TMAC 2016 Photography Awards

To view the TMAC 2016 Photography Awards, click here.

Best Spirit of Canada Feature • First Place

Category Sponsor: 
Travel Yukon
Award Winner: 
Sandra Phinney


Port Medway—a small village with a big heart (but not for everybody)

I’m not regular churchgoer, but if the timing is right when I travel, I like to attend a Sunday service. It’s a great way to get a sense for community and catch a glimpse of the folks who live there. I’m also partial to hymn sings — especially when no one seems to care whether I can carry a tune or not.  

So it was that I recently found myself walking into the Baptist church in Port Medway. As I crossed the threshold, a chap handed me the day’s bulletin, saying, “We stole this from another church...

Best Spirit of Canada Feature • Second Place

Category Sponsor: 
Travel Yukon
Award Winner: 
Mark Stevens


SAILING TO GOD’S ISLAND

We’re skimming the waters of Frazer Bay in Ontario’s Georgian Bay in a forty-nine-foot sailboat named “Summer Breeze”.

The quartzite LaCloche Mountains, their rugged slopes white as a February snowfall in the afternoon sun, reach skyward off our starboard quarter. Far astern we can see Killarney Provincial Park and Baie Fine.  Royal blue decorates the bay, mirroring the sky but for whitecaps scattered like lace collars across its wind-riffled surface.

Those landmarks inspired numerous paintings of the Group of Seven. No surprise there:...

Best Spirit of Canada Feature • Honorable Mention

Category Sponsor: 
Travel Yukon
Award Winner: 
Josephine Matyas


Yukon cold spell

IF CARS COULD SKATE, I am certain our SUV would have done Lutz jumps and half-Axels all the way up the Klondike Highway. It’s a storied route, well travelled in the summertime by nature enthusiasts, scanning the roadside for bears foraging for berries or horsetail. In the months when the sunshine finally warms the soil, the ditches are painted a bright purple with Fireweed, the Yukon’s territorial flower.

In the dead of winter, not so much.

It’s a six-hour journey of snow and ice, ice and snow. We met few other vehicles and passed through a...

Best Service Feature • First Place

Category Sponsor: 
Travel Media Association of Canada
Award Winner: 
Lisa Monforton


Living on Cuban time: Island has its charms, challenges and breathtaking beaches

"No problem," our taxi driver Rodolfo says cheerfully and as he pulls the 1981 Lada we're riding in to the side of the road. The sputtering and clanging is just another unholy sound coming from the belching rattletrap of a car - seemingly held together with Bondo and wire.

Holding up his index finger, he gestures and says, "un minuto," and grabs a pair of blue mechanics' coveralls from the trunk to put over his clean clothes.

My husband and I look at each other a little amused -...

Best Service Feature • Second Place

Category Sponsor: 
Travel Media Association of Canada
Award Winner: 
Tamara Elliot


Secret tricks and tips for booking Aeroplan rewards

If you’ve ever signed up for an Aeroplan card, chances are you have a love-hate relationship with the popular rewards program. On one hand it’s easy to rack up the points thanks to credit card sign-ups and bonuses on everything from gas to drug store purchases, and you can earn also points by travelling with any of their Star Alliance counterparts.

But when it comes time to use all those hard-earned points…that’s when things usually go south. Here are some secret tricks for booking Aeroplan rewards, that will have...

Best Service Feature • Honourable Mention

Category Sponsor: 
Travel Media Association of Canada
Award Winner: 
Tamara Elliot


The ultimate list of aprés-ski spots in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains

Gliding through fresh powder, inhaling crisp mountain air and soaking in epic views from the top of a peak are par for the course at the world-famous ski resorts in Alberta, Canada. It’s no wonder the Rocky Mountains attract adventure seekers from around the world, even luring Europeans away from their own grand ranges to tackle our scenic and sometimes challenging trails.

But let’s be honest. As fun as a day of making fresh tracks is, many of us unapologetically look forward to the aprés-ski part even...

Best Outdoors/Adventure Feature - First Place

Category Sponsor: 
Ontario Parks
Award Winner: 
Colleen Friesen


Cycling Among the Mennonites

It’s not often you find yourself sitting in a Mennonite’s horse-drawn buggy. But here I was, snuggled under a dark-green fleecy blanket beside the bonnet-wearing, buggy-driving 67-year-old Viola Brubacher. Although it was only a short distance away, my bicycle, left back on the Brubacher farm, felt like something from a different life.

