Yellowknife’s #ShopYK local shopping drive is back, with a chance to win a $3,000 shopping spree just ahead of Christmas.

Pick up a passport and collect a stamp whenever you spend $20 or more at a participating store from October 15 to December 7. When you get to 30 stamps, your name goes in the draw for the grand prize.

You can even enter more than one passport if you keep shopping before the deadline.

“I love this campaign,” said Deneen Everett, the executive director of the Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce. “It’s a fun way to check out local businesses.

“Although I can’t win, I still bring my passport around everywhere and collect stamps.”

Richard McIntosh, from the City of Yellowknife, hopes #ShopYK can drive an extra $1,000,000 in local spending as we build up to the holiday season.

“We’re trying to make that million-dollar mark,” he said.

“We fell just shy of it last year, reaching $931,800. If we get there, it’s a million dollars we can track that comes into the local economy.

“This provides relatively inexpensive marketing for businesses, and there is everybody in here – from people offering driving lessons to retailers. It’s an A to Z.”

Supporting local

Fifty stores are taking part, ranging from the likes of Aurora Decorating Centre and Bijou Boutique through to Crooked Whisker, Ja-Pain, NWT Brewing Co, and LCP Health.

Everett says the chamber wants to “debunk the myth” that you’ll always find something cheaper online or down south.

“In some cases, yes, Yellowknife can be more expensive – but in a lot of cases it’s actually not,” she said.

“Quality Furniture comes to mind, Roy’s comes to mind. The products they’re selling are very much the same dollar value as you’d get online.

“When you support local, you get one-on-one support and a local contact. We want to encourage people to do the research and look at the prices here in town. In a lot of cases, it’s not cheaper to shop online.”

During the promotion, the City will give away $100 gift certificates to two randomly selected participants who use the hashtag #ShopYK on Instagram or Twitter.

Find a complete list of participating businesses here. Passports were mailed to Yellowknife homes, or you can pick them up in-store or at City Hall.

The draw for the grand prize will take place on December 11.