It was pouring rain on Friday, but nothing could erase the smile from Jenna Dennison’s face as she reported for her first day on the job.
After a hiatus of a few years, the Holt Renfrew Ogilvy department store in downtown Montreal decided to bring back their resident piper.
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And Dennison was a perfect fit for the job.
“We went through some auditions and Jenna really wowed us, with her talent and accessibility, ”said Natalie Lord, divisional vice president and general manager of Holt Renfrew Ogilvy.
Some, however, could be excused for thinking that fate had something to do with it.
“When I first moved to Montreal, I was about 10 or 11 years old, and the first time I saw a piper up close was actually here,” Dennison said.
“The sound really touched me and I always remember that experience.. “
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However, it wasn’t until his teens that Dennison decided to take over the pipes.
She says she did it as an “act of rebellion.”
“Fortunately, my parents were very supportive and patient,” Dennison said.
Now, 16 years later, Dennison is back where it all began.
“This is a great honor,” she said of her new job, not only because she is the first woman to fill the position, but because of those who came before.
“The other pipers, they have been my teachers, they have been my role models,” he said. “So being able to be the next to continue this tradition is a great honor.”
And while Dennison is keen to carry on the tradition, she plans to bring something new to the mix.
“I think my favorite part about being a Holt Renfrew Ogilvy piper is that it’s not just purely traditional music, he said. “I am free to incorporate some of my own compositions and some contemporary bagpipe music.”
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