The sliding side doors of the buggy had large windows. Combined with the wide windshield in front of us, we were looking at a panoramic view of Ontario’s countryside. Straight roads sliced through dying corn...

Best Outdoors/Adventure Feature - Second Place

Category Sponsor: 
Ontario Parks
Award Winner: 
Jenn Smith-Nelson


Adventure travel: petting wolves at Quebec's Parc Mahikan

Is it crazy to want to kiss a wolf?

I have no fear as I enter the enclosure; I've been waiting for this moment for most of my life.

Created in 2009 by Gilles Granal, a Frenchman who raises sled dogs, Parc Mahikan (Cree for "wolf") is an eco-adventure park in the Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean region of Quebec, in Canada, that offers a unique experience: interaction with wolves.

"I think all people who have sled dogs love wolves. It's a mysterious animal," says Granal, who, with his tattoos of the animal and...

Best French Language Feature - First Place

Category Sponsor: 
Parks Canada
Award Winner: 
Aurélie Resch


Les sentinelles du Pacifique

J'ai 4 ans. Je regarde fixement la bougie que je viens de demouler avec ma mere. Elle a un facies impressionnant. Un visage tout en longueur, le nez plongeant, les traits.denues d'expression. «On trouve ces statues de visages dans une ile tres loin, perdue au milieu du Pacifique. L'ile de Paques.» Je n'ai pas allume cette bougie. Je l'ai regardee. Encore et encore. 40 ansa pres, je fixe les Moal epars devant moi, sur «le nombril du Pacifique». Rapa Nui pour les natifs, l'Ile de Paques pour les Occidentaux. Un caillou a quelque 3 700 km.

«...

Best Food and Drink Feature - First Place

Category Sponsor: 
Cayman Islands
Award Winner: 
Cinda Chavich


SEAWEED SEASON

Sea vegetables are among the most nutritious plants on earth – and we are literally swimming in the stuff.

Go out to almost any island beach at low tide and you’ll see electric green sea lettuce and dark purple laver clinging to the rocks, fronds of frilly brown alaria (a.k.a. wakame), and salty sea asparagus at the high water line. Vast forests of kelp shelter small fish and other ocean life just off shore, and their wide flat blades and bulbous floats are often found washed up on the sand after a storm.

For the uninitiated, it can all seem like...

Best Food and Drink Feature - Second Place

Category Sponsor: 
Cayman Islands
Award Winner: 
Darcy Ryhno


A Fairytale About Nova Scotia Wine 

Alanna McIntyre leads a kind of fairytale life for grownups. The 30-something sommelier and mother of two works at Bishop’s Cellar, a private wine store in Halifax where she faithfully tastes all the wine she helps import from around the world. And that’s just the beginning of her enviable lifestyle, one intricately bound with the story of Nova Scotia wine. 

I am standing on a rise in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley near Canning, the red mud flats of the Minas Basin beyond, the red cliffs of Cape Blomidon at my back. Between the two...

Best Food and Drink Feature - Honourable Mention

Category Sponsor: 
Cayman Islands
Award Winner: 
Darcy Ryhno


CHANTERELLES EARNS ITS NAME

Authenticity – and mushrooms – at this gem of a restaurant in Newfoundland

Bright orange chanterelle mushrooms seem to light the shaded forest floor before me like the flames of a thousand candles. The trail up Burnt Hill, a 260-foot-high bump at the end of Norris Point, is littered with them. Norris Point a small seaside town surrounded by Gros Morne National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on Newfoundland’s western coast. I’m here for the views of the ancient mountains, the wilderness and the sea all around, so I didn’...

Best Family Feature • First Place

Category Sponsor: 
Chelsea Hotel
Award Winner: 
Heather Greewnwood-Davis


Freedom in California's Fern Canyon

The most breathtaking escape in California is the great outdoors.

My son Cameron, 11, is and has always been a mover.

If there’s a log, he’ll jump on it; a couch, he’ll climb it; a puddle, he’ll be happy to splash around.

In our suburban neighborhood the opportunities for that are fewer than they were when I was a kid. While recess offers a bit of an outlet for all that tween energy, it never seems to be enough. So you can imagine the joy that flooded Cameron’s face when I set him free during a trip to...

Best Family Feature • Second Place

Category Sponsor: 
Chelsea Hotel
Award Winner: 
Lisa Kadane


Travelling with my autistic son is both fantastic and formidable

I knew we were in trouble when a group descending the rain-forest trail we were struggling up were wearing helmets.

