Joanne Vrakas has worked in the Montreal broadcast industry for a decade, most recently reporting on a wide range of local news stories for CBC News Montreal.
Throughout her career she has interviewed leading politicians and A-list celebrities including Amy Winehouse, Lady Gaga, and the late Jack Layton. Vrakas hails from Outremont, and graduated from L’Université du Québec a Montréal with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.
Fage is no stranger to Montreal audiences, acting as Breakfast Television’s guest co-host this past year. With over 25 years of experience in the entertainment industry, Fage has been charming audiences both on and off camera, starring in a number of independent films and live theatre performances. Most recently, Fage was the host and producer of daytime Ottawa on Rogers TV.
Weather and Traffic Specialist
Delivering Breakfast Television’s daily dose of traffic and weather is the always outgoing Catherine Verdon-Diamond.
Born in Montreal, the ambitious Verdon-Diamond grew up overseas, living in Egypt for three years before relocating to Israel for the next four years. Throughout her schooling in Israel, Verdon-Diamond regularly travelled to countries such as Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands to compete in various sports tournaments.
She returned to Montreal in 1994, where she later studied Social Science at Dawson College and Mathematics at Concordia University. In 2012, while working at CBC Montreal behind the scenes, Verdon-Diamond was offered the opportunity to present weather on the 11pm newscast. Just seven months after starting her on-air career, Catherine joined the new team at City Montreal.
Catherine currently lives in Laval with her husband and two sons, and dedicates her spare time coaching her sons’ soccer team and volunteering at their school.
New Media Commentator
With the latest from the world of technology and social media, Elias Makos will keep Breakfast Television (or as he likes to call it, #BTMTL) viewers up-to-date with what’s trending and happening online.
Born and raised in Côte-des-Neiges, Elias now lives in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. He holds a BA in Journalism from Concordia University, and worked for seven years in Concordia’s journalism department as a full-time instructor and part-time faculty member.
Before coming to BT, Elias spent six years as a regular contributor to CTV Montreal, appearing as the station’s Technology and Trends columnist and as a freelance reporter. Elias also contributed to CTV News Channel’s Express. Elias is a regular contributor to CBC Montreal’s Homerun radio show, and also does work for CBC radio’s national syndication service.
Previously, he spent three years as the media relations coordinator of Major League Baseball’s now-defunct Montreal Expos. During the 2004 baseball season, he joined Expos’ play-by-play man Elliott Price in the broadcast booth for four games. Elias also worked for the National Hockey League’s Montreal Canadiens from 2002 to 2011.
Elias is the proud owner of a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever named Otis.
Born and raised in St. Leonard, Laura Casella dreamed of being on television from a very young age. She began her broadcasting career in 2007 as a freelance reporter and overnight newscaster at CJAD 800 where she quickly moved up the ranks to produce the Tommy Schnurmacher Show. In 2011, she was hired to be the station’s morning reporter and also worked as a freelance reporter for CTV Montreal.
Throughout her career, Laura has covered a wide range of local and international stories, from protests against the Montreal Canadiens’ Anglophone head coach controversy to language tensions raised by the election of the Parti Québécois. Laura also made her mark reporting from the front lines of the heated Quebec student protests over tuition increases, and most recently covered the papal conclave from Rome for CJAD 800 and other news/talk radio stations across Canada.
As a second-generation Italian-Canadian, Laura is proud of her roots. Most recently, she appeared on the cover of PanoramItalia, an Italian-Canadian cultural magazine based in Montreal. She has also contributed to the magazine as a writer for several years.
Laura joins the BT Montreal team as news reporter. From early morning fires, to murder investigations, and multi-car pile-ups, Laura gives viewers a first glance at the top news stories making headlines in and around the city.
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, 2007- Broadcast Major- Concordia University
Domenic has worked in Montreal’s TV news industry for more than 15 years.
He’s credited with breaking several big stories.
In 2006, he confronted Karla Homolka outside her Montreal home after her release from prison.
In 2015, he spoke with the son of Hells Angels’ boss Maurice “Mom” Boucher when he was on the lam.
Some of his stories have even helped bring missing children home.
Domenic has served as a reporter and producer with Global-TV, CBC’s “Hockey Night In Canada”, Sportsnet, TSN and PBS.
Have a news tip? Send it to Domenic.Fazioli@city.rogers.com