After a 17-year career in television, Elysia Bryan-Baynes is calling it quits. The Carleton University graduate has no immediate plans for the future but plans to divide her time between her native Montreal and the Caribbean.
Born and raised in Pierrefonds, Bryan-Baynes graduated from Royal West Academy in 1998 and then headed off to Ottawa to study law and communications.
Alexandra Henderson, vice-president of the local news division with Corus Entertainment, remembers first meeting Bryan-Baynes when she was still a high school student involved in an internship program at the Bank of Montreal. Henderson remembers that even as a teenager Bryan-Baynes had a different perspective on things.
“The thing that I’ve always loved about Elysia as a journalist and as a person is her ability to always see things from another perspective,” said Henderson.
As a teenager, Bryan-Baynes was the recipient of the Black Theatre Workshop’s Victor Philipps Award for talented black youth.
After working her way up through the ranks of the television newsroom as a researcher, line-up editor, field producer and reporter, Bryan-Baynes eventually spent two years reporting on Quebec politics at the National Assembly. Then, in 2013, she was named anchor of the Global News 11 p.m. local newscast, the first black Montrealer to anchor a newscast on a full-time basis.
Fellow West Islander Yolande James remembers when Bryan-Baynes began reporting from Quebec City.
“To see her in Quebec City was a sense of pride not only because I knew her, she was one of us from the West Island, but also because she was a strong woman, a strong black woman,” she said.
On Friday, the Global Montreal newsroom celebrated her career on and off the air, beginning with Global Montreal Morning News. This week’s edition of Focus Montreal will also feature anchor Andrea Howick interviewing Bryan-Baynes.
You can catch Focus Montreal on Feb. 1 at 5:30 p.m. or Sunday, Feb. 2 at 7:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.