Anna Maria Tremonti hosts her final edition of The Current
After 17 seasons, Tremonti says goodbye in front of a live audience
After 17 seasons on the air, Anna Maria Tremonti is hanging up the microphone as host of the CBC's flagship current affairs radio show, The Current.
For her final outing, she hosted a special live show in the heart of the CBC Broadcast Centre in Toronto — featuring music, a live audience, special guests, and more.
"The most important thing I have learned in hosting The Current is how to listen," she told the audience.
"Not how to talk, not how to ask questions.
"But how to listen, how to say nothing, even. And hear what someone else is really saying."
Tremonti kicked off the show with Canadian comedian Rick Mercer, discussing his career and how he portrayed the world of politics through the lens of humour.
Last year, the satirist wrapped up his own long-running show, CBC TV's Rick Mercer Report. He gave Tremonti some tips about adjusting to life outside the schedule.
"You're making a terrible mistake!" he joked.
Tremonti received well wishes from leading politicians in Canada.
In a taped message, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tremonti had "brought us the latest on issues that matter to Canadians." Conservative leader Andrew Scheer offered his congratulations "on a remarkable career on The Current."
The veteran journalist then welcomed back some guests who've lent their voices to The Current since it began airing in 2002.
As Tremonti noted, the show debuted just one year after the September 11, 2001 attacks. Jean Chrétien was prime minister, and Canada was at war in Afghanistan.
"Twitter and Facebook didn't exist! Imagine that." Tremonti asked the audience.
"HIV/AIDS was still a rampant killer — especially in sub-Saharan Africa. And the term missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls? Well it had not even been uttered yet, at least not on CBC Radio."
Tremonti spoke with Stephen Lewis, a former United Nations Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, and Toronto Star columnist Tanya Talaga about how much has changed in the last 17 years.
Later in the show, Tremonti gave up her chair to As It Happens host Carol Off. Off interviewed Tremonti on her career: before The Current; at the helm of The Current; and what comes next.
She told Off that during her years on The Current, she learned that you can always find the humanity in the people you meet.
"And it shines if you take trouble to say: 'Hi, what do you think?'"
Click 'listen' near the top of this page to hear the full conversation.
Written by Padraig Moran. Produced by the team at The Current.