by Nathan Weselake


Someone said this to me 25 years ago and it’s a bummer.

“No one plans to end up in Portage. Most people who end up here drift here by accident or default. No one dreams of spending their life in Portage la Prairie.” 

This is a problem because when things happen accidentally the result are victims and victims are always entitled to compensation of some sort. Portage then ‘owes’ the victims who have ended up here. And of course, a victim mentality is highly contagious; eventually a town gets a reputation for being contaminated. You can see how this can create a downward spiral as negative attitudes tend to be self-fulfilling and so gain credibility as time goes on. But it’s not something that can’t be changed.

If the problem was “Portage by accident” then the solution is “Portage on purpose”.

All Portage really needs is people who are in Portage on purpose. Not just people who have chosen to be in Portage on purpose, but we also need those who believe their presence in Portage has a purpose.  I know many people like that. Some are elected officials, some are business people, some are stay at home moms, and some run a tongue in cheek website which revels in all things uniquely Portage. It’s a growing group. That growth is good news because apparently you only need buy in from about 15% of a group to hit the tipping point required for noticeable change. Hopefully, Portage on purpose people are just as contagious as victims and we will enjoy a major shift in the next while.

There are x-factors in a town which have nothing to do with budget, infrastructure, and taxes. Yeah, it’s hard to really prove it exists but the ‘spirit’ of a town matters much and the responsibility for creating that doesn’t just rest at City Hall; although City Hall sure can help. It’s something we all have the power to create and sustain for the good of our town when we choose to be #portageonpurpose. 


nathanjpegThe Hoop and Holler is excited to add Nathan to our growing list of contributors.  Nathan is the lead pastor at Portage Alliance Church (PAC Website Link click here),an avid cyclist, skier, Big 4 hockey sensation, ventriloquist, barista, father, husband and friend.  Nathan grew up and now lives in Portage on purpose.  In addition to strong, thick legs, Nathan has a keen mind full of sharp ideas and observations.  We look forward to him sharing his thoughts with us but are cool toward seeing more of his trunk-like legs.

2 Responses

  1. Belle

    and why are you looking at his trunk like legs???? This makes me wonder why I plan to take my next dancing? class.

  2. Peter Ralph

    I moved there on purpose, I loved it and grieve having to leave. On another note I saw a flamingo today, it’s legs reminded me of Nathan’s.


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