Montreal boy who uses a wheelchair rolls into Halloween, thanks to a group of crafters
'I'm in a wheelchair — Halloween is for me too,' says 10-year-old Émile Laliberté
Editor's note: Since publishing this story, Émile Laliberté's costume has been completed. CBC Montreal caught up with Émile on Halloween day and we've updated this story.
It's the first time Émile Laliberté, 10, is rolling into Halloween feeling excited about his disguise: a custom-made dragon costume that encompasses his wheelchair.
"With my wheelchair, this [is] very, very, very incredible," Émile said. "Halloween is for everyone. I'm in a wheelchair — Halloween is for me too."
His costume was about eight weeks in the making. It features a dragon's head with eyes lit by LCD screens, motorized wings made from golf umbrellas that expand half a metre, a green shirt covered in scales — some of which were made using a 3D printer — and a castle made with Styrofoam, complete with a pot of gold.
Émile is a popular kid with hands-down the best costume. <br><br>A team built it to be specially-adapted for his wheelchair. <br><br>Story here: <a href="https://t.co/VvPa1bpjRd">https://t.co/VvPa1bpjRd</a> <a href="https://t.co/GW1njMLf0E">pic.twitter.com/GW1njMLf0E</a>—@sarahleavittcbc
The costume was built by a group of Montrealers who call themselves Duct Tapers Anonymous. Concordia's Milieux Institute, an art and design centre, also lent a hand in creating Laliberté's costume.
The group has a 150 members but a core group of 12 worked on the costume.
"It was a perfect bunch of people," Murphy said. "[Émile] is exuberant, he's spunky, he's a smart kid and he's a loveable, loveable kid."
Muurphy said he hopes by next Halloween more teams of crafters will come together to build costumes for more children in wheelchairs.
Watch the video of Émile's second fitting.
The project was inspired by Magic Wheelchair, an American non-profit that creates elaborate costumes for children in wheelchairs.
Émile said he won't soon forget Halloween 2018.
"This year is the best year because my costume is with my wheelchair."