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December 20, 2014

Getting to know our neighbours


Myself & The kind folks at Bradbury Architecture. AKA – our neighbours!

Isn’t it funny how you can go through your day-to-day life next to someone you never knew you had a connection to?

That’s what I thought, as I was sipping on some BC wine, talking to our building mates who share a workspace just steps away from mine at the BC Liberals headquarters.

“I was involved with the UBC BCYL during my university years. When I found out you guys were our neighbours, all I could think about was how small this world is,” Isabel Gonzalo tells me, striking up a friendly conversation.

Isabel is an executive assistant at a small, BC-based firm called Bradbury Architecture. We’ve seen each other plenty of the times in the hallway, but haven’t exchanged any further past a warm nod of acknowledgement. Meeting a kind, driven person who I share a roof with was awesome enough; the young women in free-enterprise politics connection was the icing on the cake.

In between bites of brie and politico banter, we explored another one of our shared interests: our beautiful province. Isabel, like me, isn’t from BC, but has been here long enough to consider herself a bona fide British Columbian. Also like me, she’s thankful for a strong economy that provides the services that define our province, and Canada as a whole.

“What I love the most about BC is the quality of life. I feel safe in BC. I feel like I have the opportunity to grow as an individual and as a professional. I am thankful that no matter what it is I might need, there are easily accessible resources and organizations I can approach,” she says to me and my colleague.

Of course, I couldn’t help but agree. We bonded over the fact that we were both able to attend amazing post-secondary schools here in the province, get a great education, and be a part of clubs that connect us to politics and passion.

Naturally, we moved on to what was inevitably a third commonality – our appreciation for the beauty of British Columbia: “Above all, what I love about BC is how we get the best of both worlds: mountains and ocean? Really, I couldn’t ask for anything better,” she says. Again, I was in total agreement.

A week later, Isabel followed up with me via email: “I was really happy that you guys took the time to come visit us at our Christmas party” – and I, too, was happy I went. It’s nice to know that we share a floor with such interesting and hard working folks. Next time, the party’s at ours!

Moral of the story? Talk to the strangers in your hallway. Even better, take up the invitation to their Christmas party down the hall. You never know who you’ll have the pleasure of meeting.




By Jillian Stead