Celebrating 20 years of advocacy.

ETFO 2018 Annual Meeting Social Justice Speaker: Candy Palmater

Candy Palmater, Social Justice Speaker

About Candy Palmater:

Candy Palmater is a “recovered lawyer” turned feminist comic who was raised by bikers in the wilds of northern New Brunswick. She is an activist, actor, writer, international speaker, and award-winning TV and radio personality, and has executive produced three films on Mi’kmaw culture.

Palmater is the creator and star of her own national, multiple award-winning TV series, The Candy Show. She has a recurring role on the Trailer Park Boys, appeared in Call Me Fitz (HBO Canada) and Sex and Violence (OutTV), and received a Screen Nova Scotia nomination for her role on Forgive Me (Superchannel). She’s a columnist with CBC Radio’s The Next Chapter and also guest hosted Definitely Not the Opera and Q.

Palmater has written and hosted many broadcasts including Ab Day Live, the Indspire Awards, and the imagine NATIVE Film Fest Awards Show.

Before pursuing entertainment full time, Candy Palmater directed First Nations education for the Nova Scotia Department of Education for a decade. She is currently working on a Masters of Education at St. Francis Xavier University and has taught in the Transition Year program at Dalhousie University.

Palmater spends most of her time in airports and airplanes as she travels the globe speaking to audiences, large and small, about the power of love, kindness and self-acceptance. She believes we are more alike than different and that you can NEVER have too much Candy.

Candy Palmater Addresses Annual Meeting Delegates:

Dynamic. Charismatic. Inspiring. Luminous. ETFO’s 2018 Annual Meeting Social Justice Speaker is the incomparable Candy Palmater.

Palmater’s touching, and often humorous, address focused on the impact that dedicated teachers can make the lives of students, including the how a few supportive teachers identified a “spark” in her and encouraged her to be the person she is today.


  • Shared her experiences growing up in Nova Scotia as the youngest child of an Indigenous father and non-Indigenous mother.
  • Recalled her early experiences as a union member in Nova Scotia. Working for minimum wage on the night shift at a Tim Horton’s, Palmater started a union drive at the coffee shop that resulted in the first unionized Tim Horton’s in the province.
  • Encouraged delegates to appreciate themselves, take care of themselves and take control over their lives (“We don’t need perfection from our educators. Persistence – that’s the key.”)
  • Described teachers as “touchstones” and “guides”, and told delegates that educators “do very difficult work, but I promise you it’s work that matters.”

ETFO Annual Meeting delegates responded to Palmater’s words with an extended standing ovation.


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