Candy Palmater (December 4, 1968 – December 25, 2021) was a Canadian actress, comedienne, and broadcaster.[2] She was the creator and writer of her own national television show for APTN, The Candy Show,[3] and hosted the daily interview series The Candy Palmater Show on CBC Radio One in summer 2016.[4]

Candy Palmater
Born(1968-12-04)December 4, 1968
Point La Nim, New Brunswick
DiedDecember 25, 2021(2021-12-25) (aged 53)
Toronto, Ontario
MediumStand-up, television
SpouseDenise Tompkins[1]

Early life


Palmater was born December 4, 1968, in Point La Nim, New Brunswick,[5] and grew up the youngest of seven children.[1] She attended Dalhousie Regional High School, where she was active in sports.[6] Her father was Mi'kmaq and her mother was white. She was a member of the Eel River Bar First Nation.[7]



After high school, she attended Fredericton's St. Thomas University and then completed a legal secretary's course at Maritime Business College.[6]

She was inspired by the legal failures of the Donald Marshall Jr. case and in 1996, she went to Dalhousie University in Halifax to study Law at Dalhousie Law School, where she graduated in 1999 as the valedictorian of her class. She was the first Aboriginal law student in Canada to be valedictorian of her graduating class, and was president of the Dalhousie Aboriginal Law Students Association.

She got a job with the now-defunct law firm Patterson Palmer Hunt Murphy, but soon realized she didn't want to practice corporate law,[3] and subsequently left her job and began working for the Nova Scotia Department of Education.


Palmater on the set of The Candy Show

She was a regular contributor to CBC Radio's Definitely Not the Opera, a regular columnist on The Next Chapter, and an interim host of Q, and was a columnist for the now defunct Halifax newspaper The Daily News, where she wrote a series for Mi'kmaq History Month.

CBC Newsworld did a one-hour documentary on Palmater titled The Candy Show. It was produced and directed by Mary Munson in Halifax. The executive producer was Renée Pellerin.

The Candy Show is also the title of a regular comedy series that airs on APTN. Palmater was also a regular performer on the comedy club circuit in Canada, as well as a frequent host of entertainment galas and events.

Palmater produced her first film, Building Legends: The Mi'Kmaq Canoe Project, in 2011.

As an actress, she had roles in the television series Forgive Me, Sex & Violence, and Trailer Park Boys.

Her daily CBC Radio summer series The Candy Palmater Show debuted on May 30, 2016.[4] Following the end of that show's run, she did another stint as guest host of Q for several weeks in September and October, between the departure of Shad and the debut of permanent new host Tom Power. In 2017 she was a panellist on Canada Reads, advocating for Katherena Vermette's novel The Break.

She was also a frequent guest panellist on the CBC Radio One comedy series, Because News, hosted by Gavin Crawford, and narrated the documentary series Skindigenous.[8]

Palmater had a recurring role in the CBC Television sitcom Run the Burbs, broadcast posthumously.[9]



Palmater died at her home in Toronto on December 25, 2021, at the age of 53. Shortly before her death she received several weeks of medical treatment at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto after being diagnosed with eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis.[10]

Her memoir, Running Down a Dream, was published posthumously in 2022.[11]


Year Title Role Notes
2013 Forgive Me Agnes 3 episodes
2013 Sex & Violence Louella 3 episodes
2016 Trailer Park Boys Candy 9 episodes
2022 Run the Burbs Candy 3 episodes



She was nominated for an East Coast Music Award for Media Person of the Year in 2013. The Candy Show was also nominated for a Canadian Screen Award for Best Direction in a Variety or Comedy TV Series, for director Trevor Grant. For her work on the television series Forgive Me, she was nominated for an ACTRA Award for Best Supporting Actress.

In 2017, Palmater was presented with the Bonham Centre Award from The Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies, University of Toronto, for her contributions to the advancement and education of issues around sexual identification.[12]


  1. ^ a b Vincent, Donovan (May 29, 2016). "Now on CBC: 'a gay native feminist comic raised by bikers'". Toronto Star. Retrieved December 26, 2021.
  2. ^ Lisk, Dean (July 25, 2008). "Comedians celebrate pride with laughter". Archived from the original on June 5, 2011. Retrieved March 29, 2010.
  3. ^ a b Angelina Chapin, Sweet, hard-earned success for Candy Palmater Archived 2012-04-03 at the Wayback Machine. Xtra!, April 21, 2008.
  4. ^ a b "CBC Radio to debut Out in the Open, The Candy Palmater Show". CBC News, May 16, 2016.
  5. ^ "Candy Palmater's got ambition to burn". Xtra!, October 28, 2008.
  6. ^ a b Daniel N. Paul, "Attitude of young gives hope for non-racist future". Halifax Herald, July 23, 1999.
  7. ^ "Mi'kmaw entertainer Candy Palmater was a bold presence on radio and TV". The Globe and Mail. 6 January 2022. Retrieved 2023-08-20.
  8. ^ Greg David, "Preview: Skindigenous celebrates the heritage and importance of Indigenous tattoos". TV, eh?, February 20, 2018.
  9. ^ Alexandra Del Rosario, "‘Run The Burbs’: Rakhee Morzaria, Zoriah Wong, Roman Pesino & More Set As Main Cast Of CBC Family Comedy From Andrew Phung". Deadline Hollywood, September 27, 2021.
  10. ^ "Canadian comedian Candy Palmater dies at 53". CBC News. 25 December 2021. Retrieved 26 December 2021.
  11. ^ "Remembering Candy Palmater through her posthumous memoir, Running Down a Dream". The Next Chapter (CBC Radio One), December 16, 2022.
  12. ^ "Decolonizing sexuality: U of T recognizes Indigenous educators and advocates for sexual diversity". University of Toronto News. Retrieved July 7, 2017.