December 2014 BCATW Buzz

2014 – Year of Grand and Grumbling Achievements

President’s Report and AGM Spotlight

Our grand year began with a successful Symposium. I initially grumbled about its continuance, but was pleasantly surprised by its success. For this, we need to thank Ruth and her inspired and hard-working symposium committee.

I supported the notion of Meet-Ups. This has been very successful due to the efforts of many of the same keeners. To me, Meet-ups fit perfectly with our Association’s goal of helping new writers, introducing potential new members to our group, and allowing long time members an opportunity to hone some new millennium skills!

I groaned about the lack member participation, yet at our AGM I felt warm and fuzzy about several members who have stepped up to take on new responsibilities. 

Thanks Ruth Kozak for leading us into 2015-2016 as President, Baila Lazarus as Vice President, Peppa Martin and John Geary as Members at Large, and Sandra Salovitz as Industry Representative. Deb Walker and Megan Kennedy will assist our one Director of Communications, Mari, and John Thomson will assist the Travel Industry and Marketing Director, Randi Winter.

Please do check out the 2014 BCATW AGM minutes to discover some of our other thoughtful developments.

-Rick Millikan


The BCATW board met on November 22 at the Mt Pleasant Community Center Library for an Annual General Meeting that was very well attended by 15 members.

Among the highlights:

Board Elections

President – Ruth Kozak
Vice President – Baila Lazarus
Members at Large – Peppa Martin and John Geary
Industry Representative – Sandra Sallovitz of Destinos Enterprises
2nd Director(s) of Communications – Deb Walker and Megan Kennedy
Director of Marketing and Travel Industry Liaison – Randy Winter, with new member John Thompson as assistant

2015 Symposium Committee

Chair – John Geary Correction: Mari Kane
Committee – Debra Walker, Joan Boxall, John Thomson, Sandra Sallovitz.

Photography by Kerri-Jo

Not the scene of the AGM, but a part of Kerri-Jo’s trip to Argentina


Mari Kane used the new projector to present a preview of the new Find a Writer directory at and took suggestions on its structure and design.

Kerri-Jo Stewart showed us images of her recent travels to Turkmenistan and Argentina and spoke about how to invest passionately in your subjects.

Sandra Sallovitz presented more of Kerri-Jo’s slides in her discussion about traveling and how to fully appreciate destinations and preserving your energy before, during and following the experience.

But that’s not all! You can read the official Meeting Minutes, which has been sent to you via email.

From your Treasurer

Karoline Cullen reminds us that membership fees for 2015 are due by January 15, 2015.

They can be paid:

a) $48.00 by cheque payable to BCATW and mailed to: K. Cullen – BCATW, 1153 56 Street, PO Box 19029, Delta, BC V4L 2P8

b) $50.00 via PayPal on the Payments page (there is a $2.00 PayPal fee).

A condition of full membership is the submission of proof of publication of three paid travel articles published in 2013 – 2014.

Please send your clips/tear sheets/links to both Chris Millikan  and Ruth Kozak.

An associate membership cannot be renewed, but is upgraded to full membership once evidence of one paid, published, travel piece work is submitted. For example, those new associate members who joined last May, pay your $48.00.

When you send your proof of publication of one paid travel article (you have until May 2015 to do so), your status is upgraded to full and a new press card is issued.

December Meetup Writers Directory Upload Party

mari kane,, Director of Communications

Mari Kane
Director of Communications
marikane (at)

An online directory is being installed on the BCATW web site and will require a small amount of work on the part of BCATW members to upload their directory listings.

At this Upload Party, BCATW Communications Director and Webmaster Mari Kane, will guide members on the process of creating a listing and finessing it to your satisfaction.

In addition to guiding the uploading of our listings, Mari will offer tips on how to blog on WordPress and how to contribute content to the site. After all, the more fresh content we publish, the more search engines will take notice of our site. Rising tide and all that…

Since this is a working online meetup, it will be held at the Oakridge Library, where the Wi-Fi will sustain us. We’ll work straight through with no official break, so please bring your own snacks.

Each participant is required to bring their own laptop or pad loaded with formatted images and text. A powerful battery is a plus in case we run short of outlets.

While this meetup is geared toward BCATW members, non-members are also invited to observe the process and learn best practices for working on a WordPress website.

BCATW members are Free, Non-members pay $10.

RSVP now at!

Projector for Rent

projector kitBCATW has purchased a projector and created a new benefit for BCATW members. You can rent it!

It’s an Epson SVGA 3LCD Data Projector that we got a deal on from Best Buy (thank you, Anne Shetty!) and comes with a cool Kensington Laser Presenter (clicker) with cursor control.

Additionally, BCATW has purchased a 9 foot HDMI cord so we can plug into our laptops from a distance. The kit come with projector remote, cords and extension cord contained in a handsome, two-wheeled attache case.

Acquired for use at our symposiums, meetups, and other meetings, BCATW is making this projector kit available to members to rent for their own presentations.

