Kelly Ip

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Kelly Ip came to Canada to pursue a university education. In this clip, he describes how he came to Canada, and the reasons he decided to stay.


Kelly Ip was among 32 British Columbians honoured at the tenth annual British Columbia Community Achievement Awards' ceremony in Victoria on March 14, 2013. He was presented with a BC Community Achievement Award medallion and certificate for his contributions and leadership towards assisting newcomers, celebrating community milestones, taking care of seniors, raising money for social services and promoting Canadian identity in British Columbia.


My name is Kelly Ip. I have been in Canada for forty-five years now. I came here not by accident but by choice. When I finished high school in Hong Kong, I was hoping to get into university in Hong Kong – there were only two at that time – and unfortunately my marks weren’t good enough so I couldn’t get in. So I worked as an article clerk in a law firm because one of my aspirations was to become a lawyer, but after a year or so I just didn’t like it, so I thought I’d better do something else. So I spoke to my parents about my intention of going overseas and maybe pursue a university education, and my parents were very receptive. In fact, they had offered this to me after my graduation from high school, but at that time I thought that I’d stay in Hong Kong and pursue my career. They were very supportive, and of course helped pay for my ‘Passage to Canada’.

I went to Ottawa first, and I enrolled at the University of Ottawa and I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree. I started my life in Canada after my graduation. Before I graduated, I had some mixed feelings of whether I should go back to Hong Kong or stay in Canada. Somehow, I think I must have fallen in love with Canada after two or three years. Also at the same time I fell in love with a girl, who I later married!

It was easy for me to adjust to the Canadian way of life. First of all, I spoke English before I came because I went to a bilingual high school, English and Chinese. So in terms of communication when I came here, there was not a great deal of problem, and in fact, when I was in Ottawa I picked up French. The French interested me, so I picked up French at university, and it also helped me to get into the public service because I was bilingual.