Jenny Lou was studying music and vocal performance at The Victoria Conservatory of Music when the house she was living in burned down. (File contributed/Jenny Lou)

Victoria music grad lives through McClure fire and gets Nashville contract

Jenny Lou was studying at the Victoria Conservatory of music when her home went up in flames

A graduate from the Victoria Conservatory of Music used a fiery disaster to spark her career.

Jenny Lou was finishing her diploma in music and vocal performance and living in a suite in the 1100-block of McClure Street when the house burned down on March 18.

“It was very scary, I still can’t believe it happened to me,” Lou said.

She had been working at the YMCA at the time, and came home to find dozens of firefighters outside and the burning house. No one was hurt in the fire, but everything was destroyed.

ALSO READ: Large fire destroys home on McClure Street in Victoria

“I lost everything, all my possessions except my guitar, which was locked in my car. It was literally the only thing left to my name… having ‘nothing to wear’ took on a whole new meaning.”

Jenny Lou was studying music and vocal performance at The Victoria Conservatory of Music when the house she was living in burned down. (Ragnar Haagen/News Staff)

The Gibson 45 guitar is what Lou calls the “industry standard” for performers.

“I was very relieved, it was the positive in a very bad situation,” she said. “If I could have one thing, I’m glad it was my guitar.”

Lou said she saw an outpour of generosity and support from the community, including Camosun College which rented a place for her at the Ocean Island Inn hostel.

“They gave me a crisis relief grant, everyone was so amazing, all the teachers gave me clothes,” Lou said. “The people at the YMCA gave me gift cards.”

ALSO READ: McClure house fire saw Victoria firefighters use drone for first time in live situation

Still, the fire was something that Lou felt she couldn’t really talk about, so instead she turned to her music.

“The fire inspired me to write more songs because it’s a very rare thing to happen to someone, so there was no one that could relate to it to talk to,” she said.

Losing all her possessions also pushed Lou to follow her dreams and move to Nashville in September.

“It was pretty easy, I had nothing to pack up when I moved so I just drove 36 hours,” she said.

Since she arrived Lou has been working none-stop at performing, networking and making friends.

“Nashville is such a great place, you make friends with people and all of a sudden learn some of their music has cuts from Tim McGraw,” she said.

ALSO READ: Teen Victoria brothers receive award for saving family from house fire

Just this week, Lou received a publishing deal for her music, which will allow her to perform and record her music full time, and perform in downtown Nashville in iconic venues such as Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, which saw stars like Willie Nelson, Roger Miller and Terri Clark come through.

“It’s just amazing,” Lou said. “Now I’m just gonna be down here playing as much as I can.”

To hear some of Lou’s music, you can visit her Facebook Page or head to jennyloumusic.com

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

fire

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Uncertainty continues to surround completion date of upgrades to Sidney’s Reay Creek area

A spokesperson for federal government could not offer a new completion date

Oak Bay police seek suspect who broke into liquor store on Cadboro Bay Road

The incident happened at 2:50 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 17

MISSING: VicPD seeks 33-year-old man last heard from in August

Scott Grier could have been travelling in Alberta, police say

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to B.C. Legislature

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

Economic plan includes support for employers, as well as training for workers

‘Not criminally responsible’ hearing slated for man convicted of Abbotsford school stabbing

Gabriel Klein was found guilty in March of killing Letisha Reimer, 13, in 2016

Vancouver’s shuttered aquarium searching for financial solution amid pandemic

The aquarium needs about $1 million a month to cover its costs

B.C., Alberta sending nearly 300 fire personnel by Friday to help battle wildfires in Oregon

Some 230 firefighters, most from British Columbia but including a number from Alberta, will be deployed Friday

B.C. to begin publicly listing COVID-19 school exposure events

Move follows weeks of criticism from parents, the public

Most Read