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Kelowna, BC






Originally from Harbin, China, Nathan came to Canada in 2008 to study at the University of British Columbia (Kelowna campus) and has been living in Kelowna since. Currently, Nathan is working as an electrical engineer.

It is important to let others know how we live, what our culture is like, and to show how much we contribute to the city and society.


I have grown up and lived in big cities when I was in China. And that was the main reason that I chose to settle down in Kelowna, instead of the big cities like Vancouver or Toronto. When I applied to study at the University of British Columbia (UBC), I got transferred to the UBC Okanagan Campus, and I did not know much about Kelowna at the time. 

My first impressions of Kelowna was that everything was just so small: the plane, the airport, and the campus. I’ve always thought it would just be a temporary place to study and I would decide to live wherever there would be a good job opportunity. Since graduation, I am lucky to get a job in Kelowna and I have stayed since. I call Kelowna my home because I feel welcomed and that the people are nice. But also because of the natural environment in Kelowna: living in the center of Okanagan Valley, we have easy access to mountains, lakes, orchards, and vineyards.  

Living in Kelowna, the views of the lake, mountains and skies makes me feel happy and that I made a good choice to stay here. In summertime, we enjoy the lakes and beaches which are just 10 to 20 minutes away. We can do boating, swimming, water-skiing, and fishing. On the way home, we also like to stop by our favorite vineyard and have a few drinks over the beautiful view.

These are the views that I experience everyday, from work and home. I also enjoy the views from my working place and the window of my living-room so much. I love to get up early and watch the sun rise from the different angles of the mountains (depending on the season we are in). I live close to multiple walking trails which I take frequently with my family. I feel welcomed living in my neighborhood, as I can recall my neighbor welcoming me with a plant gift. In the winter, my neighbors help me with clearing the snow. These reminded me of the good days when I was with my old friends and relatives back in China.

The Kelowna Badminton Club has a history of over 100 years. I have been a loyal member since I moved here. Nowadays, I am honored to be the leader of a group of 60+ active players, which we play together three nights a week. Most recently, I introduced my little daughter to start her badminton journey here. I believe she will enjoy the play, get to know more friends, while keeping active and healthy, just as I have experienced for many years!

As the leader of the group, I feel a sense of honor and respect. My group members are from different cultures and age groups. They speak different languages in their home countries. However the sport connects us well. We all enjoy the good times and many of the members chose to stay connected even after they moved away from Kelowna or Canada.

Okanagan Regional Library is a place where we can access resources from diverse communities. This is another destination for our family as our daughter can get hundreds of books at her age, attend some science labs, and make some new friends. Moreover, my wife can even get books written in Chinese. 

On a sunny morning, when we arrived as usual, my daughter noticed a new art statue with multilingual characters on it. She was so excited to find some Chinese characters that she just learnt at home and enjoyed recognizing them. Soon she was joined by a younger girl from the local community and they started reading those multilingual characters to each other. I was so happy to see this art statue act as a bridge to connect people from different communities and cultures. 


Kelowna and the Okanagan have a notable Asian heritage. Since 2002, May has officially been recognized as Asian Heritage Month in Canada. The Asian communities (including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian, and others) take this opportunity to celebrate the rich and substantial contributions that Asian cultures have made to the story of Kelowna and Okanagan. In my view, it is very important to share our cultures to the majority community (Caucasian population). It is important to let others know how we live, what our culture is like, and to show how much we contribute to the city and society. I hope these events will continue as it also allows me an opportunity to be involved in the community through volunteering.