You're invited to fill out a survey in Portage la Prairie, and maybe win $500 while you're at it.

Mitch Tilk is Local Immigration Partnership Program Coordinator and says they want to help newcomers connect in the city and determine everyone's health and lend a helping hand at the same time. Everyone is invited to get involved. 

"We're launching a big survey -- a community-wide survey," says Tilk. "We're trying to measure health outcomes as they relate to social connections in Portage la Prairie. We're just trying to figure out where some of these social connections are happening, how connected people feel with the community of Portage la Prairie, and then what some of those differences might be between people that are born in Canada and people not born in Canada."

He notes it's in terms of how connected people feel here.

"The survey is going to first ask a person to measure their own health, just subjectively," continues Tilk. "'How are you feeling lately?' Then it'll start asking a bunch of questions about your social connections. 'Do you have family in Portage la Prairie? Do you have friends In Portage la Prairie? Where have you made friends in the past? Through what groups and organizations have you made friends? How many groups do you belong to?' That kind of stuff."

He notes there is a correlation between a lack of social connection and a lack of good health. 

"Then we're trying to see the difference between that, and between people born in Canada and people not born in Canada," adds Tilk. "We'll get the results and just take it from there. We'll see what the data tells us. It will help in forming our program in the new year in terms of what sort of events we could offer, and what sort of organizations could we partner with where people are already getting connected. It's to figure out how to build those social connections in a more efficient way and get the community to get what everybody wants out of a small town." 

The deadline is March 31st and the survey is at

"There'll be a little pop-up that comes up and asks if you'd like to do the survey," explains Tilk. "If you agree to do the survey, then you also agree to leave us your contact information at the end. Everybody that's entered will have a chance to win a $500 gift card from Homestead Co-op. We're hoping the whole community will answer the survey and that will help us figure out the differences between the experience that newcomers are having versus people that were born in Canada and, specifically, born in Portage, too."

Tilk says people might be connecting through things including sports events or meeting people through religious events. All information helps!