July 2016 BCATW Buzz

From our President

Ruth at Canadian InstituteHappy Canada Day! Now that it’s summer, many of us will be heading off for some new adventures. Enjoy yourselves, travel safe, take lots of photos and remember to always been looking for angles for those great travel stories! I’ll be on the road from September 4 to October 20, island hopping mostly for the Greek Islands ebook I’m doing for Hunter Publisher. 

Kalo taxidi everyone and enjoy every minute of your holidays!

Your travel-bug president,
Ruth Kozak

Blog Contest Winners

The judgement is in and we have our winners of the 2016 Symposium Blog Contest! They are:

1st Place – Mari Kane for How Travel Writers Face New Realities of Print vs Digital Markets on BlogsiteStudio.com, May 18, 2016.

2nd Place – Joan Boxall for British Columbia: Too Beautiful for Words,

Honorable Mention – Melanie Ferguson for The Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in New Westminster on PostcardsandPlaces.com, April 17, 2016

Congratulations to the winners!

In making her decision, judge Bonnie Sainsbury said, “I took into consideration – readability ( the content), formatting – how easy was it to read on mobile? Did the content hold my interest? Is it easy to find more information? Was there sufficient information about the author?” And she added, “I liked the Lacrosse article but thought it was a bit short.

In acceptance of her award, Mari Kane had this to say:

While I’m happy to win the zip line experience in Whistler, I feel like my win was too easy. There were only three entries! With those odds, I’m surprised more of our members didn’t enter. I really hope that next year more members enter the Blog Contest.”


New Member Spotlight: Lindsay Nieminen

Lindsay Nieminen Travel Writer Carpe Diem OUR Way Family Travel BlogLindsay Nieminen is the Editor and Head Writer of Carpe Diem OUR Way – Family Travel Blog. She wears many hats including mom, wife, freelancer, GM for a manufacturing company and soccer player. Lindsay is spontaneous, loves travel, photography and sharing her travel stories. Carpe Diem OUR Way is Lindsay’s way to share travel tips, destination information, and travel inspiration for families. Her posts aim to make travel as “pain-free” as possible for parents and to show them that they shouldn’t fear traveling with their children, they should jump in with two feet forward and reap the benefits of the amazing experiences it can provide!

Lindsay’s freelance writing can be seen in Urban Baby and Toddler Magazine, a print magazine distributed in British Columbia and Washington State.


Media Member News

Darlene Foster is enjoying life in Spain and loves the close proximity of other interesting destinations. She recently visited the Netherlands, exploring historic Amsterdam, the amazing spring flowers at Keukenhof, the Dutch countryside and Ootmarsum, an artists town. You can read about her travels on her blog

Madonna of the Letter

christina newberryDarlene’s story abut Messina, Sicily, Our Lady of the Letter, has been featured in Travels Thru History  Her next travel adventure novel, Amanda on the Danube – The Sounds of Music will be released October 1, 2016.  When not travelling and soaking up the sun, Darlene keeps busy by writing more Amanda stories. 

Christina Newberry’s PAX Magazine story “Where the Wild Things Are” received an Outstanding Achievement Award in the Environmental/Responsible Tourism Feature category at the 2015 Travel Media Association of Canada (TMAC) awards presented June 25. 

Cherie Thiessen has stories in the current summer issue of B.C. Magazine (Zeballos), Pacific Yachting Magazine (roundup on the Gulf Island’s best places to shop), Aqua Magazine’s June/July issue on Mayne Island writers, Bodega North on Galiano and Slow Coast on Pender and Namibia Tented Safari for Canadian Traveller.

Four of Irene Butler’s articles and her husband Rick’s pics were published on “What Travel Writers Say,” an E-Zine that encompasses the aspects of a location by videos. Foz do Iguacu & Iguacu FallsSurf, Sites and Samba in Rio de JaneiroRio de Janeiro’s Rocinha FavelaSpirited Sao Paulo

Rocinha Favela in Rio de Janeiro

Irene and Rick are about to make their way through the last six European countries they have as yet not visited, and will have two months to delve into the cultures/sights/cuisine.

