March 2015 BCATW Buzz

BCATW 2015 Ecotourism Symposium

Jack Christie, suthor, broadcaster, and host, in the great outdoors at Sun Peaks in January 2004.The BC Association of Travel Writers has announced the main speakers for its upcoming 2015 Symposium – Ecotourism: Tread Softly, Write with Impact – scheduled for April 18, 2015.

Our keynote speaker is noted outdoors Vancouver journalist and author Jack Christie, one of Canada’s most trusted sources on travel, recreation and sport.

The photography speaker will be David Smith freelance travel photographer, writer, blogger and keynote speaker speaking on Creating Travel Images for Impact and Ecotourism.

David SmithThe program features two panel discussions. One will include a cross section of editorial representatives to discuss ways to get your stories published. The second panel of industry experts will be discussing future trends and challenges. Panel members are still being recruited so stay tuned for an update

We’ll have Photo Contest: Visions of Ecotourism where attendees may enter up to 2 images. Prize winners will be announced at the symposium and must be in attendance to accept their prize.

First Prize – one night stay at Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Resort & Spa.

The Contest begins on February 25 and ends at midnight on April 17, 2015.

See details at:

A Grand Prize Draw will give one lucky writer a 6-day kayak tour in the Great Bear Rainforest with Mothership Adventures aboard the historic Columbia III.

Please register for BCATW 2015 now!

2015 Symposium Fees

Please promote the symposium to your non-member friends by posting about it on social media. You may use this banner, which is linked to the event page:


And for twitter, we have a couple of sample tweets you can use:

Register for @bctravelwriters #Ecotourism Symposium Apr 18, w/ author Jack Christie #bcatw2015 #travel #vancouver

Register for @bctravelwriters #Ecotourism Symp Apr 18, w/ David Smith @InterfaceImages #bcatw2015 #travel #vancouver

See you at the symposium!

From Treasurer Karoline Cullen

For those who have renewed their dues and would like a new photo on their press cards, please send in the next two weeks one with 600 px on the long side to

New press cards will be handed out at the Symposium, so we’ll see you there!

March BCATW Meetup

Eat My Words: an evening with Eric Pateman
Monday, March 9, 5:00 PM Edible Canada Bistro
$35.00 per person

Come and join Edible Canada President, Eric Pateman, for an informal evening as he discusses the success of Edible Canada and its mission to create a national food community and to define Canadian cuisine.

Eric has incorporated a passion for writing and travel with his entrepreneurial aspirations, and will give us tips on how to properly write about the food scene as well as sharing how his drive has led to Edible Canada being named to Profit Magazine’s Fastest Growing Companies list, not once, but twice in the last 3 years!

To secure your seat, this BCATW Meetup requires advance payment of $10.60 per person for both members and non-members. The balance of $25 will be charged at the dinner. Cancellations and refunds will be allowed up to 5 days prior, but not after.

Media Member News

Speaking of Meetups, event producer, blogger, and passionate family traveler Ricky Shetty is holding his next YVR Bloggers event on Thursday, March 19, 2015 from 7-9 pm at Jambo Grill. Appetizers will be provided along with a keynote speech about how to make money through membership sites. YVR Bloggers is a community of 2000+ Vancouver bloggers which includes travel bloggers and travel writers. We look forward to seeing BCATW members at YVR Bloggers for our March Meetup.

Michael DeFreitas recently won a number of 2014 NATJA writing and photography awards including: Gold: Travel Tips & Advice writing award: “Ten Top Travel Tips,” for PhotoNews Magazine Finalist: Travel Tips & Advice writing award: “Go Wide” for PhotoNews Magazine Gold: Landscape photography award: “Go Wide” for PhotoNews Magazine Gold: People Portrait photography award: “The Rule of Thirds,” for Just for Canadian Dentists Magazine  Bronze: Overall Excellence in photography: “Go Wide” for PhotoNews Magazine Finalist: Overall Excellence in photography: “Ten Top Travel Tips,” for PhotoNews Magazine.

