Bruce Hutchison Lifetime Achievement Award
Vicki Gabereau"So...just how stupid are you?"
It was vintage Vicki...her first question in an exclusive interview with Gillian Guess, the notorious juror who admitted she had an affair with a man accused of murder while she sat on the jury determining his fate. It's the way Vicki did things...up-front, plain and simple. In more than 15,000 interviews over 30 years in radio and television Vicki Gabereau did it her way, fearlessly and matter-of-factly. Meeting famed author Margaret Atwood for the first time Vicki exclaimed: "Oh, you're so small." A question to ballerina Karen Kain: "Do your feet hurt? Mine do."
Vicki Gabereau knew how to get the best out of her guests with a natural easy going style of questioning that belied her sharp instinct to get to the core. TV producer Cynthia Ott says "producing Vicki is realizing you don't produce her. She is who she is and that's her success."
Long-time friend Nancy Morrison, now a BC Supreme Court Judge describes Vicki's irreverence as an art form. She said "laughter is her oxygen."
Vicki Gabereau's early influence was none other than Jack Webster. An ardent radio listener in her teens, Vicki discovered Webster. She says: "I found him on the radio at age 14 on City Mike. The sound of his voice and his relentless approach made me wild with excitement." A few years later, Vicki met Jack who invited her to come to his studio. She nearly drove him crazy visiting two or three times a week. When she interviewed Jack years later he recalled that Vicki was "the most aggressive, tough roustabout young woman I have ever met in my life."
Gabereau says of Webster: "I was addicted to watching him. He was so impressive...astute and funny." She said Webster was a powerful force. There wasn't anyone who wasn't touched by him.
Vicki learned her craft well. In announcing Vicki as the winner of the Bruce Hutchison Lifetime Achievement Award, Jack Webster Foundation Co-Chair Chris Weafer said Gabereau had earned an immense reputation as one of the best interviewers in Canada. Gabereau spent 22 years with CBC Radio and another eight years as host of her own Vancouver-based national program on CTV.
Jack Webster would be proud to know that she has received the Webster Foundation's highest honour, the Bruce Hutchison Lifetime Achievement Award. In fact, Vicki's long-time CBC Producer Gail Hulnick said it was most appropriate that Vicki should win an award honouring two great journalists, Bruce Hutchison and Jack Webster.
Vicki Gabereau has won many awards...three ACTRA Awards for being the best radio host-interviewer in Canada; two Leo Awards for her television work, a Gemini for Best Talk Series and the John Drainie Award for her distinguished contribution to broadcasting.
The Bruce Hutchison Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jack Webster Foundation has special meaning. Says Vicki: "I'm honoured to receive this recognition from a Foundation that supports BC journalism in the name of one of my most important mentors."
As Jack Webster might have said: "Well done lass."
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