Summer2016-cover-494x640New BCATW member Dave Smith is Editor of and a contributor to What’s Brewing magazine, known as the Journal of BC’s Craft Beer Movement. Craft beer has lately gained mainstream interest, and craft beer tourism–a subset of culinary tourism–is now a popular pastime. A beer enthusiast and Cascadian beer traveller since the late 1990s, Dave is a natural craft beer tourism advocate.

In June 2016 What’s Brewing magazine featured BC craft beer tourism front and centre with the theme Staycation BC: The Travel Issue. Under Dave’s direction, contributors submitted stories related to BC craft beer tourism. Dave and his wife Ivana – who travel the Cascadian region in search of craft beer and capture their adventures as the writing duo BeerSeekers – provided a feature on the Coast Island Ale Trail. Dave also contributed profiles of Powell River’s Chloe Smith and Vancouver Island’s Cumberland Brewing. The magazine cover features custom photography shot in the Okanagan by BCATW member Brian K. Smith, who collaborates with Dave on all What’s Brewing covers.

Julie H. Ferguson has been asked by several BCATW members why she has not been participating and decided it was time to explain. She has been unable to do so since November 2014 because of a vestibular disorder that delivers severe attacks of vertigo and poor balance. Some are so bad she has to go to Emergency for treatment. Then in January 2016 Julie lost her husband suddenly, though not unexpectedly, at a young age — he was sixty-eight. All this has meant she has been unable to travel and has lost all but one faithful editor. However, she is still enjoying the travel business from the other side!

Bkfst-lvg 2016-001

The breakfast/living room of Julie’s Airbnb suite in Port Moody. © Photos by Pharos 2016

She is running an Airbnb suite in her large townhome in Port Moody and loves meeting her guests from around the world. Julie pampers them just as she has appreciated being spoiled on her own travels.

Industry Member News

BESTWAY TOURS & SAFARIS, BC’s most experienced tour operator, has extended its SVT brand of tours to the region of Central and Eastern Europe. SVT tours are specially designed tours that offer an excellent value for money.

“Having successfully negotiated specially discounted rates with various suppliers in Central and Eastern Europe, we have extended our SVT concept to this region” says Mahmood Poonja, Chief Explorer at Bestway Tours & Safaris. Central and Eastern Europe offers some of the most historical and cultural attractions with a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These special rates will be used for both scheduled and customized tours to the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, Budapest, Poland and the Baltic countries of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Bestway Tours is very excited at this new and major development. Go to the Bestway website or email them. 

This July 13th and 14th, CedarCreek is excited to welcome three time Juno Award-winner, singer-songwriter and guitarist, Kim Mitchell to perform at the TELUS Sunset Concert Series. Kim has achieved gold and multiplatinum sales and sold over 1.5 million recordings. His classic hits like “Go for Soda” and “Patio Lanterns” have become part of the Canadian musical landscape.

This is a charity event and proceeds will be donated to the Rotary Centre for the Arts. Tickets $99 + applicable tax. Doors: 6:30 p.m. Concert at 7:15 p.m. Purchase tickets now.

Upcoming Meetups

YVR Bloggers and Travelers

Still looking to connect and get inspired to work on your travel blog this summer? Come and join BCATW member Ricky Shetty at YVR Bloggers and YVR Travellers this July!

On Tuesday, July 12, 2016 come to YVR Bloggers at The Microsoft Store and learn how to “Make Money through Blogging, Podcasting, and YouTube Videos” and connect with fellow Vancouver bloggers.

On Thursday, July 14, 2016 come to YVR Travellers at Cranium HQ and learn “How to Travel for 18 months as a Travel Blogger” and connect with fellow Vancouver travellers. 

RSVP now!

WordPress Workshop
Monday, July 11, 2016 –  to Big Rock Brewery

The Art of Search Engine Optimization with Daniel Moscovitch

Learn about Search Engine Optimization from internet mastermind, Daniel Moscovitch who will paint a picture of the latest SEO techniques and how you can implement them on your WordPress site. Apart from proper on-page optimization, he will also discuss how Google really works and what you need to know to give your site a boost in the rankings. Also: Proper On-Page Optimization and Setup, Schema Markup and Other Plugins, Basic Offpage Linkbuilding

RSVP now before this Meetup sells out!

If you have an idea for a BCATW Meetup or would like to present on a topic of interest to members, please email BCATW.

“When overseas you learn more about your own country than you do the place you’re visiting.”
– Clint Borgen

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