Opening up the mic for autism

By: Jenny Jelen - Sudbury Northern Life Staff

 | Mar 29, 2011 - 2:00 AM |


One in every 110 children has autism, according to Blake Lemieux, the assistant manager of northern Ontario development for Autism Canada.

To help spread the word about the condition, he's helping Sudburians celebrate World Autism Awareness Day.

“It's a day where autism organizations throughout the world host unique fundraisers and events to raise awareness for autism,” he said.

Local musician Lucas DeMarco will headline an open-mic night at Little Montreal on April 2.

“It's an important cause to bring awareness to because the rates of autism have increased so much in recent years,” DeMarco said. “I think public education and understanding of what autism is, who is being affected, and how people can help, can greatly benefit our community as a whole.”

DeMarco will have copies of his self-recorded CD available at the show for $5. All the profits will be given to Autism Canada.

According to Laurie Mawlam, executive director of Autism Canada, the organization uses the funds to help support four “mission critical activities.”

“We support families by providing them with information on treatments so they can make informed decisions; we work to influence health care professionals' knowledge and awareness of autism as a treatable illness affecting the whole body;... we work to influence policy within the government so we can influence public health initiatives and policy change; and the last thing is we (do is) enable research into the causes and treatments of autism.”

Musicians interested in performing in the open-mic part of the show can sign up by contacting Lemieux at blemieux@autismcanada.org or 705-596-2009.

The concert begins at 8 p.m., and tickets can be purchased at the door for $10.

For more information about Autism Canada, visit www.autismcanada.org.


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