Weather Anchor / Reporter & Professional Speaker / Author, WTTG-Fox5 DC & Gwen Tolbart LLC, Washington, D.C. Born: Montreal, QC.
Gwen Tolbart is a successful, Emmy Award-winning and five-time Emmy-nominated television broadcaster, professional speaker and author. She holds a BA in Journalism from Montreal’s Concordia University and is a Social Science graduate of Dawson College in Montreal.
Her background includes working as an Assistant Campus Director at Dawson College in Montreal and co-owner of Tolana Productions, a fashion and entertainment company. Gwen’s career in front of the camera began with her work as a television and film actress, working with such talents as Dan Aykroyd, Lee Majors, Shelley Winters, Robert Mitchum, Montel Williams, Jim Mitchum, Robert Carradine, Alan Thicke, Dolf Lundgren, and many more. She also had a recurring role as a teacher in the Canadian television series, Degrassi High.
A third-generation born Canadian, Gwen started her broadcast career as host of Black Is, a news magazine program in Montreal produced by the Black Community Communications Media. She moved on to national exposure as the first African-Canadian on Canada’s Weather Network as a Weathercaster and News Anchor of the station’s Earth Watch” news segment. At CFCF-12 in Montreal, Gwen had another first – she became the first African-Canadian to be a regular part of the CFCF-12 newscasts as a Weather Anchor and was one of the station’s hosts of Travel, Travel, a syndicated travel show shot on location. She was also added as a reporter on Fighting Back, a consumer-oriented show.
From there, Gwen made her way south to KTVT-CBS 11 in Dallas, Texas. Over her five years at KTVT she worked as a Weather Anchor, Feature Reporter and host of the station’s live audience talk show, Positively Texas. She then went east and since 2002 has been a Weather Anchor and Reporter at WTTG-Fox5 in Washington, D.C., where she also runs her own professional speaking business and works as a motivational and keynote speaker for all ages.
Gwen’s strong community commitment, years of reinforcing positive direction and interest in youth over the years has led her to be actively involved. In Montreal, she founded and financed Positive Images, a mentor program for adolescent inner-city girls and arranged for them to meet the late Coretta Scott King. In Dallas, she helped set up mentor programs and workshops for at-risk girls and single teen mothers and tutored elementary school children. Since being in Washington, D.C., Gwen has worked with the Empower Program Inc., which teaches teen girls non-violent conflict resolution and with New Endeavors By Women, a D.C. organization that supports homeless women. She also sits on the Board of Directors of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, on Our House, a residential program for at-risk adolescent males, and is regularly called upon to speak to groups of all ages.
Honours: “Woman of Distinction Award” (Texas) with official commendations from the Governor of Texas, Texas State Representative and the United States Congress (2002); official recognition from the Nova Scotia House of Assembly, Government of Canada (2002); the prestigious National Association of Black Journalists’ “National Community Service Award” – an honour given to only one of their 3000 membership annually (1998); the Empower Program “Voices Against Violence Award”, Washington, D.C. (2004); Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. “Woman of the Year Award”, Washington, D.C. (2005); “New Endeavors For Women Award”, Washington, D.C. (2009); “Education & Entertainment Award”, IBPOE Elks, Montreal (1997 ); “Best Media Person of The Year”, Creative Social Services, Dallas, TX (2000); “Personal Achievement Award” Community Coalition, Mayflower Association of Nova Scotia (1996); Emmy Award KTVT CBS-11 (1999); 5 television Emmy nominations, WTTG-Fox5 DC (2003, 2004, 2009) and (two for 2006); “Associated Press Outstanding Weathercast”” Award, WTTG-Fox5 (2006 & 2009); National Association of Black Journalist Awards include: NABJ Best On-Air Performance (2002); NABJ Best Anchor, Weather (2001); NABJ Best Anchor News (2001); NABJ Award, Weather (2000); NABJ Award Anchor (2000); NABJ Award, Interview/Host Talk Show (2000).
Gwen has several other outstanding achievements including, being profiled in the 2009 inaugural edition of Who’s Who in Black Washington; The Spectator, Nova Scotia; The Montreal Gazette; Trend Magazine, Concordia Alumni Magazine, Montreal. She has been pictured in Jet Magazine (August 1998), and is listed as Famous Concordia Alumni, Concordia University, Montreal. She was selected by Concordia University (Montreal) for a city-wide role model image campaign for two consecutive years (1997 & 1998).
Affiliations: Sits on the Board of Directors of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and on Our House, a residential program for at-risk adolescent males; member of The National Association of Black Journalists; the Washington Association of Black Journalists; The American Federation of Television & Radio Artists; the Alliance Of Canadian and Radio Artists; The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences – Capital Chapter and Women In Film & Video.
Favourite quotes? 1) “Life is too short to be unhappy.” 2) “A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove….but the world may be different because I was important in the life of child.”
Given the chance, what would you love to do that you haven’t done yet? I have done some great traveling to many countries but I would like to be able to see the rest of the world.
Who inspires you? Anyone who realizes just how wonderful life can be and what it offers to all us on in a positive way.
Why do you do what you do? I do what I do because I love communicating with people. I love being able to meet new people and to propel our communities and youth in positive directions.