'We used to laugh every day': 20 years after leaving CBC, Vicki Gabereau still misses it

When Vicki Gabereau wrapped the last episode of her self-titled CBC Radio show 20 years ago, she knew she was leaving something special behind.

'We'd say every day to each other that this is the best job we're ever going to have'

After 22 years with CBC, Vicki Gabereau hosted her last show at Vancouver's Vogue theatre, with a few special guests. 3:33

When Vicki Gabereau wrapped the last episode of her self-titled CBC Radio show at Vancouver's Orpheum Theatre 20 years ago, she knew she was leaving something special behind.

"We'd say every day to each other, 'This is the best job we're ever going to have,' as we were in the studio," Gabereau said.

"Turns out we were right."

Despite the radio show ending two decades ago, Gabereau says she still misses it and even gets together with her former colleagues once a year. 

Humble beginnnings

Gabereau's success as a broadcaster was anything but pre-ordained.

Before taking her first radio job at a small station in Brampton, Ont., in 1975, she had worked as a waitress and a taxi driver, among other odd jobs.

It was a natural transition, however, for someone who grew up with family in the industry. 

"I was surrounded by journalists my whole life," she said, "'I know how to do this,' I kept saying."

Archival photo of Vicki Gabereau with Canadian comedian Don Harron, from early in her career with the CBC. (CBC Still Photo Collection)

It had been an even longer career at CBC for Gabereau, which saw her rise from a position as an archivist with CBC's Morningside to become the host of her own show.

Gabereau​'s finale in 1997 signaled the end of a 12-year run for the radio show. She left to host a daytime television talk show with CTV for eight seasons.

The mystery guest

Gabereau​ says the highlight of the live-broadcast finale of the radio show was a segment she specifically requested from her producers.

They blindfolded her, brought out a mystery guest, and had her ask the guest questions to figure out who it was.

She says she can't remember the man's name, but vividly remembers the end of the segment.

"Finally I said, 'What's the matter with you, are you deaf?' and he said, 'As a matter of fact, I am,'" she said.

"It was quite humiliating, and yet funny."

Leaving show business

Her show on CTV would prove to be her final job as a broadcaster. In 2005, she left show business for good.

"When I left television, I realized that most people look better in makeup. But other than that, I was happy to retire," she said.

Nowadays, Gabereau keeps busy running a shoe business with a friend on the North Shore.

She still keeps in touch with the friends she made while hosting Gabereau, and says they reunite several times a year over dinner.

"Nothing really stopped, we just stopped going into that dungeon studio every day," she said.

'I really miss it'

And while she feels her time as a broadcaster is over, her passion for the industry remains.

"When I hear a really, really, really good interview, I really miss it," she said. "And when I hear a really, really bad interview, I really miss it."

For now though, she says "I'm happy listening to others."