Former Sylvan Lake resident finds success after house fire tragedy

Musician Jenny Lou used the loss of her home as motivation to follow her dreams

Former Sylvan Laker Jenny Lou is literally rising from the ashes of tragedy to find new inspiration and opportunities.

After a house fire left her with nothing but her guitar, the then college student had to find a way to continue with everyday life while also preparing for final exams and performances to obtain her diploma from the Victoria Conservatory of Music.

On March 19 the college student came home to her shared house on McClure Street in Victoria to find officers and firefighters fighting a blaze that left the home a smoldering wreck.

She said it was a stressful and trying time in her life.

“The first thing I did was call home and talk to my mom,” Lou said, adding, “it was a stressful time, but I still managed to graduate with honours.”

A week before her exams, and nothing left but the clothes on her back and the guitar in her trunk, Lou says she relied on the help and kindness of those around her.

For her final performance to graduate she wore clothes given to her by kind woman she met at the YMCA, where she worked as a lifeguard.

Lou said she saw an out-pouring of generosity and support from the people in Victoria as well as continued support from friends and family back home in Sylvan Lake.

“It was all so scary – there were so many people surrounding my house, I didn’t know what was really going on at the time,” she said.

“It is one of those things that you never expect to happen.”

Out of this experience, Lou says she has found a new connection through her music and song writing.

Since her Victoria home burned down in March, Lou says she has turned to writing music more often.

This is simply because it was the easiest way to cope with the experience.

“I’ve been writing a lot more now… there aren’t many people who have gone through this experience and can relate, so I write songs,” Lou said.

In September Lou packed up her car and her trusted Gibson 45 guitar and made the move to Music City, Nashville, Tennessee.

Spending more time on her music and writing songs for herself has paid off. Recently Lou has signed a publishing contract.

The details of the contract are under wraps until everything is finalized, according to Lou.

“Basically it allows me to write songs full time and I will be performing downtown on Broadway,” she said.

She says she was playing in Nashville one day when she was discovered and the next day she was signing a contract.

“It all happened very quickly and is all very exciting,” Lou said.

Lou is excited to follow in the footsteps of some of country music’s biggest and heaviest hitters, like Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson and Brad Paisley by performing at Tootsies Orchid Lounge.

“It is so exciting to know I’m playing where they were, and maybe even have some stop in for old times sake. I’ve been told there are a few [country stars] who like to stop by when they are in town.”

Lou plans to continue working on her music with the hopes of releasing an EP album.

More information on Lou and her journey through Music City can be found on her Facebook page @JennyLou.


Follow Megan Roth on Twitter

@MeganSLN
megan.roth@sylvanlakenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Just Posted

Grant could be saviour for ice plant retrofit

Bashaw hoping approval will be big step toward fixing up facility’s freezing system

AMBER ALERT: Alert cancelled after child located safe and unharmed

Alert cancelled after child located safe and unharmed

Stettler County denial of Paradise Shores permit upheld by SDAB

Developers refusal to provide needed information among reasons behind appeal decision

PHOTOS: Lion King Jr.

Bashaw School’s junior high annual drama production

Stettler County, Paradise Shores clash during subdivision appeal board hearing

Recreational development permit deemed incomplete, developer appeals

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

New RCMP policy is a little hairy

Members now allowed to grow beards and goatees

Wildfires have forced more than 9,000 people from homes in northern Alberta

People in other communities remain on evacuation alert and could be told to leave quickly

Pride divided: Edmonton leadership under pressure as LGBTQ community looks to future

Most of the conflict can be traced back to 2016 Toronto Pride when Black Lives Matter staged a protest

Federal cabinet ministers visit Edmonton, Calgary, in wake of TMX approval

Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi is set to visit Trans Mountain Corp.’s terminal in Edmonton

Statistics Canada reports annual pace of inflation rises in May to 2.4%

Transportation prices gained 3.1 per cent as the cost of air transportation added 8.9 per cent

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

High Level on alert, as wildfires put more people on the run in northern Alberta

Thousands in High Level were just allowed back home, and now must get ready to leave again

VIDEO: Toronto Raptors announcer credited with calming crowds after shooting

Matt Devlin, the Raptors’ play-by-play announcer since 2008, was praised for preventing panic from spreading

Most Read