Samajam again and for good


Samajam is at Irénée-Lussier school this year, immersing the students in a musical world, backed by the Port of Montreal.

Gabrielle, star of the heartwarming Quebec film bearing her name, would fit right in here among the young musicians playing their djembe drums with glee. It is March 25, the day Irénée-Lussier school launched the SAMAJAM SCHOOL RETENTION PROJECT with drumming and great cheer.

Located on Hochelaga Street close to Pie-IX Blvd. in the Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough, Irénée-Lussier is a school for intellectually challenged students aged 12 to 21.

The Samajam program helps young people develop their self-esteem, their sense of belonging to their school and community, and their love of learning. Its tool: music. More than 100 students from Irénée-Lussier school are taking part in weekly percussion, dance, singing and instrument playing sessions that lead up to a big show at the end of the year.


School principal Gérald Gauthier is enthusiastic about the program: “Music especially affects children who are intellectually challenged. They have a lot of sensitivity; they are really in touch with their visceral emotions. Like they say, music can really move you. In their case, this is doubly true.” Since music is a form of communication, it comes to the aid of young people who find it hard to communicate verbally.

There are also students at the school with varying degrees of deafness. They feel the pulse from the djembes, the resonance of low notes, and this new communication with the outside world is wonderful for them.

Sophie Roux, Director of Communications
at the Port of Montreal, took part in the
Samajam program launch at Irénée-Lussier


The Port of Montreal has been a proud Samajam partner for four years. "We believe it is important to contribute to the well-being of our neighbouring communities. Encouraging youth to stay in school is a key component of our community investment program because it contributes to employability and the development of tomorrow's workforce," said Sophie Roux, Director of Communications at the Montreal Port Authority, who attended the program launch.

The Samajam project has also been implemented at St-Clément, another school in one of the port’s neighbouring communities.

Thanks to the continued support of the Port of Montreal and other organizations, the SAMAJAM SCHOOL RETENTION project has grown substantially in four years: the number of students involved in the program has increased to 2,900 from 200. The project is now recognized as a model for academic achievement throughout Quebec.

Samajam founder Louis Bellemare is a committed man with great creative energy. “From the outset, the SAMAJAM SCHOOL RETENTION program has impressed us with its innovative musical model to fight the dropout problem in the Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve district.  We are proud of this fourth year of partnership with Samajam, because its benefits to our youth are concrete and never cease to amaze us," added Ms. Roux.

We can’t wait to attend the year-end show!
Visit Samajam website