Louisiana, Parks Canada, Niagara Parks, and Visit Tampa Bay. Their support contributes to the success of the program, including more than $15,000.00 in prizing. Their commitment to travel media and recognizing excellence in travel journalism is commendable.

Winners will be revealed at the TMAC Awards Gala on June 15th in St John’s, Newfoundland, as part of the sold out 2024 TMAC Conference & Media Marketplace hosted by Destination St. John's, and Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism, June 12-16.

Congratulations to all finalists, from across Canada and representing a diverse collection of mediums and platforms. Without further ado, listed alphabetically by member first name, we present to you, our 2023 TMAC Awards Finalists!


Best Emerging & Broadcast Media: Stories OVER 10-minutes in Length

Arienne Parzei: Ultimate Visitor's Guide to Sudbury - What to See, Do and Eat in the City

Ayngelina Brogan: The REAL CARTAGENA Colombia Afro Colombian History, Bazurto Market & La Maria

Justin Max St John: Magical Safari in Kenya | Travel Vlog

Mary Anne Ivison: Adam Shoalts Returns on the Let’s Take This Outside podcast:

William Tang: Winter in Banff is Epic

Best People Photo

Amy Rosen: The Geiko of Kyoto

Christopher Rudder: The Power Of Dance — Anemki Wajiw Pow Wow (Thunder Bay)

Sandra Phinney: Holman Campbell, Trapper in Rigolet. Labrador

Sharon Matthews-Stevens:On the Island of the Great Spirit

Tamara Elliott: Teaching new generations about a traditional kudlik welcoming ceremony

Best Spirit of Canada Story

Christopher Mitchell: What I Learned Spending One Memorable Month in Newfoundland & Labrador

Claudia Laroye: A Literary Kitchen Party Flourishes in Woody Point

Elizabeth Campbell: Wall Street: The Murals of Islington Village

Jennifer Bain: Marine Adventures in Nunavut Arctic

Nancy Bordeleau: Le Vieux loup de mer


Best Food / Drink Story

Amy Rosen: Canada's Best New Restaurants

Cinda Chavich: Wild, Gangly and Endlessly Adaptable

Lisa Kadane: Spearfishing for lionfish is turning an invasive species into a dining delicacy

Robin Esrock: Peace by Chocolate: from Syria to Antigonish

Tim Johnson: Best food in New Orleans? Try the alligator cheesecake


Best Indigenous Experience in Canada Story

Christopher Rudder: Discovering Indigeneity Through Chocolate with Chef Tammy - Raven Rising | EP2

Hans Tammemagi: Sweat Lodge: The Oldest Church on Eaarh

Jessica Lockhart: Here's your sign to visit the Yukon this year

Kelsey Olsen: The Amazing Women of Indigenous Tourism

Tim Johnson: Encounters in Northern Saskatchewan are also lessons in Preserving Indigenous Languages


Best Travel Web Site

Gemma Taylor: Best of Penticton

Jami Savage: Adventure Awaits

Jennifer Dore Dallas: Moi, mes souliers

Tamara Elliott: Globe Guide

Yashy Murphy: Parenting To Go


Best Tourism for Positive Changes Story

Arlene Karpan: Changing our relationship with the Big Bad Wolf 

Chloe Berge: Finding Hope in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Wild Nature and Historic Towns 

Jessica Lockhart: Kohutapu Lodge: A model for regenerative tourism in New Zealand

Robin Esrock: Creating legacies on Costa Rica’s Pacuare River 

Sandra MacGregor: I Went on a Safari in Botswana With a Female Guide 


Best Landscape or Evocation of Place Photo

Jane Canapini: ForgottenGrasslands

Kevin Wagar: Fishing boat in the Phi Phi Islands

Oksana St. John: A night at the Dark Hedges

Robin Karpan: Banff at night

Roland Bastarache: Sunset at Mt St Michel


Best Cultural and Historical Story

Aurelie Resch: Sami story (Laponie)  Laponie, un hiver en terre samie HR

Diane Selkirk: When My Stepdad Passed Away

Laura Paquet: Matilda Joslyn Gage: The suffragist who defied the US government

Rod Charles: At Black Loyalist Heritage Centre, I Feel ‘I Am Being Called Home’

Zack Metcalfe: On Easterly Wind


Best Photo Series

Leigh McAdam: Burn and regrowth on a canoe trip in Woodland Caribou Provincial Park

Oksana St John: Moments from a Japanese Ryokan Retreat

Robin Karpan: Photographing Saskatchewan's Living Skies at Night

Roland Bastarache: The Daily Meet UP

Skylar Anderson: Northern Lights over Lake Ainslie, Cape Breton Island





Best Outdoor Adventure, Sport or Recreation Story

Jessica Lockhart: Bass Rocks

Jennifer Bain: Walking Canada’s Camino

Sandra Phinney: Seven Decades of Paddling in Nova Scotia

Suzanne Morphet: Snorkelling the Tip of the Iceberg 

Wing Sze Tang: The Grandest Adventure


Best Emerging & Broadcast Media: Stories UNDER 10-minutes in Length

Arienne Parzei: Top Things to do in Winnipeg in Winter

Lauren Yakiwchuk: France Canal Cruise: Our Luxury Barge Cruise in Burgundy

Skylar Anderson: Finding our Ancestry on our Irish Honeymoon

William Tang: Magic of Easter Island

William Tang: This is Patagonia



Ann Britton Campbell Family Travel Award

Sponsor: The Campbell Family in partnership with the BC & Yukon Chapter

Diane Selkirk: Travel With my Daughter
Jennifer Merrick: Kid's Obsessions Make Awesome Family Vacations
Robin Esrock: A Hands On Education in Churchill, Manitoba

Nathan Fong Memorial Award

Sponsor: The Fong family in partnership with the BC & Yukon Chapter

Bianca Bujan: Malaysian Chef Alex Chen Makes Vancouver's Michelin List
Carolyn Heller: On the Steveston Waterfront, a Thai Chef Blends Alchemy, Gastronomy, and Tradition
Lucas Aykroyd: A Chinese Tapestry

People’s Choice Photo of the Year

Diane Selkirk: Warmth in winter is found in the people of Quebec












Jennifer Bain: Leroy Glinton helps Blue Green Outdoors







Jenn Smith Nelson: Gary Dalvos slows hot air balloon







Tamara Elliott: Bill Gilbert, owner of Spirit Reins Ranch







Yashy Murphy: Ready to Ride?







TMAC Volunteer of the Year


Katie Conklin, Halifax
Erica Hargreave, Richmond
Diane Selkirk, Vancouver

TMAC Industry Member of the Year



Irene Knight, Ontario Science Centre
Nicole Ford, Rocky Mountaineer
Neil Hodge, Tourism New Brunswick

The winner of the Past Host Destination Award (Sudbury) will be revealed, along with all other winners, at the TMAC Awards Gala Dinner on June 15 in St John’s Newfoundland and Labrador.