Q & A with Patinage Atypique organizer Marjorie Lajoie

by Francesca

Team IDC’s Francesca attended Patinage Atypique on April 2, in Montreal Canada.  Marjorie Lajoie, who organized Patinage Atypique, graciously answered a few questions about the benefit show.

How did the idea of Patinage Atypique develop?
ML: I wanted to help the cause because my little brother Charles-Étienne has autism. I wanted to use skating as a way to raise money by organizing a show. April 2nd is Autism Awareness Day, so we chose this date.

You raised $15,500 with a sold out event. What’s the aim for the money raised?
ML: It goes to the Fondation de l’Autisme.  It’s an association for all of Québec that includes kids and adults. It’s helping the families in Québec with a member with autism to improve their quality of life, by supporting holidays for the families or the kids.

How did you put everything together?
ML: I train in Montréal at the Gadbois ice dance center where there are a lot of international skaters in the team, so I asked some of my training mates from Spain, the United Kingdom, Poland, and Canada to take part. I also asked some of my friends from Team Canada who are competing internationally, and also skaters with autism to participate.

How did you coordinate the event?
ML: We used our networks to sell tickets. For example, I posted on Instagram, then people involved also told everyone they knew about the show.  We also put some posters up around town, on the newspapers, etc. Just by talking about the show we sold all the tickets!

Do you plan to keep doing the show the following years?
ML: I didn’t think that we would sell all the tickets, but now that I saw it worked so well, I said “see you next year” already. If we can raise money by doing shows, then why not? Every skater who participated thanked us for the experience and wants to do it again. I will also ask skaters from other countries, and maybe we will move the show to the weekend. But we will keep it in April as it’s the month dedicated to autism in Québec.

What did your brother think about it?
ML: He was really excited and a bit stressed, but he was really happy. I could see the sparkle in his eyes when I told him he could skate and play hockey as part of the event.

Show participants:
Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha (Junior ice dance, Canada)
Charlotte Giraldeau and Éliott Goulet (Pre-novice pairs, Canada)
Justyna Plutowska and Jérémie Flemin (Senior ice dance, Poland)
Alicia Pineault (Senior ladies, Canada)
Mathieu Ostiguy and Chloe Chouinard (Junior pairs, Canada)
Émile Couture (Novice ice dance, Canada)
Olivia Smart and Adrian Diaz (Senior ice dance, Spain)
Les Supremes (Senior Syncro, Canada)
Émy Carignan and Benjamin Leduc (Juvenile ice dance, Canada)
Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson (Senior ice dance, Great Britain)
Sarah-Maude Blanchard (Junior/Senior ladies, Canada)
Emmy Bronsard and Aissa Bouaraguia (Junior dance, Canada)
Justine Brasseur and Mark Bardei (Senior pairs, Canada)
Océane Rajotte (Canada)
Hockey adapté team