A champion of B.C.’s diverse communities will soon become the public face of CBC Radio One’s top-rated weekend morning show.
The original host of North by Northwest, David Grierson, named the program after a famous Alfred Hitchcock movie in 1997. A classical clarinetist, Grierson later became host of CBC Radio One’s On the Island show. He died from a heart attack in 2004.
MacKay chose to honour Grierson by never renaming the show. North by Northwest airs provincewide from 6 to 9 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
This morning on CBC Radio One’s The Early Edition show, Gallagher acknowledged that she has big shoes to fill.
“I feel very excited,” Gallagher said. “I feel honoured to take over this position, but I also feel kind of nervous.”
She added that this is because MacKay is so talented and beloved, plus she has “legions of listeners” across B.C.
Gallagher plans to step down as current host of CBC Radio One’s Hot Air jazz-music program. She’s well qualified for her new job as she has been covering the arts for two decades. Along the way, she’s won three national RTNDA Dave Rogers Awards and a Jack Webster Award.
A true cultural navigator
Over the years, Gallagher has often provided a platform for artists from underrepresented communities. That earned her an Asian Heritage Month Pan Asian Recognition Award in 2020.
Meanwhile, the Hapa-palooza Festival of Mixed Roots honoured Gallagher with a Community Builder Award in 2015.
In 1966 Gallagher’s mother Cathy, who’s of Chinese Indonesian heritage, immigrated to Canada with Gallagher’s father, Joseph. Her dad was longtime SFU English professor, talented orator, and actor who travelled widely. He once taught in the northeastern Chinese city of Harbin, according to an obituary published after he died in 2019.
An article on the Explorasion site reported that Gallagher’s maternal grandfather was Indonesia’s first ambassador to the Netherlands. He served under the administration of the country’s first president, Sukarno, who led the struggle for independence.
In the mid 1960s, Sukarno was placed under house arrest after being ousted by his successor, Suharto, in a western-backed military coup.