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Kelowna, BC






Originally from China, Lina landed in Canada in 2011 as an international student. Since graduation, Lina has been working as a financial consultant.

Kelowna is growing fast … We see the potential of this smaller city. That’s why we decided to stay here … If there are ways to promote our culture, I think that would make it more welcoming.


I’m a professional Chinese folk dancer. We’re in need of more indoor public amenities in Kelowna. Specifically, I wish the dance studio at the Rotary Art Center in Downtown Kelowna could get bigger and fancier. There is no space to practice dance there. Other than that, I'm pretty happy because most of the time, I try to stay outdoors.

When I first came to Canada, I studied at Thompsons River University in Kamloops and eventually came to Vernon, and now Kelowna for job opportunities. I met my husband in Kelowna so I decided to relocate and get together.


I have worked as a consultant for several major financial institutions. In Kelowna, it’s about 90% Caucasian, and Chinese are probably less than 10%. Sometimes I feel like it's always me (the only visible minority) in the financial institutions.

Culture and Identity

In Kelowna, we have cultural events held by the Chinese Cultural Association. They have a property in the city and given we're in a smaller town I hope it gets bigger. We always perform for Chinese New Year, Mid Autumn Festival, and the Dragon Boat Festival in a Downtown Kelowna venue. On Canada Day, over 200 people watched our Chinese cultural event where we were all drumming together. We try to be very multicultural in our events. It’s more of a melting pot where different cultures can appreciate and enjoy each other's traditions.


I love to eat. Five years ago, I still had to go to Vancouver often for Chinese groceries. Now, we can order online and wait for the big boxes of snacks, hot pot seasonings, and ingredients for Chinese barbecues. Some restaurants from Vancouver are even delivering Peking ducks. Right now, I can get 90% of what I need delivered right to my door. Still it’s very important to be closer to bigger cities in case we need to get something from Vancouver. It's also nice to go visit friends in the city.


The only thing challenging is the food here in Kelowna. There are not many Chinese restaurants. After 9pm, it’s chicken wings and pizza. We have a Chinese stomach. As a newcomer to Canada, it's all about the culture that we have. If there are ways to promote our culture, I think that would make it more welcoming. I want to share my culture with others through food. We don't have really good restaurants that can represent authentic Chinese food. It's more Canadian stuff.

Benefits of living in a small city

During my first years in Canada, I always was contemplating moving to bigger cities because what I do is finance. In China, I always lived in bigger cities. There may be career opportunities in Vancouver or Toronto but things are a lot more expensive. I thought that Kelowna would be probably less stressful and there seems to be tons of places that are pretty good.

It’s a lot of driving if I worked in a city such as Toronto. I probably would spend at least 30 minutes to one hour on the road. In Kelowna, it takes me six minutes to Downtown Kelowna, and five minutes to go for a swim in the lake. I've got nothing to complain about.

Natural Environment & Outdoor Activities

Kelowna is beautiful year-around.

I'm close to many fun activities. After a whole day of work, if I wanted to go on a boat it would be just a six minute drive. The water temperature is good for swimming during July and August. It's always nice and warm in the water. Even though Vancouver has the ocean, it's going to be cold. It’s a lot warmer in Kelowna.

We like to work hard and play harder. During the summertime in Kelowna, we can go wakeboarding, we can go water skiing. We do paddleboarding. We do yoga in the city park. There are many lakes. This is Kelowna.

I've got nothing to complain about. We are in nature. We have good water parks, We don't need much: just a boat and a rope aboard. I usually take my clients on a boat. That's really a fun activity.