Carol Ann Quibell is thrilled to have her piece “Experience the Beauty of Southern Vancouver Island” accepted by Escapees Magazine for their May/June edition. RVWest has agreed to accept her agri-tourism pieces for their print magazine coming out in April.  She says it’s nice to be busy!

Batu Caves
Irene Butler
and her husband Rick have been soaking up the vibes of Kuala Lumpur Malaysia during the past month. Always on the alert for unique cultural experiences, on this Malaysia visit they happened upon such an event – the Thaipusam Hindu Religious Festival at Batu Caves with its body-piercing and “kavadi” carrying devotees. Climbing the 272 steps to the temple caves with the masses was unforgettable.

Darlene Foster continues to explore Spain, taking in medieval markets and even a Chinese New Year´s parade and performance. Her article on The Moorish Village of Istan was featured in the February issue of Travel Thru History. She is sorry to malexanderiss this years symposium as it looks fabulous.

Ruth Kozak will be offering a 5 week TRAVEL WRITING COURSE at her home from March 3 – 31  Learn all the basics you need to know to get a story published.  $50.00. A couple of spaces are still available. Phone 604-254-9711 or email

Ruth recently had an article about Thessalonika, Greece published in EuropeUpClose   She’s been really busy lately doing book promo and readings of her novel SHADOW OF THE LION: BLOOD ON THE MOON.

Kami Kanetsuka’s short story ‘What Am I Doing Here,’ about her trip to Nagaland, India, has been accepted for a book titled “This Place A Stranger” — Canadian Women Travelling Alone, to be published by Caitlin Press in the spring.

create a wordpress websiteMari Kane‘ newly updated ebook, Create a WordPress Website in Ten Easy Steps, is available now at This edition is fully interactive and explains everything an entrepreneur must to do to build a web site – fast and without knowing code.

Mari would love for BCATW members to download the book, currently priced at $1.24 CND and review it on Amazon. Anyone who has published an ebook on Amazon knows how important those reviews are, so please give it a boost!

Last December, Jett & Kathryn Britnell had their Christmas story, Feliz Navidad From Isla Cozumel published in TRAVEL THRU HISTORY. Their story, Fish Photography Quick Start: Ten Tips For Mastering The Ultimate Undersea Skill, was published in the February edition of Scuba H2O Magazine. Jett also was a featured guest speaker for the British Columbia branch of the Professional Photographers of Canada where he gave an evening presentation, A Life In The Depths.

Oceanic Whitetip Shark & Underwater Photographer

Randi Winter has been very busy developing new Industry Partnerships for BCATW and the upcoming Symposium. She has also become the liaison for BCATW and Luxe Beat Magazine, one of our new partners with opportunities for participating in a column, individual content and radio show. There may also be additional publishing opportunities. She met with the editor and other future partners during her recent visit to NY. Randi has also been a contributing writer for the inaugural issue of Modern Working Woman for a book review of one of our members, Marilyn R Wilson’s book Outside the Box. She is very proud to have been named one of the Global Ambassadors for the eTN network of travel news. She continues to be a featured contributor in Hello Vancity ezine. Her appointment to the National Leadership Council of CHW will take her to Montreal in March and Israel in April to hopefully provide much new inspiration for new content to drive to these various outlets.

A Brief Aside

Amsterdam Moment
by John Thomson

“They’re pests,” said my Amsterdam taxi driver as we approached a swarm of cyclists crowding the intersection.

There are a million bicycles in the Dutch capital, the most bike friendly city in the world, where cyclists and motorists get along in perfect harmony. At least that’s the perception.

True, the city has embraced bicycles and we’re not just talking bike paths; we’re talking dedicated bike lanes between the sidewalk and the roadway. One-third of the working population ride to work. Cyclists, on occasion, even have their own traffic lights. Cyclists may be tolerated, indeed encouraged, but according to my taxi driver, they have also become entitled.

“They sail through the intersections and bump into my cab. And when they crash, they don’t stop,” he lamented. “They think they own the road.”

Amsterdam BikesSound familiar Vancouver? Travel may broaden the mind but it underscores commonalities as well.

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