The importance of supporting local is nothing new for the City of Yellowknife, but this holiday season, they’re having a little fun with it!

The City kicked off the holiday season with a pair of scavenger hunts that encouraged participants to get out and explore local businesses, look for clues and vie for some pretty awesome prizes!

Hosted in partnership with the NWT Chamber of Commerce and Innovation Science and Economic Development Canada, the first hunt explored downtown Yellowknife Dec. 4, with Rivka Peters taking home the top prize of a $2,000 staycation experience, a $500 shopping spree at Overlander Sports and a $300 gift certificate to the Sushi Café.

Week 2 of the Scavenger Hunt came Dec. 11, when participants donned their shop local thinking caps to explore Old Town. In addition to the grand prize, won by Johanna Stewart, the 20 participants who finished the hunt had their name entered into a draw to win one of three prizes.

The festive fun will keep going with Made In Yellowknife Day, a winter shopping spree contest Saturday, Dec. 18 showcasing locally made products and the town’s many talented artists and artisans.

The contest urges shoppers to look to their favourite local artists and craftspeople when checking off their Christmas list.

Shoppers who spend $20 or more in-store or online on Dec. 18 on any local art, crafts, art classes or locally made goods such as art, jewellery, clothes, toys, souvenirs, homemade food, etc., can submit their receipts (or proof of payment provided by the supplier) using the Aurora Coupons App, and be entered into a draw for a chance to win one of five prizes, each valued at $1,000. Shoppers will get one entry for every $20 spent, with the winners drawn Dec. 20.

Why your support matters

While shopping locally offers some distinct benefits no matter the season, this past year has brought some unique challenges for many local businesses, notes Yellowknife Mayor Rebecca Alty.

In recognition of the challenges COVID brought for certain sectors, such as tourism operators, arts and culture organizations and the food industry, the aim was to establish contests and prizes that benefited affected businesses.

“We really appreciate the businesses that have been participating,” Mayor Alty notes. “It’s a great way to encourage shoppers to get out and explore Yellowknife, maybe find a business or two they hadn’t discovered before, and shop locally.”

Of course, there’s still lots of time to get out and explore this holiday season, and show your love for local.

Yellowknife City Hall and numerous other downtown businesses are decked for the season, creating a beautiful backdrop for shopping, warming up over a hot chocolate or connecting with friends at a favourite restaurant.

Why is it important to spend locally? Local retailers not only provide employment – to 2,700 people in downtown Yellowknife alone – but also support our non-profits, sports teams, schools and others.

They’re also woven into the fabric of the community. Imagine a “town” with no restaurants, no clothing shops, nowhere to pick up a last-minute holiday gift. By shopping locally, we help ensure Yellowknife will continue to be a vibrant, diverse community today, and tomorrow.

And for all the holiday activities from the City, visit