Candy Palmater

December 4, 1968 - December 25, 2021

Since at least 20051 Candy Palmater was celebrated as an out and proud member of the Q indigenous community from Atlantic Canada. She passed away suddenly on Christmas Day, 2021. She is survived by family including her partner of over two decades and wife as of August 10, 2010, Denise Tompkins.

Candy called herself a “recovered lawyer”, a political activist, a facilitator and was an intelligent and edgy comic; she developed a large following for both her speaking abilities and her wit as a stand up comedian.

For her introduction to her show, she said:

The Candy Show officially began on a cold winter night in 1968. Coming into the world at a whopping 11 pounds, the youngest of seven, it was clear right from the start that I was different!
With a Mi’kmaq father and a white mother, I walked with a foot in each world. My family ran a body building gym and also owned a Harley Davidson Dealership (back in the day when only bikers rode Harleys!) so I grew up amidst bikers and body builders!

She was born in Pointe-la-Nim in Northern New Brunswick. Working a number of "nametag jobs" including Tim Hortons, where she led a union drive that led to the destruction of the store, she was building steam and character that would fuel the next segments of her life. After graduating as valedictorian of her law school class, then working as a lawyer, she took a job as director of the Mi’kmaq Liaison Office in the Nova Scotia Department of Education. She once described herself as "a gay, native, recovered-lawyer-turned-feminist-comic who was raised by bikers in the wilds of northern New Brunswick."2

In 2013, she was nominated for an East Coast Music Award for Media Person of the Year. In June, 2016 Candy hosted a CBC indigenous culture show. "If you haven't been listening to CBC Radio in the afternoons, you should - the new show is proud two-spirit Mi'kmag woman Candy Palmeter with a music, news, and lifestyle show. The music is OK but... the interviews are absolutely magnificent. Her interview style is brilliant - a little fun, a little edgy, a lot informative."3 In 2017, she was Ottawa Capital Pride's Grand Marshal.4


2. December 25, 2021 CBC "Canadian comedian Candy Palmater dies at 53"
3. June 13, 2013 DanielMacKay facebook posting