The low rental rate of $25 for 3 days is well below the going rate of $80 for a weekend or $40 daily, so you can save a bit by renting the BCATW projector.

To reserve the kit for your presentation, contact Mari Kane, who stores the projector in Vancouver near the Broadway/Cambie Canada Line.

Social Media Reminder

BCATW has an active Facebook page and if you are not part of it, you may be missing something. Our Facebook group, B.C. Assoc of Travel Writers posts up-to-the-minute alerts about travel opportunities, media events and other tips to boost our writing. You can also post promotions about your writing and business activities. If you are not part of the group, please ask for admittance. It was an open group until too many non-writers joined so now it’s closed. But we want to see you there!

Also, follow @bctravelwriters on Twitter and help us build our numbers there.

And if you are not a member of our Meetup group, you are seriously missing out. Please join us there!

Media Member News

Ruth Kozak has had a busy month with book readings from her novel one for the Spoken Ink series of Burnaby Writers, and an open mike reading for the Royal City Arts Awards in Richmond. She had a travel article published in Europe Up Close in November about Greek food. A special article was published in the Greek Reporter, a cross-Canada on-line publication about her novel SHADOW OF THE LION: BLOOD ON THE MOON.  The Greek Consul of Vancouver is sponsoring her book launch at the Hellenic Centre January 14, 7 pm.

Ruth would like to invite members and Associates of the BCTWA to submit stories to her on-line travel ‘zine TRAVEL THRU HISTORY. Please read the submission guidelines for categories. A modest remuneration is paid to contributors. TTH is widely read with contributors from all around the world including some seasoned travel journalists who have given it ‘thumbs up’ as one of the best on-line travel ‘zine sites.

Joan Boxall’s ‘Bayeux to the D-Day Beaches’ piece appears in December’s Travel Thru History, in which she pulls together a 2012 trip to Normandy with a 2014 visit to the D-Day museum in Portsmouth, UK.

Joan is in concert with Pandora’s Vox…for those who enjoy poetry & movement in song, her 25th year with the group.Christmas 2014 Concert post card for facebook

Darlene Foster has moved to Spain with her husband Paul. They spent the month of November exploring the Mediterranean coast from Alicante to Gibraltar, discovering many unique spots. You can read about her travels on her blog. To keep up to date with her Spanish escapades follow her other blog. Darlene´s article Peace and Tranquillity in Taos Pueblo was published in Travels Thru History this month . She sends congratulations to the new board of BCATW and wishes all the best to them and the members for a fabulous year ahead.


The white mountain village of Casares near the Costa del Sol in Spain

During the past month Irene Butler and her husband Rick have re-kindled their love of Athens, and after 16 years were once again gazing upon the wondrous ancient monuments and milling around this amazing city.

They moved on to Cyprus, and are now breezing around the island’s many archaeological sites, camera-captured flamingos on its salt lake, and soaking up the atmosphere of the famed divided capital of Nicosia, going from the Greek side to the Turkish side to see a grand Whirling Dervish performance. Watch for their Cyprus story on Global Trekkers India is next on their 9-month-journey of circumnavigating the globe.


Karoline Cullen sends an “Aloha” from Maui.

Julie H. Ferguson is enjoying a month off in Palm Springs! A “real” vacation with golf, good food, and wine. 🙂

Randi Winter is now a regular Contributor to Hello VanCity.

Industry Member News

The legendary Persian Gardens is the theme of Bestway Tours & Safaris new tour or May 2015. From legendary to modern Persian gardens, a heritage of nearly 3000 years, this tour focuses on the artistic and architectural traditions of Iran with a special emphasis on gardens. Led by garden and landscape expert Jill Cherry, we explore historical sites, palaces, mansions, mosques, museums and above all, the Persian gardens. As the ‘cradle of civilization’, Persia and modern-day Iran have much to excite the garden enthusiast and lover of the fine arts. Experience the gardens that inspired poets through the ages and that influenced the gardens of Mughal India, North Africa and Moorish Spain.

The 15-day land program starts on May 02, 2015 at Tehran and is priced at $4395 per person. Tour details available here. Bestway is known for its unique themed programs. For details contact Bestway Tours & Safaris at 604.264.7378/1.800.663.0844 or See Press Release.

Summer Dhillon of Slap Communications invites us to step back in time for an intimate dining experience at Rowena’s Inn on the River. “Fireside and candlelight’ is set in the Upper Drawing Room amidst 1920s décor and elegant touches. Effective December 18th, Rowena’s Inn is excited to evoke the nostalgia that has been dormant for almost 15 years.

To learn more, visit Rowena’s Inn on the River or stay connected on Facebook (/RowenasInnontheRiver) and Twitter and Instagram at (@RowenasInn) See Press Release.


Cheers and happy holidays to all our travel writers!

-Mari Kane

In both business and personal life, I’ve always found that travel inspires me more than anything else I do. Evidence of the languages, cultures, scenery, food, and design sensibilities that I discover all over the world can be found in every piece of my jewelry.

– Ivanka Trump


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