“It’s really steep and there are loose, falling rocks,” the guide explained, noting our bare heads.

Oops. We’d also forgotten to bring any snacks except for a half-eaten bag of tortilla chips, or an extra litre of water in what felt as though 40-degree heat. Our family jungle trek at Mayflower Bocawina National Park in Belize was threatening to turn into a major parenting fail....

Best Family Feature • Honourable Mention

Category Sponsor: 
Chelsea Hotel
Award Winner: 
Jennifer Merrick


A Wild Wizard Adventure at the Edison and Ford Winter Estates

How does a vacationing Canadian family find themselves in a classroom with 29 home-schooled Florida kids and a ‘Wild Wizard’?

It was the guilt.

We had misgivings about pulling our kids out of school for a week. But the lure of four extremely cheap last-minute tickets was too strong to resist. We allayed our pangs of conscience by telling ourselves that we weren’t just going to play on the beach, but seek out educational opportunities. It would be a learning experience.

Accordingly, on the...

Best Environmental & Responsible Tourism • First Place

Category Sponsor: 
Destination British Columbia
Award Winner: 
Jane Mundy


Vancouver volunteer uses past skills as a cook to assist refugees

When my friend Laurie Cooper asked if I’d consider volunteering at a refugee camp, I didn’t hesitate. I wanted to do something for the Syrian refugees coming to Vancouver, but I couldn’t offer accommodation or much money. It never occurred to me that I could help at a camp on Lesvos, Greece.

I’m not a medical professional, translator or house builder, but I had plenty of experience cooking in restaurants and had started my career, coincidentally, at Yanni’s Taverna on the Greek island of Ios. It was...

Best Environmental & Responsible Tourism • Second Place

Category Sponsor: 
Destination British Columbia
Award Winner: 
Carol Patterson


Turtles with jobs

I love turtles. Not the chocolate kind or the teenage-mutant characters made famous in the 1980s but the hard-shelled ballerinas of the ocean. I almost swallowed my snorkel the first time I saw a wild sea turtle. Watching colorful angelfish in Maui several years ago, a turtle larger than my suitcase floated into view. It gracefully maneuvered around snorkelers in its pursuit of seaweed, chunks of vegetation disappearing down its throat as excess water squirted out its nose.

Since that encounter I look for turtles whenever I'm at a coastal destination...

Best Cultural/Historical Feature • Honorable Mention

Category Sponsor: 
Quebec City Tourism
Award Winner: 
Anne Bokma


Salem: The Town that Paranoia Built

August 19, 1692. Rev. George Burroughs, a Harvard-trained minister, stands on a ladder perched against a tree in Salem, Massachusetts, with a noose around his neck. He begins to say the Lord’s Prayer in a strong sure voice. His very life depends on a perfect recitation since it’s believed that real witches are incapable of saying this prayer without making a mistake.

Burroughs gives a faultless delivery. The crowd begins murmuring in concern. Some are moved to tears. But Burroughs is hanged anyway. Another Puritan minister, Rev....

Best Cultural/Historical Feature • First Place

Category Sponsor: 
Quebec City Tourism
Award Winner: 
Anne Bokma

 

Salem: The Town That Paranoia Built

August 19, 1692. Rev. George Burroughs, a Harvard-trained minister, stands on a ladder perched against a tree in Salem, Massachusetts, with a noose around his neck. He begins to say the Lord’s Prayer in a strong sure voice. His very life depends on a perfect recitation since it’s believed that real witches are incapable of saying this prayer without making a mistake.

Burroughs gives a faultless delivery. The crowd begins murmuring in concern. Some are moved to tears. But Burroughs is hanged anyway. Another Puritan minister, Rev...

Best Cultural/Historical Feature • Second Place

Category Sponsor: 
Quebec City Tourism
Award Winner: 
Sandra Phinney


The birth of mighty micro-nation Outer Baldonia

In 1949, Russell Moore Arundel bought a three-acre island off the coast of southwest Nova Scotia called Outer Bald Island. When he later proceeded to create his own nation — The Principality of Outer Baldonia — things got interesting.

First, a little background

Outer Bald Island is part of the Tusket Islands. As the crow flies, this archipelago stretches about 32 kilometres from Robert’s Island off Yarmouth to Seal Island off Shag Harbour. 

Local lore says there are 365 islands, one for...