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Monday, June 17, 2024

20 questions with Holly Arsenault

Meet Halifax-based pianist, Holly Arsenault.

Meet Halifax-based pianist, Holly Arsenault.

You can find out more about Holly’s music online at

20 Questions with Holly Arsenault

1. Your first job.


2. The job you always wanted as a child?

Can I have two? Veterinarian and Olympic equestrian. But if I can only have one it’d be Olympic equestrian.

3. Your pet peeve.

When well-meaning people call professional artists “talented”. Personally, I much prefer “I could hear the amount of work you put into that!”

4. Your hero.

Seeing how many of our icons are falling as we get more enlightened, I’d hesitate to say ‘hero’. That said, I can’t believe I get to share a planet with Joni Mitchell!

5. Your biggest indulgence.

I go out for coffee/me-time every day.

6. One thing no one knows about you.

But then they’d know it.

7. Three things you would want with you on a deserted island.

My metronome, my meditation cushion and my dictionary.

8. The one word your best friend would use to describe you.

Genius. Back at you, bard! Love you!

9. If they made a movie about your life, who would it star?


10. Hero or villain?

Do you mean to be one or to eat one?

11. Your life’s motto/mantra.

Communication is power.

12. The last book you read.

It was something on board governance … it’s been a while. I’m a New Yorker subscriber, so there go all my reading brain cells.

13. The song getting the most play on your Spotify playlist right now.

Given how Spotify treats its indie artists, I don’t subscribe, but in the prep for my upcoming shows at The Carleton, I’ve been basking in the music of Peggy Lee and the tip of the iceberg of the best tunes of the seventies. F**k, I love my job!

14. If you were a cartoon character, what cartoon character would you be?

I actually meditated on this! Elmer Fudd.

15. What will it say on your grave marker?


16. Who would you most like to have dinner with?

The world’s best conversationalist.

17. Your idea of happiness.

A full-time admin assistant so all I ever have to do is follow the music and see where it leads! And thank you so much for asking!

18. If you could go back in time, what would you tell your twenty-year-old self?

Ach, let her be. She’ll never be this naive again and she never listens anyway.

19. The one thing in your life that makes you most proud.

I subbed with Symphony Nova Scotia on two hours’ notice a couple of months ago and I looked great doing it.

20. To be or not to be?


Meet Holly Arsenault

Twice named Best Jazz Artist/Band in The Coast’s Reader’s Choice Awards, pianist Holly Arsenault has enjoyed collaborating with Halifax’s and Canada’s finest jazz musicians, Symphony Nova Scotia, and all kinds of artists in between.

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