Paula Fayerman

Obituary of Paula Renee Fayerman

February 18, 1964 – Calgary, Alberta

February 15, 2024 – Calgary, Alberta


Paula Renee Fayerman, of Calgary AB, passed away on Thursday, February 15, 2024, at the age of 59 years. Paula was born in Calgary on February 18, 1964. She died peacefully at home after a diagnosis of cancer.


Paula’s primary familial relationship was with her partner Doug Harkness, with whom she shared her life for 39 years. She was the only child of parents, Jack and Mildred, and was parented largely by her father and her grandfather Abe. Paula is survived by many cousins in the Fayerman family in Western Canada and the USA. She is also loved by the Samek family of Toronto (Rob, Gabrielle, Julian, Cameron and Janet Harkness). Paula is survived by an extended family of beloved friends and colleagues.


Paula studied medicine at the University of Calgary, after finishing her Bachelor of Science degree in 1985. She went on to complete her Doctor of Medicine in 1989 and did her Family Medicine residency at the U of C-Foothills Hospital. Her professional work was practiced at public health clinics including Mount Royal College, Alexandra Community Centre Youth Clinic and, most enduringly, Alberta Health Services Sexual and Reproductive Health.


As a medical practitioner, Paula brought compassion at a high level into her care of patients. This compassionate intention was fed by her lifelong engagement with alternative methods of wellbeing and health. These included yoga, meditation, somatics, psychotherapy and energy medicine. She was a Fellow of the University of Arizona’s Program in Integrative Medicine. More recently, she began teaching in this field, with a particular focus on trauma-informed therapy. Some of her many mentors in compassionate wisdom were Dr Stephen Aung of Edmonton, Jack Kornfield of Spirit Rock, California, and Gyo-Zo (Ron Spickett) of Calgary.


Paula wrote an unpublished memoir called “Both at The Same Time”, which she described as “a personal memoir of a doctor’s transformative personal experience and her audacious attempt to solve the unsolvable questions about the nature of healing and what it means to be human.” As with all else, her spiritual path embraced wide-ranging learning about open-minded and psychologically oriented philosophies.


As a radio broadcaster and supporter of the music scene, Paula hosted the NOISE music show at CJSW for over thirty years. She was also a long-time medical tent manager for the Calgary Folk Music Festival. With her signature mane of white hair and her unrestrained joyous dance moves, Paula was easy to spot at any event or gig. She hiked and skied in the mountains with friends, and deeply appreciated nature in all its fine detail. Paula was an avid traveller and a frequent participant at spiritual retreats and health conferences. Her energy for all things was remarkable.


A Celebration of Paula’s Life will be held at Festival Hall (1215 – 10th Avenue SE, Calgary, AB) on Sunday, February 25, 2024, from 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.


If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to Doctors Without Borders, 720 Spadina Avenue, Suite 402,Toronto, ON, M5S 2T9, Telephone: 1-800-982-7903,, to the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS Southern Alberta), 88 Canada Olympic Road SW, Calgary, AB, T3B 5R5, Telephone: 403-232-6686, or to the Elephant Artist Relief Society, Community Wise Resource Centre, #14, 223 – 12 Avenue SW, Calgary, AB, T2R 0G9,


Condolences, memories, and photos may be shared and viewed with Paula’s family here.


In living memory of Paula Fayerman, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes, Park Memorial, 5008 Elbow Drive SW, Calgary, AB T2S 2L5, Telephone: 403-243-8200.


Celebration of Life

2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Sunday, February 25, 2024
Festival Hall
1215 – 10th Avenue SE
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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